Literary Analysis — VIRGIN SOUL #03: Close Encounter

Black ring with an amethyst crystal representing Charioce XVII's royal ring.

Summary: The gods have detected Mugaro's power in Anatae, and suspect it's the Holy Child's. 

As they lost track of the Holy Child two years ago, the archangel Gabriel orders Sofiel to find the him in order to use his power in their favor, and make the humans recover the faith they used to have in the gods by offering prayers to them.

Meanwhile, Rita treats Azazel's wounds and tells him that he's alive thanks to Mugaro's power. 

Azazel remembers how it was he who rescued him in the past and how, now, it's Mugaro who returns the favor.

Sofiel descends to the world of humans and visits Bacchus, whom she tells that she's in search of the Holy Child who disappeared two years ago and that if he helps her find him, the archangel Gabriel will give him and Hamsa permission to return to the land of the gods, from where they were exiled. 

While they talk, Nina is arm-wrestling strong men to earn money, taking advantage of the fact that she's stronger than any of them. This event attracts the attention of Charioce, who, after visiting a grave in the city cemetery, wandered around the city disguising his identity. 

Hamsa looks for a new opponent for Nina, and as Charioce stands out for his looks, he invites him to arm wrestle. Although he rejects the invitation at first, he agrees immediately when Hamsa mentions that today's young people only run away and have no self-improvement spirit. 

Charioce bets his black ring, as he has no money with him. 

Upon hearing that he's a handsome man, Nina blindfolds herself so that his sex appeal doesn't distract her. This draws Charioce's attention, who asks her the reason why she covers her eyes. Nina doesn't have an answer, but Hamsa tells him it's so she can concentrate better on the duel. Charioce smiles and takes Nina's hand, with whom he has an immediate connection. 

Charioce is as strong as Nina. And after several struggles, Nina beats him and even sends him flying through the air.

As Charioce falls completely under her spell, he asks her name and then leaves. 

Nina is left thinking about the moment she held hands with him and runs to hide in the chariot in order to calm herself.

Charioce returns to the castle and is told that the Rag Demon has attacked six aristocrats' mansions, and three slavers, and has killed 56 people in total. As neither the Orleans Knights nor the Onyx Task Force has been able to capture him, they'll discuss his next appearance. However, Charioce proposes to lure him to the city square through demon executions, and that he'll take care of him himself.

Kaisar objects to the idea and says he doesn't want to provoke the demons or the gods because they'll eventually end up allying against humans. 

Charioce sees no threat in that and tells him that, in that case, he'll just crush them. Along with that, he tells him that if he continues to defend the demons so much, it'll incite him to think he's with them.

Charioce thinks that if the Rag Demon shows up, so will the Red Dragon.

Nina invites Rita to have dinner with her, Bacchus and Hamsa, although it's Rita the one who ends up cooking. As she gets a massage from Rocky to relax her muscles after so many pulses, Nina takes the black ring she won from Charioce out of the box with money. Thanks to Hamsa, she notices that it has the royal emblem on it. Hamsa tells her that it must be fake since an ordinary person wouldn't have a ring like that. Touching the ring, Nina remembers Charioce's handsome face, and her heart pounds so hard that she must calm down. 

When Rita asks her if he is more handsome than Azazel, Nina lies and says she doesn't remember what he looked like. 

During dinner, Rita asks Nina how she ended up living with Bacchus and Hamsa, to which Nina replies that her master told her that if she ever went to the capital to look for a drunkard and a bird who lived in a strange chariot. Rita continues and asks her what her master taught her. Nina tells her that he made her a bounty hunter, but she still doesn't get any bounty. 

Bacchus tells her that the bounty hunter's bracelet her master gave her is a fake and that only a god can give her a real one. But none of that really matters anymore. Thanks to Charioce, there's almost no bounty left to hunt except for the Rag Demon, who they can't turn in because he's Azazel. Disappointed, Nina says that her master Favaro wasn't much to trust, so she's not that surprised that her bracelet is a fake. Upon hearing his name, Bacchus, Hamsa, and Rita are dumbfounded, as they know Favaro. 

In the city square, Charioce waits for the Rag Demon to appear before he executes some demons. The Orleans Knights stand next to ordinary soldiers, which annoys Alessand. Also, Kaisar isn't present, which annoys him even more.

