OP Sequence

OP: 「インフェルノ」 (Inferno) by (Mrs.GREEN APPLE)

「森羅 日下部、入隊」 (Shinra Kusakabe, Nyūtai)
“Shinra Kusakabe Enlists”

Let me be clear from the get go. Thirty-six screen caps doesn’t do this premiere justice. I can’t wrap my head around how much I enjoyed watching fire burn through my screen. I say ‘through’ because the fire lodged itself at the back of my brain like a bad parasite.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at the opening sequence. What a gem. I was about a minute in and had to pause. I rushed over to my partner and told him he needed to watch this with me because I could already feel how good it was going to be. He dropped whatever he was doing and we watched the full twenty-two minutes together. I don’t know where I got the strength to pause but it didn’t feel right to keep this jewel to myself. The fire crackling, the ignition, and the sound of the train combined with the nostalgic Soul Eater art style drew me in like a moth to a flame.

Overall, the episode was a strong introduction to our main character Kusakabe Shinra (Kajiwara Gakuto) and the 8th Special Fireforce Brigade. Each have their reasons for being part of the task force but as of this episode we’ve only learnt of Shinra’s dark and twisted past. He’s been blamed for the accidental and fiery death of both his baby brother and his mother for lack of control of his Third Generation ability, taking on the nickname of ‘Devil’ (akuma). His uncontrollable, twitchy, and nervous smile hasn’t helped his cause either. He’s grown up under a veil of misunderstandings and isolation but as of now it seems he’s found a place to call home. Even though it’s a little early to say, the kindness and unending support he receives from his new colleagues is a sign of his developing role within their ranks.

Although the episode focuses on Shinra’s backstory, the ED tells another‘s and what a tragic story it tells. I’ll let those of you who haven’t focused on it take another look rather than revealing any spoilers. One thing I will say though is how much I enjoyed the song by Keina Suda and how much I look forward to the missing details of this character’s backstory.

Before I jump into the battalion’s structure, let’s look at the little we know about this world set in Solar Year 198. Somehow, at one point in time (which possibly marked year 1), humans began to spontaneously combust into what they now call ‘Infernals.’ The creatures are lost souls completely engulfed by fire and wreaking havoc across the world. However, as a result of Infernals came Second and Third Generation fire users. Shinra is of the Third Generation and his flaming feet make him the strongest within his group…for now. Although we haven’t seen it happen yet, based on the OP it looks like Shinra will learn to fly using his ability. Every good hero finds a way to travel in the air, whether with capes, spiderwebs, booster engines, etc. So luckily for him, it looks like he’ll be able to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a hero as a member of 8th Special Fireforce Brigade. The Fireforce brigades were created as a countermeasure to help ‘extinguish’ Infernals and I’m guessing as humans evolved with more controllable abilities, so did the structure of the teams.

For now, the newly-formed Fireforce 8 consists of five members, with two more yet to be introduced (teased in OP). There’s the extroverted and bizarre Commander Oubi Akitaru (Nakai Kazuya), a non-ability Fireforce member with a sense of humour. Then we have Sister Iris (Ichimichi Mao) who prays for the lost souls’ liberation, although it’s still unclear to me where this originates from. But my favourite is the cool-looking but ditsy Oze Maki (Kamijou Saeko), a Second Generation fire user with the ability to dispel and control fire at will. And finally, we have the very stern and level-headed Hinawa Takehisa (Suzumura Kenichi), also a Second Generation ability user. They gave a great first performance during the battle at the station during the opening scene so I didn’t expect things to go so smoothly during their second battle in the factory with Shinra at their side. Even though I was engulfed by the amazingly animated battle at hand, it was touching to see them treat him as one of their own. I imagine the show will continue in this direction. Battles will be important, yes, but relationships all the more. It’s these relationships and strong bonds that will push the characters to reach their ultimate abilities and defend humanity. A little cheesy, yes, but I’ll deal with it for this level of animation and detail from David Production.

