Shinra’s family were killed by an Infernal, a human that has spontaneously combusted and become something else. Since then, he has been determined to find out the truth of what happened, even becoming a Fire Soldier!
What did you watch?
Watching twenty-four episode seems a lot less daunting when you’re doing it weekly, but that’s probably before you realise it will take half a year to do so. Anyhow, it’s time to look back at the first season of Fire Force and as with the episode reviews, I will be joined by Yomu from Umai Yomu Anime Blog. We are discussing the entire season, so there will be spoilers.
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?
For putting up with me and my relaunch throwing off the schedule and as the guest, I shall allow Yomu to be in bold and to go first. Thanks for sticking with it, especially as you originally thought this was a BL series. I can’t begin to understand how disappointed you must have been…
What did you think?
Well, that idea that popped into my head of a bunch of sweaty, macho firefighters when I had first read the title for Fire Force was certainly dispelled!
Instead, we got the next best thing: a somewhat intriguing and exciting shounen anime. I have to say that for the most part, Fire Force did a great job at being either very intriguing, or very exciting, depending on whether we were treated with action or not in the episode. There was a stretch where the anime suffered from some breaks and the story itself seemed to slow down, but overall I’d say that Fire Force was a very enjoyable anime. Especially the conclusion of this season!
I’d agree with all of that. The season started with a bang and instantly caught my attention. It raised lots of interesting ideas and certainly gave us a lot to talk about. The breaks in scheduling appeared to affect the flow of the story, but it could have just been the soggy middle. But then, the ending of the season was spectacular. I loved the fights in the Nether and how stylish this series looked.
What was your favourite moment?
Oh man, there were so many great moments in this season. As you say the art style of Fire Force was phenomenal and there were so many amazing fights, it really is hard to choose… but yeah I’m going with the shower scenes. Is that allowed? While I know there was criticism, as there usually is, I both enjoyed the female characters and the fan service they had to offer!
Of course, it’s your choice after all…
I’m torn between two of the fights in the Nether. On one hand, there was Maki versus Flail and a bunch of random Ashen Knights, and on the other hand, there was Hinawa versus Arrow. Both of these were incredible fights with stunning visuals and breathtaking action, but I think I’m going to go with Hinawa versus Arrow. I absolutely loved the style of the fight with a heavy black and white feel with sporadic blasts of colour. It was just stunning.
What was your least favourite moment?
Least favourite moment was the training episode prior to going into the Nether, where somehow in what appeared to be only a couple of hours Shinra and Arthur were able to train up enough to be ready to face opponents that previously seemed insurmountable. It just didn’t feel believable that a single training session could do so much, a short time-lapse or something like this probably would have been more effective.
Again, I’d agree with you. Training montages are a big part of shounen anime and this was a pretty weak training session. I have a couple of other moments that spring to my mind.
The first was the Konro and Benimaru flashback where they were about to face a Demon Infernal. Konro shoved Benimaru into a box and the next we saw it was over and Konro dumped all of his responsibilities onto Benimaru.
Then, there was the time that Arthur vanished and we saw a glimpse of him in a wasteland. They never brought that up again and it’s something I really want to know more about.
Who was your favourite character?
Hibana. While at first, it seemed like her character had completely transformed when she fell for Shinra, we then began to see that she hadn’t actually changed all that much at all. She was still treating everyone else like the dirt they are. I was glad to see that because so many anime just irreversibly change characters once they fall in love. Plus I think it’s always enjoyable to see the sadist character in action. My only criticism is that I wish there was more of her!
I’ve got a lot of time for Hibana, but Maki was easily my favourite character and like Hibana she didn’t get nearly enough time. Our first introduction to her was when she was training Shinra and Arthur and brutally beat them, knocking Shinra off the roof. It seemed like they completely forget how skilled a fighter she was, but then we got to see her destroy a group of Ashen Knights. She is terrifying, but oddly irresistible!
Who was your least favourite character?
Konro. As you’ve already mentioned, the guy made a huge mistake in trying to fight an Infernal alone, and ended up permanently hurting himself. And instead of admitting his mistake, he pushes all of the burden of protecting the town onto Benimaru, refusing to even help Benimaru make decisions or reason things out. Konro acts like he’s a father character to Benimaru, but all I see is a coward who is doubling down on his mistake by refusing to admit it, pushing any burden off of himself and onto Benimaru.
I shall wholeheartedly endorse your selection here. Konro seems to act all stoic and like some sort of guiding mentor, but he doesn’t actually do anything. Benimaru is basically on his own in District 7 with that clown just hanging around. It was a pointless sacrifice to make and only made Benimaru’s life much harder than it needed to be.
Would you like some more?
Yeah, I could go with some more. I’m glad that the series didn’t end by trying to cram all of the answers in a few episodes, instead of giving us a soft resolution. It means that we still have so many unanswered questions for next season, and I’m curious enough to wonder about them. It’s an interesting world that Fire Force has created.
Plus, more Hibana, Maki, Tamaki… who could say no to that?
I was really worried that it was going to be a massive cramming session at the end as there were so many unresolved issues and it wasn’t looking like a second season was on the cards, but I’m glad that we ended with the bang that we did and that they’ve already announced a second season. We’ve been talking about this season for half a year now and we’re constantly raising new questions. Hopefully, in the second season, we’ll start to see some answers and find out more about the world and the Evangelist.
Of course, more Hibana, Maki, and Tamaki is also welcome. Don’t forget Lisa, and I’m still hoping that we’ve not seen the last of Arrow. I’d love to see a rematch.
True, I almost forgot about Lisa. There’s some great potential for this series going forward, that’s for sure. Both with girls and the actual story!
There’s definitely a lot more to things than it seems and I can’t wait to find out exactly what is going on, who the Evangelist really is and what they’re planning. Also, where did Arthur go and what’s he up to? I don’t buy into the idea that he’s just an idiot. Bring on season two!
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
- Episode 20 – Wearing His Pride
- Episode 21 – Those Connected
- Episode 22 – A Brother’s Determination
- Episode 23 – Smile
- Episode 24 – The Burning Past
- Bonus Posts