A new season with a new anime to review, and this season that anime is Fire Force, written by the author of Soul Eater. Now, upon seeing that trailer, I went ahead and binge read the series and, for the most part, I liked what I saw (there’s basically a walking ecchi character who ticks me off but that’s for another time). Hence, I’m going to be reviewing this anime this season.
The series wastes no time in getting to the main crux of things as Shinra Kusakabe was getting ready to board the train to his new place of employment when some poor soul turns into a walking flame corpse known as an Infernal. He gets ready to put the poor man out of his misery when squad 8 arrives and does their jobs with a high degree of competency, only for a sign to get ready and crush
Priestess I mean Sister Iris. So he torches his shoes and jettsons himself to the rescue before introducing himself as the newest member of their unit.
After the intro we get to their current headquarters, which is basically a rundown church, as despite being newly formed they lack a lot of manpower and resources. In short order we learn Shinra has a nervous condition to where he smiles uncontrollably, he wants to be a hero, and he was called a devil throughout his training.
Then there’s the mandatory fanservice scene where our witch has love on the brains and our sister is a nice girl before we get to the more serious stuff. We get an explanation dump about the circumstances of their work and their goal to deal with it. And that’s followed by a flashback of his past where he’s blamed for the death of his mother since his nervous condition and powers don’t exactly paint a picture of innocence.
Then its time for them to get to work as we get a brief flashover of them suiting up and their powers before they roll out. The factory owner’s wife has turned into an infernal and has to be laid to rest, but in the process of doing so Shinra has a minor PTSD flashback before he pulls himself together with a pep talk from the boss only for him to get conked out for a moment after he gets blasted by fire.
Once that’s out of the way, he wakes up and the group gets serious. Iris prays, Maki and the others play distraction, and Shinra gets the opening to one-shot her with a blazing kick. They pray for the departed, put the flames out, and so you understand how bad the situation is he gets thanked by the wife’s husband for laying her to rest.
Well, they wasted no time in getting the main character’s motivations out of the way. When Shinra was younger something that looks like an Infernal took out his family and he survived because he developed into a 3rd Generation Pyrokinetic. However, because no one believed him and his nervous condition, he got blamed for it and was called a devil.
There’s a great deal of world-building in the first episode alone to where they let you know that due to people abruptly catching on fire the world has drastically changed. The main religion worships the great flames and some people have the power to either manipulate these flames (2nd generation) or generate their own internal flames (3rd generation), whereas Infernals are just flaming corpses who move while in pain until put to rest (1st generation).
So the setting is basically where anyone at anytime can turn into a fire monster and cause massive amounts of collateral damage, so you need a special force to put them down. Hence the Fire Force Brigade, with number 8 being the newest so far.
In it you have the captain who goofs off a little while working out like a boss, but is serious on duty. You have the kind sister of the church. You have the fire manipulator who can part flames and mix it up with her fists. And you have the serious jerk who naturally carries a gun. It’s a nice assortment of characters that will hopefully get more fleshed out as the series goes on.
So, overall, as far as introductory episodes go, its’ great. Sure, it might feels like someone has hit the fast-forward button, but that’s natural. They got the essentials out of the way and topped it off with a decent ending that shows the main protagonist already on the road to being a hero now. And, while I could have done without the fanservice, I do appreciate the sort of character quirks we’ve seen so far.