Fire Force Review Episode 1

An Explosive Beginning

Enen no Shouboutai Episode 1

Of the handful of premiere episodes I watched over the weekend, Fire Force was certainly the one that grabbed me visually. Of course, fire is inherently a flashy element and when you base your story around people who catch fire and become fire spewing infernos you kind of have a head start in making your visuals stand out. Still, in less deft hands this could have been a mess of smoke and flame that fell flat however here the dynamic visuals and smooth action work together to propel the story along even during exposition sequences.

The opening theme is also one of the more immediately catchy ones I’ve listened to so far. I don’t know that it is going to remain a favourite for the season as openings have a tendency to grow on me or wear out their welcome as we go through a season, but this one at least got my attention straight away.

Now, if you read a lot of my reviews you might already have a sinking feeling about where this one is going given I’ve spent the first two paragraphs discussing visuals and music which are usually after thoughts for me. And you’d kind of be right. As much as I really like the concept here and found this episode to be great fun, not one character has left any kind of impression so far.

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Fire Force 1

Sure I could describe each of them and their ‘trait’ as presented this episode but I don’t feel anything for these characters yet or even feel all that interested in them. Perhaps they just need more time given the focus of this episode was definitely setting up the overall situation that this story takes place in and how the world works, and they did a great job of that, but without connecting with any of the characters there’s only so long this will fly.

About the only thing I did feel about Shinra, who I guess is going to be our main character, is a sinking ‘oh no’ as I realised we’re in for another kid who wants to be a hero to fulfil a childhood promise to a dead parent because he’s been misunderstood, and there’s also some potential demon responsible for killing his mother, and it all just seemed like we’d seen this a million times before only a little bit better because they didn’t throw the main character’s whole backstory at me in the first episode and gave me time to actually care about them before unloading all of that.

Now, admittedly, they can certainly flesh him out beyond this trope from here and maybe he’ll be great, but so far no such luck. We’ve got a Full-Metal, Blue Exorcist, with a small Supernatural twist going on here and I’m not sure they are going to make this character stand on his own two burning feet.

Still, despite the characterisation on display this episode, or lack of it, this episode passed in the blink of an eye and was just fun. I’m keeping it on my watch list and I’ll enjoy the action for what it is and hope that as we go these characters find their own identity along the way.

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Karandi James
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11 thoughts on “Fire Force Review Episode 1

  1. Yeah, sounds pretty generic character-wise, but I’m a sucker for a good shonen so this definitely sounds like a fun title to check out. Hopefully it’s able to break out and throw its own unique twists in

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “As much as I really like the concept here and found this episode to be great fun, not one character has left any kind of impression so far.”

    Because, as you said, we’ve seen ’em all before. Fire Force so far is, mostly, a bog standard shonen assembled from a Build-an-Anime trope kit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can agree with that. At long as we’re going to learn more about each, that should work though. For an opener, just knowing their main trope should be enough. We did get a hint about Iris though in that end video.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that this being a set-up episode is key. For me, getting the main points out in the open was what I wanted, and it delivered on that. Shinra being a fairly typical lead didn’t bother me so much, simply because I like the trope when it’s done well. My hope is that having the whole thing thrown at us straight away means there’s a bit more of a twist to the norm coming and they didn’t want to spend too long following the usual trend with him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m with you on that hope. And yeah, the set up was good and this episode just moved along nicely. For me though, if I’m going to remember the show after the end of the season I kind of need to connect with the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

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