Shinra saved Tamaki from Rekka’s attack, but that’s not the end of it. Rekka is stronger than that, but who will have the advantage and what is Rekka planning?
What did you watch?
So, episode 9 of Fire Force is going to pick up right where the last episode ended. Shinra had just kicked Rekka in the face with his fire feet and rescued Tamaki. This episode promises to be one big fight and given how beautiful the fights have been in this series, I am pretty excited. As usual, I am joined by Yomu from Umai Yomu Anime Blog to get another perspective on the series. There will be spoilers, you have been warned!
As expected, Rekka wasn’t down. He popped up and caught Shinra with a sucker punch sending him flying across the warehouse, but that’s not enough to stop him. Shinra stabilized himself and then flew straight back into the fight. As they fought, Shinra analyzed the lieutenant’s power level and summarized that he was probably weaker, but he had mobility on his side. Shinra fired Rekka into the air and flew around the space, using the walls and ceiling to his advantage.
It looked like Rekka was defeated, but he got back up and threatened to incinerate everything by letting his power go out of control. Luckily, Flam showed up and used his ability to turn Rekka into a giant ice cube. They planned to return him to headquarters for questioning, but then a firey bolt flew through the air, carving a whole through Rekka’s chest. They were under attack from allies of Rekka – fellow Sol Evangelists. Flam order Shinra to put up a smokescreen to hide their whereabouts, forcing the attackers to give up.
It’s my turn to go first this week. I can’t let Yomu hijack things to talk about showers again. (Yomu will be in bold as normal.)
What did you think?
I loved this episode. I came in expecting a big fight and I got one. One of the things I really like about Shinra is how honest he is about his skill level and how he looks for a strength that he can use to win. We also got a little more information about the goals of the bad guys – a fanatical branch of the Sol Religion.
Hey, Yomu, thanks for stopping by. How was it for you?
Hello again! I’d say that this episode was exactly what we needed after the last episode dropped the ball (just a little) for me. As you say, we got an excellent fight, and I was genuinely surprised at how long the fight went on for!
One thing I always find interesting is how shounen anime “level up” the characters, and that’s what it felt like Shinra went through with this fight. He never went through any explicit training or anything like this, but he overcame an obstacle in the form of a seemingly powerful foe who was a lieutenant if I remember correctly. So I imagine Shinra will continue to “level up” like this as he takes on stronger opponents in the future.
What was your favourite moment?
For me, it was the fight. I love how fluid the action is and how stunning it looks with the flames. Shinra’s fighting style reminds me of Eddie from Tekken with his legs swooping and spinning. It’s like someone is mashing the buttons and still getting all the combos.
I’d have to agree with that. Shinra had some serious aerial combos going on too. I was originally unsure about how exciting it’d be to see a protagonist that fights primarily with his feet, but Shinra manages to put on a great show.
What was your least favourite moment?
As much as I enjoy Tamaki’s lucky letcher lure, it seems to get in the way of the action. How many times was Rekka able to punch Shinra because he was distracted by her? I felt like it got a little silly at that point.
Hmm, I’d almost say that many of those moments were Shinra’s fault. Perhaps they weren’t necessary though.
It’s hard to come up with a least favourite moment when the entire episode was essentially fighting. I wouldn’t even call this a least favourite moment per se, but I would have liked less pausing in the fight. Stopping to converse in a fight is a big thing in anime, but it’d have been cool to see the fight carry on non-stop, both parties becoming more and more exhausted. The one moment, in particular, that got me was when Shinra decided to blabber to the lieutenant about how he has more mobility when he really didn’t need to.
Who was your favourite character?
It’s kind of hard to look past Shinra for this, especially with the finishing move where he kicked Rekka in the mouth and drove him into the ground. I’d want to at least give a special mention to Arthur because I feel like he might have Keyser Sozed us!
Shinra was definitely a real star, but I’ll go with Rekka because of the backstory we got of him and his fervour. A really cool character, it would have been fun to see more of him but at least we got an amazing fight as his legacy.
