Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 15

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 15 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?

At long last, Jeanne and her son have been reunited. It's been a long time coming – Mugaro's parentage was introduced in like episode four, and all sorts of nonsense has happened since then. Either way, this mother and child relationship has been one of the most successful parts of the show emotionally, and it means a lot to see them brought back together. Of course, these two are hardly out of the woods at this point. There's still that whole war between demons and humans to be fought, and his time in Olympus may have had some bad effects on little Mugaro…

But first, Nina and Jeanne had to get there in the first place. Granny dragon ultimately can't make it through the barrier to the Realm of the Gods, so she chucks them through for the final stretch. They land in a paradisal forest, where they're soon accosted by some angelic border guards. Jeanne reveals her identity as Mugaro's mother, and they manage to pass through. When they enter the heavenly city, the head guard goes out of her way to explain the cultural trauma that the gods have endured over the past ten years. Their losses have been immense, first in the battle against Bahamut, and then in the war against Charioce. Judging by this sequence, it looks like the human/god/demon conflict is turning into a tangle of grief, resentment, and wounded pride on all sides. The gods did suffer, but they're not the only ones who made sacrifices to stop Bahamut, and some of what happened to them was the result of their own callous manipulation of humanity. Similarly, humanity had been getting a raw deal from both gods and demons. They're right to be disillusioned with supernatural forces, but that doesn't justify Charioce's retribution via conquest and slaughter. This looks like a situation where, rather than acknowledge their mutual errors, all sides are using their legitimate grievances against one another as an excuse to act on their worst desires. Gods, humans, and (maybe) demons are still angling for world domination right now, when they'd all lose a lot less if they made a sincere effort to coexist again. Of course, it's the little folks who get the worst of it, and they don't even agree with their leader's commands. (Look at the crowds protesting against Charioce or the bespectacled angel guard's view of things.) For what's otherwise a simple adventure romp, this is a good message and a decently nuanced conception of war.

Sparing us another few episodes of suspense, that angel guard gets straight to reuniting Jeanne and Mugaro. But this touching scene goes sour when we realize that Mugaro's developed a complex from his seraphic tenure. While he's rightly suspicious of Gabriel, he's internalized all of that savior stuff she shoved onto him and now believes that it's his mission to save the world – probably by force. He says all this with an unnerving smile, which really creeps out his mom and Nina. Now Mugaro may in fact be the second coming, but that sort of recklessness didn't work the first time. Charioce still has that Bahamut death orb, and Mugaro won't be able to just overpower that with self-righteousness. My hunch is that Mugaro will need to be talked out of this or else something really bad will happen. And judging by her smirk, it looks like he's still playing into Gabriel's hands.

Besides all the stuff on Olympus, this episode also caught us up with Azazel and – surprisingly – Lucifer. It looks like Azzie's been freed from the whipping tower and now fights in the gladiatorial arena. I guess that's a step up, but that doesn't matter to him – he's still openly contemplating the purpose of continuing to live. I hope that he gets out of this predicament soon. His presence has been missed, and his defeat earlier was one of the low points of the show for me. He deserves some serious catharsis after all this. Lucifer, meanwhile, gets to make his first appearance in the entire season. It's good to see that he's alright – I've been wondering where he ended up. It turns out that, following the attack on the capital, most of the demon leadership has taken refuge in the far north, including Lucifer who's doing his usual thing by hanging out in a pile of books. (Fun fact: he's voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, the same guy who plays Shogo Makishima in Psycho-Pass. I had to do a double take when I heard him, since hanging around reading a book and lecturing people is an extremely Makishima thing to do. The two characters even look alike, and Makishima did have overt Satanic overtones. It's certainly an amusing coincidence.) Lucifer explains that Azazel ran off to the capital to be a freedom fighter on his own, and this hasn't worked out so well for him – although in the long run, it was all worth since he got to encounter and befriend Mugaro. I'm sure that practically raising the angel Michael's reincarnation will have some perks in the long run.

With only nine episodes left to go, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul should be preparing for its final stretch. The final conflict hasn't been laid out yet, but it feels safe to say that it'll involve a full-blown showdown between two (or even three) of the races. Who knows – maybe even Bahamut himself will make a reappearance, requiring their mutual cooperation once again? I'm sure that Nina, who possesses the ability to befriend anyone regardless of whether they're prep, goth, or normie, will be the key to resolving this whole thing – if she can take her mind off King Jerkface for a second.

Grade: B

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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