「消防官の心」 (Shōbōkan no Kokoro)
“The Heart of a Fire Soldier”
One thing’s for sure, this series knows how to set the tone without diminishing itself. It switches so smoothly between comedy to serious themes, I’m left baffled after a single episode wondering how it all happened. For a large part of the episode I’m smirking at the snarky remarks, the slight jokes, and Arthur Boyle’s temperament. The other half of the episode gently tugs at my heartstrings, not only because of Makiko who has just lost her entire family, but for Shinra and Arthur who learn the hard truth about the demands and responsibilities of their jobs.
Let’s jump right into Arthur Boyle (Kobayashi Yuusuke), the new Fireforce 8 recruit. He has a serious knight complex (hence his choice of weapon) along the same lines as Shinra’s hero complex. His personality has a touch of narcissism which makes his claim to being ‘Knight King’ less than humbling. The two coming together is like having two 90s kids debating whether Digimon or Pokemon did it best. Essentially, they’re naive boys with a lot to learn.
Now onto the good stuff. Maki-chan is this season’s instant crush. She’s fickle and a little ditsy, yes, but I didn’t know her well last week. She’s a badass! As a second generation she can’t ignite her own fire but she can control all fire at will and create what she pleases with it. Her ‘sputter’ and ‘bobobo‘ creatures represent her softer demeanour but not to be misinterpreted as weakness. She’s super strong, heated, agile, and she’s ripped! Her character alone is more than enough to keep me interested. I definitely want more of her story.
Next up is sister Iris. She was acting a little strange in the face of the sputter demon Maki created early in the episode. As it floated above their heads, she reached out with her hand hallucinating fiery wildflowers. I wonder what about this flame drew her in. She’s unique in that she’s the only team member can begin the prayer that will put the Infernal’s soul to rest. With these new phenomenons plaguing the world, I imagine a new religion (or cult) emerged to create an ‘explanation’ for them in order to put the masses at ease. Having a nun in the mix while ‘extinguishing’ these eternals must act as justification for what humans are doing to each other… This is just my assumption but I’m sure we’ll learn a little more as things progress.
I wonder what larger organizations are at play here. There are those who want to help the world transition through these explosive events and those who want to let natural selection (according to these new rules) take place. This new mystery character seems to have the ability to control fire as well. He’s most likely a third generation or second generation pyrokinetic user part of a larger entity that would rather see the world continue on this evolutionary path (just a hypothesis!).
So far it’s been a real gem of a series. I hadn’t read the manga prior to watching the premiere last week but after just one episode, I had to dive in. I tried not to get in too deep but with very little success. With the second episode now aired as well as the quality of work and writing not having faltered, I’m convinced this is going to be one of my favourites this season.