I really enjoyed the Asukasa arc and I was sad to see it come to what looked like a conclusion last week. Mostly because when ire Force is great it can really be something special but when it’s bad I find it difficult to sit through. After a streak of enjoyable episodes, I was afraid we were due for a bad one. Because I don’t understand game theory.
I understand colour theory only slightly batter and talk about it constantly. Like in my gallery post HERE.
Looking back on past events, I figured this would be sort of a wrap-up episode for company 7, like they had for company 5. Basically that the first half would be slice of life celebration of some sort between both companies that would define their ongoing collaboration and cement their friendships.
I thought the easiest jumping off point would be to have the white hoods have left some clue behind after their attack on Asukasa (I think that have a prisoner or two) and that would lead company 8 to their next clue and investigation.
At this point I thought we were bound to try to infiltrate company 3. Only I didn’t know it was company 3. What I actually thought was, they’re about to go after bird guy. Mostly because we kept seeing him and he kept making super leading statements. Also you don’t just waste a character design like that on some random dude you’re only going to show for 5 minutes. So my thoughts went with, that’s the next company we’re going to visit or infiltrate since it’s been “company of the week” episodes for a while.
cool, short review
What Did Happen
I actually had mentioned Viktor a few times in the past as the mysterious seemingly unaffiliated antagonist in cahoots with Joker. I just didn’t know he was called Viktor. Well he’s working with the 8 now! whhhaaaa? Did not see that one coming. Although we don’t get many details about it since most of the episode was actually about recruiting a different new cast member: Vulcan!Turns out Vulcan is a genius engineer fiery redhead and animal lover. Well, I guess I have a new favourite. Several Fire Force companies have tried to recruit him throughout the years but for some reason, he seems to have a deep hatred of both Fire Force and their most powerful sponsor, Hajima Industries. Because of their similar age range, Shinra, Arthur and Iris are sent out as a recruitment party.Turns out Viktor is actually a huge softy with potentially very good reasons to be wary of Hajima and anything associated with it, and he is not so keen on listening to Shinra and co. However, Giovanni (that’s Bird man’s name!, Giovanni! Perfect!) is also putting pressure on him and threatening to destroy his already meagre lifestyle if he doesn’t joint company 3. What will Vulcan and the members of company 8 do?
Also, there’s a cute environmental message.
it’s sappy but I like it
What About the Characters
I really do like Vulcan. He’s painted in broad strokes as a slightly punk rock environmentalist with unwavering morals. To be honest, he’s just another variation of most of the members of the 8, especially captain Obi but his character design is nice and I,m also an environmentalist at heart so the character works for me. Not that we necessarily need more heroes at this point.What I found most interesting about Vulcan, to be honest, is that his own character establishment gave us some of the most explicit context on the state of the world. Basically that it has indeed been damaged beyond recognition. Most species have gone extinct. Okami is “powering” Tokyobut life beyond that is extremely difficult and seems to be mostly a wasteland. I figure food may be an issue although it has not been discussed yet. I want to know even more!Much more interesting though is Viktor. They just sort of threw him in during the opening tag and forgot about him but he’s the real story here. His dubious morality and potential for betrayal is what’s more likely to shake up the team dynamics and bring about some interesting conflict. Not to mention that the character himself is a complete mystery.We do know that he’s a scientist of some sort working for Hajima. We also found out in more detail that Hajima is very profitable, powerful and influential. It has a pretty big say in the activities of the Fire Force and may even be involved with the Evangelist on some level. So just by that token Viktor is suspect.But we also know that Joker seems to be completely independent and working against the interests of both the Fire Force and Hajima, so Viktor’s association with him goes from suspect to confusing. Add on to that Viktor’s willingness to just openly divulge factual information and I just have no idea what to make of this guy. Which tend to be my favourite characters. Unless they are badly written and dissolve into a mess of nonsense.
I hope so
What I Liked
I like both Vulcan and Viktor. Since we see them both a lot in the new OP, I figure their implications won’t be limited to this episode and that makes me happy.
Speaking of OP, the new one isn’t bad and the visuals are fun but the first one was extremely tough to beat and well, this one doesn’t. Beat it that is. The ED, however, was wonderful. Those visuals were amazing!
Also, the new opening sequence explaining the universe of Fire Force is fantastic! Once again, Fire Force oozes style.
I really liked that Sho is, in fact, a little kid. It makes sense, he was a baby when Shinra looked to be about 6 or 7 so he would probably be a preteen or still very young teen now. And that’s how they portrayed him which I liked. I’m tired of 13-year-old anime characters looking 20. (Or 20-year-old ladies looking 8 but that’s another story.
There was a little splice shot of Obi reacting to Viktor’s speech in the opening sequence. It was 2 frames maybe. Anyways..it was cool.
When visiting Vulcan in his junkyard, at one point Arthur just sits down and starts building a junk castle. A really cool looking one. I sort of wanted to make one as well. Later on, he picks up some weird doll that starts leaking in what looks like simulating peeing and just won’t stop. After minutes and several conversations between other characters, he just casually asks if he can keep the doll. It’s one of the few things he says at all in the episode. Basically, Arthur is getting weirder and weirder and I am Here For It!
Sister continuously causing a disaster with her lack of restraint may have been a cheap joke but I laughed. It made me happy.
What I Liked Less
Not sure, I really liked this episode. I suppose the environmental message was very heavy-handed, could annoy some. Not me. I really think we should listen to it.
I mean, I guess this was basically another setup episode. We were introduced to new characters and some general exposition that is probably going to be useful in the resolution but nothing really happened main plot-wise this week. So I can’t judge the overall effectiveness of this episode but as it stands, I’ve just not much to complain about.
Much like what happened with Dr Stone a while ago, I find that I’ve been steadily enjoying Fire Force for a month or so without any big complains or drawbacks. By the end of this episode I was pretty bummed out I didn’t have more to watch so that’s saying something. I honestly want to know what happens with Vulcan and Giovanni even if I already know Vulcan is going to be fine and is going to join company 8.
Mood: Fired up
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Fire Force. Dir. Y Yase. David Production. 2019.