Literary Analysis — VIRGIN SOUL #10: The Way She Was

Summary: Jeanne D'Arc recalls her life as captain of the Orleans Knights, seven years ago. 

Kaisar and Dias were part of her soldiers and were in charge of killing demons that attacked people after the Bahamut catastrophe. 

In one of her many missions, a girl who admired her died at the hands of a demon. Since then, Jeanne regrets not having been able to save her. 

Some knights in her squadron complain about how incapable she is, and she listens to them without them noticing, making her feel worse.

The same soldiers who criticized her conspire to humiliate her, but Jeanne has the backing of Dias and Kaisar, men who defend her honor within the division. 

When alone with her most loyal subordinates, Jeanne tells them that three years ago, when Bahamut attacked, she lost her sacred powers for having killed gods. And although it's an unforgivable sin, she'll dedicate her life as captain of the Orleans Knights until she's removed from office. These words are enough for Kaisar and Dias to swear their loyalty to her.

Sometime later, a new king has been chosen: Charioce. And unlike all the kings before him, he's the first to ascend to the throne without the gods' approval. Although this is frowned upon at first, Charioce quickly gains the trust of the Royal Army after promising to create an ideal world for humans, a world in which they'll no longer fear demons or worship the gods. 

Despite his success in demonstrating his authority, Jeanne doesn't agree with not revering gods, nor does she agree with Charioce attacking sacred temples. 

In a private conversation, Jeanne begs him to reconsider his actions, but Charioce objects since not worshipping the gods is part of the way forward for humanity to prosper. Jeanne insists that humans and gods share an ancient connection and that she doesn't understand why he would turn away from them in such a way. It's then that Charioce explains to her that he has decided not to worship them because there's something he must achieve, but that the gods didn't support him by giving him something he asked for, so he'll get it by force. 

Jeanne, curious, asks him what he wants to achieve, but Charioce tells her that he'll only tell her if she swears allegiance to him. 

Some humans still worship the gods, but if an ancient saint like her swears allegiance, they probably won't do it anymore. Jeanne, however, prefers to stay true to her principles and refuses, costing her to be removed from her position as captain of the Orleans Knights, leaving Kaisar in command of them.

Jeanne begins a new life in the countryside, faithful to her beliefs and praying to the archangel Saint Michael. 

Michael grants her a son in answer to her prayers, and Jeanne names the child El and is very happy with him.

During a stormy night, Jeanne takes Sofiel into her home, whom she finds unconscious on her doorstep. 

When Sofiel regains consciousness, she tells Jeanne that they must get away from her because she's being chased by Onyx Soldiers. Despite her warning, Jeanne chooses to hide Sofiel in her house.

The Onyx Task Force enters by force and, seeing his mother powerless against the soldiers, El makes use of his divine power and overrides their armor. At that precise moment, Gabriel detects his power from the heavens.

Jeanne and El manage to escape the place but are soon chased by the Onyx Soldiers to Anatae once the green stones in their armor start working again. 

As soon as the Onyx Task Force informs Charioce about Jeanne's son and his power, he immediately knows that the kid's father isn't human and that they would be in trouble if the child were to fall into the hands of the gods, so he orders to capture him and Jeanne dead or alive. 

Since the Onyx Task Force has cut off roads into the city, Jeanne is unknowingly led to the center of Anatae, where she's pressed to find a place to hide. 

In her search, she forces her way into a building. There, she discovers that there are demon children whose wings are cut off, their throats burned, and then they're enslaved. 

Jeanne wants to protect El at all costs and sees no other way to do so than by hiding his identity. To do so, she uses torture scissors to cut off his wings and demon blood to darken his hair. Before she leaves him, Jeanne tells him that no matter how difficult his life is, someone will come along and reach out to him. And that, when that happens, he should hold on to that person. 

After bidding farewell to her son, Jeanne distracts the soldiers and, soon after, ends up being captured and taken to prison, where she has been ever since. 

Nina is moved to tears by Jeanne's experiences and is surprised that Mugaro is actually a boy. Jeanne tells her that she wants to see her son again and that this must also be St. Michael's wish.

Nina assures her that they'll break out of prison and that he'll help her so she can be with her son again.

Style: The idea is conveyed at the precise moment when Jeanne isn't capable of forgiving herself for not having the power to protect others. 

Point of View: Jeanne's point of view predominates, as she tells Nina about everything she has had to go through in the last ten years and how she was separated from her beloved son.

