Literary Analysis — VIRGIN SOUL #11: Declaration Of War

Summary: While Jeanne and Nina try to escape from prison during a break, Gabriel restores El's divine power in the Land of the Gods. 

Gabriel persuades El by telling him that, by using this power, he'll be able to save his mother from the humans and bring peace back to the world. 

Sofiel is troubled by how Gabriel leads El into a war against the humans by using Jeanne as an excuse to convince him.

Arriving at a warehouse, Jeanne shows Nina a map of the prison with the levels and sectors she knows and tells her that they must get to the area where there's an elevator, as it's the only way out of there. 

Nina guarantees her that she'll finish off the guards there. She tries to tell her that she's half dragon, but she can't because Jeanne shuts her up when she hears the guards' footsteps close. 

On the surface, Rita infiltrates the first level of the prison and gets the keys to the different accesses to the lower levels, as she knocks out guards with Rocky's help. 

The guards raise the intruder alert and go after Rita, who manages to get to the elevator and descend to the ground levels.

Jeanne and Nina walk through tunnels free of guards, and Nina tells Jeanne that she's half dragon and transforms when seeing handsome men. Jeanne asks her if she can transform at the sight of any man, but Nina has her doubts and tells her that perhaps, Kaisar can trigger her change. Unfortunately, Jeanne tells her that the men's prison is on the opposite side of where they're heading and that they'd have to walk a longer path for the plan to succeed.

Rita arrives at an underground level where there's a strange device and overhears a conversation between developers and Onyx soldiers. 

The soldiers express that Charioce needs the device to be completed soon because he'll need to use it at any time, but the developers insist that they need more time to complete it. With this, Rita wonders what exactly Charioce plans to do. 

Meanwhile, as Charioce is in the coliseum appointing a demon as the captain of the Demonic Division, Gabriel interrupts and addresses him to ask him to return what he took from the holy temples and also to release Jeanne.

Charioce replies that instead of so much palaver, she'd better try to take what she wants by force. Gabriel agrees, completely sure that she'll win the battle, but Charioce warns her not to get excited about having Jeanne's son on her side, as he'll only hasten her death and the deaths of those with her. Gabriel confidently insists and assures him that death is what the gods grant humans. 

Upon returning to Vanaheimr, Gabriel shows El how irreverent humans have become under the rule of the tyrant Charioce, who has driven the world into instability. And not only that, but Charioce is also the man who keeps his mother prisoner, so he must use his power to correct humanity's path and save Jeanne.

Some Anataeans oppose the war and demand that Charioce give Jeanne to the gods to prevent it. However, they can't do much because they're stopped by the forces of order.

Very close to the elevator, Nina confronts the guards watching over the area at the top of the bridge while Jeanne silently advances along the lower part. 

However, their escape attempts fail when they accidentally run into Charioce before reaching the elevator door. 

Charioce thanks Jeanne for saving him the trip to her cell. And as he brings the edge of his sword to her neck, he lets her know that the gods have declared war on humanity and that they'll use her son on the battlefield. Since his son will likely end up dying together with the gods, he tells her that she had better convince him to desist. Charioce stresses that if she pledges her loyalty to him, she could save lives. 

Seeing her friend under so much pressure to give a quick answer, Nina gets mad and asks Charioce to stop picking on Jeanne. 

Charioce sheathes his sword and walks to the bridge, where Nina is. 

Charioce wants to know if, perhaps, she's breaking out of prison because she's not having fun there. Nina grows angrier, but can't quite answer because her stomach growls with hunger, making her look like she's escaping because she's given too little food (which is partly true). 

Charioce thinks Nina is lovable and simply sweetly smiles at her as he comments that she hasn't changed a bit. With those words, Nina only gets even more irritated at him because he talks to her as if he knows her. Yet then, the moment she lays her eyes more steadily on his face, she realizes that they truly know each other, and there's no doubt in her mind when Charioce asks her if she would dance with him again. 

Nina can't believe Chris is the king.

Nina is so shocked to realize that Chris and Charioce are the same man that can't continue with the escape plan. 

Jeanne is struck by the interaction between the two, but says nothing about it and only proceeds to tell Charioce that she won't swear her loyalty to him. 

Charioce tells her then to wait in prison while her son and beloved gods march to their deaths. 

Back in her cells, Jeanne continues to pray, and Nina cannot stop thinking that the man she has fallen in love with is Charioce. 

Then, when a noise is heard outside their cells, Nina sees that Rita has managed to infiltrate and that Rocky has the keys to free them both.

Style: The main idea is given by Gabriel when she declares war on Charioce and tries to persuade him to release Jeanne and return the tablets with forbidden knowledge he took from the sacred temples.

