Literary Analysis — VIRGIN SOUL #04: Firestarter

Raging flames symbolizing Nina's power when transformed into the Red Dragon.

Summary: The Royal Army ambushes the Rag Demon in the central square of Anatae, and Charioce manages to see his true identity. 

Azazel, furious, fights on and kills several soldiers, but Charioce's wizards seize him.
Azazel escapes death and flies through the air until he lands on a street where he finds Nina, who had been looking for him. 

Nina tries to stop him, but Azazel claims he must fight Charioce before he kills any more demons. 

Nina thinks the king's methods are unacceptable, but Azazel will come out to confront him anyway. Since Nina wants to help him as she sees Azazel badly injured, she decides to reveal her secret in exchange for not telling it to anyone. Then, she asks him to hug her. 

The demon doesn't understand anything but agrees to Nina's insistent request. Once her heart beats fast because of what Azazel makes her feel, she transforms into the Red Dragon.

In her dragon form, Nina instinctively goes to the central square and wipes out several soldiers. 

Charioce is impressed by the Red Dragon's power and urges it to attack him. However, the Red Dragon's attack is interrupted because Kaisar appears to defend the king. As the dragon seems to recognize Kaisar, Charioce infers that they both know each other. 

Charioce continues to be mesmerized by the Red Dragon's magnificence and strength and watches it with fascination as he and his men retreat from the square. 

Rita, Bacchus, and Hamsa rescue Nina once she returns to her human form, and they also take Azazel with them in their carriage.

Azazel is impressed by Nina's power and compares her dragon to Bahamut, but on a smaller scale.

Back into the castle, Charioce thanks Kaisar for saving his life and asks him how he's related to the Rag Demon. There's no point in hiding anything from him because he already knows they're acquaintances. If he doesn't tell him the truth, he'll kill him. 

Kaisar reveals that Azazel is the demon who killed his father, to which Charioce then asks him why he didn't kill him as soon as he saw him then. Kaisar replies that he didn't because the demon was with someone else. Charioce infers that this 'someone' is the Red Dragon.

Kaisar states that the Red Dragon's power is even greater than that of the Rag Demon. And, considering the event that binds him to the demon, he thought he could somehow corner him acting on his own. He apologizes for it and tells Charioce that he has never thought of betraying him. 

Charioce gives him the favor of doubt for how he acted on the battlefield. However, he knows very well that he's lying. 

Nina wakes up in Rita's clinic. Azazel thanks her for saving him last night, but Nina just worries about him telling others that she can transform into a dragon. 

Azazel thinks it happens to her when she's hugged, but Nina tells him that it is when good-looking men make her heart race. 

Nina tells him how she has always failed to transform into a dragon and how she destroyed part of her village when a good-looking young man who was visiting it made her heart beat fast. 

This makes Azazel think Nina transforms into a dragon because she likes him, but she clarifies that he isn't the only one who can make her heart beat like crazy and that it's not something she can control. Azazel, who desires Nina's power to use it to benefit the demons, tells her that if she can't control it, then he'll make love to her to control it. Nina is so shocked by his words that she has no other choice but to run away from the place to avoid transforming into the Red Dragon. Before leaving, she reiterates to Azazel not to tell anyone her secret.

Rita sees Nina running away and tells Azazel not to do anything perverted or put her in danger. Otherwise, she won't treat his wounds again. Azazel ignores her and asks Mugaro not to follow him where he's leading and to stay with Rita.

Meanwhile, Charioce visits Jeanne D'Arc, who's a prisoner in jail. Charioce asks her to join forces with him to lead humanity to a better world, but Jeanne doesn't say a word. 

Charioce understands that she won't give him the answer he wants. However, to pressure her, he tells her that her son —the Holy Child— is alive and that it was very clever of her to have hidden him with the enslaved demon children. But that makes her a very strict mother. Jeanne gets upset, and Charioce tells her that although he plans to kill the child, he'll let her see him one last time before that happens. 

Mugaro is worried about Azazel and ends up staying with Nina in Bacchus' carriage while waiting for his return.

Azazel has gone with a group of rebel demons who recognize him as a traitor who colludes with humans. Azazel tells them not to be confused, that he's the bounty they call the Rag Demon and that he plans to regain the pride the demons have lost.

Style: The main conflict is presented at the beginning of the episode.
All the emphasis is on the strength-weakness dynamic.

