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 Smoldering Malevolence. This was a fun little outing. Let’s see what happened.
We cut back in with Shinra hearing the ‘protect the forest’ line via Adolla Link. He thought it may have come from the tabernacle, so asked Scop about it. Scop recounted a story of a creepy-looking robed woman who came into the wasteland and taught the animals to speak. She said she came from the spatial rift in order to recreate the world, and it was her repairing the tabernacle that caused the oasis to spring up.
Before they could discuss this too much, all Hell broke loose and the team were attacked by some Infernals and Hell Hounds. Between Tamaki’s prayer and Ogun and Arthur’s attacks, they were able to lay a bunch of them to rest. Then, one of them spoke. Pan tried reasoning with it, saying they could live in peace with the animals as they both need the power of creation from the tabernacle. The Infernal told him he was mad if he thought it contained that, as it was a weapon to destroy the world.
We ha da brief look at a Demon Infernal named Tempe gathering stone tablets and telling his followers that they’ll gain salvation from the suffering of their burning bodies. We then cut back to the heroes who, with the battle done, for now, were planning their next steps. Scop told them about Tempe and they realised they don’t have enough firepower to bring him down. They will do what they can though. Pan assigned Shinra and Ogun to distract Tempe, with Arthur, Tamaki and Juggernaut on guard duty while he and Licht would explore the tabernacle.
The plan changed quickly when they arrived to find the tabernacle empty. Pan asked Arthur to come with him and Licht, and told Shinra and Ogun to join the guards outside. As Pan and friends wandered around they found the stone tablets and got locked in.
Outside, the Infernals moved in, and Ogun was shocked to see they had enough intelligence to set a trap. During the battle, they learned Tempe was doing this because he knows it would take activating the tabernacle to kill him. He was wandered unable to die since the Great Cataclysm 250 years ago, and he wants to go to Heaven. Mostly so people can serve his needs there. Shinra was taken down and told the others they should pool their power. He did know they wouldn’t have enough to reach Captain Shinmon level though and considered using the Adolla Link to gain the Evangelist’s Grace. Before eh could though, the creepy lady set of an Adolla Link and powered him up.
Inside, Licht was having trouble deciphering the random numbers on the tablet. Then, Arthur ended the episode by pointing out it was Pi.
The action was stunning again. Honestly, it’s such a strong point for the series and on a consistent basis to boot. The detail in how the flames move is wonderful, and the moves themselves have just enough flash to look fantastical. Things like Pan’s defensive buff open up some nice sequences too that varies it all up a little. Great stuff.
Arthur picking up on the sequence being Pi before Licht did was great. As a character, he has so much latent potential, and it’s the moments of true intelligence that we see from him that really shine for me.
I am thankful for Juggernaut. With him playing the ‘useless’ role, Tamaki has been free to just do her job. As such, she has been effective in offering prayers, and even when she had to use her powers, she managed to stay clothed. This link was further solidified by her being the one to yell at Juggernaut when he said something stupid. It’s kinda like the Blackadder scene where everyone kicks down.
The concept of Infernals wanting to go to Heaven was also very good. It would have made them a little more relatable if Tempe’s goals up there weren’t so controlling in nature. It does show though that the Special Fire Force is on the right track, as the Infernals clearly don’t want to suffer.
The mysterious woman too didn’t seem to be a complete villain. I wonder if the pillars all represent something specific in the process. Like, she’d represent rebirth and others would represent justice, chaos, and fear or something like that. They’d be a larger group of Horsemen,
This was another good episode, I thought. There were enough little nudges in the story to make it more than just an action episode. All in all, a fun, easy watch.
But those are just my thoughts. What did you all think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below.
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