Fire Force Episode 8 – Beware of the Smiling Ones

This is a common trope and a good life lesson. You just can’t trust someone that smiles all the time! If they never get frustrated or sad, there’s something not quite right. And if that smile happens to be that really broad overly enthusiastic grin, you should probably just start running. Trust me, nothing good comes of it.You may have noticed that I used an actual header gif for the post this week. I don’t unusually use gifs on 100 Word Anime since they take up a lot of room in the library and have a tendency to slow down a site. But I just couldn’t resist this week. It was such a gorgeous episode (as always) that I ended up creating two gifs and I wanted to use them both. You can see the other one in my gallery post right here!

Firce Force ep7-2 (3) C’mon, I haven’t even started yet!

What I Thought Would Happen

I thought Shinra would be humbled after last weeks defeat and Arthured looked a bit traumatized. I figured they would mope around some before getting their groove back. I hoped that Maki would give them some type of ridiculous maybe even slightly violent pep talk to get them back on track and they would then go on with their investigation.

I’m not sure how deep the corruption goes but I figured the members of company 1 would be at least a little suspicious of this sudden training program. We haven’t seen much form their point of view yet so I though they would dive into that aspect a bit.

What Did Happen

I guess I’m going to have to wait a bit longer to find out what Burns is thinking but we do get to know Flam, Rekka and even Tamaki a bit more.

Through her research, Hinata had discovered insect DNA mixed into the synthetic infernal and soon enough, Shinra and Arthur discover that small insects do seem to be used as carriers of the Inferno mutagene and that a person wearing a company 1 senior member uniform is using them.However, only certain members of the company are aware of this, and not all of them agree with the practice. Shinra and Arthur find an unlikely ally in Flam who is also looking for the culprit and has a pretty solid lead.

Still unaware of the reasons why someone would be creating artificial infernals, Shinra, Arthur and Flam set out to seek the culprit but Tamaki may end up in a lot of trouble if she accidentally finds them first.

Firce Force ep7-2 (5) me-ow, I see what you did there

What About the Characters

Fire Force is actually great about sneaking in character building exposition without making it look or sound like exposition. We confirm that Juggernaut is an awkward and shy kid but that he really does wants to do good. His blushing was adorable. Kishiri is very laid back but not irresponsible. In fact, there’s a rigid discipline under that laissez faire attitude that may eventually clash with the boys from the 8th.However, the episode was dedicated to the leading members of the 1st. Karim, Rekka and Foein are childhood friends it seems which is probably why it took him so long to make a move. Flam is more or less what you see on the box. He has a weird speech pattern but otherwise is a reliable and virtuous fire fighter. But he’s also the type of guy that decided to take on the mystery of the artificial infernos all by himself, without alerting his captain or seeking outside help. Rekka on the other had seems to have been damaged in some way. I can’t imagine the other two sticking with him all these years if he had always been this way. He is the traditional smiling murderer but there’s something else. We never find out his motives at all but he isn’t trying to create infernals. He’s trying to find “compatibles”. He has a greater goal and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with revenge or personal profit. Everything I saw of him leads me to believe that this is a man who follows a leader, and who that leader is, is anybody’s guess. Ideologue villains can be annoying but they can also really get under your skin when done right. Time will tell where this one goes.

Finally we got to know Tamaki a bit. Actually we didn’t. We did get to see Tamaki a lot more and I’ll get into that a little bit later.

Fire Force p7-5 (11) well that’s a twist!

What I Liked

If you’ve been following my episode reviews or just read my posts a lot, you may have noticed that I am a sucker for a mystery. This week’s cloak and dagger adventure with our heroes trying to ferret out clues instead of crashing into battle (actually there was some of that too) was tailored to my tastes.I also like stoic characters, I mentioned liking Flam last week, so I was stocked to see that he would be their man on the inside. I think he makes for a good character foil to the boys from the 8th.I am starting to really like Arthur’s completely one of a kind take of the blonde bimbo. It’s completely unique. The initial impact of everything he does is just a little imposing. Even his embarrassing chuuni tendencies seem kind of grand since he’s talking about knights and honour. The fact is anyone else with all his characteristics would be straight up comic relief fodder but through a brilliant use of design aesthetics and really good voice delivery, you just never really see him as a pathetic butt of all jokes.

