The tenth and eleventh episodes of Fire Force have come out and, being late as I was (again), I’ve decided to recap and review them both at the same time (again). So let’s get right into the Recap and Review.
The tenth episode opens with a look at the Imperial Throne room, where the leader of the Holy Sol faith resides as he calls for all the captains to be assembled, indicating that something major is about to go down presumably. Thus we see Obi being annoyed while getting ready since his locker was violated by Hibana, who came to go with him to said meeting after giving Shira his lunch. Needless to say, the 8th has really gotten lively with the new recruits.
Shinra and Tamaki get dragged along to the meeting since it involves the Evangelist and the White-Clads, which has become an urgent situation given they learned there are man-made Infernals. Along the way they pass by the perpetual thermal energy plant, Amaterasu. It generates power for all of Tokyo, making it a very important place.
Anyway, once they get there we get to meet the other captains. One of them, Benimaru gets pointed out as being the strongest Fire Soldier of all time by Shinra, with Obi noting he normally never shows up. He immediately gets offended by Shinra’s nervous smile before the emperor shows up and orders them to take out the Evangelist, to which he states he owes the emperor no loyalty and then leaves.
Joker, the first bad guy we ran into, is listening in on the speech the emperor gives while mentioning Shinra was getting some results so he wanted to go see him again. That factor is then compounded on by the emperor mentioning he has an Adolla Burst, which is basically a primordial god flame, the same kind used to power Amaterasu, and can’t be explained by science. Giovanni immediately points out that they should keep him secure since he is the bad guy’s end goal, but Hibana and Obi run interference since they know he wants to use him as a lab rat.
After the meeting, Shinra goes to the Amaterasu alone and naturally Joker made good on his word to go see him. Joker decided to tell him more about his brother, since he’s gotten closer to the truth. Like Shinra, his brother was a 3rd generation and is considered the Commander of the Knights of Ashen Flame, who serves the Evangelist.
So if he keeps chasing the Evangelist, he’ll eventually have to fight his brother while trying to keep the promise he made to his mother. These thoughts weight heavily on his mind as he returned to base, unsure of whether or not to tell them what he knows. Everyone can tell something is off with Shinra because he’s not being himself, and after the episode quickly devolves as Tamaki ends up getting the naked apron treatment while Arthur’s brain is on the verge of death from paperwork, Hinawa points out that he wants Shinra to trust them when he’s ready.
Shinra eventually decides to do the right thing and tell them about his meeting with Joker, which changes their mission from taking down the Evangelist to doing that and retrieving Shinra’s brother. And as the episode ends we see his brother sitting on a throne with the same shark-like smile as Shinra.
Then we cut to the eleventh episode, which details how the 8th was formed by Obi and Hinawa. The latter was part of the army and served as Maki’s immediate superior, being the daughter of the general and a hard worker. However, he believed she was too nice to be a soldier so her efforts were for nothing as he told his friend, Tojo.
Naturally, Tojo turned into an Infernal right in front of Hinawa, begging him to shoot while he’s still aware of himself. He couldn’t bring himself to do so and has to watch as other members of the army come in and light him up with machine-gun fire. Feeling guilty as sin, he gets Tojo’s gun to have it baptized like he wanted when on the way he sees the 3rd Squad heading to the scene of an Infernal breakout and followed them.
Obi was there, informing the squad that there were two Infernals. One was sitting inside being quiet and tame, while the other was running wild. The squad decided to go chase down the one running wild for points, claiming that the quiet one was boring, despite the fact that being an Infernal in itself is a painful experience where they are essentially burning for all eternity. And when the wife begs them to deal with her husband who is bearing with it to be put of out his misery and Obi giving a decent suggestion as a compromise to solve the issue, the asshole brushes it off since he needs to keep his men’s morale high.
At that point, both Obi and Hinawa decide to take care of this themselves and rob the third squad’s truck for a weapon to get the job done, despite knowing they can be punished. They lay the Infernal to rest and decide to start their own squad, who cherish life above all else. Two years later, they manage to get it running and Hinawa recruited Maki to their group because she’s compassionate. That honestly makes Maki happy because she thought she had been brought in because her ability makes her a good meat shield.
Anyway, going back to their first mission, the Infernal that they had to lay to rest was dressed in all white and had a cross. Sort of like the guys they were fighting now. And there was a bunch of sketchy stuff about the company they were working with, which is located in the 7th Squad’s jurisdiction of Asakusa.
There we see Benimaru going around the district and being given sweets by an old lady, despite the fact that he hates them. He takes them back to his headquarters and plans to share it with the twins there who are rather… umm, crass. The 8th squad then barges in since they know he hates formality, but he doesn’t believe the empire when they say someone can artificially induce Infernal transformations so he isn’t really going to let them check on his turf.
Words get thrown around and Shinra wants to do the shounen thing of fighting to get him to acknowledge him, but an Infernal popped up before they can do so. One of the people who he passed on drinking with not even ten minutes ago was the victim, so we get to see their way of sending him off as they don’t follow the usual method involving members of the Church. Namely, they make a festival of it by wrecking entire blocks since they can rebuild houses but the Infernal can’t be returned to normal so they’re honoring him by offering entire blocks as a send off.
Its rough, but it allows them to go out the way they want to go out.
So, the first of the two episodes is partly a recap where they give you an overview of the overarching plot and introduce the captains along with bad boy Benimaru. The second episode dives into the past of the 8th squad and gives us more of a look into Benimaru. Both are solid because they do a good job of moving things along.
After the recap is over we get actual progression with Shinra’s goal: finding his brother. Remember how Rekka said they would take those kids and train them to be loyal to the Evangelist last episode? Well, that was an example of foreshadowing as his brother has basically fallen into that camp.
Joker telling him this shows that he isn’t exactly on the Evangelist side, but he isn’t on the side of the Empire either. So he’s a wild card in the mix. He seems to want the truth and will reward those who seek it out, even if using the ashes of Infernals and that fight back at training exercise was a dick move.
We also learn more about Hinawa and how he isn’t remotely religious, but he does understand the faith and how it can be used to put Infernals to rest. Him and Obi’s relationship is a thing of beauty and it really gave him a depth that he needed to go from being the stick-in-the-butt hard man to someone with some interesting history.
We also see another side of how the squads needed someone to put them in check. The third squad seen in the past was the one currently run by Giovanni, who Hibana already notes wanted to make Shinra into a lab rat. I can only presume that the asshole who made a game of hunting infernals has been killed or retired, but it does show that squads affiliated with Hajima have sketchy motivations.
In the tenth episode, Benimaru basically showed up to get two things across: He’s not loyal to the emperor and he apparently has enough power to walk out without any repercussions. They call him a proto-nationalist and he hates the empire in general, so he’s skeptical on what they have to say. That causes natural friction because he won’t take the threat of the Evangelist seriously unless he sees it for himself.
But that isn’t to say that he doesn’t care about his duties at all. To the people of his district, who have their own way of doing things, he’s a well-loved figure to the point where everyone knows his name. And despite his rough exterior he honestly does care about the people there, even if their way of sending off the fallen is destructive enough that I’m willing to bet everyone in that district is a carpenter by trade.
We also learn that Benimaru is a hybrid second and third generation pyro, meaning he can generate and control flames. That makes him a compound Fire Soldier, and the only one we know of to date. So not only is his powers unique but his entire area is as well, being something of a throwback to the traditional japan than the current post-apocalyptic era they live in where a single religion has basically taken over.
It was good stuff, and I’m looking forward to next episode.