Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul
Episode 23

by Gabriella Ekens,

How would you rate episode 23 of
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul ?

I don't even know what to say by now. The past four episodes of Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul have just been the show topping itself in terms of incredibly stupid last-minute story commitments. The conflict has already devolved to the point where this previously jolly fantasy adventure can only plausibly end with the entire cast broken and miserable. I don't even want to watch this show any more, it's such a disappointment, but I have an obligation to carry y'all through to the end.

Alessand got a drawn-out, humiliating death this week, and it still wasn't enough to keep me happy. So Dias corners him, ready to kill, only to contemplate forgiving the guy for some reason. (Is there some kind of brain disease going around that makes people lenient toward the most obviously unrepentant people? Nina and Kaisar keep doing this too.) Fortunately, he realizes that it's not freaking worth it when Alessand tries - and fails - to shank him in his moment of mercy. Alessand then runs away like a little baby, tries to hide in a corner somewhere, and gets stabbed in the gut by a tiny demon kid who was using the spot already. The End. It's pathetic and all, and I appreciated the touch of Dias staring Alessand in the face as he died, but I would have preferred it if Jeanne and Azazel had done the deed. They were the ones who deserved this kill. It was their baby he pointlessly murdered. I also think that the true karmic punishment for him was pain rather than indignity.

As for Jeanne and Azazel, they finally begin their assault on the capital. They pretty quickly reach Charioce, who's hanging out on a giant airship. Jeanne narrowly defeats Onyx Knight Captain Guy, who exits the show as he entered it – unnamed. At last, the way is clear, and they can go after Charioce. Jeanne lunges, but her blow connects with Kaisar instead. That's right, Kaisar threw himself in the way to protect the Genocide King. After 22 episodes of doing nothing but moral wavering, the most noble character in the show, the deuteragonist of the first season, has given his life to save perhaps the least likable and most poorly written member of the cast. (Now that Alessand is gone at least.) So this makes two beloved character deaths that could have been avoided had Nina not been a selfish idiot and just killed the guy when she had the chance. This impression is not helped by the fact that Nina is fretting over Charioce's safety just prior to Kaisar's sacrifice. To be honest, this death may make me angrier than Mugaro's, since it reaches back and makes the first season worse with the knowledge that Kaisar will just die pointlessly ten years later. This invalidation of the first season will reach apocalyptic proportions if they somehow manage to undo Amira's sacrifice by breaking the seal on Bahamut.

My only hope for not leaving this show with an absolutely wretched taste in my mouth is a total cop-out ending where Mugaro and Kaisar are somehow brought back to life and everything turns out okay. It would be bullshit, but I don't care. At this point in Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, I am exclusively invested in the fates of several characters (Jeanne, Azazel, Favaro, Rita) who are extremely unlikely to get happy endings. Everyone else can go to hell. Otherwise, if the show's downward spiral continues, I predict an absolutely miserable and pointless finale.

Grade: D

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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