Point of view: Charioce's and Azazel's points of view predominate as polar opposites.

Tone: Imposing

Fixed literary devices:

  • Transversal themes: 
    • Love
    • Identity and Secrecy
  • Transversal symbols (motifs):
    • Hug
    • Flames
    • Water
    • Red apples
    • Ocarina

Mutable literary devices:

  • Episode themes:
    • Strength and Weakness
    • Admiration and Opportunism
    • Loyalty and Betrayal

Conflicts: Strength vs. Weakness

Thematic elements: 

  • Strength vs. Weakness: 
    • Although Azazel is capable of standing alone against much of Charioce's army, he's weak in the face of their great strength.
    • The Red Dragon's strength is capable of overpowering Charioce's army. Azazel defines Nina's dragon as a 'little Bahamut'.
  • Admiration and Opportunism:
    • Azazel wants to take advantage of Nina's power to use it in favor of the demons. This is explicit when Azazel tells her that he'll make love to her to be the one to control her dragon, since she can't, and use her to fight for the demons' sake.

      Nina: I think, if I were to turn around and look at you right now, I'd probably turn into a dragon.
      Azazel: That'd be a problem.
      Nina: I'm such a mess that I don't think I'd be useful to you or the demons.
      Azazel: That's not true. If you can't control yourself, I'll control you.
      Nina: Oh? What do you mean?
      Azazel: Let me make love to you and turn you into a dragon!

      He's so determined to use her that he doesn't hesitate to go to the rebel demons' lair to boast that he'll use her power to regain the demons' honor.
    • In contrast, while Azazel sees in Nina the strength he needs, Charioce is fascinated by the power and beauty of her Red Dragon. So much so that when he leaves the central square, he smiles as if seeing the most beautiful and imposing creature he has ever encountered.
      The idea becomes more consistent when Kaisar mentions the Red Dragon.
      Flames are again reflected in Charioce's eyes when this happens.
  • Loyalty and Betrayal:
    • Kaisar is loyal to the king and, at the same time, to his principles, which leads him to be conflicted between what he's ordered to do and what he actually ends up doing. Kaisar doesn't intend to betray Charioce, but neither does he want to kill Azazel.
    • Azazel, in a way, betrays Nina by going with the rebel demons to offer his power. Azazel wants to use her to his advantage regardless of the fact that she does not want to get involved in the conflict between demons and humans.
  • Love:
    • Nina reveals to Azazel that she transforms into a dragon when attractive men make her heart beat fast. 
    • Charioce is attracted by the Red Dragon's power and beauty (*).

      (*): Charioce is no ordinary human. His strength, comparable to Nina's, already foreshadows that he possesses something dragonesque in his genetics.
      There're more clues about his ancestry in episodes 14, 19, and 22.
      In episode 19, Favaro emphasizes that Charioce has a 'weird' taste.
  • Identity and Secrecy:
    • The Rag Demon's identity ceases to be a mystery when Charioce manages to see his face once his rags are burned. 
    • Nina reveals to Azazel her secret that makes her turn into a dragon and asks him not to tell anyone.


  • Flames: When Charioce sees the Red Dragon for the first time, it's reflected in his eyes as it throws fire.
    Flames are reflected in his eyes again when Kaisar mentions the Red Dragon. 
    There's a being as powerful as him and the object of his fascination. An equal.
    Another moment where flames are shown is just before Nina tells Azazel about the first time she became a dragon, symbolizing the origin of her power.
Flames reflected in Charioce's eyes.
  • Hug: A hug is a symbol of affection, and how it's given plays a determining role in Virgin Soul.
    Azazel abruptly hugs Nina so that she can transform into the Red Dragon. It's an affectionless hug and serves as a referent and point of comparison for the kind of hug that Charioce gives Nina in episodes 13, 17, and 24.
Azazel hugging Nina.
  • Water: Again, it acts as an element of change, particularly when Nina and her village children jump into the waterfall to transform into dragons.
  • Red apples: Symbolize love. When Nina turns into a dragon for the first time in her life, she carries a basket of red apples that she drops.
    This symbol is maintained throughout the story in moments involving Nina and Charioce's feelings.
Nina drops red apples when she sees a handsome boy.


