Fire Force 2 Episode 8 – Mixed Messages

Guys, I ate too much chocolate. As in I haven’t really eaten anything other than chocolate today and now my tummy hurts…for some reason… Why am I like this?

For those of you new here, I am in fact a legally functioning adult. A concept that is as terrifying to me as it is to you.

However, despite my self-induced tummy troubles, I did have a good time with Fire Force this week. It was yet another crawl towards an upcoming fight. We are seeing a lot of classic shonen episode progression ad structure here but I like it. I enjoy shonen anime quite a bit and I am having a great time with this one. If the season keeps up this early momentum of pleasant high action slow exposition progression, I’m gonna have a good time with it.

So my post title refers to the somewhat questionable status of the tabernacle and by extension of Amaterasu (I still can’t quite separate that name from Okami…) and Adolla. I say Adolla like it’s a specific thing or a person but were not quite clear on what it is. a form of energy perhaps. A genetic alteration? In any case, the show has made sure to specifically link these three elements together either visually or thematically. So I’m going to keep associating them.

Before I get into my tin foil theories let’s talk about one of my favourite things: colours! There is a lot of purple in this season of Fire Force. I have been going over my screencaps and it is used as either an accent or contrast very persistently. Much more so than in season 1. and it’s a particular shade of purple. One that leans towards fuchsia or pink rather than blue.  Why is that important? Well, it’s because there is some serious colour coding in season 1.

Namely, the Evangelist is generally blue. The accent colour for Evangelist aligned characters and settings is a clear bleu and scenes of battle on Evangelist territory, especially with Sho, had a blue filter. By contrast Fire Force tends to have a much warmer palette. Not exactly red but ochres and yellow filters are often used. Of course, Shinra himself is coded red which goes with the whole demon thing he has going on.

So if the tabernacle, and by extension everything associated with it,  is coded purple. One that leans ever so slightly more towards a warm tone. Then that could be a way of establishing that as far as the Fire Force vs Evangelist conflict goes, it’s neutral or slightly on the protagonist side.

So this would lead me to believe the voice in Shinra’s head. If we can take everything at face value and Shinra is hearing the voice of the Tabernacle or of that early fire witch lady, who could be a personification of the goddess Amaterasu (why not?) then he is right to trust her. And Schop and the animals are also correct in thinking the lady ad the tabernacle are beneficial protectors of life.

Ok, before I go on I just have to talk about this. What the heck is this??? Who are these people supposed to be? I constantly praise the visuals on this show bu what happened here? Strapped for time?

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excuse me sir, who might you be? It’s like they’re middle-aged Fire Force cosplayers…

Sorry but it’s been bugging me. For the most part, the episode looked good but there were a few scenes where the art quality just sort of wavered. Shinra looks decent though. He’s easy to draw.

Like I was saying, Tabernacle et al. = good. Except I can’t seem to shake the suspicion. First, the infernals called it a weapon of destruction. And clearly said it was the purpose for which t was created… Sure you can simply call it different interpretations due to drastically different world views but they’re not lying. Why would they? They have absolutely nothing to gain from it. That lady and the entire flashback to the appearance of the tabernacle were very sinister looking. Schop addressed it and basically told us not to judge a book by its cover but still.

And finally, both the tabernacle and Amaterasu are thermal-neutron reactors. Maybe they aren’t but that’s what they look like if we go by our world. I other words it’s a nuclear power plant. And nuclear power plants are just never good news in fiction. To have that as the source of a new Eden… Well, that would certainly be something new!

And then they’re the whole symbolism and spiritual rigmarole around it. Why are these infernals so much more rational and organized then what we’ve seen so far. Is it the influence of the Tabernacle? Amaterasu doesn’t seem to have that effect… Why aren’t they simply destroying it if that’s what they want, instead of collecting weird stone tablets?

Ancient stone tablets with mathematical code on it.

If the Evangelist want another cataclysm are they in fact trying to insight a meltdown? Was the first incident a huge nuclear explosion brought on by an industrial incident rather than a war? Is the poison gas that Victor is so worried about good old fashion fallout? Are pyrokinetic simply jump mutations caused by radioactivity and stabilized in further generations? Is the fire element simply a flourish meant to recall and honour Japan’s long and painfully personal relationship with fire? In which case that is very impressive symbolism.

I don,t know any of these answers and it’s possible that none of them matter. That it’s just fire ghosts and the big reactor is a reactor cause the artist thought they were fun to draw.  But just the fact that it made me think about these things is kinda cool.

In the end, the episode left me with way more questions than answers. In fact, I’m not sure we got a single answer. But somehow, I simply knew Arthur would be the one to figure it out. Of course, it’s that fabulous dork!

Fire Force s2 ep8 (34)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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11 Responses

  1. “It’s like they’re middle-aged Fire Force cosplayers…”

    It’s funny, because it’s true!

    I got the feeling they’re saving up for something big.

  2. Ghoff says:

    Remember these are not the first sentient infernals. Miyamoto from season 1 was intelligent as well.

    • Irina says:

      Yes. He was manipulated as well. Then again maybe all the infernal here have some personality. They’ve been around for so long. It didn’t look that way though

  3. Dawnstorm says:

    It’s getting ever more confusing. They’re not only talking animals, they’re 250+ years old talking animals. I’m starting to wonder if whatever happened actually tore down the barrier between life and death or something abstruse like that? (Probably not.)

    There’s definitely always been that nuclear imagery about the tabernacle. But I can’t figure out what the adolla link’s supposed to be.

    Also the idea of the demon wanting to die but only being able to through a method that takes a lot of people with him is oddly satisfying. He’s also got a bit of a god-complex, but nobody’s perfect.

    I wonder how much we’ll learn in the anime? I doubt we’ll get a clean conclusion, at least not this season.

    • Irina says:

      I’m not sure a clean conclusion exists but I’m enjoying the grand tale they’re weaving. Mixing nuclear imagery and Garden of Eden metaphors which such bright colours is not what I expected when I started this series.

  4. Even leaving questions unanswered, I did enjoy this one. With the woman that Scop met talking about the world being reborn and then bringing out the oasis like she did, I’m thinking each pillar may represent a specific thing, like chaos, fear, justice, rebirth etc. She’d obviously be rebirth if that’s the case.

  1. August 25, 2020

    […] I Drink and Watch Anime: Fire Force 2 Episode 8 – Mixed Messages […]

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