Tone: Sad

Fixed literary devices:

  • Transversal themes:
    • Love
    • Identity and Secrecy
  • Transversal symbols (motifs):
    • Red
    • Flames
    • Doves
    • Horse
    • Rain

Mutable literary devices:

  • Episode Themes:
    • Gain and Loss of power
    • Loyalty
    • Condemnation and Redemption

Conflict: Gain vs. Loss of power

Thematic elements: 

  • Gain vs. Loss of Power:
    • Jeanne has lost the power the gods had granted her, but she has the authority of the captain of the Orleans Knights. She loses power again when she doesn't swear allegiance to Charioce and is stripped of her office, becoming an ordinary citizen.
    • Charioce ascends to the throne by crowning himself without the gods' approval.
    • For humanity to prosper, Charioce must take for himself what the gods denied him.
    • Kaisar, who used to be the vice-captain of the Orleans Knights, ascends to captain.
    • El is born with divine power. However, he loses part of it when Jeanne has no choice but to protect him by cutting off his wings and concealing his identity.
  • Loyalty:
    • Kaisar and Dias remain loyal to Jeanne.
    • Jeanne remains loyal to the gods.
  • Condemnation and Redemption:
    • Jeanne was condemned for being stripped of her divine powers for killing gods ten years ago, but she's redeemed when St. Michael grants her a son.
  • Love:
    • Michael loves Jeanne because she's devoted to him, and he has a son with her as a symbol of their love.
    • Jeanne protects El because he's her son, and she loves him.
  • Identity and Secrecy:
    • It's revealed that Mugaro is Jeanne and Michael's son.
    • Jeanne hides his identity when she goes to buy food.
    • Jeanne hides El's identity by passing him off as a demon slave child by clipping his wings and dyeing his hair with demon blood.
    • Nina learns that Mugaro's real name is El and that he's a boy and not a girl as she formerly thought.


  • Color Red: Represents power and the Red Dragon/Nina.
  • Geum chiloense ‘Red Dragon’: They're flowers also known as Avens.
    Geum flowers symbolize purity.
    It can be attributed to the purity of the girl who gives the flowers to Jeanne, as well as Jeanne's purity, but as the species of flower given to her is Red Dragon, it symbolizes, mainly, the Red Dragon's/Nina's purity.
  • Doves: Symbolize peace. Charioce and El are represented with this symbol in two different scenes, characters that have a destiny related to creating a peaceful world.
  • Flames: They're present when Charioce speaks, representing the power he has as a monarch.
    Flames appear, again, next to the figure of St. Michael to represent his divine power.
  • Horse: Symbolizes the peace that comes after the war, as horses help to win battles. 
  • Food pot: Symbolizes hospitality.
  • Rain: Symbolizes sadness and desolation. It's a symbol commonly used when events will turn unfavorable in a story, just like when a storm is near.

    It rains during the night when they help Sofiel and are pursued by the Onyx Soldiers, turning the emotional atmosphere into a storm as things become hard for Jeanne and El.


  • Royal City of Anatae
    • Royal Castle
    • Jeanne's house
    • Prison-Island
      • Women's Prison
  • Land of the gods
    • Vanaheimr Sky


  • Napoleon's Coronation: According to legend, during the coronation ceremony, Napoleon snatched the crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII and crowned himself, thus showing his rejection of the Pontiff's authority. 
  • Archangel St. Michael: Prince of the celestial militia.
    Joan D'Arc had visions of this archangel in real life, and he helped her to free France from the English influence. St. Michael represents the coming of peace after the war.
  • The Way She Was: The episode's title is inspired by the film of the same name, which was directed by Sarah Meismer and released in 2011.
    One of the film's central themes is grief and the protagonist's inability to forgive herself, a theme that relates to Jeanne's suffering in the episode.


  • Elements:
    • Geum chiloense ‘Red Dragon’: It announces that Jeanne will meet Nina. The fact that Jeanne was unable to resist the attack of the demon who killed the girl who gave her these flowers foreshadows that in the future, she'll have to protect a pure girl, who will turn out to be the Red Dragon.

      These flowers appear again while Jeanne is talking to Kaisar and a leaf falls, coupled with her determination to atone for her sins, strengthening her idea of protection.

  • Foreshadowing lines:
    • Charioce: There's something I must achieve, but the gods rejected me. So I have no choice but to take it.