Point of view: Predominantly those of Gabriel and Charioce, who represent their respective sides: gods and humans.

Tone: Hostile

Fixed literary devices:

  • Transversal themes:
    • Love
    • Identity and Secrecy
  • Transversal symbols (motifs):
    • Spider
    • Bridge

Mutable literary devices:

  • Episode Themes:
    • Persuasion and Dissuasion
    • Peace and War
    • Fear and Courage

Conflict: Persuasion vs. Dissuasion

Thematic elements:

  • Persuasion vs. Dissuasion:
    • Gabriel persuades El to declare war on the humans by promising that if he helps her, he'll see his mother again.
    • Although Gabriel persuades him, Charioce refuses to accept his terms in order to avoid a war between gods and humans.
    • Charioce tries to persuade Jeanne to swear loyalty to him, but she desists, as she'll remain loyal to the people who believe in her.
  • Peace vs. War:
    • Gabriel declares war on Charioce when the latter disagrees with returning what he took from the sacred temples and Jeanne. 
    • Anateans don't want war and protest at the royal castle's entrance.
  • Fear and Courage:
    • Jeanne tells Nina that even the bravest are afraid of something.
  • Love:
    • Nina questions whether any alluring man would really serve to make her transform into a dragon, but she knows better, for her heart belongs to Chris.
    • Nina dislikes how Charice acts as a king, but she knows his other facet: Chris, and she likes him. This creates a dilemma in her heart.
    • El/Mugaro decides to participate in the war against humans because what he really wants is to be able to see his mom, whom he loves and hasn't seen for two years since they separated.
  • Identity and Secrecy: 
    • Nina reveals to Jeanne that she's half dragon and transforms when seeing good-looking men.
    • El regains his divine power and his true identity is revealed to the gods.
    • Nina realizes that Charioce is Chris, with whom she's in love.


  • Spider: In many cultures, the spider is considered a symbol of a heroic mother, as it represents feminine power. It also symbolizes patience and persistence because of its hunting technique consisting of spinning webs and waiting for its prey to be trapped.

    The spider on Jeanne's clothing is related to her —in the sense of being a heroic mother— and with the patience and persistence that she and Nina have in trying to escape from prison.

    The spider is also linked to the plan they hatch to break free from the guards.
  • Bridge: Symbolizes transition, change, and romance. It's a meeting point. 
    Charioce reveals his identity to Nina on the bridge, symbolizing a change and romance between them.

    Interestingly, Jeanne isn't on the bridge. The only major characters on it are Charioce and Nina.

    The bridge also symbolizes goodbyes. The last time they saw each other, Chris told Nina that he didn't know if they would ever see each other again, and this is repeated through the bridge because Charioce knows he could die at any moment, especially now that he's on his way to war.

    However, more than anything, romance and change are the highlights when they interact in this place.


  • Royal City of Anatae
    • Royal Castle
    • Prison-Island
      • Women's Prison
      • Men's Prison
      • Subterranean Laboratory
  • Land of the gods
    • Vanaheimr


  • Lovers' Bridge: The romantic interaction between Charioce and Nina in this episode is inspired by the Lovers' Bridge in Prague.
    While there're no locks, Nina has a shackle on her left ankle and they're in a prison. It can be interpreted to mean that they're both prisoners of their feelings for each other.
    Declaration of War: The title of the episode is inspired by the Japanese film 'Sensen fukoku' (宣戦布告), which was directed by Rodoh Seiji and released in 2002.
    Just as the film deals with a conflict initiated by North Korea in Japan by declaring war on them by wiping out part of their troops in their territory, Gabriel declares war on Charioce once she has Jeanne's son as her trump card.


  • Foreshadowing lines: 
    • Charioce: Don't get too enthusiastic about having the saint's son. It'll only hasten your deaths.

      Charioce foretells that using the Holy Child's power will seal the death sentence to the gods who attempt against humanity.

    • Charioce: The gods have declared war on us. If they attack us, I'll crush them without mercy. It's likely that the gods will use your son in this war. If he joins them, he will die too. This is your last chance. Swear allegiance to me. Persuade your son and avoid this war.

      There's something that gives Charioce certainty of victory, so much so that to avoid unnecessary deaths, he tries to make Jeanne swear loyalty to him to save the lives of his son, gods, and humans. 


  • Chris/Charioce: His hunter-like personality is further accentuated in this episode as, although it's Gabriel who thinks she has the upper hand, Charioce is the one who lures her into his trap by forcing her to take what she wants back by force. He's confident that the power behind him is greater than that of the gods, even if they use El.

