Episode 3

Episode 4

「消防官新人大会 / ヒーローと姫」 (Shōbōkan Shinjin Taikai / Hīrō to Hime)
“The Rookie Fire Soldier Games / The Hero and the Princess”

Alright guys. It’s official. I’m the worst when it comes to being on time with my reviews. However, I have some very real excuses, as we all do, ha. But in all fairness, I have been in and out of hospitals for specific health reasons and it’s taken a mental and physical toll. That said, these reviews and the shows I’m following this season have become a very necessary contribution to my wellbeing. I will continue to post and I will continue to cover shows and I’ll do my absolute best to begin posting on time. It’s my promise to you dear readers but also to my sanity.

Now, onto the good stuff!

Since I’m combining two episodes, I’ll break down my review into two sections. The first will outline all the new characters we’ve been introduced to and what we know about them so far. And the second will be a general impression of the story and production for both episodes.

New Character Breakdown

Alright, so onto the characters. We’ve got a ‘mad scientist’, a ‘madman’, a ‘tight-lipped soldier’, a ‘serial killer’, a ‘neko (cat)’, and a ‘dominatrix’. Now that’s a lot to take in. I’m pretty fond of these nicknames so I might stick to them but not before I give you the lowdown.

The ‘mad scientist‘ is actually the chemist behind the crude exploding agent the Joker uses during his attacks. He’s not only the creator of the infernal-made powder but also seems to know everything about the Fire Force Agency’s creation, movements, etc. He also names Haijima Industries, a private entity, as the fire fuelling the Fire Force. He plays a very convincing ‘behind the scenes’ man whereas his counter part (the madman) takes all the credit and publicity. Something about him tells me he might not be all villain though.

Moving onto the ‘madman.’ So far, we know him as the Joker (Tsuda Kenjirou). I like his fighting style. Just a quick snap of his fingers and POW. His motives aren’t very well explained but we do know he’s targeting the Fire Force because of their wrongdoings, whatever those are. There isn’t much left to be said but he does seem to be a bearer of good news, or is it bad news? I’ll elaborate later on.

One of the most mysterious characters so far, aside from Sister Iris, is this Leonardo Burns (Kusonoki Taiten) whom I’ve dubbed the ‘tight-lipped soldier.’ What bad memories or secrets are surfacing after recognizing Shinra? What does he know about the deadly fire that took the boy’s family? And this may not be important but what happened to his eye?

Leonardo is the commander of the 1st Special Fire Force Brigade making him Kotatsu Tamaki‘s (Yuuki Aoi) superior. Kotatsu is quite the charmer. She’s wearing…that and seems to fumble into the weirdest of situations, as she should since she’s featured in a shounen. But to counterbalance her fluke accidents, she’s a powerful cat-type fire user. She’s speedy and agile but we have yet to see her true potential. One thing I do know though is, alongside Oze Maki, she has some best girl potential.

The serial killer, Miyamoto Setsuo, is probably my favourite so far because he adds flavour to the mix of villains and Infernals we’ve seen. He’s a firefighter with a thirst for blood and according to his logic, he can’t be found guilty if the weight of his crimes is evened out by the amount of lives he’s saved as a firefighter. That’s some real psycho stuff if you ask me. But his most interesting ability is to remain completely self aware after turning into an Infernal. It makes him the first not only in the series but in the entire Tokyo Empire.

And now for our dominatrix, Princess Hibana (Lynn). I’m not too sure how she and I would fare if we ever came face to face but there’s no doubt I’d be turned into one of her lackeys. With eyes like those, an attitude like that, and devilish heels, she’s definitely up to no good. I bet all the codes to her secret laboratories hiding cruel Infernal experiments are jotted on the back of her fan. What I find most interesting though was the ability she used on Shinra. What was it? Did she subdue the other members of the 5th Brigade using this ability or was it simply her domineering charms?

General Impressions

Alright, now that part one is over and done with, let’s move onto the events in the last two episodes.

There’s so much happening I have difficulty wrapping my head around it. On one hand, we have criminals Joker and ‘Mad Scientist’ concocting some kind of plan that will unveil the conspiracies (truths) behind the Fire Force Agency. On the other hand, we have brigades across the Tokyo Empire keeping the peace between humans and the dangerous Infernals, or so we think. It’s not clear yet what the agency’s true role is but with a private corporation like Haijima Industries at the helm, I doubt it’s anything that has humanity’s best interest at heart.

