Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 17

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 17 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?

This week on Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, it's time for another encounter with Nina's No Good Very Bad Kinda-Sorta-Boyfriend. Alright, I've been ragging on Charioce a lot lately, but I think it's hard to deny that his romance with Nina is one of the weaker parts of the show. That's a shame, since it's rapidly becoming the main focus. I'm just thankful that it isn't actively unpleasant to watch. This isn't a Twilight or a 50 Shades, where the object of lady-lust acts like an idealized abuser. Rather, Nina and Charioce's relationship just feels like a void in the story that they forgot to fill with actual development. Oh well, at least he's cute.

Unlike a lot of these bad boy romances, the main issue isn't how Charioce actually treats Nina; he's quite decent to her, for the most part. The issue is how he treats other people, specifically the fact that he's still trying to conquer the world for unknown reasons. On this point, he's remained a blank slate since the beginning of the show. He's really needed a motivation for a while now, ever since they started doubling down on his romance with Nina, and this week we finally get that – sort of. On this point, I totally anticipated how lame the show's justification for his actions would be. It turns out that Charioce is sad because his mom died, and that's why he enslaved the demons. As if realizing that this reason is weak as shit, Charioce promises Nina that he'll give her a full explanation – later.

So yeah, that's not good enough, boy. It's a good thing I'd already accepted that their romance would be super forced. At this point, it would actually improve the narrative if Chris turned out to be Charioce's split personality or something. Seriously, he becomes an entirely different person whenever they're in a scene together. Also, he might be dying to fuel the Bahamut machine or something. Boo hoo. At least he got to frolic with his dragon girlfriend before the end. Still, he almost certainly won't really die. If he did, the Nina/Azazel ship might come back to life, although I'm not getting my hopes up.

Besides the Charioce stuff, this episode was largely fanservice. Rita put on a sexy devil costume, Favaro took off his shirt, and even Hansa donned a stylish vest. (Also, Nina officially has bad taste if she looked over sweaty, semi-nude Favaro for Kaisar. C'mon girl.) Nina herself goes incognito with first a fake mustache and later an entire demon getup. It's in this demon disguise that Nina runs into “Chris” and takes him on a tour of the town, where he begins to sympathize with the poor demon children (whose plight he 100% caused). At the end of the night, he kisses Nina, she learns to control her dragon powers, and they go on a moonlit flight together. Seriously, this is the type of inexplicable Disney romance that even Disney movies make fun of now. That aside, I'm still charmed by Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul's sincerity, and I applaud its efforts as a well-produced romance fantasy anime. I may have outgrown this kind of love story when I turned 15, but at least there's still some solid eye candy to enjoy.

This episode's other main development is in the Jeanne plot. Having been left behind by her son and his friends, the former saint makes a literal leap of faith and steps off the heavenly city to plummet to the world below. Sophiel catches her before she splats onto the ground, but that was Jeanne's plan all along – now that they're back on earth, Jeanne can convince the angel to help her find Mugaro. She acquiesces, and our final two party members set off to rejoin the main group.

Otherwise, Charioce is still acting like a jerk while at his day job as king. The lead Onyx Knight guy has suspicions about his relationship with the red dragon, while Charioce insists that no, he totally wants it dead. The episode ends with an ominous glance at Onyx Knight Guy in his office, which makes me think that he's probably the real main villain. Maybe he's Gilles de Raises – the bad guy from the first season – in disguise again? All he wanted was to let Bahamut loose to raze the planet, and Charioce's antics seem like a good path towards that goal. Ultimately, it looks like it'll be up to Nina to stop her idiot boyfriend from destroying the world. That is, if she can stop ogling him long enough to pay attention. As usual, her unquenchable thirst will be her downfall. Truly a relatable protagonist.

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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