When Fire Force is good…well I tell you what I think about it over on 100 Word Anime. I hope you stop by and read all about it.
One thing Fire Force in which is consistent, at least in my opinion, is impressive and playful visuals. This is why, even though I tell myself each week that I’ll just drop the screencaps here with a few words no more, I always end up with a full post of observations. These images just speak to me.
Actually, just a quick anecdote about my header gif before we get into it. When I saw that scene with Lisa turning into a fire octopus, I said out loud, Look it’s Ursulisa! then laughed at my own lame joke for about 30 seconds. AND felt the need to share it with you all. So there’s that…
Do you know that when I upload the screencaps they get all out of order and I have to rearranged them in chronological order manually? It’s quite a puzzle.
Anyways, I’m going to talk a lot more about the colour story during the Hinawa vs Arrow confrontation later on but we got a taste of it in the opening tag. I also included image from the little episode prologue because I love them.
This is the only time we see Shinra or Licth during the episode and I just can’t bring myself to trust Licht. That’s what makes him great! I was hoping to find some clue in the images that he was only pretending to be a hostage but sadly I couldn’t spot anything…
It’s impressive how expressive Shinra’s face is.
I’m breaking up this sequence into two parts to not end up with a huge block of images but really, the majority of the episode was dedicated to this one sequence and it was all visually consistent. I only realized how long it was when looking back over the screencaps. I could have sworn it was not more than half the episode but no. Like 2/3.
And visually it was amazing. The colours almost completely desaturated to a barely perceptible sepia tones black and white with only pops of colours. The dull red of the wagon and the Evangelist cross, the shining blue of the Fire Force uniform and arrows eyes, the gleaming flames and Hinawa’s unusual pale gold eyes.
We’ve never seen Hinawa’s eyes shine before. As a second generation he would have glowy eyes but it’s still impressive to see.
The colour story here is fantastic. It went hand in hand with the muted sound design and frantic animation to created this tense and unnerving yet oddly bare atmosphere. Like a moment of shell-shock in the middle of a heated battle. There were some great compositions as well. Especially with Hinawa in the wagon.
The lack of colour was so effective at creating a mood that the few cells of full colour seemed fantastical and particularly striking.
Hinawa looks so different without his glasses. Somehow more reckless? Is that just some tired trope about people with glasses being all studious and serious. Probably. But still, the show did choose to have him loose them in his bad*ss moment. Why do I censor myself? I’ll never know.
Arthur brought a tension break and a touch of comedic relief with him (as he usually does) and you can see how throughout his scene, the colour gradually comes back until the palette is more or less back to normal (for a dark tunnel that is).
The palette wasn’t switched back all at once. It’s like the saturation was slowly brought up over the course of a few minutes and the sound effects came back as well to show us that the world was gradually getting back om track. Pretty awesome non verbal story telling!
I didn’t think we would get to see the ladies in this weeks Fire Force but we did. And it was sweet!
Lisa is obviously going to make a face turn. If it wasn’t obvious for the OP, you can clearly tell from the facial expressions. The visuals of Lisa in Giovanni’s grasp really reminded me of Eri and Overhaul in My Hero Academia. Odd coincidence
This image. OK so 90% is probably just the creepy bird mask but you have to admit, there are some tonal and visual similarities here which are striking since it’s not exactly a common visual in anime.
Despite the fire theme and all, Fire Force rarely uses red as an atmospheric colour so this scene looks particularly ominous to me. I actually think it’s another indicator of an upcoming redemption. Walking through the fire and all that. Or I guess you could make some scarlet letter analogy for Lisa but I feel like that would be stretching it pretty thin.
In any case, it’s another great looking episode and I want to see the next one.