Welcome, one and all, to the return of Fire Force aka En’en no Shōbōtai. We’re diving right back into the main storyline again this week and, as hinted at last week, we get to meet the fifth pillar. So, let’s have a look at A New Flashpoint in more detail.
A Small Nudge
The first chunk of this episode was really just that: a small nudge towards the bigger arc. Shinra apologised for his actions and swore to protect the fifth pillar. That was pretty much in character. More interesting was when Obi met his boss and requested that the Fire Forces all come together to tackle The Evangelist. He was told that there were barriers to that, one being that there’s no real proof that bringing all the pillars together will actually cause another Great Cataclysm. So, Obi did what Obi does: he continued forward. Then, things got really good.
Inca is an interesting little character. She’s a high schooler that has the power to see where fires will break out. While this is no doubt something that could be used for good, she’s an adrenaline junkie by nature, and so, uses her gifts nefariously. We saw this illustrated early on when she spotted a fire about to break out at a disabled man’s house. Inca got in and offered to save him, but only if he gave her his valuables.
Now, one thing I noted here was that she did try to justify her actions, stating that life is sacred and she’s protecting that, so why shouldn’t she get a fee? It’s hard to tell what the goal was for her there. She could just be trying to make her actions seem more palatable for her cohorts, Panda and Sancho. She could also know that what she’s doing is wrong and be trying to convince herself. I do look forward to seeing which it turns out to be because her fire sensing ability is really quite cool.
The first pillar dropped by both Inca and Shinra’s heads to let them know that things were about to begin, and sure enough, the nearby city went up in flames, with Inca singing to herself as she watched it all unfold. Both Company 8 and Haumea’s teams showed up shortly after. Obi split the team so they could focus on protecting the citizens from the new Infernals while Shinra went in search of Inca, but Haumea’s bodyguard Charon got there first.
What followed was a slowly escalating battle. Or the start of, at least. Charon literally blew a hole in Sancho, leaving him in a bloody pool of death, right in front of Inca. It was hard to tell whether Inca was shocked and scared, or slightly intrigued by the risk as Charon tried to convince her to join them. She did make the choice to run after he explained that they wanted a new Great Cataclysm mind you, so I think she likely leans closer to good than bad.
During this confrontation, Inca’s fire ignition ability also awoke. Much as with her sensing ability, she could see lines of smoke, this time with a ‘start’ and ‘goal’ point. By tracing them, she was able to land a few blows on Charon and even used her sensing ability to feel where he would attack and dodge him. Shinra finally turned up to save the day just as things were looking grim.
Unfortunately, he did almost blow it by saying he wanted to take Inca into custody, which she most definitely didn’t want, being a thief and all. Things got worse from there as, after his team finished their chant, Charon powered up and seemingly took Shinra down with ease. The episode ended with him telling Shinra to run away and our hero refusing.
This was nicely put together. Inca’s attack ability is really quirky and fun, and it was good to see Charon’s power on display too. We can see from the get-go that this isn’t going to be easy for Shinra, and we’re still left without confirmation of what Inca will ultimately choose to do. So, great work in getting me hyped for the battle to come!
As much as I liked her debut though, my only real issue with this episode does relate to Inca. On their way to the fires, Obi refers to her as The Fireground Thief school girl. She’s well known, apparently, and he thought that she may be the fifth pillar. If she’s that well known and is often found at the scene before the Fire Force can get there, why has nobody tried to take her into custody and recruit her already? I get that she’s a teenager and all, but you’d think they’d at least be keeping a closer eye on her.
But hey, that’s a minor quibble. This was a fun one, and I’m looking forward to more to come. But what about yourselves? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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