      Charioce has a compelling reason to refuse to worship the gods. Later, in episode 13, it's revealed that they didn't give him the tablets with ancestral knowledge so he could develop Dromos, the weapon he needs to kill Bahamut.


  • Nina: After hearing Jeanne's touching story, she has no doubt that Mugaro is El, and assures Jeanne that they will escape from prison so that she can be reunited with her son.

  • Charioce: He ascended to the crown without the approval of the gods.  He proposed to lead mankind to a world where they no longer fear demons or bow to gods and won the confidence of the Royal Army immediately.

    His disdain for the gods stems from the moment they denied him something for a specific purpose that's unknown, but inferred from episode 14 onward, and fully revealed in episode 22.

    Although he asks for Jeanne's loyalty so that the humans will stop praising the gods and thus be able to get what he wants from them, she refuses, costing him his position as captain of the Orleans Knights.

    When Charioce learns that Jeanne has a son with the power to nullify the power of onyx armors, he quickly figures out that he's the son of a god, and orders him to be captured dead or alive (*) to prevent the gods from using him against him.

    (*): The gods know of the existence of the Holy Child from the moment he uses his power and Gabriel detects him, and Sofiel witnesses what he's capable of doing. However, they cannot tell if he's still alive or dead after that, as they are unable to detect when one of their own dies, as is shown later, in episode 21 when Jeanne asks Gabriel for help to collect revenge.

    Charioce orders to capture Jeanne and her son dead or alive because if they're alive or not, it won't change the picture for the gods and it won't mean that a war will be unleashed against them at that moment.

    Something to take into consideration is that the Onyx Task Forces prefer to avoid killing humans, as evidenced in episode 22, from the point of view of the leader of the unit, who doesn't like to face humans. Therefore, although Charioce's order was to capture them dead or alive, the leader would keep them alive and then ask for new orders.

  • Jeanne D’Arc: In this episode, her past is revealed, and it's learned how her lack of divine power makes her weak to protect defenseless innocents. 
    Her failure to help a girl who admired her causes her much pain and helplessness.

    As she believes she doesn't deserve forgiveness for killing gods, she'll live her life giving her best for the Orleans Knights and the people who believe in her and need her. Her loyalty to the gods is so strong that she refuses to swear allegiance to Charioce, who proposes to reveal to her what she wants to get from the gods.

    Jeanne decides to live a life apart from Anatae, in the countryside.

    After many prayers asking her to stop being so weak and unable to protect others as she wishes, St. Michael gives her a son. Jeanne names him El and lives happily with him. However, her life changes suddenly when she helps Sofiel, an angel who was being targeted by the Onyx Task Force.

    When Jeanne is attacked by the soldiers, El instinctively defends her by making use of his sacred power, which cancels the magic of their armor. 
    From that moment on, El represents a threat to Charioce's plans. Jeanne and her son are sought by all of Anatae to prevent the gods from capturing El and using him against humanity.

    To protect her son, Jeanne searches for a place to hide, which turns out to be a place where demon children are tortured and enslaved.

    Jeanne makes the hard decision to cut her son's wings using the torture tools she finds in the place and to dye his hair black with demon blood. Finally, she hides him with other slaves and escapes from the place only to end up being captured by the soldiers that were looking for her.

    Now that Jeanne learns from Nina that her son is alive, she agrees to escape from prison with his help.

  • El/Mugaro: He's Jeanne's and St. Michael's son. And like his father, he possesses the power to make war or peace, which is suggested by the symbol surrounding him: the horse.

    He possesses a power that overrides the forbidden magic used by humans, which he manifests by protecting Jeanne from soldiers who wish to harm her. He loses part of this power when he's stripped of his wings and bathed in demon blood.

    Jeanne leaves him hidden from the tortured demon children and separates from him. 

  • Kaisar: This chapter teaches that he's loyal to Jeanne, who was his captain.

  • Dias: Like Kaisar, he's loyal to his former captain, Jeanne.

  • Sofiel: She's rescued by Jeanne and El. She feels responsible for having made Jeanne and her son sacrifice their peace and happiness for her.

  • Onyx Task Force Leader: Reports to Charioce that Jeanne D'Arc is alive and has a son with powers that nullify forbidden magic. Charioce commands him to capture them both.
This is the English version of the literary analysis originally posted in Spanish on September 22, 2022.

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