I mentioned last week how I had really enjoyed the Asukasa arc. Well maybe I’m just easy to please but «I,m really digging this Vulcan arc as well. I’m not sure how many of my fellow bloggers out there are still following this series and I will admit it had a few very weak episodes but as we are just past the midway mark, in my opinion, there’s been more good ones than bad.
Well, in any case, I do think it’s a bit less controversial to say that at least there’s been a lot of good looking episodes. You can see for yourself in my gallery post HERE.
I thought Shinra the Hero would have a difficult fight with scary Giovanni but with Arthur’s help and a last-minute change of heart intervention by Vulcan, he would come out ultimately victorious if a little worse for wear.
This harsh experience would finally convince Giovanni that he is better off surrounded by people rather than trying to make it on his own and what better people than company 8 seeing as they just saved him. The girl and the kid would also become honorary members and she would cook for the firehouse while the kid would resume his role as an intermediary supplier although it would be adjusted to essentially requisitions officer for the company.
Giovanni embittered by his loss would swear revenge and the coming episodes would deal with the clash with company 5. See I had it aaaalllll worked out.
What Did Happen
In a word, things got real man…
Yeah, Giovanni did attack but so far, no one’s beating him. Shinra having decided to set out on recon by himself got taken out pretty quickly leaving Arthur to defend the workshop alone against a huge army of white hoods.
Turns out Arthur’s knightly affectations aren’t just some form of mild disconnection or a coping mechanism for social anxiety. They’re an actual pretty deep-set delusion tangled so deeply in his psyche that they directly affect his power. Essentially, the more he can actually see himself as a knight, the stronger he becomes.
So Vulcan quickly found a way to make Arthur feel more like a knight, and a bedsheet and metal donkey head later, Arthur was in fine form indeed. He quickly dispatched the entire army (who turned out to be illusions) and was doing a great job controlling the two guys that were actually there. But like any high, there’s eventually a down and this one was rough. Despite being forced to crash straight into reality and the impact this had on Arthur’s fragile mind, he still stood his ground. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and he no longer had the strength needed.
From this point on, Fire Force dedicated the last few minutes to thoroughly reminding me just how brutal a show it can be. Lisa turned out to be a traitor all along and was in the middle of breaking Vulcan’s heart when Giovanni walked in, made some very unpleasant treats, shot the kid and destroyed Vulcan’s most prized invention. Things were looking grim indeed when the closing credits decided to roll. Arrrrgggghhhh
What About the Characters
Giovanni seems like an uncomplicated evil. I must say, generally speaking, the white hoods aren’t super complex antagonists so far. This guy is no exception, he’s unnecessarily harsh and shows no kindness or regard for his childhood friend. He went out of his way to actually give a supervillain speech about how all of Vulcan’s family were gullible so it’s their own fault they got killed.. So I’m thinking he may not join the 8 like other company captains.
On the other hand, Vulcan seems to be a bit of a bland good guy. Uncomplicated nice dude. You know, he looks a little edgy and he throws stuff a lot but he’s just a huge softy with a heart of gold. Mind you he seemed to have broken in those last seconds so I’m not sure what he’ll be like next week.
But forget about them let’s talk about Arthur…Arthur’s nuts. Like he is not o.k. This isn’t just a funny little act meant as comedy relief, it goes way deeper than that and Fire Force did a great job at really hammering that point in this week. I’ve been saying for a while now that Arthur is getting stranger and stranger as the episodes progress but I never imagined it was leading to this. And I think we may have hit a climax here. I sure do hope he makes it out with his heart, mind and knighthood intact.
And I’m also really happy that we got a chance to get some pretty prime development on him. I really thought that they were going to leave him as a fun sidekick, maybe give him a bit of a tragic backstory at some point and call it a day. To me, this is way better!
What I Liked
Guess what, I liked Arthur. Freakin shocking right!?!
I cannot believe it took me this long to realize that Arthur is Don Quixote. I love Don Quixote! I did a quick search to try and see if this was acknowledged. Whether the author official said that the character was a re-imagining of Quixote and found absolutely nothing. This said I don’t care if people think I’m crazy (that’s the theme here!) I’m standing by it. The parallels are just too many for it to be a coincidence. And oh my, do I love it! The implications of it would define Arthur as this flawed and broken young man who retreated into idealism and simplified morality in order to survive an unjust and bitter world. Who met depression with honour. Maybe I got sucked in and this is my own delusion speaking. Who cares? It’s awesome. Arthur is Don Quixote and that’s simply amazing!
I loved that Shira got taken out, easily at that. He threads Mary Sue category occasionally so I think it’s important that he gets knocked down once in a while.
I had a tough time towards the end of the episode. Everything just got so bleak. Every second of Giovanni beating on Vulcan or destroying his workshop as Yu lay critically wounded my mind was screaming for some type of break. For Lisa to have a sudden change of heart and knock Giovanni out, for Shinra to kick down the door out of nowhere or for a reawakened Arthur to realize that he’s a true knight no matter what he looks like and ride in to save the day. Someone or something, anything… And nothing came. I did not expect that. I don’t like it in my heart but my mind is reeling. Bold move show! You got my attention.
What I Liked Less
I sort of got sucked into my Don Quixote theory and liked everything after that.
In isolation, I really have no complaints about this episode.
In the grand scheme, I guess it’s yet another potentially evil Fire Force company which is a touch repetitive.
I was about to say I liked Asukasa better as a setting but come to think of it, the hyper colourful junkyard is a really nice location too. See I even used my liked less section to talk about something I like. I fail.
This is what I mean about this show. For me, when it’s good, it’s really good. There are a handful of episodes that floored me. And the production is solid, weaving every aspect tightly into each other. Every mini-arc has its own set of colours, preferred camera angles and even framing. I’m going to talk about this in the gallery post…
Mood: Smouldering with impatience
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Fire Force. Dir. Y Yase. David Production. 2019.