As someone who hasn’t read the source material, I’m looking forward to discovering what the terms ‘Great Fire’, ‘Solar Year’, ‘Látom’ (I assume amen?), and “Amaterasu Operational Rate” (based on the Sun Goddess?) refer to. One term I know for sure is ‘lit’, and this series was that and more. Pun very much intended.


ED Sequence

ED: 「veil」by (Keina Suda)


  1. I cannot remember the last time I was this excited or happy to watch an episode of … well, anything. The next ep cannot air fast enough.

    I also cannot get the OP theme out of my head. So friggin’ good.

  2. For me first episode felt weak, I couldnt get into the story or didnt really bring myself to like any of characters, they all seemed not interesting to me (maybe that cat like ability girl that has yet to appear will be interesting). I hope this smiling thing of main character wont be constant, because when i see his big smile I really cant imagine him being nervous, but rather excited (so how he will look like when he is excited? he is nervous while fighting? ), blame all shounen anime for that. Anyway, maybe I had too high hopes and just have to wait few episodes to get into the story, because for now all of it just seems cliche to me.

  3. I haven’t read the source material either. Loved the Soul Eater manga to death, was bored by Soul Eater Not and forgot about the author… Then I heard this was by the same author so I had cautiously high expectations but then… wow.

    You can’t help but sympathize with, and love, a protagonist like this.

    The creditless OP was officially posted on YouTube, highly recommended.

  4. Of the two shounen shows that are going to be popular, which I personally had low expectations for yet nonetheless took a gander due to potentially interesting premises, this is the one that managed to not fall below those expectations.

  5. Nothing wrong with not being into Shounen it falls into the like and disliked food category of personal preference. But if your only looking for new not done before stuff to surprise you, you will miss out more and more as you grow older. Thus developing a taste for loving a familiar story told well is a very useful skill.
    And this show has different concepts to enjoy, good music, and a different urban design.
    Love the muscles on that girl. Plenty of male muscles for those who prefer that. And I like they realize being very fit applies to both sexes.
    Great Animation, I can love a story without out it, but always love when we have it.

    Don’t respond to clearly troll polls, don’t feed the trolls please.

  6. So did that entire convent of nuns in training turn into infernals in the ED? What would cause that?

    The mystery of the spontaneous combustion is what drew me in. I’m sure bits and pieces of the overarching story will trickle down in between all the awesome fights.

  7. Enen’s creator is Okubo Atsushi, creator of Soul Eater and its spinoff Soul Eater Not.

    His brother, Akira, is currently doing the art for a new Weekly Shounen Jump manga, Samurai 8 – The Tale of Hachimaru (penned by Kishimoto Masashi, Naruto’s creator).

  8. I really enjoy the manga. I will admit that it didn’t POP for me until several arcs into the story. Several characters grow and become more interesting later on. I’d guess that it hit a nice stride about a dozen of chapters in, so about half a cour or so.

    It’s very fair to compare it to Soul Eater; different world but the same zany humor and similar overall themes but with young adults instead of middle schoolers.

    I’m pleased by the animation quality. It’s tough to animate fire, let alone without it getting repetitive. This story deserves an artistic vision and it appears to have that.

  9. As a big fan of Soul Eater, I’m glad that Fire Force and its first episode have been amazing. David Pro did a great job at making the animation look visually impressive and go above and beyond to bring Ohkubo’s art style to life. Animation really does alot for Ohkubo’s manga from capturing the expressive, picturesque world of Soul Eater to the vivid and crisp action sequences in this first episode.

  10. What is this manga’s insistence of using “demon” and “hero” so frequently? It comes off as the mangaka not having a large vocabulary but trying desperately to convey complex themes.

    Also, I never understood why Catholicism is so prevailent in the story.

    Other than those two things, I await to see how this anime is deserving of the hype. I LOVED Soul Eater because of all the quirky characters and crazy animation. This time the animation has less of an identity, and the story seems to be the most important thing over any character moments.


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