10 years after the world escaped destruction due to the revival of Bahamut, humans at the royal capital gather wealth, the demons are enslaved to assist with the capital's revival, and the gods lose their power due to a decrease in religious piety. The world is thrown off balance as humans, gods, and demons hold their own ideas of justice.
Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul is the top anime of the season, and I don't say that statement lightly. Whereas Genesis was all about having a fun adventure that amounted to the anime equivalent of The Princess Bride, Virgin Soul seems to be about fleshing out the world of Shingeki no Bahamut, with elements of suspense, drama, and romance, in addition to making the action more intense and dazzling.
Stories involving humans rebelling against the celestial powers is nothing new After all, Shin Megami Tensei made an entire franchise out of the concept. What makes Virgin Soul different is that anime follows the angels and
demons point of view. The celestial powers aren't simply the bad guys because humans are the ones fighting them. Instead each side is signifigantly more complicated and all sides have a reason to fight with none looking like they have the moral high ground.
A throwaway line made by Azazel mentions how there is a balance between demons, humans, and angels. Demons torment humans to feed off their despair and fear. Feeling in need of divine guidance, the humans worship the angels which provides them with sustenance. From an objective point of view the demons and angels live parasitically off of humans, with the divine war between them comes off as being a con to retain this equilibrium. So Charoice the XII has enough of humanity being a plaything of cosmic entities and declares war on both sides.
Humans win big on both fronts and in a more cliche anime, this would be the end, but Virgin Soul takes chances and shows that humans really aren't any better morally without celestial powers as they were with them. They enslave demons, abuse them, and force them to fight each other in gladiatorial blood sports. The audience can understand the humans' anger but at the same time, see that blind hatred against a perceived enemy transforms a crowd into worse monsters than the ones they were fighting.
Not all demons deserve it, either. Only a small portion of demons actually attack humans while rest live ordinary lives. Yet humans treat all demons the same, like they are worthless. The human city of Antae is a gilded hell for demons and humans are the jailers.
Angels get less prominence but it doesn't change the fact that they are victims as well. Angels, technically, can never get an advantage against demons but it's hardly their fault and they do best they can with the duty tasked toward them. Still, they are part of the parasitic equilibrium and Charoice believes that is enough of an offense to wipe them out. Secretly, of course, as much of the population still approves of angels.
And this is just the setting, the characters each have their own motivations and conflicts that seem small at first but weave together well into this tapestry of divine conflict.
The scenes in the show are just amazing. Every establishing shot in this anime feels like a masterpiece leaves the audience excited about the wonders in store. The main setting of Anatae is a wonderful setting of reflective lakes, shining palaces, and gorgeous trees.
The fight scenes are fast paced without being disoriented. The magic effects are straightforward without being overdone. The dragon scenes are both terrifying and awe-inspiring as even the fire effects seem to make the screen obscure and boil, to reinforce its terrifying ferocity.
Horns, strings, and vocals seem to perfectly capture action scenes, changing beat and rhythm to perfectly match action scenes. The audience can feel scenes build up, simmer down, and sometimes suddenly explode to accompany how a scene will play out. It is a very impressive coordination of both visuals and sound, making dramatic scenes absolutely breathtaking.
Nina Dobrev seems to hold a certain charm I don't see in many heroines. Its nice to see a heroine that can take action and try to be responsible even when she is a living ticking time bomb. She provides the cynical plotline a breath of fun to prevent the audience from being to apathetic to the drama.
Azazel is at the forefront of the action and what he lacks in forthcoming intelligence, he makes up in charisma. I like that they didn't make Azazel a good guy even though he is one of main characters. Its his selfishness and narcissism that drive the plot into different and interesting directions, making him a complex character without transforming him into a jerk audience surrogate which the last season had to a sickening degree.
Kaisar is back, but he's probably the weakest of the cast. His moral conflict between serving his king and his conscience in regards to the ill treatment of demons is interesting but at times feels unrealistic. I'm the type of guy that likes to see consequences to actions that happened in previous seasons, especially if they impact the character negatively. Kaisar suddenly wanting to protect demons when they have caused him so much harm over his life doesn't fit a sense of realism. What really ruined my immersion was when Kaisar warned Azazel, the demon that arranged the circumstances of his father's death to the point of shouting the execution order, that Charoice was onto him. I get the studio doesn't want to portray him as a bad guy, but consequences and reactions are the bread and butter of good characterization. I would rather have Kaisar hate demons with legitimate reasons rather than act as a wallflower and let demons walk all over him.
All in all, this one of the best anime I've ever seen. The fight scenes are fantastic, the plot is deep and morally complicated, and the characters are engaging and fun. I feel I could recommend this anime to anyone and they would enjoy it.
Technically, my math is off and the overall score is a very high 9 out of 10 (sorry, but I just can't forgive bad characterization when it has such great potential) but I think a very tiny fraction of a whole number shouldn't disqualify the highest score, just as a 95 percent on a test doesn't disqualify the tester from getting an A. The adjective describing the anime is outstanding, not perfect after all. Still we're only four episodes into a two cour season and I'm excited to see where they go from here.
They are fiery, majestic, powerful, towering beasts... and they are here to make you shiver in your socks! Here's a list of the 15 most epic anime dragons in existence, sure to scare you and bring you a bit of nostalgia at the same time.