The events with Joker at the Rookie Games seemed to have ignited Shinra’s, Obi’s and the 8th Brigade’s true goal: to investigate the other brigades. It seems trust isn’t something handed out lightly in this era not even if you’re on the same team. What are the other squads hiding? Obi has his suspicions but I feel like there’s way more to it than meets the eye. And Shinra will need to figure out how to trust the members of his own brigade as well. But how can he after Joker dropped the your-baby-brother-is-still-alive bomb? If Shō is alive, who would have the power and resources to cover it up if not the Fire Force Agency?

I’m coming back to our serial killer Infernal, Miyamoto Setsuo, not because he’s a murderous arse but because he’s completely self-aware. What I think is even more peculiar than his sentient state is his ‘spontaneous’ combustion. Where law failed to deliver justice a higher power prevailed. Nothing here seems spontaneous if you ask me. If anything, it all seems very controlled.

There was so much in these episodes, especially this fourth one, that hinted to Haijima Industries having a larger role in the grand scheme of things. They’re almost like the Illuminati who we know control everything in our world. I’m just theorizing here but what if the Tokyo Empire isn’t really the safest place for people to live? I haven’t seen any news about what’s happening outside the Empire. Could this be a very segregated country, one quarantined from the rest of the world in order to protect the rest of humanity? What if Haijima Industries has been using the people within the Empire as lab rats and the experiment went haywire?

Don’t pay my internal thoughts and ludicrous theories any mind.

I’ll be back next week but definitely on time! Yakusoku ~


    1. Haa agree with you on that.

      I’m also not very keen on the direction style, it has a slight slight visual style which is FINE, but there almost feel like there is too many strange awkward “pauses” and transitions? I don’t know about it, the flow is not great for me to watch. There is a real story going on I get it, but at the same time there should definitely be an element of action for the setting of this series and it’s really not coming through with the direction style.

    2. Agree. I appreciate that the studio is being experimental in how the animation is being made; as I understand it, a lot of the in between cels aren’t being human drawn but some key cel transitions are being digitally generated. Sure, it allows the studio to do more with less money but the anime is lacking the energetic dynamic it deserves. Long single shots with only a character’s mouth moving is a sad anime regardless of how pretty and crisp the colors are.

      I felt ep 4 punched it up a bit but a lot of the energy, sass, and comedy in the manga aren’t fully present here despite the nearly total faithfulness to copying exact manga panels.

      For the record, I’ve enjoyed several of SHAFT’s productions, particularly *head tilt**eyeglare* Monogatari but that show’s aesthetic and style livened up what was mostly novel dialogue. Manga is visually dynamic and rendering each panel while skipping showing us the movements between lots of those panels is…. disappointing.

      For those struggling with the girls, I’m not sure your options get better. I went quite a few chapters before I stopped getting Maki and Tomaki confused. Ohkubo’s always included awkward, cringey fan service in his stuff but it doesn’t dominate and Tomaki …. does have a storyline.
      I’m grateful the anime passed on the full on panty shot this ep.

      Ep 4 makes me hopeful that the studio will do a good job animating action scenes which is important because the action’s only gonna ramp up.

    3. bambi get over it japen don’t care what you sjw hater don’t like you jdut want ruin anime and new flahs fire force aniem fellwos the manga these things happen ni manga you don’t like to bad you cant sotp them sjw like you need quit

  1. Didn’t they say the kyoani-related edits would go into effect by Episode 4? I couldn’t catch anything that may have been one of those edits. The replay of Shinra flying in the air leaving a trail of smoke in his wake, with the 3 mascot staring on, was done 3 times, so one of those may have been to cover up a more violent moment.

  2. In 4 eps, the anime’s covered through manga chapter 12.
    Anime info has already been released for characters introduced in chapter 38.

    For the record, I can’t tell what changes were made for consideration of the arson tragedy of Kyoani. There hasn’t been story changes from the manga, for those who had been concerned about that.

  3. In episode 4, from 21:56 to 22:05, Sister Iris and the Princess awkwardly stare at each other. We’ll find out why in the next episode or two, but there is a hint in the ending. If you pay attention, you’ll find 3 stills with Iris, and in each of them she is interacting with a taller girl with dark skin and pink hair…


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