It’s the Rookie Fire Soldier Games where Shinra and Arthur will go head to head with the other new recruits. They have to enter a training facility and take care of the fake Infernals, but something is bound to go wrong.
What did you watch?
After the terrible events in Kyoto, this episode was delayed for a week due to the nature of the show. Anyone that feels the need to complain about that really needs to adjust their priorities. So, this is episode 3 of Fire Force. I was pretty quickly enamoured with the first episode and as such invited Yomu from Umai Yomu Anime Blog to join me. That way, you get twice as much review in one easy to digest format and we get to talk a little longer about this beautiful show. You will encounter spoilers beyond this point, be prepared!
The rookie fire soldiers have gathered at a rather stunning training facility for the Rookie Fire Soldier Games – a contest between the new recruits. I’m not sure what the prize is, but there doesn’t appear to be one other than pride. Anyhow, before the start, Shinra meets Tamaki from Company 1 and they instantly find themselves in a number of awkward situations. Tamaki curses her pervert lure and gives Shinra a piece of her mind. Shinra, however, is more concerned with her Captain as he was the one that was with him after his house burnt down.
The games begin and the fire soldiers charge in. Shinra uses his special ability to fly to the top of the structure and gain an early lead. Once he gets inside, he discovers that the veteran fire soldiers that were supposed to be there had been incapacitated and a strange man introduces himself as Joker. He tells Shinra that not everything is as it seems and that his little brother is still alive. Tamaki and Arthur arrive and force Joker to cut his chat short, releasing some ashes into the air that threaten to blow the entire facility up.
I realised that I forced Yomu to go first for two weeks in a row. That might seem like the polite thing to do with a guest, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m just copying Yomu’s answers so, it’s going to be my turn to start. (Also Yomu will be in bold.)
What did you think?
I really enjoyed this episode. Going in, I was worried about the fire soldier games being an over-the-top and unnecessary part of the story, but it was a nice way to introduce some of the other companies and characters. It also gave Obi a much-needed chance to really explain what is going on. I’m also glad that the rivalry between Shinra and Arthur was, for the most part, played down, other than Arthur not believing that Joker was an actual villain, which I think worked.
Thanks for stopping by again, Yomu. Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for hosting me again Lynn! I’d say this was an excellent episode. I really enjoyed how this episode established a fairly clear direction for the series to go in – before we just knew that there were some shadowy figures doing something behind the scenes, but now we know that the Fire Force itself may be involved, and we have had a nice introduction to Joker who seems like a great antagonist. It was also nice to see Shinra fight someone one-on-one.
What was your favourite moment?
Not exactly a moment, but I loved the design of the training facility and the way it looked in its various states. There’s a real steampunk feel to this series. It’s also helped by the blue glow of the fire soldier uniforms and the way the fire seems to come alive. Other than, that I did have a good laugh when Arthur was falling to the ground and the rest of his team “caught” him.
Hmm, there were some nice ecchi moments in this episode with that new cat girl. But I think my favourite moment overall was just Shinra’s fight with Joker. You can tell that Joker was toying with Shinra, and it feels like this was setting up for another confrontation in the future after Shinra has grown some.
What was your least favourite moment?
This may sound odd, but I think the accidental boob and bum grab felt a little out of place. They’ve already got Tamaki in some sort of bikini fire soldier uniform, so why take it to the next level. It was surprising and I’ll admit I did chuckle, but I also feel like it was a little forced. Otherwise, I’m loving Tamaki and her overall design. She looks awesome.
My least favourite moment was sort of a moment.. but what I disliked the most from the episode was the fact that the rookie competition never really happened. It’s nice to get some story progression, but I would have liked to see some competition between Shinra, Arthur, and the newly introduced Tamaki. Instead, they jumped straight to Shinra fighting Joker and glossed over the entire competition that I was interested in seeing. It’s almost like the competition was crashed too soon.
Who was your favourite character?
I loved the discussion between Obi and Shinra at the end of the episode and both are firmly in my favourite character lists along with Maki. That said, there is always room for more, so welcome on board Tamaki. I’ve already said this, but the design is awesome. I love that she has two tails and flaming cat-ears. What they do is another question altogether, but I can’t wait to find out.
Tamaki is great, and I look forward to seeing more of her. For many reasons… But I’d say that Joker was my favourite. I like edgy characters, antagonists included, and he fits that bill perfectly. He also gives me this vibe that while he is an enemy now who is stirring up some sort of trouble, he might end up becoming a turncoat antagonist as many initial antagonists do.. although maybe 12 episodes is too short for us to see that happen. Either way he’s an interesting character and clearly some of the plot is tied to him which makes me want to see him even more.
Who was your least favourite character?
So, there was a guy at the beginning of the series and I found that he just looked completely off to me. Straight away, even without Joker being present, this guy looked like a villain. He also looks like a stand-in for Where’s Wally (Or Where’s Waldo for the North Americans) and he just seemed to be sitting around grinning all the time. If he didn’t look older than Shinra, I would have thought he was his brother…
Oh yeah, that glasses guy. I forgot about him. I’ll go with Arthur this time around. He still hasn’t shown himself to be an interesting or useful character, and even this episode he wasn’t really all that useful. I guess he’s just a bit of a clown with how he carries his plasma sword around in a sheath for seemingly no reason… I’m just waiting for him to prove himself and it hasn’t happened yet.
Would you like some more?
That’s a massive yes for me. I love that we’ve now got some direction other than just trying to fight the Infernals. It might be a bit cliche to have the Hajime Group as the obvious villains, but only time will tell if that turns out to be the case. Special Fire Force Company 8 has a lot of work to do to try and piece together the mystery. There’s a lot to come and I can’t wait.
Agreed, I’m loving the way this show has gone so far. I’m hoping for some plot twist(s) in terms of what’s going on in the Fire Force, it all seems very intriguing.
By the way, you mentioned how Tamaki’s ecchi interactions felt a bit much… and I’d agree. That said, you have to admit it’s pretty neat that they’ve created a “puts herself into ecchi situations” ability for her… it’s actually not that common for the female character to initiate the “accidental” ecchi situations. It’s kind of funny and refreshing to watch.
Haha. Yeah, that’s true. She almost made out as if it was a power she possessed to attract and incapacitate perverts. Shinra grin really doesn’t help him there.
And I hadn’t even noticed that we never really had much of a competition in the games. I’m just glad it wasn’t MHA levels because that really wouldn’t have fit with this show.
Very true, I was expecting the competition to be crashed from the start anyways.
And now that you mention it, it was quite funny how Joker reacted to Shinra’s smile, when he was all “You’re still smiling in this situation? Damn..”!
Do you have any predictions or anything you’re looking forward to? More Maki and Tamaki, obviously, but anything else caught you eye?
The eyepatch fire fighter whose name escapes me. Clearly he’s going to be of importance, but I wonder about him. While he appears to be a hardened veteran, I’m actually hoping that he’s somehow working against the Fire Force as an antagonist somehow. Nothing like a badass renegade character to spice things up, you know?
Ah, Captain Leonard Burns… great fire soldier name. I’m not sure he’ll be a villain though as he’s too edgy. I think he may end up being a renegade but more like a rebel going against the evil master’s wishes. Still, whatever happens, I think we have a lot to look forward to.
Well, thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to our next one.
Other reviews in the series
- 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