Literary Analysis — VIRGIN SOUL #01: Red Dragon

Statue representing Nina's Red Dragon from Shingeki no Bahamut VIRGIN SOUL about to throw fire.

Summary: Nina Drango is a bounty hunter who has gone to live and work in the Royal Capital of Anatae, as her village is poor, and she wants to give her mother a better life.

Because of her great strength, Nina does heavy construction work, and while she's good at what she does, being surrounded by young, attractive men makes her extremely flustered for some reason. 

Before work, Nina sees people gathering in the streets early in the morning to greet King Charioce XVII, who's returning from a mission.
The inhabitants don't know it, but Charioce has forced his way into the Ark Temple guarded by the gods, to take a tablet with ancestral knowledge.

Nina is surprised that the people love him so much that they will even celebrate his return with abundant food.

As she works carrying heavy materials, Nina talks to a painter, and through him, she learns the history of Mistarcia and how King Charioce made Anatae prosper after Bahamut destroyed the city.
Nina is surprised by the king's heroic deeds, but the painter tells her that even though prosperous, the capital is not without its problems, as are the rebellious demons due to the enslavement of the species. 

Charioce is determined to stop the humans from fearing the demons and even makes them fight to the death in a coliseum. 

The captain of the Orleans Knights, Kaisar, doesn't like his methods, and Charioce is aware of this. However, Charioce reiterates that he must not empathize with demons and that he must capture a rebellious one known as the Rag Demon, who has been freeing demons enslaved by humans and who he has failed to capture on countless occasions. 

Kaisar suspects the identity of said demon after accidentally crossing glances with the coliseum ferryman, but says nothing about it, implying that he knows him.

Nina learns of the existence of the Rag Demon upon returning to the carriage of the gods Bacchus and Hamsa, with whom she is staying and who, like her, are bounty hunters. Since Nina has never hunted a bounty before, she's determined to catch this demon, so she sets out to find him at night. 

To her good fortune, Nina stumbles upon him when the demon tries to escape from the Orleans Knights, who set him up by luring him with demons they took hostage at a place near where Nina lives. 

Since she's not only strong, but also fast, she goes after the Rag Demon and catches up with him easily; but when she tries to capture him, her whip gets entangled in a lamp, and the Rag Demon takes the opportunity to flee. 

As she tries to untangle her weapon, Kaisar appears in front of her and, he being attractive, Nina becomes so flustered that she ends up tearing the lantern from the wall and accidentally hits Kaisar in the head. Nina escapes from the scene, which makes The Orleans Knights think that she attacked Kaisar on purpose and that she's an ally of the Rag Demon. 

Nina tries to spot the Rag Demon, but can't see anything from the tower she climbed, so she asks a boy on the roof of it to let her climb up to see if she can find him. As she climbs up, she's easily found by the Orleans Knights' air division and is attacked by the unit's dragons. 

The Rag Demon thinks that the knights are attacking Mugaro, the accompanying child he left in the tower, and goes to his rescue, only to realize later that the one he rescued from a deadly fall was Nina. 

Nina's heart beats fast when she finds herself in the arms of the Rag Demon —who's handsome— and ends up becoming a powerful red dragon who annihilates part of the king's soldiers, thus officially becoming a rebel against the crown. 

Nina wakes up in a clinic after the incident happened.

Style: The main idea is given at the beginning of the episode with the Rag Demon releasing trafficked demons.

Point Of View: During the first episode, the predominant points of view are that of Charioce, Nina, Kaisar, and the Rag Demon.

Tone: Intriguing

Fixed literary devices: Elements that are maintained throughout all the episodes. Some of them can acquire new meanings —as usually happens with symbols—, while others remain unchanged, as happens with themes.

  • Transversal themes: 
    • Love
    • Identity & Secrecy
  • Transversal symbols (motifs): 
    • Red
    • Flames
    • Sword
    • Dragon 

Mutable literary devices: Elements that, while not appearing in every episode, are part of the story structure. 

  • Episode themes:
    • Subjugation & Freedom
    • Empowerment

Conflicto: Subjugation vs. Freedom

Thematic elements: Analysis of themes and the main conflict of the episode.

