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)?