Welcome, one and all, to my continued weekly episodic review series for season two of Fire Force aka En’en no Shōbōtai. This week’s episode was called The Time To Choose, and, honestly, it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Let’s look at why.
Part One: Inca’s Choice
Very little happened during this section, at least in terms of what I’d include in a recap. The basic idea was that we picked up with Shinra trying to convince Inca to come with him and she chose to go with Charon and Haumea voluntarily. Company 8 realized that they’re behind the curve when it comes to finding the eight pillars, and so Obi decided they need to search for clues.
On a basic level, that was it. There were some really nice moments that fleshed it all out though. We got a bit of an insight into Inca’s mindset again; despite Shinra telling her to use her powers to escape with him, she wouldn’t. The reason was, she couldn’t see any lines to trace. This, she put down to her power being related to telling the future, which would mean there are no lines to follow as she’s fated to leave with no resistance. That plays out again when Panda tries to rescue her and she burns him – saying it must be fate – rather than letting Charon take him down.
This whole section was really well done. Inca’s thought process makes sense given her prior ability to predict fires, and we got to see that she cares more for her own life than other people’s spelt out clearly for Shinra. He really doesn’t understand her, and even swore to kill her, which she preferred to him trying to save her.
I also liked that, when the team was down, the people they saved came to thank them, but it didn’t lift Shinra like it used to. He thought back to Hague talking about realizing there were so many lives he couldn’t save, and this felt like that to him, especially as it pertained to Inca. Shinra is beginning to see that he won’t always win and that this war will reap casualties.
I thought this first half went by really quickly. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the same vibe from the second half of the episode.
Part Two: Heading To China
We got to see a couple of different companies giving their thoughts on what happened and considering how to help going forward. Company 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all doing their part. Then, the various representatives – Shinra, Arthur, Tamaki, Licht, Ogun, Pan, and Juggernaut – all met up and set off for China.
This started well enough. I enjoyed seeing the different Captains confirming their support and roles. Even Tamaki’s unnecessary disrobing didn’t leave her nearly as lewd as it normally does. I even enjoyed Licht suggesting to Joker that he should have become a Fire Soldier. But… this second half just dragged for me in general.
For all the flashes of things that I liked, this whole half felt really slow to me. It dragged. To the point that, while I do think it was important in setting up what’s to come next, I kinda feel like it was the weakest section of the season so far.
So, yeah. An excellent first half, but a dull second half. I don’t know what else to say really, which kinda sums up how the episode was for me.
But those are just my thoughts. What di you all think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.
Previous Episode Reviews