Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul – 23

Listen, there’s no point in pussyfooting around the truth here – as far as I’m concerned, Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul has jumped the shark pretty hard over the last couple of episodes.  For a time I considered just skipping coverage of the last two episodes apart from a stub – trying to preserve the good feelings I have for the first 21 episodes (which were genuinely damn good).  And it’s never fun to talk about a series when it disappoints us, especially after such a promising start (and middle) as “Virgin Soul” had.

But I guess after almost six months I need to talk about these eps a little, and in point of fact this one wasn’t entirely bad (just mostly).  Setting aside the general depression I feel about the Chaorice redemption – which was no less disheartening for being as predictable as it was – things pretty much degenerated into a CGI free-for-all here.  This has been a character-driven adventure series from day one, but at this point the finale is mostly just a big action sequence as the armies of men, demons and Gods come together (with a little Bahamut for good measure).  It’s hard to feel a whole lot of emotional connection to that, to be honest, though seeing Azazel and Jeanne (“For Mugaro!!  For El!!”) fight – and kick ass – side by side was certainly the best part.

Then we have Allesand’s demise, which, while delivering a modicum of satisfaction purely on the karmic level, was pretty weak.  Basically he was reduced to a snivelling caricature, utterly reprehensible, in the end.  Whatever traction the character may have had (which admittedly was never all that much) was long gone at that point.  And it made no sense – why in the world would Alessand get all huggy with a demon child at that stage?  The answer is, he wouldn’t – it was just necessary for the plot to deliver what it saw as poetic justice.  Dias’ stubbornly compassionate nature was the best part of all this – the poor lug couldn’t help but feel sadness for Alessand even in that ignominious moment, no doubt because he felt he’d failed him as a commander and mentor.

We seem to be set up for the closed cycle of the justification for Chaorice’s atrocities now, as everyone needs to band together to fight the common enemy Bahamut (pardon me as I puke a little).  It’s no coincidence that the defense of Chaorice’s behavior has so often mirrored the real-life defenses we hear for fascism (this week, I even saw one that amounted to “Slavery made sense.  It worked.”) because Chaorice’s bahavior is basically indefensible by any other means.  That Kaisar should choose to lay down his life to protect Chaorice disgusts me utterly, and I certainly still have enough buy-in to care what happens to him.  Will Rita zombify him (her perfect mate at last) as she declined to do with Mugaro (who I still think is coming back)?

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9 comments

  1. s

    I’m……….conflicted about some of these developments; that’s the best way i can describe my feelings right now. Ill wait to the finale to better parse how i feel about where the show has gone and how i feel about it overall

  2. J

    You’re a more patient person than I am. After Allesand’s demise (featuring Kaisar’s rigid devotion to romanticism) it finally dawned on me that he was likely to bite it and the mere thought made it hard to watch the rest of the episode.

    It’s been a fun ride, but if it wasn’t so close to the end it would have been time to get off last week.

  3. s

    Such a letdown. Even Rita’s underwater zombie mosh pit couldn’t redeem this episode for me.

  4. M

    On the bright side, we’ll always have the first cour of Virgin Soul.

    The ending of the first season and the resolution to Amira’s arc similarly left me kinda meh. So Kaiser biting it is on par for the course.

    And also for all of Chaorice’s plan to deal with Bahamut, it sure looks like he (un)intentionally released it in order to have another bloodbath. I doubt that his magic artifact will prove that useful in the end, or that it will work only after a great many number of humans, demons, and angels are sacrificed.

    So yeah, a major letdown even if you got an inkling of it coming from as early on as Chaorice going incognito in the market place.

    #azazelmugarojeanneforever

  5. L

    It’s still something unexpected that they killed off kaisar… when i watched first season, the only death vibe is amira’s and its blatant from the beginning,
    Kaisar’s impalmemt stroke me like oberyn’s death. I’m looking forward to how they handle last episode… until then, i’ll off to see whether the comments of some audiences who i question are watching is right or not, bcoz it seems they have different scenario(not EXPECTATION but SCENARIO made in their own heads) about snbvs and turned bitter when it didnt play out like that

  6. I was genuinely surprised that Kaiser’s scene with Rita at the end there still tugged a couple tears out of me. As mad as I am that a series that has been so good is ending this poorly, those two have stayed true to their character all the way thru. I’ll be real bummed if he doesn’t pull thru, but the thought of Rita getting an undead hubby in Kaiser is kinda cute.

  7. M

    Dotards, the lot of em. Dotards!!

  8. Z

    I’m honestly quite disappointed in snb as of late. It started off interesting though I wasn’t sure where it was going. Then it got good and became what I looked forward to most every week. But now I feel as if, instead of whatever drew me in at first, it’s resorting to doing other stuff to keep my attention.
    Like,
    oh, here’s some jeanne x azazel partnership. Here, have some shiny lucifer. Hmm, what will be interesting. oh, let’s kill kaiser!
    I like when a show dares to kill off important characters, and not only once. But now it feels like everything is just happening but I don’t really FEEL it anymore.
    Yes I’m still sad for kaiser, and happy that alessand died that way. And I do like seeing shiny lucifer and awesome rita. I like the things they add in. But other than those, the overall story has been losing me ever since around the ball episode. If I were to describe it, it’d be like how some people like fanservice, but when all you’re interested in in the show is only one thing, then the whole ride’s gonna feel quite meh.
    RIP kaiser 🙁 Hoping it ends well, especially since we had to sacrifice kaiser to get here.

  9. S

    Welp, guess lightning doesn’t strike twice after all. First season turned out great despite all expectations. 1st (and a half) cour of this season was going down the same route but it just couldn’t help but veer off course and hit some poor bystander in the balls.

    Expectations for the last episode are really low. I don’t like where things are at and Bahamut only now showed up only to get quickly dealt with in 1 episode.

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