The third episode of Fire Force was delayed due to a tragedy in Japan where someone set fire to an anime studio, resulting in one of the largest arson-related death counts. Naturally, as a result they took a week off considering this series involves a lot of fire.
The episode is out now though, so I’ll do my usual recap and review.
The third episode opens with a mysterious figure holding a vial of the powder that Joker had last episode. He mentions that most of the world is straight-up torched due to the fact that the infernals popped up and how the area they’re in is one of the only relatively nice ones to be in. He also gives our one-eyed smoker some intel on Captain Obi and the other members of Squad 8 before focusing on Shinra.
We then cut to the Rookie Games where we are introduced to Miss walking fanservice, Tamiki, whose attire naturally draws Shinra’s eyes. Then we see some mascots and the scientist who was with our guy watching the kids as they look at the different groups going around until Shinra spots one in particular. He believes that captain of Squad 1 knows about the fire in his youth, as he was the one who found him. But before he can gets some answers Shinra ends up groping Tamiki… multiple times.
After that, the captain tells him that he doesn’t remember what happened 12 years ago since a lot of fires break out. The terms of the competition are then laid out, that they need to storm the place. Since Shinra can fly, he has no trouble getting up there, but when he gets there he finds the people inside knocked out by Joker. He tempts Shinra with the answers about his brother and mother, but Shinra focuses on saving the crew after he threatens to kill them and busts out some sick capoeira moves.
Amused, Joker basically plays with him before he gives him a hint and tells him that his younger brother is alive. Shinra is skeptical until he points out that someone is hiding something and that’s enough to get him thinking about Captain Burns being the one who is hiding it. He then tries to tempt Shinra to the dark side, but Shinra points out he still assaulted Fire Soldiers and he has a moral compass, so they go back to fighting.
Meanwhile, Arthur cuts his way through the walls to get inside and Tamiki crashes lands onto his face butt-first. One stupid comedy scene later, they come across the fighting and mistake Joker as the Infernal they’re supposed to defeat. Joker decides to leave with a bang by scattering ashes and telling Shinra to try and save everyone before the resulting explosion kills them all.Arthur cuts through the ceiling, Tamiki pushes it out, and they grab onto Shinra as he flies up with the hostages to escape the blast.
Later on, Captain Obi and Shinra talk about what happened and he reveals the purpose of Fire Force 8:
To investigate the other 7 squads and see if they have the key to unraveling the mystery.
Oh this episode was beautiful. The fire and shadow contrasting the blues, the flow of the kicks and ebb of the flames. It was almost a perfect episode as we learned about the various squads formation and which has the strongest influence. The fact that Captain Obi’s squad was formed to investigate them highlights strongly that there is something going on in the shadows they need to look into and sets one of the biggest mysteries into motion.
But there was a problem that left some distaste in my mouth: Tamiki. Her lucky lecher lure is basically that anytime she’s around someone of the opposite sex, they’re going to end up in a scene out of a harem comedy. I hate it because its stupid fanservice in an otherwise largely decent show and things always gets like that when she’s around.
But aside from the annoyance of her presence, we got more insight into Joker. He wants Shinra, he knows information that he shouldn’t have, and he can play around with the rookies like they were nothing.
So overall it’s a great episode barring the problem child and does its job of moving the plot along without a dragged out tournament arc.