Welcome, one and all, to my continued weekly review series for Fire Force, aka Enen No Shouboutai. After a ‘heated’ battle last week, things calm down a little for episode 7, The Investigation of the 1st Commences. Let’s look at the key points.
Princess Hibana is now on board with Captain Obi and the crew. When they discussed things, he outright asked her why she had a change of heart. She explained that it was due to Shinra. After all that she’d suffered, she started to despair and decided to fight evil with evil. Shinra, a self-proclaimed hero, reminded her that justice can be gentle, and flames can keep you warm.
It’s a quick change of sides for her, but all that really means is that she was never really a bad guy to begin with. He phrasing – fighting evil with evil – means that she was always fighting on the side of good, she was just using a different method. Interestingly, that has a link to the Mesopotamian religion too. The same line was spoken in the film The Exorcist, and refers to Pazuzu who, while a demon, was often invoked to save women and children from other demons.
So, what was the tipping point for Hibana? And why are Company 8 now moving onto Company 1? Well, that’s simple. Hibana and her team really did find out something about the source of Human Combustion. While not true in all cases, they did find evidence that some Infernals are being intentionally created by someone. Both her and Obi want to deal out justice to those responsible. The problem is, they were all initially spotted in Shinjuku, which is the area run by Company 1. To that end, they’ll use the SFF rules that allow first-year recruits to have temporary assignments with other Companies for training purposes as a means to get someone on the inside.
With all the build-up about corruption within the Special Fire Force, the leap that they may be involved is a natural one. And let’s be honest here, since we’d already seen some members of Company 1 during the Rookie Fire Soldier Games episode, it makes sense for them to be the next in the firing line. Given that Tamaki is seen fighting alongside Company 8 I the opening credits, I suspect that they will eventually be proven not to be responsible too.
We get to see a little bit of what Company 1 are like this week. They have three Lieutenant Priests – Huo Yan Li, Rekka Hoshimiya, and Karim Flam – all of whom are third-generation pyrokinetics. Of the three, the only one we don’t get to see in action at all is Huo Yan Li. Of the others, we get to see Rekka battle a Company 2 recruit named ‘Juggernaut’ Takeru Noto. Rekka does nothing but dodge there, though we do get to learn that Takeru is scared of fire, despite being a third-generation pyrokinetic. He only joined the SFF to have the flames extinguished. That was a nice twist.
Karim Flam got to show off his ability during said battle, using an instrument to suck up the flames that Rekka dodged and releasing them as ice. This is called thermoacoustic cooling and uses sound to convert heat to cold. It’s a pretty cool ability.
Burns battled both Arthur and Shinra. Arthur fell first, with Burns blocking Excalibur with his bare arm and pointing out that if your sword kills with one blow, what do you do when it fails? Meanwhile, Shinra’s capoeira was enough to see him land a blow on Burns’ chest, but again, it did no damage, and the Captain was able to defeat him by simply stepping forward. Shinra had declared that he wanted to be a hero, and Burns told him that he had a long way to go.
I enjoyed the battle scenes, short as they were. They were really only there to illustrate the difference in ability levels between Company 8’s rookies and Company 1’s professionals. That Burns was actually given advice mixed in with the bluntness means that he likely isn’t a bad guy too, I think. It’ll be interesting to see where this all goes.
Starting with Company 1, Karim Flam’s way of speaking is going to get old if it goes on too long. It was amusing enough seeing Arthur completely unable to understand him and Shinra acting as interpreter though. I liked that Hibana foreshadowed the battle too when she said that she hopes Shinra doesn’t get too full of himself after beating her, as Burns is a real veteran.
Speaking of Hibana, she managed to infuriate me and make me happy in the same scene this week. She decided to hang out with Company 8 and took a shower with Maki and Iris, because where else are we going to get the expected fan service from? During this, she did that terrible thing of sneaking up behind Iris and groping her without permission. That’s a trope that needs to die, it really is. At the same time though, when Maki said she was jealous of Hibana and Iris’ feminine figures, Hibana said something awesome. She pointed out that Maki’s hard-earned muscles are beautiful in their own right. She’s spot on. Body positivity is a great message to put across.
Another week, another episode that sped through things relatively quickly. The first half was basically the wrap up of last week, with us getting confirmation of things rather than any real details. In a way, the second half felt like an opening episode again, with us getting little snippets of Company 1 rather than full pictures. Too much presentation like this is going to make the story feel incomplete. However, as it stands, it is working for me. If nothing else, this continues to be a show that I can happily refer to as cool, so that’s something.
Those were my thoughts, anyway. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy these episodes? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.
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