  • Subjugation vs. Freedom: 
    • Humans have freed themselves from the demons' oppression and are now on their way to freeing themselves from the gods' control over them.
      Charioce believes in human power. This is evidenced when he states that the time when humans worshipped the gods has come to an end, and when he watches them fight for their lives in the coliseum, by way of human entertainment. His idea is reinforced when Nina learns that the demons are slaves to humans and that the rebels are bounties, such as the Rag Demon.
    • The same theme can be approached from the point of view of the Rag Demon, who seeks freedom for his kind, which is subjugated and abused by humans.
  • Empowerment: 
    • Charioce XVII seeks power for some purpose that's not mentioned in the first episode, but which is fully revealed in episode 22.
  • Love: 
    • Nina's heart beats strongly when she sees handsome men, leading her to become a dragon when she can't contain the excitement.
    • Nina loves her mom very much and wants to give her a better life, so she goes to Anatae, mainly, to earn money for her.
  • Identity & Secrecy:
    • Nina hides her dragon nature.
    • The Rag Demon hides his real identity when he goes out to free slaves.


  • Red Dragon: Symbolizes Nina, especially her power and strength.
  • Sword: Symbolizes Charioce, and also his power and strength.
Charioce holding his sword and the Red Dragon throwing fire.
  • Flames (fire): When Charioce says that "the time when humans worshipped the gods has come to an end," flames are reflected in his eyes, as they act as a symbol of power and strength.
    Flames are present throughout the story and acquire different connotations according to the context and the atmosphere created around them. However, when Charioce is the focus, flames always mean strength.
Flames reflect in Charioce's eyes, symbolizing his power and authority.
  • Red: This color represents power and strength. This color is found in Nina's eyes and on her dragon, announcing that she has great power. Also, it is attributed to Nina's romantic emotions when she sees attractive men.
    In addition, the color is seen at the beginning of the first chapter, when Charioce breaks into the Ark Temple. His ship emits red light, symbolizing his power.
The color red representing the Red Dragon and Nina's feelings of love.
  • Gold: Charioce's eyes are golden. It represents wealth and, in turn, a bounty. It's known that gold is the treasure of dragons. Nina is a dragon and, at the same time, a bounty hunter.
    She will hunt Charioce, eventually.
    On the other hand, in the case of gods, gold means divinity.
Charioce's golden eyes are a direct reference to gold, as he's a bounty.
  • Green: It symbolizes a forbidden and ancestral power that's linked to death. 
  • Black: Symbolizes death. Onyx soldiers are the most lethal armed part of the king's army, his right hand. His sword, figuratively speaking.
    Likewise, this color is related to Charioce's name and his costumes.
The black color present in the color of the armor of the Onyx Task Force and the costumes of Charioce XVII represents death.
  • Violet: It's the color that defines the Rag Demon. It's a contrast to Charioce's golden symbols, announcing that it's his antagonist. At the same time, it hints that the Rag Demon belongs to some kind of demonic royalty.
  • Bandages: The Rag Demon wears bandages to hide his identity, although metaphorically they're a symbol of sadness and anger, emotions that define the character.
  • Rags: They symbolize suffering. Something that's in rags is beginning to tear apart or deteriorate. The rags are a reference to the emotional state of the Rag Demon and the state of his species.
The bandages and rags represent Azazel's suffering.
  • Kiss of Death: Symbolizes a farewell. Mugaro kisses on the cheek the fatally wounded demons fighting in the coliseum to give them a peaceful goodbye.
Mugaro kisses a mortally wounded in battle to give him a peaceful eternal rest.


  • Land of the Gods
    • Ark Temple 
  • Royal capital of Anatae
    • Building
    • Coliseum
    • Streets


  • Italy and Europe: The world is built on European references from an environmental and architectural point of view. There are English, Italian and French elements combined with a fantastic world.  
  • Colosseum: Like the Roman Colosseum, it's a place where demons fight for their lives to entertain humans. 
  • Siena: The royal capital of Anatae is inspired by Siena, Italy. 
Aerial view of Siena and the Colosseum, both places where the story is inspired and developed.
  • Bahamut: In pre-Islamic ancestral mythology, Bahamut is a powerful creature of the world, commonly depicted as a fish or even a whale, according to different traditions. It can wreak havoc, especially earthquakes.
  • Red Dragon: The title of the episode refers to the 2002 film Red Dragon, whose plot is about a psychologically gifted former FBI agent who's asked to help track down The Tooth Fairy, a mysterious serial killer.
    Following the same idea, Kaisar has been assigned to track down the Rag Demon, a killer of humans.


