I did a sort of mental adjustment when it comes to Fire Force. I go into more detail in my review over on 100 Word Anime. I think the thing that has helped my viewing experience the most is actively and wilfully ignoring certain elements.
Normally I wouldn’t really bother with a series that I have to ignore part of but I think Fire Force has enough good things going for it to make it worth it. One of those things is the steadfast and adventurous production. Let me show you what I mean!
Am I the only one that was creeped out by the image of the mascots on a clothes line? It was just so grim.
I’ve made no secret of my love for Hibana’s character design and my enthusiasm continues. The way she looks in her official uniform is just fantastic. I’ve noticed that artist occasionally have trouble rendering more curvy figures meant for fanservice in different outfits but this looks great. There’s even some nice folds in the clothes as would be normal for this type of figure. I don’t know why folds always impress me so. I’m a weirdo.
In many ways the opening sequence of this week’s episode was much more standard anime looking than we usually see from the show. Colours, camera angles, framing and little art tropes were all very standard. It almost looked like a cute slice of life. Which makes sense considering that’s exactly how this opening act was suppose to make you feel.
And then the actual story started. As soon as we got to the captain’s meeting the colour palette got restrained and light was muted. The camera started pulling out for long shots or getting right in there tightly on characters’ faces which gave a slightly disorienting effect.
It’s like you were either so close you couldn’t see the big picture or so far you had no idea of the details. And of course, that follows the narrative as well, as we are introduced to all these new characters and we don’t know who to trust or what the truth is.
Certainly these are selective screenshots but the latter part of the meeting really did have an unusually high number of angled close ups. It was almost like a trailer. And for me at least, it did manage to inject an otherwise completely neutral scene with a fair deal of tension.
To the point that the return to the 8th felt like a release. The again maybe it was just Obi loosening his tie. For some reason, I like when characters acknowledge their ties. Either loosening them or throwing them over their shoulders when they need them out of the way…
That yellow. That particular yellow has shown up only a few times in Fire Force and it’s always bad news it seems. Mind you, I don’t quite know what Joker is yet. Those eyes of his are certainly something. He doesn’t seem to be with the current antagonists (the white hoods) yet he definitely isn’t a protagonist either. I guess he’s a… wild card… I’m sorry.
We’re back at the 8th but you can really see the difference from the scenes in the opening tag. The usual warm wash has been applied making everything just a touch more monochrome and darker.
It is inviting however. Like a warm house on a cold night.
And that inviting atmosphere only intensifies in the dinner scene by showing us how dark it is outside through the windows. There’s a lot of green light going on as well. I remembered thinking is that an aurora borealis. At first I dismissed it, this isn’t the first time Fire Force has had weird lighting effects but then I remembered that very short conversation all those many episodes ago between Joker and the guy with the big hair. The world is mostly destroyed due to some cataclysm, these green lights in the sky may be a side effect. Fallout of some sort.
And of course, we got that one shot of Sho. It’s obviously Sho, his eyes are just to similar to Shinra’s but I would have liked to see him smiling. I enjoy that character trait a whole lot. They went a bit heavy handed on the contrasting colour scheme but the light in the scene is also rather odd and very cold, I would like to see the brothers side by side.