「燃え拡がる悪意 / 約束」 (Moehirogaru Akui / Yakusoku)
“The Spreading Malice / The Promise”
Mystery solved. Now we know how Tamaki ends up working with the 8th Brigade. When the First Brigade realizes her involvement with Rekka’s plan to abduct children (even if unknowing), they suspend her and send her off to work for the 8th, which turns out to be less annoying than I thought.
Before I get into the gist of both episodes, I do want to address Tamaki’s role in this show. She has such amazing potential to be a strong character, but so far we’ve only seen her get the short end of the stick. I’m unaware of how her character will evolve as the series progresses but episode nine almost made me want to throw in the towel. How in the world can this poor girl who was just beaten to a pulp, then have her clothes almost completely burned off? I’ve been silent for the last few episodes, only briefly commenting on fan service, but this is borderline abusive. She’s put into her most vulnerable state, not that she wasn’t already in one, and only then does she ask her ‘hero’ to save her. It was really rough to watch. She plays the perfect damsel in distress but she’s not the only female character taking on a cliché role. Each of these women are extremely powerful but there’s always seems to be some one-dimensional aspect to their personality. Except for Hibana. I can get on board with her character. Maybe I’m into sadistic dominatrixes…Who knows.
Anyway, moving on… Since I missed last week’s episode, let’s recap what happened. Shinra saves Tamaki from Rekka in one of the most entertaining battles I’ve seen so far in the series (with the exception of Tamaki getting the blunt of it) but almost depletes his entire body of oxygen in the process. During the battle, Shinra learns of the Evangelist, an entity whose goal is to turn their world into the second sun, engulfing everyone in flames. Rekka works for a secret organization “The White Clad” that serves the Evangelist. They are tasked with finding “Adolla Burst”, a pure and unsullied flame, in children and when Rekka faces Shinra, his ‘trigger’ parasite recognizes the Adolla Burst in him. What does that mean about Shinra?
After Rekka conveniently unloads this information onto Shinra, Karim steps him to stop him from doing any more harm. However, members of the White Clad who witnessed the whole scene finish off Rekka before he can reveal any more about their organization, which is unfortunate because I have a ton of questions. It’s then that Karim chooses to help Shinra and the 8th Brigade in their mission to discovering the truth behind Infernals.
In episode ten, Shinra returns to his home base, the 8th Fire Brigade’s headquarters. Arthur makes it back safely taking his place at Shinra’s side and Tamaki seems to be settling in just right. For the first time in Captain Obi’s term as captain, all the captains from all the Brigades are called in for a meeting with the Tokyo Empire Emperor, Raffles III. At this meeting, we’re briefly introduced to new captains, one of which is said to be Asakusa’s King of Destruction, Shinmon Benimaru (Miyano Mamoru). I’m curious and a little excited to see him in action so let’s hope that even if the 7th Brigade might not be loyal to the Great Sol, they partake in some of the upcoming action.
Shinra’s had it rough these past few episodes. Not only does he learn that he possesses the Adolla Burst, but he’s also at risk of being turned into a lab rat should another Brigade aside from the 8th take responsibility for him. The Evangelist and White Clad might be after him but nothing’s to say the other Brigades won’t be going after him either. True they serve the Great Sol but it seems Hibana was not the only one working with Haijima Industries. It’s quite possible she still is…
In addition to learning more about his own flame, Shinra encounters Joker at the Amaterasu energy plant, said to power all of the Tokyo Empire. I’m still unsure of what game Joker is playing. Is he on Shinra’s side or is he a neutral party manipulating things from behind the scene? Does he want Shinra to go up against Shō, his brother who we now know is the Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame? What’s at stake for him in this game of fire?
I have a whole load of questions that emerged from watching these two episodes, and hopefully I’m not alone:
- Kusakabe Shō is still alive, does this mean he also holds the Adolla Burst?
- Although we know the Adolla Burst is a pure and untouched flame, what does that actually mean? Where does it come from and why do some children have it when other don’t?
- Was the Evangelist and White Clad organization behind the burning of the convent children where Iris and Hibana grew up?
- Where else could the White Clad members could have infiltrated?
- What does proto-nationalist mean in the case of the 7th Brigade and their obligations?
- Are there other ways aside from the parasite to distinguish those who carry the Adolla Burst?
- What does Adolla mean?
- So Haijima industries is not behind the controlled combustions but they’re not the good guys either?
- Does this mean there are actual celestial beings or ‘energies’ (Evangelist, Sol) at play here that we have yet to see?
I know I should and could look up more about the parties at play, however, I’m indulging in my reactivity to this show. At first, I wanted so badly to believe this was all a pharmaceutical mishap. But now, I want to witness the powers at play. It looks like the history behind Infernals and this new world has only just begun to unravel.
Aside from the jumble of thoughts I have about this very complex chess board, I do want to mention that I’ve shifted my perception about Shinra. I might have mentioned how his character motivations weren’t necessarily believable but I made a mistake in thinking eight episodes was enough to show us his true colours. True he might think in a narrow-minded way but every step he’s taken has brought him a little closer to the truth. I’m glad he’s found his groove again, now his missions over, and that he’s opened up to his ‘family.’ There’s a long road ahead and he’ll need their support every step of the way.