Elements: The names of the characters foreshadow various events that will happen throughout the story. Some of them are symbols at the same time, but since they announce things about them, they have been classified in this section.

  • Charioce XVII: The king's name foreshadows and communicates relevant aspects of his character. 
    • Char: A verb meaning to char, burn or blacken in English. Something about the king may char throughout the story.
    • rioce: It's a wordplay. If the order of the vowels is changed, it leaves roice, which refers to royce, which in Old English means royalty.
    • XVII: In Italian culture, the number 17 is unlucky because it represents misfortune. If the number is written in Roman numerals, it has more deadly overtones. Written XVII, the characters can be rearranged to spell VIXI, a word that was often engraved on tombstones in Ancient Rome and that means he lived.
      Many Italians think this is tempting fate or, more accurately, tempting death to make the phrase come true and, therefore, a bad omen or bad luck for whoever carries this number on their shoulders.

      On the other hand, numerologically speaking, 17 is the number of conquest. And Charioce is, precisely, a conqueror (read references about his real name in the analysis of episode 6).

      Moreover, biblically, 17 is a number connected with Noah's ark, which floated from the seventeenth day of the second month to the seventeenth day of the seventh month. This can be linked to his invasion of the Temple Ark in the first episode.

      Number 17 is also connected to war and heroism. Charioce is a warrior king and a hero.

      This number refers to —and corroborates, at the same time— that the name Charioce has its basis in the English verb char, which began to be used in the 17th century.
  • Nina Drango: Like the king's name, her name announces aspects of her character.
    • Nina: It's a diminutive that, by itself, means little girl, alluding to her innocence and effusive and sincere personality. There are more mysteries behind her name, but these are covered and explained in greater detail in the analysis of episode 3.
    • Drango: As in Charioce, if the order of the letters is changed, Drango spells Dragon. Her last name announces that she's a dragon.
  • Kaisar: His name means cut/amputated/sectioned in Greek. Referring to his mechanical hand, since he lost his left hand.
  • Mugaro: His name has its origin in Dante's Divine Comedy. Mugaro was one of the members of the Brigtita Spendereccia, or Prodigal Club, of Siena, whose extravagances are chronicled by Benvenuto da Imola. This club consisted of twelve very wealthy young gentlemen who set out to do things that would astonish much of the world.
    Like the members of the club, Mugaro sets out throughout the story to do something that will astonish the world: to bring peace, as he claims in episodes 15 and 16

  • Ladder: It announces that Nina will reach the king. This element is present when she takes the ladder to the painter and places her just below where Charioce is painted. The ladder connects her present level with the king's, being she who'll come to meet him, as the ladder acts as a connection between the present and the future time. Their meeting ends happening in episode 3.

Nina holding a ladder leading up to the figure of Charioce XVII painted on the mural.

Foreshadowing lines:

  • "The time when humans worshipped the gods has come to an end."

    Charioce announces that humans will prevail over any force that has been above them. He feels powerful enough to make this statement.
    Besides, this foreshadows that he has a compelling reason to deprive the gods of prayers.
  • Bacchus: This is a place for bounty hunters, not a shelter for brats like you.
    Nina: Excuse me, but I'm a bounty hunter.
    Bacchus: What?! But you've never gotten a bounty!
    Nina: Don't worry. I'll get one sooner or later. One so big it'll make you weep with joy. But until then, I'll stay here.
    Bacchus: That's not up to you.

    This dialogue is particularly important because it announces that Nina will one day come into possession of a great treasure. The greatest ever collected (*).

    (*): This bounty is Charioce, whom Nina officially hunts in episode 22, when her skills and decision are fully honed. 


