Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 18

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 18 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?

Following an interminable two week break, it looks like Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul is finally back. Well, the “virgin” part may no longer be true - metaphorically at least. Last week, Nina finally did the deed with Charioce (the “deed” being a light make-out session) and learned to control her dragon powers. Whoopty doo. Unfortunately for them, however, there's still a war going on, and they're still technically mortal enemies. So at the end of the night, they split up and get back to making plans to stop each other. You know, there might be a simpler solution to all this…

I'll be honest, I don't think that I can forgive Nina for choosing a genocidal sadboy over Hot Goth Angel Dad. Seriously, Azazel was Very Good this episode, and it made me sad for all of the love triangle shenanigans we missed out on. We could have had a contest for Nina's affections, dammit. The Nina/Azazel pairing doesn't seem to have much of a shot any more, considering how righteously pissed Azazel is at most of the cast. At the moment, it seems to be misdirected self-anger more than anything, but Azazel will have a totally valid reason to beef with Nina, should he ever find out about her beau. Enslaving thousands should disqualify a person from the dating pool, no matter how luscious their eyelashes are, dammit. I mean, Azazel's lashes are almost as nice, and he can fly. Plus, he's a good father figure for Mugaro, dropping his angst to protect him for the kid's sake. Azazel has gone through a lot, and even when they continue to touch on how much he's suffered, I don't think the show can really do him justice. It just clashes too hard with the happy-go-lucky romance in the foreground. Oh well. That's what happens when you try to put both of these plotlines into the same show.

As self-serving as the encounter with Charioce was, Nina did manage to get one useful piece of info out of her royal rendezvous: Charioce's bracelet is the key to all of his evil plans. They'll need to snatch it from him, which means infiltrating the royal ball. Of course, this leads to Kaisar going undercover at a hostess club to pry a favor from his former subordinates, Dias and Alessand. Kaisar needs rich kid Alessand to get him some invitations, but Alessand is still being a useless unhelpful brat. Eventually, however, good guy Kaisar manages to prostrate himself enough for Alessand to agree to help. I'm still not quite sure where this character is going. He's still pretty unlikable and generally a waste of space in the plot. My bet is that Alessand ends up betraying Kaisar in order to buy membership into the Onyx Knights – what would be the point of his scene with their leader otherwise? He might get a moment of redemption after that, I don't know. It doesn't matter, because like I said, he's been a waste of space.

Meanwhile, that Onyx Knight Leader Guy has realized that Charioce is restraining himself when it comes to the red dragon. As such, he's taken it upon himself to put out a contract on the beast. Frankly, Onyx Knight Leader Guy comes across weirdly sympathetic on this point, in a way that mirrors Azazel's position on the rebellion's side. The dude is making a huge sacrifice for Charioce's goals (whatever magic they're using to take down demons seems to be cast by draining their own life force), and it's pretty lame of the king to pull his punches at this point because he fell for some teenybopper. Either pick the girl or pick the genocide – what's the point of going halfsies now?

But then again, I'm already thinking way harder about the situation than the show has. Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul operates on cartoonish fairytale logic where real world emotional responsibilities mean little to nothing compared to more melodramatic feelings. It would have been a better show if the love story was stronger, but its unique tone also keeps any weaksauce romance from killing the entertainment outright. Nina is still quite likable, even if it's partly because I've turned the absolute idiocy of her dalliance into a source of amusement. “The characters act stupidly but there are no consequences and that makes it charming” is basically the Rage of Bahamut brand at this point. And who knows, maybe they'll even find a way to shove Nina and Azazel together before it's all over. Hell, they even referenced Amira this episode, so going forward, anything can happen! I guess that sense of indulgence is rewarding in its own way.

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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