Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul Episode 22
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 22 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?
Oh Bahasoul, what do I expect from you at this point? This episode continues this final quarter's fairly steep downward trajectory, delivering not much in the way of action to make room for a lot of too-little-too-late character reveals that don't even make much sense.
That's right, it's finally time to learn about whatever the hell Charioce has been trying to accomplish this entire time. Unfortunately, it's stupid but not in a fun way - he literally just wanted to bust Bahamut out so that he could kill him for good with his stupid laser tower. This is just ten years after lots of people died trying to seal Bahamut away. It's not like we didn't know that the thing was probably going to come back some day, dude. It was just going to be in thousands of years instead of a decade. Rather than rushing to kill it off in secret, you could have told people about that research you found so that you could come up with a more airtight solution together. Instead, Charioce genocided half the world for the sake of a half-cocked plan that will kill the remaining 50% if it doesn't work. There were so many better solutions here. Also, Charioce was mostly being manipulated by the Onyx Knight Guy, which of course absolves him of all his bullshit. You know that a series has characterization problems when the guy who exists only to be the Real Evil Mastermind and absorb another character's culpability is more sympathetic than the guy he's covering for. At least Onyx Knight Guy didn't almost ruin his whole awful plan for the sake of a cute teenage girl.
To add insult to injury, Nina immediately reneges on her newfound resolve to just kill Charioce already. This is disappointing, but I can't say that I expected more from her at this point. No, the really baffling thing is seeing Favaro try to justify Charioce's actions. He just starts revealing information like the fact that Charioce didn't try to have Nina killed (technically true) or order Mugaro's assassination (excuse me, what?). First of all, how on earth would Favaro know any of this? And secondly, in what universe has Charioce not been a threat to Mugaro? Half of the show's plot happens because Charioce's goons were trying to hunt the poor kid down! Sure, Charioce didn't specifically order Alessand to kill him, but Alessand did only kill Mugaro because he knew it would please the king and earn him a reprieve, which he was actually granted. Remember that at one point, Charioce told Jeanne that the only reason he kept her alive was so that he could kill her child in front of her. This should be the very last sympathy card you could pull for this guy. I have no idea why the show thinks that we would buy something like this.
Meanwhile, Jeanne and Azazel have raised a magical army to crush Charioce and exact vengeance for their precious angel baby. They have the right idea here, and I don't know why the show assumes that we wouldn't agree with them. For some reason, Kaisar is still torn between his morality and his duty to the crown. Mostly, this manifests as him standing around looking concerned until Jeanne's men push him out of their way. He's such a nonfactor in this conclusion that I already resent whatever BS reason they'll invent to drag him into the final showdown. Also, Alessand is in charge of the Orleans Knights now. His men already hate him, and I hope he dies. Otherwise, the one moment I actually liked this week was when the baker from the first episode looked around at the hell he was in all like “things were so much nicer when life was just Nina frolicking through my neighborhood!” Same, dude.
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul was already in a bad place last week, but this episode has only done more to confirm my fears that it'll try to salvage the Nina/Charioce romance. Honestly, I feel that I've run out of things to say about that aspect of the show. It just sucks. I've seen many shows crash hard before, but this one hurts hurts pretty bad considering how promising it was early on. At least it sill holds up as a series of action setpieces, but it's a shame the story has wasted so much potential.
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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