Fire Force 2 Episode 20 – Into The Nether

I’m just going to tell you right now, I didn’t really like this week’s Fire Force. And it’s not even just about Tamaki’s brilliant contribution as always. I wasn’t in the mood for this type of episode tonight. And that’s on me.

Still, you should know, for once this will not just be a rambling fangirl review. There were things I honestly disliked. Some of those things were actually not bad. I’ll try to be a little fair about it.

Maybe the episode was sort of set up to fail. This entire season of Fire Force has been really strong in my opinion and even taking that into consideration, I particularly enjoyed last week’s episode. On top of that I loved the opening sequence of this week’s as well.

Leaving Arthur on his own is definitely a horrible idea, but I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Having him already drive all those other fire soldiers crazy is a great appetizer. Brother Oze and Hinawa meeting for the first time is so full of potential. They’re even going to have this little odd couple adventure to pave the way for Maki’s return. I really wanted to see that too.

I think the brother may have noticed he looks a bit like Hinawa. This is gonna get awkward. Fun, awkward.

And I also wanted to know what Victor is doing there. It’s a heavily armed operation. Why did they bring him?

For a second there I thought I would get that answer but it very quickly turned way more grim and full of gore than Fire Force usually is. They even dropped in a montage of death flags which has got to be one of the most deliciously cynical little tongue in cheek black humour moments I have ever seen.

Unfortunately, it was just a bit too grim for my mood tonight. I’m tired and I really just wanted some good light fun. I wasn’t ready for such a drastic tonal change. I do suspect that if I had waited until Saturday to watch this episode well rested and full of pep, this would have been quite different. I don’t actually have anything against Fire Force taking a slightly darker turn.

Besides, it would hardly be the first time. Fire Force has done this in both the current and previous seasons. And some of those more morose episodes happen to be excellent. If it had stayed at that, it would have been fine.

I quite liked Hajiki. And although I did not enjoy it one bit, I thought it was a pretty gutsy move to introduce him so lovingly and make us care as much as possible for the character in such a short time, just to immediately take it all away. And in a very definitive and disturbing way. I respect that. But I just didn’t like it.

However, it wasn’t exactly necessary. The episode had already established the tonal shift in the previous sequence. It was already quite bloody and disturbing. On top of that, there was then the following sequence which just reinforced those exact same tones. That’s a bit…overkill…

I’ve already accepted that Tamaki is basically just there to be stripped. And as much as it annoys me, she’s also there to be saved despite supposedly being a 3rd generation and a fire soldier in her own right. But why does the show insist on torturing her? All these drawn-out scenes of her getting beaten to a pulp while she’s completely helpless, in a way no other character does. I dunno, that type of fanservice just isn’t for me.

Although, I gotta say, it wasn’t too long tis time. Thankfully. I do however really like Noto so I’m glad he had a chance to shine. I think the show could have come up with a better way to do that. Oh well. Noto is not a very dynamic fighter. He just stays in one place and is really big and drops bombs. So visually the other guy has to be the draw. It was a decent fight to watch. I was really psyched when he won. I’m calling this one a blip in an otherwise solid season.

Now I want to watch those episodes we were promised. Arthur being Arthur. Oze and Hinawa becoming BFFs. Maki’s glorious return. Shinra and Sho reunited. And what happened to Victor, he was dodging bullets and surrounded by fire zombies when we last saw him! Run Victor Run!

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. Dawnstorm says:

    I did love the death-flag montage, but then I’m a cynic, really.

    I also liked Arthur coming with a manual. That could easily be a joke at his expense, but with Arthur it’s actually the flipside to his strength – he’s simple minded, but that makes him also sort of the kid in the “Emperor’s New Clothes” tale (like figuring out pi for example). There’s really no other side I can see to Tamaki’s fanservice; it seems to be just what it says on the tin.

    May I also point out how much I appreciate Victor’s voice actor. When the guy gets shot, they’ve timed this scene pretty well, and Victor’s voice actor fills in the spot pretty well, and then caps it off with a “Da yo ne,” when the corpse rises. That’s one of those scenes that live and die with the voice actor, and Daisuke Sakaguchi pulled it off, IMO.

  1. November 16, 2020

    […] I Drink and Watch Anime: Fire Force 2 Episode 20 – Into The Nether […]

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