Kaisar has gone in search of Azazel, but finds Rita instead, who was telling Nina that there's someone close to Favaro that she might be interested in meeting. It turns out that Kaisar is the person who's close to Favaro and who, at the same time, is Rocky's 'father'. Nina and Kaisar recognize each other since the incident that got her tied to the Rag Demon, and she apologizes to him. However, Kaisar is more concerned about knowing where Azazel is, as he wants to warn him of the danger of death he exposes himself to if he thinks of appearing in the square and confronting Charioce. Hearing this, Nina runs full speed to find Azazel, and Rita asks Kaisar to stop her. Rita alerts Bacchus and Hamsa of the situation. 

Azazel is in a tower about to make the expected appearance, but first, he tells Mugaro to go with Rita, in case he dies. 

Since Azazel has taken so long to appear, Charioce executes a demon. Azazel ends up appearing as soon as Charioce provokes him. 

Style: Strength ostentation and who's fitter than the other are themes present from the beginning of the episode.
Nina is stronger than all the men of Anatae and accepts challenges.
The same goes for Charioce, who's stronger than all men, and accepts Nina's challenge when provoked by Hamsa telling him that he has no spirit of self-improvement. Later, Charioce challenges the Rag Demon by luring him to the city square to settle everything once and for all, as his men have been inept in dealing with him, but he isn't.

Point of view: Throughout the episode, Charioce's point of view predominates. He's a character who, at the same time, delivers the main message: respond to a challenge when challenged.

Tone: Defiant

Fixed literary devices:

  • Transversal themes:
    • Love 
    • Identity and Secrecy
  • Transversal Symbols (motifs):
    • Flames
    • Holding hands / Touch

Mutable literary devices:

  • Episode Themes:
    • Provocation and response

Conflict: Provocation vs. Response

Thematic elements: 

  • Provocation vs. Response:
    • Hamsa provokes Charioce to arm wrestle with Nina alluding that if he runs away, it's because he lacks self-improvement. During the duel, Charioce is seduced by Nina, who surprisingly beats him, even though he's very strong.
    • Charioce emphasizes human power and strength and claims he'll crush anyone who rebels against them.
    • Azazel responds to Charioce's challenge by being provoked by him.
  • Love:
    • Charioce ends up fascinated by Nina when she beats him at arm wrestling. It's love at first sight, as he mingles in the crowd to find out who's the pretty young woman who defeats so many men. He falls head over heels for Nina when she defeats him.
      On top of that, he asks her name and smiles sweetly at her after being defeated by her. Something he only does with her throughout the episodes. 
    • Nina feels an inexplicable connection with Charioce at the very moment she takes his hand, even without seeing his face. When she beats him at arm wrestling after an arduous struggle, she sees his face, and when Charioce smiles at her, Nina falls under his charm.
      It's strongly hinted that she likes him more than any other handsome man she's ever seen. Just thinking about the moment they touched hands is enough to make her heart start pounding and her temperature rise. Even touching the ring that won her over makes her feel like she's going to turn into a dragon.
  • Identity and Secrecy:
    • Charioce disguises himself to walk as an ordinary citizen through the streets of Anatae. He hides being the king. 
    • Azazel hides his identity behind his alter ego, the Rag Demon. 


  • Royal ring: It symbolizes Charioce. The ring she bets on the pulse with Nina is black and is inlaid with an amethyst.
    The blackish color is a direct allusion to his name, Charioce, and the amethyst is a sign of royalty.
    The ring communicates that he's king, despite being incognito around town.
    Also, it's worth noting that Charioce wears this ring on his right index finger, indicating that he's a single nobleman. 
  • Glasses: Glasses symbolize secrecy. They conceal Charioce's identity. At the same time, it's remarkable that they are gold-framed, as they emphasize the golden color of his eyes. Symbolizing that it's a treasure or a reward, just as gold is.
  • Turban: Wearing a turban indicates the wearer's social status. Kings and rulers wore turbans in the past. In this episode, the turban also acts as a reference to Charioce being the king. 
Charioce wears royal rings and hides his identity by wearing glasses and a turban.
  • Holding hands / Touch: Symbol of love between soul mates. When Charioce and Nina hold hands it's assumed that they're soul mates and equals. They're both equally strong, and both feel an inexplicable connection when they touch each other for the first time.
Charioce and Nina hold hands to arm-wrestle and feel a mysterious connection between them.
  • Flames: Candle flames are always in focus when Charioce appears on the scene, mainly to connote his power and strength. 
The flames represent the power and authority of Charioce XVII.
  • Blindfolded eyes: Although Nina blindfolds herself so that Charioce's attractiveness doesn't distract her in the duel, it means that love is blind. It alludes directly to the Roman god of love, Cupid, usually represented with his eyes closed, covered, or blind.
    There is a counterpart to this symbol by Charioce in episode 6, in which he uses a bow to shoot arrows, just like Cupid.
    On the other hand, the blindfolds also convey the idea of impartiality while arm wrestling. 
Nina covers her eyes in reference to Cupid.
  • Black vs. White: Charioce wears white in this episode, as opposed to when he appears as the king wearing predominantly black, referring to purity and innocence. When defeated by a pretty young woman who catches his eye, Nina, he feels something he has never experienced before: love.
Charioce wears white when he hides his identity and black when he shows himself as the king of Anatae.