This week, like every week, Fire Force makes sure that we understand that this is a tiny insignificant battle in a much bigger war. There better be 24 episodes to this thing!Finally Hinawa was so cute checking in on Shinra and Arthur. I know it was recon but it was still an adorable scene. We know the lieutenant has some protective tendencies and to see them on casual display was just endearing.

Firce Force ep7-2 (2) cuuuuuute

What I Liked Less

Let’s not beat about the bush, it’s Tamaki. Not exactly Tamaki. I do like her or rather I like her character design because unlike every other character (male or female) she has not been given an actual personality yet. She still seems to be a loose collection of best girl tropes and every single form of fanservice imaginable. She’s a twin tailed girl whose ability gives her pink cat ears and a tail, who wears either a bikini as a uniform or a miniskirt with zettai ryouiki S grade. None of these things are wrong, but it’s just not enough for a compelling character. This week she was reduced to a damsel in distress for plot purposes and didn’t even stand a chance.Maki, Hibana and even sister have been used for plenty of fan service but still got to be their own characters, it’s a shame that Tamaki hasn’t had that chance yet. There is still time though. Personally, I really want to see her end up with Juggernaut. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these two particular archetypes together and it could be really sweet.A few of the discoveries were mighty convenient this week. Arthur and Shinra just happened to be standing around and looking in that direction when someone decided to create an infernal. That’s weird. Everyone knew they were there… They broke into Flam’s room and immediately got an ally. What makes Flam so sure they’re not creating infernals as well. Shinra was flying around and again looking in the exact right direction to see Tamaki’s signal which only lasted seconds and then burst in precisely when and where he had to in order to kick the bag guy in the head… There was a lot of this stuff going on this week. Sort of takes the fun away from solving a mystery when luck does it for you.

Fire Force ep7-6 (2) great hair!

Closing Thoughts

I’m still hooked on this show. I really want to know what a compatible person is. Is it just a third generation? and to what end?? It seems like the threads are slowly coming together but I can’t tell yet if it’s just going to end up being a huge knot. In any case, with some new allies in company 1, things are bound to get interesting!

Mood: Eager

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Want more Fire Force reviews from Irina?

Images from: Fire Force. Dir. Y Yase. David Production. 2019.


3 thoughts on “Fire Force Episode 8 – Beware of the Smiling Ones

  1. “Finally Hinawa was so cute checking in on Shinra and Arthur.”

    I loved that scene. Did you see how the Sisters reacted to him? If I remember right, they seemed to think it was cute, too.

    “She still seems to be a loose collection of best girl tropes and every single form of fanservice imaginable. ”

    I really wish I could build a case otherwise, but I can’t. You’re right. The best I can do is point out that over the last couple of episodes, we got to see several moments where we saw just how much Tamaki looked up to Rekka, probably as a mentor. Not having had many mentors in the past, I’m not going by my own experience, but I’m guessing it’d be hard to suddenly see someone you trusted so much as an enemy; they’d be a period of uncertainty, and Rekka took full advantage of that.

    “zettai ryouiki S grade”

    I gotta tell you, I think I’ve learned more anime-specific terms reading your stuff than any other single writer. I’ve learned something for the day!

    “They broke into Flam’s room and immediately got an ally.”

    That bothered me, too, though I loved the idea of a mini Excalibur. Part of me wonders if Flam is playing them, but if so, he’s really, really subtle about it.

    “Shinra was flying around and again looking in the exact right direction to see Tamaki’s signal which only lasted seconds”

    At 18:45, just after Rekka turned Tak-kun into an Infernal, Shinra’s ankle-sense (or whatever his equivalent of a spider sense is!) detected the event. That’s why he stopped in that area to look around, so at least there’s _some_ explanation. Though now I guess we could point out that of all the directions Shinra could have flown, he chose the one path that would take him near Rekka.

    And that GIF of Shinra descending? That’s good stuff!

    1. Mini excalibur that was great! Sort of impressive that someome like Arthur could come up with it now that I think about it.
      There’s hope for Tamaki but I think the narrative is selling her way short so far.

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