Sometimes English expressions don’t mean what I think they mean. I had to look up this one just to make sure I wasn’t titling the post something really inappropriate. Turns out it fits perfectly! YAY!
Of course, as always, please do read my thoughts on this week’s Fire Force and if you feel so inclined, take a look at the gallery of screencaps I put together over on my blog, over here.
Considering where we left off last week, I figured there was two ways Fire Force could go.
I thought that either last week’s misunderstanding would get resolved in the first act and that the bulk of the episode solidifying and defining company 7 and 8th’s allegiance against the Evangelist. Clearly mapping out what each group was going to do next and setting the action up.
I figure the entire episode would be taken up by the resolution of the flashback. That Konro and the demon infernal would spend a third of the episode fighting and then the rest would be spent on the emotional fallout everything had on Benimaru’s character while showing us how company 7 became an official Fire Force unit.
The way I saw it, there was enough material in either of these stories to fill up a full episode and both would be fairly satisfying.
What Did Happen
Neither and both? We did get the resolution of the flashback but it was rather expedient. In fact, the actual fight was skipped altogether which is an interesting choice.
Instead, the Evangelist agents (which I thought had withdrawn after setting up Benimaru) are actually still swarming Asakusa and causing as much trouble as possible. By posing as citizens, they are simply causing fights all over the city but the heightened tension and emotions are also accelerating infernal incidents (some or all of which may have been created by the Evangelist firebugs).
Although the 8th do manage to intercept one of the doppelganger agents and get some idea of the situation, Benimaru went off on his own and he’s still wondering what’s happening. As something of a community leader, he is absolutely necessary for this situation as a voice for the people to follow and Konro tries to find him.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, pyrokinetic agents of the Evangelist are also using the chaos as cover for directly attacking members of the Fire Force.
What About the Characters
This episode reinforced Konro’s character as the calm voice of reason that bolsters and supports Benimaru’s strength. Although I must say the flashback did not do as much as I expected in establishing their relationship, we still get the idea that these men harbour a deep respect for one another.
We still have no clue what the deal with the twin girls is.
We did get a short look at a couple of new Evangelist agents though. One can use their fire to control the appearance of others. Some explanation was attempted for this magic but it was pretty ridiculous. Still, I appreciate the effort. This said, despite showing us these new antagonists, Fire Force is still not really telling us much about them at all. Their motivations are a complete mystery as are their personalities. For the moments, they remain stock bad guys, in white.
Finally, we got another comedy duo partnership scene between Shinra and Arthur. They are a little heavy-handed with the odd couple dynamic and as such their scenes together can end up feeling very similar. But I like them as a team. Or rather I just like Arthur. He’s one of my favourite examples of the dumb blonde trope as he mixes so many conventions.
What I Liked
I generally am enjoying this arc. Part of it is Asukasa as a setting and company 7 as supporting characters. Both of which appeal to me. Part of it is that this is a clearly focused narrative arc that’s constructed like a mystery. All these elements are simply things that I personally enjoy.
I think that the story is sticking more closely to developing a particular plot thread, instead of chasing a whole bunch and I found that Fire Force has not been insisting on the elements I personally dislike in the past weeks. All of that has made me just generally satisfied with the show without any particular thing actually sticking out.
Except for the looks. I continue to be a fan of the designs.
What I Liked Less
I must say, the first look we got at the Evangelist agent just gave off vibes of capital “E” Evil. As in no complexity or nuance required. Now that can be used to create a good villain. Not all stories need layered or profound antagonists but it raises some flags. Usually, I prefer a more subtle villain than just a plainly evil cause they’re evil one but the show could prove me wrong. I hope it does.
I really like Benimaru but I really hoped he was going to get a bit of development this week. He did not. For all the quirks and imposing presence of his character, he still feels sort of incomplete to me. Maybe it’s cause he’s not as flamboyant (heh) as Hibana. It’s just that I don’t feel like I know him at all by now and I’m starting to fear that the show will run out of time before getting around to properly establishing him.
In a way, this was a second set up episode in a row as such it’s difficult to really appreciate before we got the payoff. There were a lot of building blocks put into place but we are going to have to take a good step back before we see what the structure actually is.
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Fire Force. Dir. Y Yase. David Production. 2019.