  • Land of the gods
    • Vanaheimr
  • Royal City of Anatae
    • Cemetery 
    • Royal Castle
    • Suburbs
    • Central Square


  • Turban: South Asian vestment of authority.
  • Vanaheimr: In Norse cosmology, Vanaheimr is a place associated with the Vanir, a group of gods related to fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future.
  • Archangel Gabriel: She's the archangel announcer and the archangel of vengeance.
  • Close Encounter: The title is inspired by Steven Spielberg's story, in which the life of an Indiana worker changes after an encounter with a UFO.
    In the episode, the UFO can be compared to the moment when Charioce's life changes when he meets Nina/the Red Dragon, just as Nina's life changes when she meets a mysterious man who turns out to be Charioce, although she doesn't know it yet.
    In the same way, it can be related to both characters, who ignore the true identity of the other and have a duel or encounter.


  • Foreshadowing lines: 
    • Gabriel: If that child is still alive, we must find him no matter what. We need him to make the humans regain the faith they used to have in the gods.

      This dialogue foreshadows Gabriel's intention of wanting to use the Holy Child to his advantage, whether he wants to or not. 
      This is something that ends happening in episode 11.

    • Rita: And what did that master teach you?
      Nina: To be a bounty hunter.
      Rita: Bounty hunter? Are you a bounty hunter?
      Nina: Yes, although I haven't gotten any yet. I mean, there aren't many to catch.

      This line reinforces what Nina said in the first episode: that she doesn't hunt any bounties yet, but that sooner or later, she'll get her hands on one. It's no coincidence that as she says this, the money and the ring she won are at her side.

      It foreshadows that the bounty she'll hunt at some point is Charioce, whom she ends up hunting in episode 22.
Nina takes the black ring she won from Charioce out of the coin box.


  • New:
    • Sofiel: 
      General Description: She is a high-ranking female angel who works for Gabriel. She knows Bacchus from before.
      Physical description: Female. Long lilac hair, winged, green-eyed, and white-skinned. She's voluptuous and very beautiful.
      Psychological description: Obedient, friendly, and with a good sense of humor.

      Recap & Analysis: After laughing a bit at how much Hamsa enjoys his life with humans, she tells Bacchus that she has come down from the land of the gods to the surface to task him with searching for the Holy Child since Gabriel detected his power in Anatae.

      Sofiel tells him that the main characteristic of the child is that it has eyes of different colors. She tells him to let her know if he finds him. And perhaps then, Gabriel will reconsider permitting him to return to the land of the gods after exiling him and forcing him to take charge of the bounty hunters. Bacchus protests that he was never exiled and chose to leave the heavens because he chose to. But Sofiel tells him that no matter the reason, this may be the last chance he'll have to come back.

      Sofiel is a god with a higher rank than Bacchus, so he must obey her orders, although he doesn't seem very eager to do so.

    • Gabriel: 
      General Description: Gabriel is the chief of the guardian angels.
      Physical description: Female archangel. Pretty. Mint-green-haired and eyed, white-skinned and winged. She wears a white dress.
      Psychological description: Methodic. 
      Recap & Analysis: After sensing the power of the Holy Child in Anatae, she sends Sofiel to find him, as she declares that they need him for humans to regain their faith in the gods. 
      Gabriel wants the kid at all costs.
  • Previous:
    • Charioce: After visiting the grave of someone whose identity is revealed in episode 17, Charioce walks through the streets of Anatae and stops in front of Bacchus' chariot, where he sees that Nina beats every strongman he faces. Being such a good-looking man, he stands out in the crowd and ends up being challenged to a duel with Nina by Hamsa. Charioce leaves the place, as he isn't interested because he thinks he'll easily beat her. But when Hamsa asks him if he plans to run away, he accepts the challenge immediately. He likes challenges because they test his own strength and ability.  

      Hamsa: Hey, you, the handsome young man! Would you like to challenge this sweet and delicate young lady? Oh, are you planning to run away? Today's young people have no self-improvement spirit.

      Noticing that Nina has covered her eyes, Charioce asks her why she does it, but Hamsa replies that she does it to concentrate, which he finds adorable because he smiles. He thinks it's cute that Nina will give her all to face him.

