I just looked over my Gallery for last weeks episode of Fire Force and it’s almost as long as my actual post for it.If you want to read my post for this week’s Fire Force, it’s over on Karandi’s blog. If you want, you can go read it. It will give you some context on all the pretty pictures.

And oh boy are the pictures pretty.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again, Fire Force is one stylish show. It’s not going to be to everyone’s liking but it is to mine. And it seems to be doing alright for itself so I guess one or two other people like it too.

Two things caught my eye just in the opening Tag. First we have another fanservice character in Hibana but this one is a little different as he sensuality is presented as intentional. Pink haired ladies have quite a storied history in anime and to see one as a self assured and openly confrontational antagonist is a nice twist. in any case I got completely hypnotized by those flower petal pupils. I also have been realizing that I have a soft spot for a lady in a parka. It’s my Canadian showing.

Second (or in fact first but second I wand to talk about) is the colourful balloons and the three mascots. We see the balloons and mascots come back as a motif throughout the episode. Occasionally they serve as exposition vehicles, almost like a Greek chorus, but in the first scene, we see them completely still and silent on a deserted street. It’s a particularly eerie imagery. Maybe it’s the primordial fear of clown like figures or just the absurdity of the image against the sombre mood of the episode. In any case, I found it unsettling and seeing it repeated just drove the feeling home. I also thought is was a pretty brilliant design element. Those bright colours and ugly cute characters…

I said in my Granbelm Gallery that this week the images had no natural break to them. It’s the opposite for this week’s Fire Force. I could almost see exactly where chapter ends were. The visual flow is impressive. In fact, I looked over my pinterest board for the series. I’m trying to to put too much fanart in there yet. The colour story from one episode to the next is amazing. You can see how the story is progressing just from that! So far, this episode boasts one of the most colourful palettes of the season and considering what’s to come, it makes sense.

Also, the framing in that first image is just beautiful. Despite sister being such a gentle and lovely character, the have associated the church with some very ominous images. It’s similar to the Port Mafia scenes in last season’s Bungo Stray Dogs, which were definitely not meant to show a place of solace and repose.

The episode is still very bright and featuring a full palette. Usually, Fire Force purposefully restricts the colour range after the opening act so this episode is already different from the previous ones. It’s also pretty obvious how different that infernal looks. Since this week raised a lot of questions that could potentially change everything for ever, it stands to reason that it would look a little different.

Shira has been separated from the rest of his unit and a sudden downpour has turned the world grey. It should be noted that these scenes are taking place in the middle of the day (like most of Fire Force). The always find a reason to make fights take place against darkened backgrounds. This was one of my favourite excuses. The sudden rainfall that played with both the visual and audio aspects of the scene really added a lot to the whole.

As much as I do enjoy Hibana’s design, that dress is just to ridiculously impractical to take the character seriously in any way. I’m guessing she’s going to do a face turn, it’s the only way I can accept that outfit. How will the fact that she’s a misunderstood misfit with a heart of gold make her fashion choices any more sensible? It won’t, but we can assume she just had a lot of other stuff on her mind.

Now this looks more like a classic Fire Force colour scheme. Classic…there’s been like 4 episodes. I have no clue what I’m talking about. I think it’s this last close up of Hibana that capture my imagination so. I love the proportions and lack of features. It’s great!

I didn’t realize how sad Sister looked. I wonder why that is.

I’ve kept the best for last. I managed to capture my favourite moment in the show:

Fire Force ep4-5 (6)

8 thoughts

  1. I love the fact Shaft Studio veterans are helping out with this one. Some qualities present in shaft are also present here like the smooth animation and bright color pallete as you mentioned, really brings out the aesthetic (^∇^)

  2. Those screenshots really do group in scenes, don’t they? (One thing I don’t like about the show is how those neon-colours stand out – the uniform stripes, for example, but also the crosses (clovers?) in new grils eyes.) And it’s amazing how different the flames look in motion; this is where screenshots reach their limit.

  3. The measured but stylishly-framed scenes in this episode really impressed me and reminded me of Gridman. I usually associate Trigger with wildly kinetic and over-the-top action, but lately it’s their quieter but no less impressive scenes and images that stand out

      1. I had to come back to this old comment to correct an embarrassing mistake I made: Fire Force is produced by David Production (and, as Inskidee pointed out below, has Shaft veterans involved), not Trigger.

        I guess Fire Force’s eye-catching approach to framing scenes reminded me of Gridman so much that my mind replaced David with Trigger, even though the idea that a Trigger production would feature Shaft influence rather then their own did feel odd.

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