OP2: 「MAYDAY」by (coldrain ft Ryo from CRYSTAL LAKE)
「鍛冶屋の夢」 (Kajiya no Yume)
“The Blacksmith’s Dream”
It’s clear this second cour will be about a very big family feud. It’s emphasized in both the new OP and ED, and Kusakabe Sho literally says: “I will go along next time.” I’m simplifying the issue of course but nonetheless, brother will confront brother at some point.
Although Shinra was old enough to remember having a baby brother, we can’t take for granted that Sho would know. He was still a toddler when he was taken from their flaming childhood home, and whoever kidnapped him must have wanted to omit any family mention and must have known about the Adolla Burst he carried. Right now, Sho’s Adolla Burst is the only explanation as to why he is the Commander of the Knights of the Ashen Flame at such a young age. Sho won’t be looking Shinra’s way for any other reason than bringing him to the Evangelist.
Also, will Shinra even recognize Sho? Last he saw him, Sho was just a babe. Will their Adolla Bursts respond to one another? Also, what kind of ability does Sho have? I don’t know how it all works yet so I’m just speculating. That said, here’s another theory for you. Where did Joker get the information about the two brothers? Had he been involved in Haijima Industries or with the Evangelist until he was ‘enlightened’ and chose to leave his organization behind? Could he have been involved in the destruction of the Kusakabe household and is now fuelled by guilt? I’m curious to find out this information but I doubt we’ll learn anything more until much later in the series. It’s probably too close to the truth for it to drop anytime soon.
Speaking of the Joker… Wasn’t he working with Licht in the earlier episodes? I remember labelling Licht as the ‘mad scientist’ that was behind the exploding agent the Joker used as a weapon? Showing up on behalf of Haijima is all very suspicious. If you could see my brain right now, it looks like an impossibly complex network of characters and their affiliations. Who can Shinra trust, really? If Licht actually wants to work against Haijima, then I might understand why he’s still on the inside but what if he turns out to be a double agent?
Trust is the real issue here. It’s the reason why Vulcan (Yashiro Taku), our steaming hot new engineer (can I say that?) can’t justify working with the Special Fire Force. To him, their affiliation with Haijima makes them untrustworthy. He believes they’re the reason his father and grandfather were murdered and he might not be wrong. His grandfather had banned his pupils from ever working with Haijima Industries, and yet, Giovanni (Aoyama Yutaka) became captain for the 3rd Fire Force Brigade. And now, he wants to murder Vulcan for choosing not to work for him. Escalating much?
My head is flaming with this complex web of stories piling up. When will we tie some of the loose ends? Because it feels like things will only get more complicated as the series progresses.
That said, we have new characters! Yuu, Lisa, and Vulcan who make up a pretty cute family unit. It’s obvious Shinra will help save his life in the next episode and that’ll help seal the deal. An Adolla Link is a lot of power and so far, it’s actually aided Shinra is becoming a hero. And in this case, it will mark the tipping point leading Vulcan’s become the 8th’s engineer. From there, the team complete, their investigation into the Special Fire Force, Haijima, and the Evangelist will really take flight.
It’d be nice to have a compilation of all the art animated world-building history cards so I can make sense of what happened to the Earth. It was pretty sad to learn that only the human species and a handful of animal species survived the Day of the Cataclysm. But even if the 8th Brigade does discover the truth and some conclusion is met, it’d take centuries before Vulcan’s dream could come to life. He wouldn’t be around to see it happen and that’s even more heartbreaking.
But let’s not end this on a sad note. I haven’t even covered the best thing about this episode. Shinra, Arthur, and Iris in civilian clothes. Just kidding. As cute as they were, the best part of the episode was Vulcan. He’s eye candy. Thank you Enen no Shouboutai, thank you.
ED2: 「脳内」 (Nounai) by (Lenny code fiction)