The world has started to burn and only the Special Fire Force can stop the Infernals, people who have spontaneously combusted and become living infernos!
What did you watch?
Here’s another title from the Summer 2019 schedule – Fire Force. This was episode 1, but I can already tell you that this show is going to be something special. As such, I’ve roped in Yomu from Umai Yomu Anime Blog to join me in reviewing this series. All that means is that you’ll get twice as much of everything and who doesn’t want more? As usual, there will be spoilers beyond this point. Failure to listen could result in spontaneous human combustion!
It’s been one-hundred and ninety-eight years since the beginning of the Solar Era, a time marked by fires. Since it began, people have been mysteriously bursting into flames and becoming living infernos. They burn everything around them and can only be stopped by the Special Fire Force. In that time, there have been second and third-generation Infernals who maintain their human form but can manipulate fire at will.
Shinra Kusakabe has just completed his basic training and finds himself joining Special Fire Force Company 8. Before he’s even had a chance to introduce himself, an Infernal erupts on a train and thrusts him into action. Shinra, a third-generation Infernal has the ability to shoot flames out of the soles of his feet has come with a mission and a promise, a promise he was unable to keep. Can he get to the bottom of the mysterious Infernals or will the world be consumed by fire?
As the guest, it seems only right that I let Yomu go first. So, thanks for being here and no pressure… you get to start things off. (Also Yomu will be in bold.)
What did you think?
Thanks for having me, Lynn. As you know, I originally thought that Fire Force was just some BL anime about a bunch of macho firefighters (didn’t read the synopsis), so to find out that it was actually a very intriguing shounen anime from you was exciting enough!
And then I watched the first episode, and it truly was exciting. This anime has the exact same feel as so many other excellent shounen anime. It just gives off that whole “this is gonna be good” vibe. One episode in and we’ve already been treated with Fire Force’s interesting industrial world, a cool cast of 5 characters (with more to come I’m sure), some heated action, and even some backstory. I think the most impressive feat for the show was just that they managed to fit so much in a single episode!
Agreed. I thought it was an excellent episode and a great way to introduce us to the world. They did cram a lot in, but it didn’t feel rushed or forced. Sure, there was the exposition scene where the Chief explained everything but that didn’t bother me at all. I was also glad that there’s a reason for Shinra to be grinning all the time. That was handled really well.
All right, let’s get into the specifics.
What was your favourite moment?
Despite all of the great action this episode, my favourite moment was actually just when Shinra was being introduced to the other characters in the cathedral. So from the captain lifting weights to after the shower scene when that one girl… Maki? was getting flustered over Shinra mentioning being a hero. I can already tell that there are going to be some great character interactions in this series, and seeing the characters hit it off like that so early was nice to see.
Haha! That was going to be my answer almost exactly. I think the chemistry they have as a group is already very interesting. There was the point where Takehisa broke his pencil and both Iris and Maki freaked, but the best moment for me was when the Chief tried to make Shinra uncomfortable so that he would grin. I think they’ve got a good balance of characters and I like that the Chief isn’t the serious one.
What was your least favourite moment?
While I understand what they are going for, and why they did it, my least favourite moment was Shinra’s flashbacks when they were fighting that infernal in the factory. Flashbacks generally don’t do it for me when they are thrown in right before or during the action. I know they wanted to show us that Shinra has some trauma associated with infernals, but I still just have an issue with flashbacks when they are used that way.
That’s fair. They didn’t bother me so much, especially as they did it so that he blacked out and had them. For me, it was the flashback when he was in bed, but not because they were flashbacks. It kept focusing on his mother’s mouth and the whole time I was waiting for the smoke to appear at the corner of her lips. Talk about tense. It’s a shounen so naturally, the protagonist has got to have some tragic back story and I knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any less tragic.
Who was your favourite character?
Favourite character so far is the black-haired girl, who I’m pretty sure is Maki right? First off, she’s best girl material. Did you see that shot of her right after they got out of the shower? She’s got a seriously toned body…! But she also seems to have a cute side when it comes to wanting a man to sweep her off her feet. Seems like she’ll be a fun character to follow!
Maki is without a doubt the best girl at the moment, although my favourite character was Chief Obi. I loved his mix of humour and seriousness. He doesn’t have any powers unlike Shinra, Maki, and Takehisa, but he charges in utterly fearless, but will still joke around and mess with Shinra.
Who was your least favourite character?
Glasses guy. I don’t dislike him per se, but he just reminds me a bit too much of how Iida was from My Hero Academia in the earlier episodes. I do like his choice of weaponry though, even if his aim doesn’t seem to be very good…
Totally agree. Takehisa is obviously there to make us feel that way with how sceptical he is about Shinra’s intentions. I’m sure he’ll improve as a character too. Other than him, all the people blaming young Shinra in his flashbacks deserve a mention for their disgraceful behaviour. That nervous grin really doesn’t help Shinra at all.
Would you like some more?
Haha. Thanks for stopping by then…
I absolutely loved this episode and think it did a great job setting up the series. There are so many unanswered questions that I think we’re in for a real rollercoaster of a ride. We probably should leave with mentioning the animation. I’m loving the flames and the infernal designs. They feel raw and almost alive.
Oh, the animation is great. I think what’s appealed to me the most is just the setting itself, I love the industrial world and how it feels so far. The buildings and the colour palette used for the city feels really unique. Makes me want to see more, not just of the story and action, but of different buildings and sections of the city!
Yeah, it’s a really interesting world and it feels very real and gritty. I’m very excited about this series, it’s already done more than enough to get me hooked. Any guesses on what might be in store for us?
Hmm, no real guesses other than that I have a feeling that we’re going to encounter a very badass villain soon enough as Shinra learns more about what happened to his family.
Definitely. There’s going to be more to it than random spontaneous human combustion. I’m hoping for more stunning visuals and exciting battles. Hopefully, most will last a little longer than one hit, but the atmosphere and oppressiveness of the flames were outstanding. I think we’re in for a real treat going forward. I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode.
An excellent twist on a high-quality shounen. Thanks again for hosting this collab! It’ll be a very fun anime to follow.
No worries. Well, that’s it for episode 1 of Fire Force. We’ll be back next week with a look at episode 2. Thanks for reading.
Other reviews in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Shinra Kusakabe Enlists
- Episode 2 – The Heart of a Fire Soldier
- Episode 3 – The Rookie Fire Soldier Games
- Episode 4 – The Hero and the Princess
- Episode 5 – The Battle Begins
- Episode 6 – The Spark of Promise
- Episode 7 – The Investigation of the 1st Commences
- Episode 8 – Infernal Insects
- Episode 9 – The Spreading Malice
- Episode 10 – The Promise
- Episode 11 – Formation of Special Fire Force Company 8 – The Mightiest Hikeshi
- Episode 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa
- Episode 13 – The Trap Is Set
- Episode 14 – For Whom the Flames Burn
- Episode 15 – The Blacksmith’s Dream
- Episode 16 – We Are Family