Putting the last two episode together in a single day was pretty sneaky of Fire Force. It affected my watching experience and I do go into it over on 100 Word Anime along with all my thoughts about these last two episodes.
One of the side effects of doubling over on episodes though, is that you now have twice as many screen caps to deal with. I did try to keep it reasonable but well, reasonable isn’t exactly what I’m known for. It could be though, I’m not actually known for much right now!
The opening tag just eased us into the episode by taking off that harsh cool slightly blue filter Fire Force was using last week and warming up the fight scene between Sho and Shinra to look more natural and less bleak.
I really like how all the different eras in Shinra’s past all have their own palettes and light effects depending on how he felt at the time. It’s a pretty great way to help the audience get all the info we need in such a short amount of time. I really felt bad for the boy in the aftermath of the fire and I equally understood how peaceful and happy his home life had been up until then.
Also, it seems that Shinra’s mom has those same shark teeth and for some reason that made me really happy…
The scene remains more colourful than before but were are going back towards that overwhelming mount of blue. You can see that even characters’ skin tones have a slight bluish tint when compared to Arthur in his comic panel shot.
I hate blue light. I’m not sure why. It was a very popular effect a few years ago and it always annoyed me. However, when used sparingly and in context, it can be very effective. I believe Fire Force does it right. I certainly found these scenes oppressive and it heightened my anxiety. Not my stress exactly. I just felt way more worried for Shinra than I would have otherwise because that light made me think something really sad and inescapable is going to happen.
I lumped the hospital scene all in one.
I the blue light made me sad, the yellow light gave me hope. Especially in this show. Yellow sunsets have been a staple of Fire Force and although the usually accompany scenes that tend to be painful for Shinra, they also usually mark a “beginning”. A reveal that’s about to swerve the narrative in some direction or another.
I really liked how they paralleled the scenes of Shinra on the operating table with those of Arthur in seemingly the exact same position, waiting in the hallways. They actually do this a few times throughout the episode. It’s an interesting effect.
Once again we get some amazing framing with Shinra looking out the window. I’m just going to say it, Fire Force hes better framing and blocking than season 3 of Bungo Stray Dogs. I know, I know, big words. It does. More than I few scenes have been masterfully composed.
Look at it, the criss cross of the window panes creating a grid for your eye overlaid over a secondary shadow grid for instant depth. Shinra looking so small and lonely dead centre of the frame, the unseen clouds overhead casting speckled shadows which suggest movement even in a static screenshot… I’m getting too wrapped up.
I actually let out a breath when we got back to the station house. And everything about the scene was put together to let us now things were getting back to normal. Even the detail work was a bit rounded off and unsharpened to give an easygoing feeling to the action.
This was actually a pretty fun fight to watch. Much shorter and more straight forward than what we’ve seen lately but this simple classic action animation was a nice change of pace. Still, you shouldn’t fight in hospitals, especially when you’re still recovering from near fatal stabbing through the heart.
I understand this is a long block of images but I really liked this flashback. It’s sort of the emotional core of the season.
Those dawn scenes with a pale salmon horizon were really striking in that we haven’t seen anything close to that in Fire Force so far. And that saying something because this series sure likes to pain the sky every colour of the rainbow. It’s very calming, isn’t it….
On the other hand, having a demon with horns for eyes is deeply unsettling. Considering the context it was downright horrific but even just as independent character design, it’s really very freaky. It reminded me of the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth which remains one of the most striking practical effect designs I’ve seen.
By the time this post is published, I will have attempt to dye my hair a similar colour to hers…
I’m glad they decided to end the season on a party in Company 8’s Fire House. These are always some of my favourite scenes and we even got to see the mascots. I do wish they would have set it at night thought. I love the contrast of the cold dark night with the bright warm station house.
Whatever else it may have been, Fire Force was a beautiful show. I will be watching the second season and making gallery posts for it. It’s really the type of show that benefits form paying attention to the images.