  • Charioce XVII: 
    • General description: King of Anatae. He's very loved by his people for having enriched the country and freed them from demons. He's not only a monarch but also a warrior. He fears neither gods nor demons.
    • Physical description: He's a very handsome 25 years old man. Tall (1.85 m), blond and muscular. He has golden eyes and long eyelashes.
    • Psychological description: Self-confident, capable of fighting as a warrior and running the government of a country. He's strict and observant and despises demons.
    • Recap & Analysis: There's something that motivates him not to worship the gods and take something from them, just as there's a reason that makes him enslave demons and make them fight to the death in the coliseum of Anatae. He's got a very good instinct and senses that Kaisar knows the Rag Demon since he has let him escape on several occasions. Charioce wants Kaisar not to disappoint him and to fulfill the mission he has entrusted to him.
  • Nina Drango:
    • General description: Nina is a villager who has gone to Anatae to earn money for her mother since the place where she lives is poor. She's quite liked by the people of Anatae for her effusive and optimistic personality. Being strong and fast, she does heavy work.
    • Physical description: 16 years old. Short (1.50 m) and muscular. Red eyes, coral pink hair, and white skin. Very pretty.
    • Psychological description: Nina is friendly, optimistic, and confident in her abilities as a bounty hunter, although she hasn't hunted any bounty yet. She's a very determined young woman.
      She gets very nervous around good-looking young men, who make her see red when she feels her heart pounding near them, causing her to transform into a killer dragon if she exposes herself too much to their allure.
    • Recap & Analysis: Nina is loved by the inhabitants of Anatae for her friendly and warm personality. The people who work with her admire her and depend on her strength to continue remodeling. 

      Nina becomes flustered when she sees the painter of the mural that tells the story of Anatae and how the king brought the city into being.

      The painter tells her that despite how prosperous the city is, there are problems related to demons —creatures that aren't considered people—, but mere slaves, something Nina has never seen before in her life.

      Nina returns to Bacchus' chariot and learns of the existence of the Rag Demon.
      Nina asks if someone like him, who frees slaves who are abused, would actually be a good person, but Bacchus tells her that there's no way for someone who's wanted to be.

      Since Nina hasn't hunted any bounty, she sets out to go in search of him that very night. Besides, she's eager to meet the Rag Demon now that she knows what motivates him to act the way he does (*).

      (*): Nina sees the goodness in others. 

      Nina meets her prey that night and sets off after him through the streets when he slips away from her. Being fast, she catches up with him easily, but being clumsy with the use of the whip, he escapes her again as she tries to untangle her weapon from a lamp.

      Nina ends up inadvertently hitting Captain Kaisar in his head with the lamp she pulls out with her whip, as he's so handsome that he flusters her a lot.
      This incident causes Alessand, an Orleans Knight, to misinterpret the situation and think that Nina and the Rag Demon are working together.

      Nina climbs up to the roof of a building to see where the Rag Demon is, but since she doesn't have a good view, she asks Mugaro, who's at the top of the tower, to exchange positions with her. Having spotted the Rag Demon on the rooftops of the city, Nina sets out to reach him. However, she's unable to do so because she's suddenly attacked by the Orleans Knights' air unit. 

      Falling from the tower, she's saved by the Rag Demon, who thought they were attacking his friend, Mugaro. When Nina finds herself in his arms and, seeing how handsome he is, she transforms into a killer red dragon that wipes out most of the men who were after the Rag Demon.

      The next day, Nina wakes up in Rita's clinic.

  • Rag Demon: 
    • General description: He's a rebellious demon who frees children of his species trafficked by slavers, as well as demons who've been cruelly treated by humans.
      A child —Mugaro— accompanies him at all times, which leads to the inference that the Rag Demon works in the coliseum with the child who takes care of the bodies of the mortally wounded.
    • Physical description: Male, 1.87 m tall, muscular, pale-skinned, and handsome. Has white hair and purple eyes and lips. He wears black rags and bandages to hide his true identity when going out during his night missions.
    • Psychological description: He dislikes humans because they enslave his kind. He has a great sense of justice and helps them from those who abuse them. 
    • Recap & AnalysisDespite his actions and disdain towards humans, he has a kind side that's seen when he talks to Mugaro.

      He accidentally meets Nina the night she decides to catch him and is struck by how fast and strong she is. However, seeing that she isn't skilled with her weapons, he escapes from her and the Orleans Knights at the same time.

      Nina, who ends up in the same location as Mugaro, ends up causing quite a stir, as the Orleans Knights think she's working with the Rag Demon.

