Is gorilla a common insult or slang in Japan? Both Dr. Stone and Fire Force use it regularly. It’s not an unknown term elsewhere but I also can’t say I remember anyone using it in any show before this season of anime. Now you have two pretty popular shows at that, that use it every other episode.
These are the things that occupy my mind, folks! I consider my life accomplished!
There is no denying that Fire Force has some major production firepower. That sounded better in my head… What I was getting at is that Fire Force is pretty so I took an unreasonable amount of caps. You can see them here (I babble a little as well).
I figured there would be some serious fallout from last week’s events. The “destruction” of company 5 was bound to cause some waves, I figured. I thought a humbled Hibana would be recovering at the hospital while getting pressed for answers to what happened. The questionable research she had been doing and by extension all the info she had collected wold either have been thrown out to the public, causing shock and mistrust and all kinds of new pressure and problems to deal with for the remaining Fire Fighters. (Already grappling with some PR issues after that little mass killer incident).
OR, it would have been seized and suppressed by the “higher ups” pulling the strings. Now completely out of reach for company 8.
This was the two paths I could see.
What Did Happen
Neither of those at all. It seems the rumble was way more contained that I had imagined (there were a lot of explosions, there must have been some collateral damage…) In any case both Hibana and everyone else from company 5 is now perfectly fine and although the incident certainly didn’t go completely unnoticed, it also seems that no one else is making a move for now.
Which is why Shinra and company decide to go on the offensive instead. A mixed group consisting of Shinra, Arthur, Bubble gum boy Toru and newcommer (and pun) from company 2, Juggernaut all under the supervision of poor Maki, make their way into company 1 headquarters under the guise of a rookie training program.
There, they meet a few of the powerful members of company 1 and grapple with chief Burns. Turns out they may be outmatched.
What About the Characters
This turned out to be a character heavy episode. Not only were we introduced to all the new company 1 members (and the return of fan service character Tamaki), but we also got to know Toru and Noto a little. This was way too many characters to do any in depth development in a single episode. However, whatever else it may be, Fire Force is very good with pacing so the episode didn’t feel crowded. A few minutes of exposition at the beginning gave us the essentials on the company 1 guys and we just picked up the rest as we went along.
This is what I got. Burns seems like the cool impossible powerful antagonist so far. He’s fine. An archetype of the genre. Disappointingly, the only thing we learn about Tamaki this week is that she’s “clumsy” (almost funny how stereotypical this is) and that her off duty uniform is a miniskirt. Really, she only stood around and squealed a little at the chief which is a missed opportunity for the character is you ask me.
We also met for the first time Flam who has some truly bizarre thought patterns and a weird power that turns fire to ice through music. He’s also the stoic character of company 1. I found him the most interesting. He’s action are hard to gauge. He seems sympathetic despite coming off as antagonistic on first impression. On every first impression that is. You have to really think about what the character is saying and doing every single time to realize he’s not a bad guy. That’s not bad! Finally, smiling and over enthusiastic Hoshimiya with stars in his eyes. This friendly guy is giving me major psycho vibes…
As for the other rookies. Noto is a collection of mismatched tropes and traits. He seems to be a country bumpkin and his nickname is a play on the word potato but it’s also a really cool nickname. He’s the most physically imposing with the most innocent face. His fire power is impressive and he’s afraid of it in a childish cowering way. He’s calm and agreeable and prone to panic. There’s a lot of ways to go with a character like this. So far, it’s a bit of a mess though. I hope they can bring it all together.
Toru on the other hand turns out to be the lackadaisical type and it suits him well. He’s not holding much of a grudge against company 8 but isn’t thrilled about the situation he finds himself in either. Mostly because it’s dangerous. He seems to be the brains of our current little group.
I should say that we also saw a new side to Hibana. Beaten but not defeated, it’s a calmer and less defiant girl who chose to ally with company 8 this week. Out of convenience mostly. Their shared goal of getting to the bottom of things and stopping the infernal epidemic being the only bond between the two companies…Well, except for Iris and Shinra… They really managed to quickly humanize Hibana this week. She went from cartoon villain to conflicted ally so quickly!
What I Liked
Um…the characters. They did a good job introducing us to what amounts to an entirely new cast without making it tedious.
I also really like this clear mission statement. We’re no longer following Shinra around as he wants to prove himself a hero (a coming of age story). Instead we are following him trying to accomplish the very tangible task of gathering information to discover who is creating infernal and stopping them (a mystery adventure). Mind you, I quite liked the early episodes of Fire Force but I always had a fear it would end up being a bit aimless and just amble about. This clear sense of direction cuts the fear.
The BBQ scene was really cute. Seeing the dressed down angels thrilled me for some reason.
What I Liked Less
It’s a little difficult to explain. I quite liked all the separate elements of this episode but the episode itself just never came together for me. There’s nothing I can point at and say, there, this didn’t work! It’s more that the entire thing felt like one long set up and nothing else. Which it clearly was and it seems to be setting up a very exciting story.
See what I mean.
Let me put it another way. Great characters, fun little sparring storyline, good action as always. I was a little bored. This is the type of episode I wouldn’t mind at all when binging a series but if I only have this to tied me over until next week, it’s a bit thin…
I’m such a bad reviewer. Well at least this week. Let me try to put my thoughts together somehow. I am way more excited about what happens next than about what happened this week. Does that make sense to any of you?
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!
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Images from: Fire Force. Dir. Y Yase. David Production. 2019.