      Charioce, then, goes determined to give his best when he takes her hand waiting for Hamsa to give the signal for the start of the duel.

      After a few struggles, Charioce is impressed with Nina's strength and is forced to arm wrestle even more vigorously. Despite all his attempts to overcome Nina's strength, he fails to beat her and ends up being thrown into the air. Nina hurries up and apologizes to him, but Charioce seems to care more about knowing her name, as he has fallen for her. When Nina sees him, she realizes that she can barely even tell him her name, but when she does, Charioce smiles at her. She now knows the name of the only person in the world who has been able to defeat him and who's just like him.

      Back at the castle, Charioce hears the report of the deaths and injuries the Rag Demon has caused and how neither the Orleans Knights nor the Onyx Task Force has been able to capture him. This makes him decide to be the one seizing him, so he orders his men to bring demons to the central square, where they'll execute them in order for him to appear. 

      Kaisar opposes his idea and keeps provoking the demons because if they keep killing gods and demons, sooner or later, they will end up joining forces and wiping out the humans. However, Charioce doesn't see that there's anything to worry about, for simply he'll prove his superiority to them.

      Kaisar: If we keep killing demons and gods, sooner or later, they will join forces and end up joining forces against humans.
      Charioce: And is that a problem? If they turn against us, crushing them will suffice.

      This line supports his thinking about his appreciation of human strength and power and that nothing daunts him.

      Seeing Kaisar so passionately defend the demons repairs him that, if he insists on his position, it'll lead him to think he's an adherent of the rebellious demons.

      Charioce is determined to catch and finish off the Rag Demon that night. And that they must be vigilant, for the Red Dragon may appear again.

      Following his plan, he shows up in the city square along with part of the Royal Army. Charioce will cut off the heads of the hostage demons he has there if the Rag Demon doesn't show up. From his position, he challenges him and waits for him to respond to his challenge.

    • Nina: Nina decides to earn some extra money by arm wrestling the strong men of the city. Since she knows she's much stronger than them and will beat them on the first try, she knows she'll make some easy money.

      Having already beaten several, Hamsa looks for a new opponent in the spectating crowd. When Nina hears Hamsa call a handsome man —who's Charioce in disguise—, to arm wrestle her, she patiently waits for her opponent to take her hand. However, Charioce first asks her why she's blindfolding herself. Nina can't tell him that she's doing it so that his fiery looks don't distract her, so Hamsa helps her and tells him that it helps her concentrate.

      Without further ado, Nina feels a special connection with Charioce when holding hands. As she struggles with him, Nina realizes that Charioce is as strong as she is and does everything she can to surpass his strength. After finally beating him and throwing him away, Nina hurries to apologize.

      She tries to take off her bandages to see if he's okay, but she doesn't manage to remove them completely. When Charioce sits up, he smiles at Nina, captivating her heart, leaving her frozen when she notices how attractive he is. 

      Charioce asks her name, but she's so enraptured by his charm that she has to say it twice to make sure he hears her. Charioce smiles at her again, and Nina feels like she'll turn into a dragon if she doesn't stop looking at him. She averts her gaze until Charioce is no longer on the spot. That's not enough to stop her excitement, though. When she looks at her hand, she's forced to return to the chariot to come to her senses.

      That night, Rita visits Nina in Bacchus' chariot and prepares food for them. The loot with the money she gained made during the day lies on the table. Nina takes the ring from it to look at it and, thanks to Hamsa, notices that the royal seal is underneath its embedded amethyst. Holding it in her hands, she flashes back to the moment when she held hands with Charioce, and becomes so heated that she returns the ring to the box. Hamsa asks her if she was thinking about the good-looking man of the evening and, hearing this, Rita asks if he was more handsome than Azazel. Nina just wants to dodge the question, and Bacchus teases her by telling her that she's still too young to be obsessed with men. 

      Nina proceeds to dinner, and everyone notices that she eats quite a bit. Like a dragon.

      As Rita wants to know how Nina ended up living with Bacchus and Hamsa, Nina replies that her master told her if she went to Anatae, she to look for a rare chariot. Rita wants to know more details, so she asks her what her master taught her, exactly, to which Nina replies that she's a bounty hunter, but she hasn't hunted any bounty yet. Nina shows him the bounty hunter bracelet her master gave her as proof of her being one. Bacchus, however, tells her that her bracelet is a fake and that only a god can give one to a bounty hunter. Hamsa remarks that it's irresponsible of a master to make such a young girl a bounty hunter. Bacchus and Rita agree, and Nina comments that Favaro wasn't much to trust, leaving everyone stunned upon hearing his name.

