Welcome, one and all, to my continuing episodic review series for Fire Force, aka Enn Enn No Shouboutai. With a bit more catch, we’re now at the end of the season. So, today, I’m looking ay episodes 22 – 24. Let’s dive straight in.
Brothers By Blood
The brunt of these episodes dealt with the battle between Shinra and Sho, and in particular, their familial bond. The cool thing here was that the whole arc wove itself into the fight seamlessly. And let’s be fair, that was an awesome battle. From the epic Final Fantasy styled music to the action on screen, it’s flash with substance. Learning the basis for Shinra’s current powers and how they allow him to keep up with Sho – even if the science was a little shaky – was a nice touch. But that visible flair is something the series has done well since day one, so that’s no surprise.
When it comes to the actual characters, we’ve had a bit of a mixed time for some. For Shinra though, he has remained consistently interesting as a lead. Here, he took the battle to the emotional level, using his Adolla Link to flash memories at Sho in an effort to shake him free form the Evangelist’s control. Now, there were two things that I thought were really interesting here.
The first is the point of view of the memories. Some of them, while said to be Shinra’s memories, seemed to be shown through Sho’s eyes. To me, that indicated that the memories weren’t gone, they were just hidden away within him. Most importantly though, that would mean that the memories that matter are shared ones for him and Shinra.
The second thing was that it wasn’t a memory of Shinra that finally got through to him. Sure, the memory ended with Shinra playing the hero, but it all started with Sho remembering their Mum. It felt like the brothers had a link, and it was the common ground of that parent. That was really sweet.
In the end, of course, the day is not won by the heroes. Haumea turns up and exerts some control over Sho, cruelly ripping him from Shinra’s arms just s they finally reunited. We know now that Sho can be saved though, which means that there’s not only some hope for the heroes but a catalyst for potential risky behaviour. I’ll get to that more later on though.
Family By Choice
One thing that should not be understated though is the link between the heroes themselves. The rest of Company 8 made their appearance towards the end of episode 23 and utilized a combination of teamwork and faith in Shinra to take on their new foe. When the battle drew to a close, they rushed our lead to the Company 6 medical facility too, with Obi stating that the company would not be the same without him.
This theme continued when Vulcan picked Shinra up from the hospital and the two shared some playful banter on the way back home. Once Shinra made it back to the Company 8 station, we got to see more of the interactions that really sum up each person’s relationship with him too. From Maki and Iris being happy to see him to Tamaki’s stand-offish act and Arthur’s competitive rivalry, it was all there.
But it didn’t stop with Shinra’s immediate colleagues either. Princess Hibana, Flam, and even Company 7 all turned up to join in the fun, which let us see some interactions between them too. It also gave us the sight of Maki enjoying Benimaru’s attention only for Arthur to point out that she’s ‘thicc but underage’. That line referred to the drinking age in Japan, by the way; you need to be 20 to drink, and Maki is only 19.
In short though, the joy here is that the characters all get along – or don’t – in a very likable way. They’re like a big, extended family. It’s a stark contrast to the villains who mostly seem to coexist due to a combination of a shared goal and manipulation.
Finally, we got to meet a few new elements to the story. A minor one was that Yona declared himself to not be human. I don’t remember that being mentioned before, and it’s an interesting point that adds some intrigue.
Meanwhile, the Adolla Burst wielding Haumea was a strong addition to the villain roster. I think she may be subtly low on self-belief. You see, for the most part, she was arrogant. When she was sure that she could sue her electric power to control people’s will, she was very much standing tall. Playful even, in a dark sorta way. The moment she realized that Arthur’s ability to summon plasma made him immune though? She fell apart. She became erratic and dropped her clear sense of purpose in favour of an angry, violent streak. Great stuff.
Finally, we have the big reveal: The demon that burned Shinra’s house down was…his Mum. He’s wanted revenge for so long, and now he knows that the one responsible was his own mother. There was a fair bit covered here, mostly revolving around Captain Burns. He lied to Shinra, and he has his own Adolla Link that resulted in him losing an eye. And of course, he had hoped to spare Shinra from getting involved in this whole mess.
Now though, we’re on a new path. Remember when I mentioned potential risky behaviour? Well, Shinra wants to find his Mum and change her back into a human, and he wants to use Captain Hague as a way to do this. We’ve seen how Shinra can be when he’s set his mind on a specific goal. While the confrontation with Sho proved that he isn’t incapable of changing things up if he needs to, he doesn’t tend to switch focus until the last minute. That means we’re potentially looking at Shinra literally going to Hell and back to attempt something potentially impossible. My guess is that she regain some humanity, enough to save her children at least, then will die and ascend to Heaven.
This was a good way to end the season. The action was everything you’d expect from the series, the cast remains likable, and the main story made some real progress. Despite some issues, I am definitely excited for season two later in the year.
So, those were my thoughts. 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.
Previous Episode Reviews:
- Fire Force Episode 1
- Fire Force Episode 2
- Fire Force Episode 3
- Fire Force Episode 4
- Fire Force Episode 5
- Fire Force Episode 6
- Fire Force Episode 7
- Fire Force Episode 8
- Fire Force Episode 9
- Fire Force Episode 10
- Fire Force Episode 11
- Fire Force Episode 12 – 14
- Fire Force Episodes 15 – 17
- Fire Force Episode 18 – 21