Shinra, Arthur, and Iris try to save Vulcan, but they’re up against Dr. Giovanni, a Fire Force Captain. What does Giovanni want and why is he willing to go to such extremes to get it?
What did you watch?
Episode 16 continues directly after the last episode where Shinra intercepted the order from Dr Giovanni to kill Vulcan. We’re starting to get more world-building, although it seems to be happening at the beginning of the episode, like a mini history lesson. So far, it’s all information that I want to know, but I feel like this might have not been the best way to tell us. But that’s enough about me for now as I’m joined by Yomu from Umai Yomu Anime Blog and I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say, too. Get ready for spoilers and hopefully, we’ll find out if my prediction from the last episode was correct.
With the possible attack by Dr Giovanni, Shinra decides to scout around and see what he can find, leaving Arthur and Iris to try and convince Vulcan to run away. Unfortunately, he’s too stubborn and they are too late anyhow as Vulcan’s yard is surrounded by Ashen Knights. Arther believes he can face them, but without his equipment, he can’t do it. He needs to feel Knightly for it to work.
Meanwhile, Shinra is attacked by Dr Giovanni who reveals his association with the Ashen Knights. Giovanni then manages to trick Shinra and electrocute him, knocking him out. He then contacts his team to come and collect the valuable Adolla Burst specimen. With Shinra taken care off, Giovanni heads to Vulcan’s house.
Arthur comes out to attack the Ashen Knights with a makeshift sword hilt, a table cloth for a cloak and a donkey’s head attached to his crotch. It’s just about the most absurd thing ever, but somehow it makes Arthur a million times more powerful. He makes easy work of the Ashen Knights, but then the Mirage one manages to create a copy of Arthur and is able to show him exactly what he looks like…
With Arthur out of the way, Giovanni enters Vulcan’s house where Lisa, an undercover Ashen Knight has already taken him down. Giovanni asks Vulcan where the key to Amaterasu is, but he says he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This just makes Giovanni upset!
As I said, I’m joined once more by Yomu as having someone to bounce the ideas off in these reviews certainly keeps them interesting. This week it’s Yomu’s turn to go first, so… and don’t forget that Yomu will be in bold.
What did you think?
I think we’ve been given exactly what we were looking for, which was an advancement of the story in a big way along with some great action. I personally wasn’t expecting to see the Ashen Knights here, but it seems that they’ve managed to bring them into this, meaning that their involvement with Giovanni is all tied together somehow. Overall, I thought it was a great step in the right direction. Plus you were right about that girl!
Excuse me while I do a little victory dance… Yeah, I had a feeling about Lisa and it looks like it paid off, well, not for Vulcan… As you say, we definitely appear to be moving along now and it’s one hundred percent welcome. As much as I enjoyed the last arc, I have felt like the story needed a bit of a push, so it was nice to finally get it.
What was your favourite moment?
I really enjoyed the ending or the last several minutes. It’s a bit cliche that they’ve set up this “everything seems hopeless” situation that I’m sure will be resolved, but I also enjoy seeing the good guys on the ropes because so often in shounen the ball is in their court. I was surprised to see Shinra lose to Giovanni so quickly. I doubt that anything dark will really come of this, but I still like the direction the episode took anyways.
Yeah, I was surprised to see Shinra go down that fast too. Giovanni really has got a few screws loose and reminds me a little of Seiya from Cautious Hero… For me, there was one moment that just made me smile and then laugh uncontrollably. That was Arthur in his knightly getup. It’s been clear for quite a while that Arthur isn’t all there and whether it’s for show or genuine, I’ve not seen many characters quite like him. The fact that the donkey head strapped to his pants made him stronger was classic!
What was your least favourite moment?
I guess what I least liked about the episode was how Arthur was framed as being very powerful in his “knightly” garb, but all he really did was stand still and swing his sword at illusions. I’d rather see a better display of his power than that. Just seemed a bit anticlimactic to me, but I guess the focus was on the comedy of the scene more than anything else.
