I went to my Birthday party on Friday and I sort of forgot about all the anime I had to watch that evening. So it wasn’t until I tuned into Fire Force on Saturday that I remember where the last episode had left off. And suddenly, I was super excited about it all over again.
Fire Force is dragging out this particular confrontation. Although it feels justified. This specific fight has so many players and so many different sides that keep on changing that I’m not getting bored of it. It does recall old-school DBZ episodes with fights that lasted months (with one episode a week that is).
As I mentioned, this episode left us still very much in the middle of the three-way battle between Hajima, Company 8 and the Evangelist for control of the latest pillar Nataku Son. However, that doesn’t mean nothing happened. In fact, several new alliances were forged and one was even broken again before the end of the episode.
I have been rewatching JoJo’s Bizarre adventure lately. I’m finishing up Stardust Crusaders and I’m about to fall into seasons I haven’t watched before. It did remind me of one thing. David Production are very, very good with visuals. Specifically with creating and maintaining visual interest in what would otherwise be repetitive fights.
It goes beyond that of course. Fire Force remains one of the best-framed anime I have ever seen. I do think it surpasses the last season of Bungo Stray Dogs which also had magnificent framing but Fire Force is just a bit more interesting with it. And the colour palettes are consistently great. But the fact that I can watch what is, in essence, the same fight with little plot progression for weeks and remain just as excited for next week, tells you something…
That’s not saying that the episode was nothing but mindless fighting. There was a smidge of character development for Nataku in the form of a Reka centric fevered dream. I mean poor kid. Not sure he’s salvageable. I was going a bit insane just watching it, imagine that being in your head the entire time? The title of the episode is Mind Blown. And that certainly gave it a sinister feel.
And there was also a really great scene between Vulcan and Arthur. I had forgotten that Vulcan really knows how to handle, or to be more accurate, manipulate Arthur. And I don’t think it comes from a bad place. For all their teasing and acknowledgement of Arthur’s peculiarities, I do believe most of Fire Force actually respects him or at least his capabilities. Arthur’s just a special boy, is all.
It was a fun way to set up the next scenes while reinforcing that despite his looks Vulcan is a gentle down to earth straight man type and Arthur is weird. The fact that he is obviously familiar with Arthurian legends, calls his sword Excalibur, and yet has no attachment to it at all, is just in line with his oddness. He may be familiar with the legends, but he doesn’t seem to have understood them like the rest of us did.
Haumea sure was rough with Arrow, wasn’t she? In fact, Arrow’s been one of the more likeable members of the Evangelist to date. Maybe excluding Lisa and that’s debatable. She also has one of the more attractive and casual character designs. What I’m saying is that all the visual and narrative clues are hinting towards a possible redemption. And having her Evangelist superior treat her so badly is a classic first step to switching sides.
But you see, I don’t think a redemption for Arrow is simply that. Last week, Fire Force went out of its way to remind us (or penitentially inform us) that Arrow id Sho’s guardian. Not only that, but she is very attached to the young man. As such, a change for Arrow is a great way to foreshadow a change for Sho. At the very least, if she does change sides, or even just starts having doubts, it’s a good way to bring Sho back to the forefront of the story with some built-in conflict.
Charon‘s surprising choice to defend Shinra is also pointing towards some type of schism in the Evangelist. Of course, you also had the two pillars seemingly working against each other just for funsies. I’m beginning to think that the white-clad has some serious HR problems. Maybe they should deal with that before spreading themselves out too thin capturing pillars. After all, they can just as easily take Nataku from Fiire Force as they can from Hajima.
Kuro’s phone conversation with his boss sounded so familiar. It’s amazing how they managed to make that freakshow so relatable for a moment there!
In case it isn’t clear, I am looking forward to next week!
In case you’re interested, here are my reviews for the great season of Fire Force
- Fire Force 2 Episode 1 – A Great Start
- Fire Force 2 Episode 2 – The Return of the Knight King
- Fire Force 2 Episode 3 – Bombshell Gorilla
- Fire Force 2 Episode 4 – Day of The Living Ash
- Fire Force 2 Episode 5 – Firestorm
- Fire Force 2 Episode 6 – Backdraft
- Fire Force 2 Episode 7 – Tabernacle
- Fire Force 2 Episode 8 – Mixed Messages
- Fire Force 2 Episode 9 – titless
- Fire Force 2 Episode 10 – Orthodoxy
- Fire Force 2 Episode 11 – Wild Card
- Fire Force 2 Episode 12 – Beni-J
- Fire Force 2 Episode 13 – Scriptures
- Fire Force 2 Episode 14 – The Devil You Know
- Fire Force 2 Episode 15 – Free For All