  • Royal City of Anatae
    • Central Square
    • Royal Castle
    • Suburbs 
      • Rebel demons' lair
    • Prison 
    • Meadows
  • Dragonfolk Village


  • El Dorado: The Dragonfolk Village is inspired by the mythical city of El Dorado, which today is known to be the Muisca Confederation.
    Within its multiple territories is the Tenquendama waterfall, a site that is illustrated in the episodes.
    According to the legends, El Dorado was a city made of gold due to the abundant mines of this precious metal there.
    In mythology, dragons are guardians of great treasures, usually gold. Therefore, it's logical that this lost city has been taken as a reference. 
The Dragonfolk Village takes the Tequendama waterfall as a reference.
  • Joan D'Arc: The character is based on the real-life Saint known as the Maid of Orleans. 
    The Orleans knights owe the name of their division as escorts to the king to her. Joan claimed to have had visions of the Archangel Michael and other saints who instructed her to free France from English domination.
  • Archangel Michael: Based on the biblical celestial militia commander.
St. Michael the Archangel and Joan D'Arc.
  • Firestarter: The title of the episode refers to Stephen King's novel, published in 1980, in which the protagonist has the ability to set everything on fire with a glance due to her pyrokinesis.
    Comparably, Nina has the ability to burn everything around her once turned into the Red Dragon.


  • Elements:
    • Ocarina: It's not only a symbol but also a foreshadowing element. Being an instrument that's played to please the gods, it can be concluded that Mugaro is linked to them.


  • New:
    • Jeanne D’Arc: 
      General description: Inspired by the saint who freed France and who had visions of the archangel Michael. She's confined in the prison of Anatae. Her son is the Holy Child —Mugaro—, whom she hid among the enslaved demon children, costing him to be enslaved as well. Jeanne prays to the archangel Michael.
      Physical description: Blonde, magenta-eyed and attractive. 
      Psychological description: She doesn't like Charioce. She's a devotee of the archangel Michael, and, from Charioce's point of view, a strict mother.
    • Rebel Demons: They're a group composed of Azazel's acquaintances and demons he rescued from slavers. They consider Azazel the humans' pet.
  • Preview:
    • Charioce: He manages to make the Rag Demon fall into his trap and boasts of his success by seeing his face once his bandages have been consumed by fire. Seeing him at his mercy, he continues to provoke him, but Azazel manages to escape by flying away.

      Charioce continues to defy him, but when the Red Dragon appears instead, he's captivated by it and demands it attack him. However, the Red Dragon's offensive is thwarted by Kaisar, who interposes himself between it and Charioce. At that moment, Charioce suspects that Kaisar and the Red Dragon have met before because the second seems to recognize him.

      As Charioce leaves the square, he's unable to take his eyes off the Red Dragon —whom he finds breathtaking— and smiles at it even when he loses sight of it (*).

      (*): As mentioned in the section on love, Charioce is attracted to Nina in her human and dragon forms.

      Back at the castle, Charioce thanks Kaisar for defending him and then proceeds to interrogate him with the threat of death if he doesn't speak the truth. When he asks him about his relationship with the Rag Demon, Kaisar discloses that his name is Azazel and that he's the demon who killed his father, but that he hasn't been able to kill him because he's with someone stronger than him. Charioce immediately guesses that this 'someone' is the Red Dragon.

      Charioce spares Kaisar's life for having hidden from him the fact that he knew the Rag Demon and then asks him to leave. Charioce, though, knows that Kaisar is still lying.

      Later, Charioce visits Jeanne D'Arc in prison to ask her if she's ready to join him in conquering demons and fighting gods, since, if they join forces, they'll be able to create an ideal world for humans.

      Jeanne doesn't reply and Charioce understands that her silence means that she isn't interested in his offer.

      Before leaving, he tells her that her son is alive and that it was very clever of her to hide him among the demon slave children to ensure his survival, although something that makes her a strict mother. Sensing a hateful look, Charioce tells her that once she captures her son, she'll let him see him once before killing him (*).

      (*): Charioce doesn't really seek to kill the Holy Child, as he'll try to convince Jeanne to join him until the end. He knows that if he uses him to persuade her once he has found her son, she might accede to his request.

      One observation to note here is that Charioce, until shortly before, had ordered the Onyx Task Force to kill the Holy Child, but now chooses to capture him. 
      Much of this happens because, now that the gods know that the Holy Child is alive, it's not convenient for Charioce to kill him, as doing so would unleash a war that would ruin his plans. He has his secret weapon Dromos reserved for her great objective: to kill Bahamut and not to attack the gods, whom he only wishes to punish by depriving them of prayers.