    Charioce, actually, wants to avoid war and tries to make Jeanne swear loyalty to him to avoid losses. Although he likes defiance, he prefers to avoid it if possible, especially when he doesn't want to fight the gods but just make them suffer by making no one worship them. 
    Not to mention that he has reserved the use of his secret weapon, Dromos, for Bahamut and not for deities. 
    He doesn't want to be forced to use the device prematurely but won't hesitate to do so if humanity is threatened by the power of the gods.

    As Charioce tries to force Jeanne to swear allegiance to him, Nina is enraged and asks him to stop picking on her friend. Charioce walks up to her to ask her if she's breaking out of prison because it's no fun, but Nina's stomach growls with hunger as a reply. 
    He finds her reaction cute and ends up revealing his true identity to her by asking her if she'd ever dance with him again. 

    Charioce leaves the prison once Jeanne completely refuses to serve him. 

  • Nina: She escapes with Jeanne through unsupervised corridors and tunnels and follows an escape route based on a map Jeanne herself traced of the dungeons.

    On their escape, Nina reveals to Jeanne that she transforms into a dragon when handsome men make her heart beat loudly.

    In this episode, it's highlighted that Nina is fearless. Regardless, Jeanne tells her that everyone is afraid of something. Therefore, it's suggested that, at some point, Nina will know what her fear is (*).

    (*): Her fear is losing Charioce, who pretends to sacrifice himself for her and all mankind. This is evidenced from episode 22 onwards, although hinted from previous episodes.

    As she nears the elevator to escape completely, her escape is hindered after running into Charioce, who has descended into the underground to demand Jeanne's loyalty.

    She becomes angry at how Charioce treats her friend and defends her, only to end up finding out that Charioce is Chris when he approaches her and asks if she would dance with him again.

    Knowing that Chris is Charioce creates a dilemma in her heart, one being the man she loves and the other the man she loathes, yet the same.

    Back in her cell, her thoughts are interrupted as she hears a noise outside her cell and sees Rita.

  • Jeanne: She escapes with Nina, following the routes of a map she drew herself. On her way, Nina tells her that she can transform into a dragon by looking at sexy men as they speed up her heart. Jeanne wants to know if any man would trigger her transformation, but Nina tells her that she's not sure and that, perhaps, she'll transform if she sees Kaisar.

    As they're unfortunately far from the men's prison, an escape plan involving Nina's transformation won't be possible unless they get there. Something difficult because it's on the opposite side of the women's prison.

    They continue their escape until they reach the bridge that will take them to the elevator. However, in the middle of the escape attempt, they run into Charioce, who was planning to go to Jeanne's cell to ask her to swear loyalty to him in order to prevent the war that the gods have declared on humanity.

    Jeanne wants to know what guarantees he has that Charioce will keep his word, to which he replies that she will be able to save a few lives if she does.

    Being on the edge and having to choose between making a decision that determines whether or not a war will break out that minute, Nina defends her and demands that Charioce stop bullying her.

    Jeanne sees how Charioce approaches Nina and how they both seem to know each other from before, which she finds curious. After he and Nina finish talking, Jeanne stands firm in her decision to betray neither the gods nor the people who believe in her and refuses to swear allegiance to Charioce, even if it means her son dies as a consequence of her decision. 

  • El/Mugaro: Once all his divine power is back, Gabriel convinces him to use it to correct humanity and rescue his mother, who's Charioce's prisoner.

    Although El has no intention of participating in a war for the same reasons as Gabriel, he agrees to listen to her because if he helps her, he'll be able to see Jeanne, whom he hasn't seen for two years.

  • Gabriel: Persuades El to support her in her plans to get humanity back on track by using Jeanne as an excuse to convince him and take him to war. If he helps her, he'll see his mother again.

    Gabriel is remarkably manipulative, a trait noticed by Sofiel, who doesn't like how she's using Jeanne's son to get him into a conflict he shouldn't be involved in, as he just wants to see his mom and doesn't care if gods are worshipped or not.

    Gabriel is sure that she'll win her battle against Charioce and that she'll succeed in getting the humans to return to offer gods prayers, thus regaining the balance of the world.

  • Sofiel: She realizes that Gabriel is manipulating El to go to war against the humans and doesn't like it.

  • Rita: She succeeds in infiltrating the prison and discovers the existence of the development of an artifact that Charioce intends to use at some point, which leads her to wonder what he wants to do with it. She manages to reach the female prison along with Rocky to free Nina.

  • Rocky: Help Rita cast and execute spells from a distance and steal the keys from the guards to reach the subway levels.
This is the English version of the literary analysis originally posted in Spanish on September 22, 2022.

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