Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul – 24 (End) and Series Review

Contrary to what you might have thought, there was no editorial comment in my waiting two days to blog the finale of Shingeki no Bahamut.  It was simply a matter of logistics – my time is extremely limited and I’m extremely exhausted mentally (see my Made in Abyss finale post), and I had to prioritize the finales that were more important.  But that said, there’s no denying that this one – and indeed, the entire final arc of “Virgin Soul” – was a big steaming pile of crap.

Was this the worst final episode of a good show ever in anime?  I kind of doubt it, because sadly that’s a category rich in entrants.  But in recent memory it’s definitely right up there.  This may be a case of “the less said the better” because I don’t want to totally obliterate the fondness I had for the first 20 or so eps of this series, especially the first cour, so I’ll keep this pretty short.  But I will say probably the most damning thing I could under the circumstances – this was a disaster big enough that if there were ever a third season of Shingeki no Bahamut, I won’t be watching it.  Not after being jerked around this badly.

This was rather predictable, true, but not even in my wildest imagination did I imagine the writers here would so totally sell out everything they did in the first cour of the series.  It’s almost inexplicable – as if the series changed staff midway through or something – because it’s hard to believe the same hands wrote the first cour and the final arc.  What was the point of all that – all the character development, all the social commentary, all the pain the characters went through?  The ending betrayed all of that – narratively and philosophically in equal measure.  It just doesn’t make any fucking sense.

Thank goodness we had better series that wrapped up around the same time as Virgin Soul, because that takes some of the sting out of this experience.  Yeah, it really sucks to have what started out as a really good series totally jump the shark and poke the viewers in the eye with a sharp stick.  But it’s not that big of a deal in the end – it’s not like Shingeki no Bahamut is a masterpiece or anything, just a solid entertainer that briefly flashed the promise that it could be something more.  If you were undecided on watching this show, my advice would be be to avoid id or at least skip the second cour altogether – and that’s a recommendation I almost never give.  The second cour is pretty much when bad things happen to good anime, and nothing more.

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10 comments

  1. h

    Well…I guess one of the many factor that made Bahamut Virgin Soul turned out like that is this one https://myanimelist.net/people/40859/Shizuka_Ooishi.
    Though you have to take it as a grain of salt since there’s no official sources to look at, cuz so far there’s no one in western sphere willing to translate all of those interviews regarding the production stuffs of this series yet (at least I haven’t found one just to confirm few things from the production staff).

    But few things that I can conclude regarding Ooishi based on the post by Meemi on Mal are that (1) this is her first tv anime experince as writer (series composition), she usually write tv drama or film; (2) she apparently said that she didn’t understand Genesis (Bahamut 1st season); and (3) she apparently shown that she has clear favoritism towards Charioce (you bet it shows clearly in the show*), even describing him as this kind of perfect man/bishonen whatever (I guess this is where the romance sub-plot come from).

    Than again….take it with a grain of salt since I haven’t found any sources that mentions this stuff yet.

  2. S

    The interview with Ooishi is probably same as the one mentioned here, http://a-zazel.tumblr.com/post/165896148328/from-what-i-know-the-writer-didnt-understand
    From my limited knowledge of japanese the translation is not that far off…so yeah. There’s also the link to the original japanese interview in the tumblr post if anyone wants to read it.

  3. M

    Technically there’s no problem with showing favoritism for a character or other…. The problem is that the series sets him up as a genocidal psychopath with no redeeming features.

  4. Among its many technical problems.

    A story about the effect Bahamut had on the world – how it gave rise to a despotic ruler and showed humanity’s dark side – was a far, far more interesting premise than a push-button revival of Bahamut and another mega-battle. That was just unbelievably bad and stupid writing – not even on the level of good fanfiction. It literally rendered the entire first cour of the series as a red herring, utterly unnecessary and unrelated to the denouement.

  5. S

    …and they blame men for thinking with their dicks. If what you say is true, she clearly wrote with her clit.

  6. h

    You can look at the link provided by Scampi above for more infos, btw thanks a lot for providing some news about it Scampi…..guess I haven’t digging deep enough around tumblrs.

  7. M

    This show needs a trigger warning because it’s so infuriating. I still can’t believe how they managed to ruin everything even though the first cour had plenty of red flags.
    If anything this kind of shows just give a glimpse into how some Japanese are still nostalgic after the Second World War.
    I hope the shows tanks commercially but unfortunately if you go my tumblr, there is a big Chaorice contingent of stans #gross.

    #everythingwaspointless #thefascistpieceofgarbagewinsandgetsthegirl

    Thanks for your as always spot on reviews, Enzo.

  8. S

    You could say that El’s demise is a metaphor for the series.

    1st cour, El (or rather Mugaro) was super-important. Being able to counter the magic Charioce uses and everything.
    So El would be playing a central role in stopping Charioce’s conquest to bring humans at the top of the food-chain.

    But then Charioce needed redemption. So Bahamut needed a quick re-awakening (hence why it was so grumpy) and now El’s role was completely worthless. So the one thing El played a significant role for, to stop the fancy green magic, would now be a bad thing. So in goes the knife with multiple focuses on his body to confirm he’s dead and with him the plot’s coherency.

    Resulting in Jeanne going Mahou Shoujo, Charioce and Nina using Sekiha Love-Love Tenkyoken to “kill” Bahamut and Zombie Kaisar.
    With an extra dosage of bittersweet sugar sprinkles where Charioce and Nina have their romance even though he can’t see her nor hear her cuz she lost her voice. Awwwwww ~</3

  9. So… why the genocide again? I still don’t get what that had to do with Bahamut.

  10. K

    Well Enzo you made me laugh with that review and alas…it was spot on. It did feel like two different teams were working on the show. End the end I was just glad it ended as the wasted opportunities were palpable and left a bad taste in the mouth. Hope you manage to get some rest.

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