    • Nina: She disagrees with Charioce killing demons, as she knows their reality, but despite that, she doesn't want to interfere in the conflict, only to save Azazel from death.

      Nina asks Azazel to hug her and transforms into the Read Dragon. Only acting instinctively, she manages to stop Charioce and save Azazel's life.

      Her character expands when she reveals to Azazel the secret that makes her transform into a dragon, which isn't a hug, but the excitement that handsome men trigger in her. She's emphatic in that Azazel isn't the only one who can trigger her transformation, but any man who's handsome enough to make her heart beat fast.

      Nina finds herself in a bind when Azazel tells her that he'll control her dragon once he makes love to her. She's so flustered that she has to run away from Rita's clinic to control her emotions.
    • Azazel: Azazel falls into Charioce's trap and confronts his army, which ends up surpassing him in strength. Escaping death by the skin of his teeth, Azazel falls into a street and is helped by Nina, who asks him to hug her. Azazel doesn't understand what Nina intends, but he reluctantly obeys. Only to realize, soon after, that Nina has asked him to transform into the Red Dragon.

      Azazel and Nina are rescued by Bacchus, Hamsa, and Rita, who take them to their chariot and drive them to the clinic in the demon suburbs. Azazel comments to Rita that Nina's dragon is like a small-scale Bahamut (*).

      (*): This observation has a link with the events of episode 24, as Nina joins Charioce to face Bahamut, and Dromos adopts the form of the Red Dragon. Her power isn't even close to Bahamut's, but together with Charioce's life energy and using Dromos, both of them are capable to act as a very powerful mini Bahamut and face the beast.

      Azazel waits for Nina to wake up and thanks her. Nina asks him not to tell her secret to anyone. Azazel thinks she means the way she turns into a dragon, but when Nina tells him that she does it when she sees an attractive man and tells him how it happened to her the first time, Azazel ends up craving her power even more.

      Seeing that Nina can't control her transformation, Azazel tells her that he'll be the one to control her once he makes love to her. But his plan doesn't go as expected, as Nina runs out of the clinic because of his words.

      Rita asks him to stop acting like a pervert, but Azazel tells her that it's not her fault that Nina reacted the way she did, and then leaves the clinic for the rebel demons' lair to offer Nina's power to the demons. He leaves Mugaro in Rita's care.

      Azazel acts selfishly, ignoring Nina's will, and even being willing to control her transformation by making love to her (*) even though he doesn't love her. His lust for revenge is so great that he's even willing to compromise Nina's power with resistance demons.

      (*): His words suggest that Nina could be able to transform at will once making love with the man she loves. This point is expanded in the analysis of episode 17.
    • Kaisar: He arrives in time to defend Charioce from the Red Dragon, although the latter seems to recognize him.

      He gives the order to leave the place and protects Charioce until the place is cleared.

      Back at the castle, Charioce thanks him for saving his life and then demands that he reveal what kind of relationship he has with the Rag Demon, as there's no point in hiding it any longer because he knows they have seen each other. And, if he doesn't tell him the truth, he'll kill him.

      Kaisar discloses that Azazel killed his father, but that hasn't been able to take revenge because he's partnered with someone stronger than him: the Red Dragon. Although the first part of his confession is true, the second half is a lie. Still, he chooses to deceive Charioce rather than continue to insist that he won't kill Azazel because they're acquaintances or any demons, as he believes in peace. 
    • Alessand: It bothers him not to see Kaisar on the battlefield as he should.

      He gives the order to distract the Red Dragon when it appears, but it's a lousy command since clearly, the Red Dragon is superior to the army. This is a sign of his lack of battle experience.
    • Dias: He distracts the Red Dragon by throwing a boomerang at it. Dias supports Kaisar's retreat order when he gives it.
    • Rita: She's the one who warns Bacchus and Hamsa that Nina has gone to help Azazel and that they must go to look for her when she reverts to her human form. She returns to tend to Azazel's wounds but warns him that she won't treat his injuries again if he continues to harass Nina, whom she sees running through the streets red as a tomato.
    • Mugaro: He worries about Azazel as he fights, for instead of following his indication and waiting for him in the tower as he told him, he's in the streets and is spotted by Nina. Mugaro goes to Rita's clinic and stays with her when Azazel leaves to secretly go to the lair of the rebel demons.
This is the English version of the literary analysis originally posted in Spanish on September 20, 2022.

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