Who was your least favourite character?
I don’t want to go with Tamaki but I feel like I should. After all the high and mighty stuff she’s been giving the other rookies, it would appear it’s all bluster. She’s not that strong and was easily fooled because she had a thing for Rekka. However, I did like the moment she pushed Shinra back into the fight because she knew she couldn’t do it.
I agree that Tamaki is the natural choice here. What I’d say however is that I felt like Tamaki simply didn’t try hard enough. She was punched a few times by Rekka, and then that apparently completely sapped her strength and will to fight. I understand that she is in shock over Rekka’s betrayal, but with the children at risk, I thought she needed to step up and at least try to help Shinra out. It felt sort of like a “strong female character becomes weak in the presence of the male hero character” moment.
Would you like some more?
Definitely and I want to talk about Arthur again. That last image of him walking through a burning wasteland after they’d just told us he went missing. I feel like he’s been playing the fool so that when he wanders off no one thinks anything of it. He can even come back with barely an explanation. What is he up to?
I also agree about Tamaki becoming the weak character in the presence of the male hero and it’s a shame. I hope that they give her a chance to redeem herself and we do need more Maki because she’s strong all the time.
Yeah definitely seems like Arthur knows what he is doing. He did not look lost there, instead appearing to know exactly what he was doing. For him to walk off in the middle of the search for Rekka must mean that it’s something important.
Speaking of important, clearly whoever was backing Rekka didn’t want him talking. I actually wasn’t surprised at all to see him get sniped like that, instead it almost felt like he was going to die no matter what. What did you think about that? Were you surprised?
Yeah. I was waiting for him to die. It seemed too obvious. He had way too many answers and was gleefully telling Shinra everything as they fought.
The assassins were obviously skilled third-generation infernals and from their outfits, they looked like crusaders which fit with the church being behind things and Arthur being involved somehow.
Do you get the feeling that one of them could have been Shinra’s brother?
Uh, I hadn’t considered the possibility at all haha. But now that you mention it, considering his bloodline… it’s definitely possible his brother isn’t dead after all.
Another thing to think about from the scene with Arthur and what we know of the world outside of Tokyo. Basically it’s all ash and fire. Countries coastlines and terrain have changed. I’d love to know why Tokyo has survived and what they’re doing, especially since the fanatics want to see everything burn. Surely, they would just need to destroy whatever it is that’s keeping it all safe.
Ah, you think that perhaps the entire world has fallen victim to this organization? That sounds like conspiracy territory to me…! Jokes aside though, it’s an interesting concept. One thing to remember though is that according to Hibana spontaneous human combustion is still a thing, in addition to the manufactured type. I wonder what the differences are.
Maybe we’ll learn more about those insects in particular, I’m surprised that headphones never tried to have the insect in his possession studied further. We know they can cause human combustion, but perhaps they also play a role in the spontaneous human combustion and the state of the planet itself? Like some sort of natural plague that is now being taken advantage of now by this shadowy organization.
Seeing as this is turning out to be a long discussion, and we’re pondering all of these questions anyways, I wonder how the Joker fits into everything? Is he with the organization that Rekka was a part of, or is he a total wild card?
Good question. I feel like he may be a wild card or part of something else. He doesn’t seem to fit with the crusaders though. There’s definitely still a lot to find out.
One thing is for sure, and that’s that Tamaki is now with Fire Force 8. Something that we both knew would happen at some point. And that means… we’ve now got Maki, Hibana, Tamaki, and Iris all together. Sounds good to me, bring on the next episode!
Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Well, I think that’s all we need to discuss then. Tune in next week for the long-anticipated next shower scene. It’ll probably be the guys though… Hinawa’s glasses will be all steamed up and he won’t see where he’s going and accidentally stand too close to Shinra, making him grin uncontrollably. Meanwhile, Obi will be stood under another shower, cranking out a set of bicep curls!
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