Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 11

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?

At long last (well, two episodes), our heroine and her new saint friend are finally implementing their escape plan. They've got to go save Jeanne's angel baby Mugaro, who's been abducted by the celestial hierarchy for use in their unseemly schemes. With Nina's superpowers, the two make it all the way to the final juncture, where they need to take an elevator to reach the surface – and freedom.

Unfortunately, when the elevator opens, who should pop out but King Murder and his murder squad. He's come to make a deal with Jeanne – Gabriel has convinced Mugaro to cooperate in re-subjugating humanity by restoring his angelic status. If Jeanne can convince her son to back down, Charioce will let him and the rest of the gods live (probably as slaves). However, the situation takes a turn when Nina and Charioce catch sight of each other. He walks up to address her, and Nina finally realizes that hunky Chris is actually Charioce. Those Clark Kent glasses really do work! For his part, Charioce seems to have recognized her earlier (because Nina was never wearing glasses you see) and – apparently not taking her quasi-involvement in the demon rebellion personally – takes this unexpected meeting as an opportunity to try out his smooth moves.

I do have to wonder where the Nina/Charioce relationship is going at this point. He's been past the point of excusable cruelty for a while now (poor Mugaro), and it doesn't help at all to know how little he cares about throwing Nina in prison. Until now, I could have imagined him feeling some sort of remorse behind his stony face, but that “Would you dance with me again?” comment right before he throws her back in the clink totally feels like a taunt. He's smiling so kindly, though. Did he think that he was being charming? Honestly, the most charitable explanation for his treatment of Nina is that he's doing all this to keep her safe in a weird way. Maybe he knows that some angel war nonsense is about to befall the outside world, so the prison (with its weird magical device) is the safest location? So he doesn't hold any hard feelings toward her (presumed accidental) involvement with Azazel, because he could just use it as an excuse to imprison her? And he can't just tell her that he's the King and take her somewhere more comfortably safe because, uh, politics? I don't know, it's a real stretch. This would at least make his treatment of Nina an idiotic attempt at caring for her rather than pure callousness. I'm trying to salvage this ship, guys. Whatever this jerk is thinking, Jeanne rejects his offer, so she and Nina are sent right back to square one.

Of course, it's up to Rita to do absolutely everything. While Nina and Jeanne are busy yelling at the King of No Social Skills, Nina has already made it most of the way down to their cell. By the stinger, she's got their cell keys, meaning that the for-real prison break is probably, finally, next week. Rita's the best, and it was nice to see her get a cool action scene. Well, really it was Rocky's action scene. It was neat to see a severed hand running around and pulling some Fullmetal Alchemist moves. I'm sure that whoever did that cut doesn't get to draw something like that every day.

Now that I think about it, this prison seriously needs a better chain of command. There's an intruder on the upper floors, a jailbreak on the lower floors, and neither group seems to know about the other's crisis. On top of that, the king is visiting that day. Despite all this, there's no high alert mode for Rita to confront as she waltzes around the cell area. Honestly, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul is filled with these sorts of unrealistic plot conveniences. Azazel works the most conspicuous possible job (demon undertaker before an audience of thousands) when he's supposed to be undercover, the brutal king Charioce doesn't just execute people who are troublesome to him despite showing absolute callousness elsewhere, and all the female prison guards seem to be the same lady. What's up with that?

All things considered, however, I find these minor plot kerfuffles more fun than anything else. They give the show, which is ostensibly pretty high-stakes in plot material, a tone more like the lighthearted fairytale convenience of a Disney film. Once again, while Rage of Bahamut: Genesis was basically a love letter to Hollywood adventure films, this one incorporates more elements from Disney Princess movies, where the plucky heroines go on exciting escapades while also experiencing romance for the first time. Personality-wise, if you were to put Nina in a lineup with Rapunzel and Anna, I wouldn't single her out as weird. (That's barring her overtly horny powers, of course.)

In next week's first cour finale, the gang will hopefully see daylight again. Maybe Kaisar and Favaro will be there too! Probably not Azazel, though. At this point, it feels like he has still has time left to spend in the whip dungeon. There were also more hints as to Charioce's big plans – he's stolen some stuff from the gods' temples, and he's probably using them in conjunction with that giant magical device he's building in the prison. That can't be any good. Rita's the one who notices all this, of course. Seriously, they'd all be so dead without her. And even if one of them died, she could just raise them from the dead. Maybe she can even bring the Charioce/Nina ship back from the grave?

Grade: A-

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.


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