      When the tower where he left Mugaro is attacked, the Rag Demon comes to his rescue, only to realize later that he has saved Nina from a deadly fall. As he asks her who she is, Nina doesn't have time to answer him because, as she sees that he's handsome, she ends up turning into a dragon in his arms.

  • Mugaro:
    • Physical description: Short, black-haired, and white-skinned. His only visible eye is blue. 
    • Descripción psicológica: Kind and friendly.
    • Recapitulación & Análisis: He's a mute boy who works alongside the Rag Demon in the Colosseum.
      Mugaro has a special power that allows him to give a peaceful death to the mortally wounded and also makes their bodies disappear.
      He plays the ocarina and accompanies the Rag Demon on his missions to free enslaved demons at night. 

      Mugaro meets Nina the night she goes out to hunt his friend when she climbs a tower to locate him in the city and asks him to exchange positions with her.
  • Kaisar Lidfard: 
    • General description: Kaisar is the captain of the Orleans Knights, a division of King Charioce XVII's army below the Onyx Task Force unit.
    • Physical description: Tall and handsome. Has dark brown hair, blue eyes, and white skin. His left hand is mechanical. 
    • Psychological description: He's a kind and principled man who believes in the good coexistence of different species.
    • Recap & Analysis: Kaisar seems to know who the Rag Demon is, whom Charioce commissioned him to capture. Kaisar suspects that Charioce is aware that he knows him, just as he certainly is aware that he doesn't like to watch demons fight for their lives in the coliseum.

      Kaisar is a perceptive captain and notices that his division doesn't like the Onyx Task Force at all, as they see that the king entrusts them with more important missions than they do.

      Kaisar sets a trap for the Rag Demon, but he escapes once he has freed the demons used as bait. Kaisar goes after him with his men, but when he meets Nina on his way, she accidentally hits him and loses sight of him.

      When Kaisar sees the Red Dragon and witnesses its destructive power, he hastens to give retreat instructions to his men.
  • Bacchus:
    • General description: He's the god of wine and a bounty hunter who gives Nina lodging in his chariot. 
    • Physical description: A very tall man, brown-skinned and white-haired. His nose is red from drinking wine. He wears glasses and carries a cup of wine in his hand most of the time.
    • Psychological description: Although he's grumpy, he's kind, since he has a good relationship with Hamsa, and he cares about Nina.  
    • Recap & Analysis: Bacchus is fond of Nina, although she only came with him to Anatae because he is in charge of the bounty hunters.

      He regrets that gods like him aren't treated as such.

      Bacchus tells Nina that, thanks to king Charioce, there aren't many bounties to hunt anymore so he only has a few left like the Rag Demon. When Nina asks if the Rag Demon is really a good person, Bacchus tells her that someone whose head has a price can't be, but he notices that Nina isn't entirely convinced when he sees her out hunting him at night.  
  • Hamsa:
    • General description: Like Bacchus, he's a god. He's in charge of printing flyers for the Rag Demon.
    • Physical description: He's a white duck that can talk. He wears a crown.
    • Psychological description: Friendly and kind. 
    • Recap & Analyses: Hamsa is more hospitable than Bacchus to Nina, and is the one who tells her that the Rag Demon is a wanted criminal because he goes out at night to free demons trafficked and abused by humans.
      He worries about Nina when he sees her going out to hunt the Rag Demon.
  • Hippogriff:
    • General description: He's the creature that moves Bacchus and Hamsa's chariot.
  • Orleans Knights:
    • General description: Commanded by Kaisar. The main soldiers are Vice Captain Dias and the third in command, Alessand, the latter being the knight who gives the order to go after Nina when he thinks she is an ally of the Rag Demon.
  • Baker:
    • General description: He's the character who represents the people of Anatae.
      He loves Nina very much and gives her bread that he prepares because she's sweet, optimistic and a good person.
Note: The ages and heights of the characters were taken from pages 112, 136, and 138 of Granblue Fantasy Graphic Archive IV, Cygames official book published on July 5, 2018, in which it's possible to find details about Nina, Charioce, and Azazel (Rag Demon).

This is the English version of the literary analysis originally posted in Spanish on September 18, 2022.

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