Fire Force 2 Episode 18 – Crisis of Faith

Canva, the site I use for my little header images was down, and for a second there, I thought this week’s Fire Force Post wouldn’t have a proper header. That bothered me way more than it should. It’s odd how little things like that can get under your skin.

Now let’s imagine I had built my life and sense of reality on a conviction that was slowly and horrifically revealing itself to be something completely different. Would I have taken it as gracefully as Sister? The answer is no. I don’t do anything as gracefully as Sister.

This was an unexpected episode. Fire Force has been subverting my expectations rather regularly this season. The thing is, I really wasn’t expecting a fanservice filled shonen to have me pondering on the nature of faith and conviction.

The Holy Temple of Sol has always been an odd element in Fire Force. It’s an important element that wreathes through every part of the story, and in and of itself is neither good nor bad really. Or rather is at times good and at times bad. But why did the author choose such highly recognizable iconography? This is an imaginary church yet the vestments, architecture and even rites are purposefully made to closely resemble the catholic ones. Why? It adds a certain mysticism to the whole thing and makes me superimpose the notions discussed in the show with more mundane ones.

For instance, Shinra and Sister’s conversation on her relationship with the church was full of great prompts. Shinra had this understated notion that faith has worth regardless of the god it is directed to. It’s an idea that grabbed me. And was really pushed forward, in that cemetery full of gravestones and Hibana’s decorations. I thought that Sister explaining that sunflowers are planted near graves because they grow towards the sun and help guide spirits to it, was really beautiful.

And so I wrote down in my little notebook, are symbols more important than meaning? What I meant was perhaps more are symbols important regardless of deeper meaning. If those flowers by a gravestone bring someone a bit of peace and solace, isn’t that valuable regardless if that gravestone is part of the traditions of a church with murky roots. After all, one of the biggest problems of churches is not necessarily the gods they worship but the people that interpret them.

I should probably state now that I have no religious background or upbringing and have no clue what I’m talking about. I did go to catholic school until university though. The sisters were really nice.

Now that I have rolled it over in my head for a bit, I like that interpretation. It doesn’t matter if the Church of Sol was founded by the Evangelist for nefarious purposes. That changes nothing of the fact that Sister is a kind and generous person who has done her best to do good by others her whole life. And if the teachings and comforts of Sol can create good people as a result then there is good in it.

Then again they might get on Benni’s bad side again and there’s gonna be nothing let but pebbles.

It’s kind of amazing that a show like Fire Force can evoke all those thoughts in my head. And what better way to follow up a quiet spiritual introspection than with a Tamaki storyline….

I have to admit, I was super dubious about where this was going. It’s not that I dislike Tamaki but so far, I haven’t enjoyed her personification at all. It’s not the constant fanservice that bothers me that much (although some season 1 episodes were a bit hard to watch), but it’s the fact that she isn’t used for anything else. The series has sort of insisted on stripping her of any possible agency along with her clothes. I was ready for some eye-rolling.

And then I begrudgingly thought, ok, the concept of Assault watching a ton of pron and spending his evenings in hostess clubs and really just generally acting like a giant perv As Training, is in fact pretty funny. Tamaki was still just a prop, in fact, she was hardly even there, but the visuals were really soften compared to previous episodes. It was more cutesy type fanservice than anything else. I kind of ended up liking the sequence. And Assault’s realization was downright cute. That’s not where I thought that was going.

What am I suppose to do with a show like Fire Force? Oh yeah, I know, watch the next episode!

In case you’re interested, here are my reviews for the great season of Fire Force

Irina

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

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3 Responses

  1. “After all, one of the biggest problems of churches is not necessarily the gods they worship but the people that interpret them.”

    That might be the most insightful sentence I’ve read in the last decade. Certainly top 10 material.

    “It was more cutesy type fanservice than anything else. I kind of ended up liking the sequence.”

    Gotta admit that I was feeling a bit guilty for laughing so hard at the second half of the episode. Good to see you thought it was funny, too! If Assault hadn’t played it so straight, I don’t think it would have worked.

  1. November 2, 2020

    […] I Drink and Watch Anime: Fire Force 2 Episode 18 – Crisis of Faith […]

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