      As they say goodbye to Rita, Nina asks her how well she knows her master, but Rita tells her not very well since they only traveled together for a while, although she knows someone who does know him better. Nina wonders if it might be some former lover. She's snapped out of her doubt as soon as Kaisar passes by on the street desperately looking for Azazel. Nina looks away when she notices that he's handsome, but when Rita officially introduces him to her and tells her that he's a knight of the castle.

      Nina quickly recognizes him and apologizes for inadvertently hitting him the other night. Kaisar recognizes her but doesn't have time to dwell on the details, as he's more concerned with finding out where Azazel is since he'll be killed if he's not stopped in time. The king has brought out all his artillery to finish off the Rag Demon once and for all.

      As soon as she hears these words come out of Kaisar's mouth, Nina runs at full speed in search of Azazel. Kaisar ends up going after her to prevent her from doing anything risky.
    • Kaisar: His pacifist vision is strengthened when he disagrees with the method Charioce wants to use to lure the Rag Demon, which is public execution. He opposes provoking the demons because he fears that if humans continue to kill gods and demons, the two will eventually join forces against humans. However, Charioce warns him that if he continues to defend the demons so much, it'll make him think he's with them.

      Since he's against Charioce's decision and wants to save Azazel's life, that night, instead of being in his position as captain with the Orleans Knights accompanying the king, he's looking for Azazel. Finding Rita on his way, he asks her where he might be, as Kaisar wants to prevent him from appearing in the square. Otherwise, he'll die at Charioce's hands.

      Kaisar recognizes Nina, who's with Rita, and is obliged to go after her once she runs off to find Azazel before he falls into the king's trap.
    • Rita: She visits Nina and prepares food for her, Bacchus and Hamsa. At dinner, Rita learns that Nina is a bounty hunter trained by Favaro. This greatly surprises her and, before leaving, she tells Nina that she can introduce her to someone who knows Favaro better than she does, in case she wants to know more about him.

      Coincidentally, Kaisar appears on the street, and Rita introduces him to Nina, as he's the person she was telling her about and who's also Rocky's father. Kaisar recognizes Nina but doesn't think much of what happened the night they first met, as he's more worried about finding Azazel. Kaisar asks her if she knows where he can find him to prevent the king from killing him. Rita doesn't manage to answer him because Nina goes out to look for him on her own.

      She's so worried about Nina that she asks Kaisar to go after her and stop her. Afterward, she brings Bacchus and Hamsa —who have fallen asleep after drinking— up-to-date on what has just happened.
    • Hamsa: Hamsa enjoys certain aspects of the human world. 
      He also acts as the connecting thread between the relationship that develops between Nina and Charioce after challenging him to arm wrestle with Nina.

      Hamsa didn't expect that there would be someone as strong as Nina in the city. And as he realizes that Nina has grown to like Charioce, Hamsa teases her.

      In the evening, Hamsa is stunned to learn that Favaro trained Nina. And after drinking, he falls asleep only to be soon awakened by Rita, who tells him that Nina has gone out on her own in search of Azazel.
    • Bacchus: Sofiel asks him to look for the Holy Child, who has bi-colored eyes, and to let him know as soon as he finds him. He persuades him by telling him that if he finds him, Gabriel may allow him to return to the land of the gods after years of exile as a bounty hunter. Nevertheless, Bacchus claims he has never been exiled, and that he left his former home because he felt like it. When Sofiel leaves, it's said between the lines that there's something that he has a bad feeling regarding Gabriel's intentions.

      At dinner in the evening, he tells Nina that she's too young to be obsessed with men yet, as he sees how she reacts when thinking about the handsome man she arm-wrestled. 
      Soon after, Bacchus learns that Nina came to Anatae looking for him because Favaro told her to, which surprises him a lot since he knows him and never expected that he would be Nina's mentor.

      Bacchus falls asleep after drinking too much but is quickly awakened by Rita, whom he asks for help once Nina leaves in search of Azazel to prevent his death.
    • Azazel: He prepares to respond to Charioce's threat and orders Mugaro to go with Rita if something bad happens to him. Arriving at the square and seeing that a demon will be executed, he comes down from the tower he is in to finish off Charioce and his army.
    • Mugaro: He helps Azazel to bandage up and prepare for another night hunting humans. He agrees to follow his friend's instructions in the scenario that things don't go as expected.
    • Alessand: He again disagrees with his captain's actions when he opposes Charioce's order to execute demons. He's also annoyed when Kaisar isn't present at the moment when all the king's men are in position waiting for the Rag Demon and the Red Dragon to appear.
This is the English version of the literary analysis originally posted in Spanish on September 19, 2022.

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