Agreed, just the Ashen Knight telling us that he’s more powerful wasn’t enough really. As much as I enjoy being right about things, I was a little upset that Lisa turned out to be a villain as I like her character design and now, I’m just hoping that she switches sides like Hibana. Other than that, I found the scene with Giovanni repeatedly beating Vulcan to be a little disturbing, but that was the point.
Who was your favourite character?
Nobody stood out to me as particularly amazing this episode, but if I had to choose someone who has helped advance the plot the most it’d be Giovanni. As you’ve said before, the guy is a textbook villain, but sometimes that’s exactly what a story needs to get the ball rolling.
Definitely, if all villains were conflicted it would get pretty boring. For me, it may come as no surprise, but it was Arthur. I still think he’s pulling a Keyser Soze on us and it’s all an act. He knows way more than he’s letting on and I also can’t believe that he gets more powerful just from looking more like a knight. What is Arthur’s story?
Who was your least favourite character?
I’ll choose that kid who I don’t know the name of. He’s supposed to be Vulcan’s apprentice, but it’s looking like his entire purpose was just to die in order to enrage Vulcan. Assuming he’s dead, which I hope he is because he never added anything prior to his death anyways. Just feels like a token character to me with no real value.
My intuition is telling me we’ve not seen the last of Yu and it has nothing to do with the OP. Nothing! I’m actually going to go with Giovanni but only because I don’t understand how no one is questioning his morality. Sure, don’t judge a book by its cover and all that, but if I saw that guy, I’d be like ‘nope, that guy’s a villain’. I would have preferred it if he’d maybe looked a little more normal.
Would you like some more?
I’d like to see where things head from here, although I have a feeling we already know. The only question really is how will they get bailed out? Will the rest of Fire Force 8 arrive, knowing that Shinra / Arthur / Iris have been gone for too long? Or will something else happen?
My money is on Lisa turning on Giovanni and buying them enough time to escape, but that might just be wishful thinking. They’ve definitely left us in a position where we need to find out what happens next and what does Giovanni want with the key to Amaterasu?
You’re probably right. Lisa seems like one of those half-hearted double-agents that originally was loyal to the cause but then her time spent as a part of Vulcan’s family has caused her to grow soft. I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if that’s what happens.
What do you think would be the most shocking outcome? I’m going to go with – Vulcan dies. Wouldn’t that be a crazy development? I feel like anime needs to get more crazy sometimes!
Haha! You know as well as I do that shounen series very rarely kill anyone that isn’t directly related to the protagonist and even then someone usually comes back.
It would be amazing if we had a real shocking moment but I can’t see it happening. Maybe Shinra has been able to communicate with someone using his Adolla Link and help will come running.
We’ll have to see, but I think your Lisa theory is the most likely now. Could be a combination of that and someone else arriving to help.
As long as the story keeps moving things should be fine. I do want to know more about the outside world though.
I’m sure we’ll learn more about Giovanni and his connection to the Ashen Knights going forward, and perhaps that will expose something within the Church itself. I agree it’d be nice to see more of the outside world, but for now, they seem to be going with the idea that it’s all just a fiery wasteland.
This is true, but have any of them actually seen it? Didn’t we see Vulcan looking up into the sky as the trail of a plane drifted by? Or was that Shinra? I feel like we need Joker to fill us in. He seems like someone that would be in the know.
Sometimes there are topics in an anime where I consciously just decide to give up on trying to figure out what’s going on, or the bigger picture, and just resolve myself to waiting till it’s revealed. I’m beginning to feel that way when it comes to the overall world of Fire Force.
I enjoy the speculation so it doesn’t bother me… as long as we find something out.
That’s the problem, you just never know if we’ll ever find anything out haha.
Well, on that bombshell. I guess we better wait for the next episode to see what happens.
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
- Episode 17 – Black and White and Gray
- Episode 18 – The Secrets of Pyrokinesis
- Episode 19 – Into the Nether