I use to write the episode review over on 100 Word Anime (check it out – link right there!), before I wrote the gallery posts, to give Karandi as much time as possible to do any edits if she wanted. But she is very non invasive so it turns out I could have written the galleries first all along.
I’ve switched the order in the past few weeks and it helps a lot. Going over the images really helps put the episode in perspective for me! I hope you guys enjoy it too.
We got a new bad guy introduced “Haumea” and she looks amazing! That a very eccentric design. So Eccentric in fact that it could just be shock value and the character is really never meant to be anything more than an ornament. But that flowy parachute jump suit looks like it would be tons of fun to animate in a fight. I hope this means season 2…
We also finally saw the Evangelist and well. I don’t really have anything to say. Not good, not bad. And that in itself is pretty amazing considering we got to see the character up close. Great move ramping up the moral ambiguity here.
Final Fantasy has taught me to be terrified of over complicated halos…
Although a rather direct continuation of last week’s confrontation, the fight between Shinra and Sho was considerably more colourful this week. Gradients and contrasting colours were injected back into the palette which really lightened the atmosphere and shed all that visual gloom and doom. It’s amazing how warming up the colours just a touch can make such a big impact.
I’ve said it before but I think it bears repeating. I LOVE the silhouettes in Fire Force. Those rounded, short limbed forms that we almost never see in anime, are just such a nice break from the standard!
Production wise, this episode was essentially one long set piece punctuated with a few bright flashbacks. There wasn’t much really in the way of visual variation or shifts. In fact that consistency is part of the narrative.
Shinra holds true to himself and his goal despite increasingly difficult circumstances.
It makes sense that the production would be similarly single minded and I do think it worked. Unfortunately for me, once again the most impressive part was the movement which is entirely lost in still caps.
Using the flickering flames to mark the freezing and unfreezing of time is a nice touch that fits the show so well. Where exactly these candles are in relation to the action is not completely clear to me but I was more than happy to accept the shorthand.
Once again we saw the return of Shinra’s nervous smiling tick in force. I’ve always been a huge fan of this tidbit of characterization. I do think it sets the character apart from all the stern or earnest looking heroes the show has.
Sho is starting to feel a bit unsettled and that reflects ever so slightly on his face making the character look way more mature. At least to me.
Seeing the other companies was a very effective way to add some emotional involvement. The fact that those scenes were so drastically different from the events unfolding in the present really heightened their impact.
I continue to enjoy Victor. Even visually he’s a wildcard going from looking like a concerned ally to an unhinged villain at the drop of a hat.
It’s not that unusual for Christian angels to be portrayed as antagonists. And it’s getting more frequent to have devils or demons as good guys. But it is still fairly rare to have someone as naively heroic as Shinra get associated with such obvious demon imagery. And although it does occasionally get mentioned in the show, it really hasn’t played a huge part in the narrative. So I figure the symbolism is mostly for us, the audience. I wonder where this is leading us…