「黒と白と灰色 / 発火の極意」 (Kuro to Shiro to Haiiro / Hakka no Gokui)
“Black and White and Gray / The Secrets of Pyrokinesis
They’re all alive but they all took a serious beating. Thank goodness for new Fire Force 8 recruit Professor Licht, huh?
So much is happening in such a short period of time that it’s proving difficult to keep up. I didn’t expect Sho and Shinra to meet so soon. At the very least, I thought their meeting would be built up a little more but I guess it’s been built enough. It is the seventeenth episode after all. What power exactly does Sho have that he can easily maneuver and move around his enemies at such a quick pace? Also, why does he have wings as a signet for his ability? Is he meant to be seen as a holy being? There is mention of his ability being linked to the Evangelist through his Adolla Link, but does that mean he’s on borrowed power, borrowed time?
Whatever brainwashing Sho went through at the hands of the Evangelist worked wonders because the man he sees in front of him doesn’t set off any emotions whatsoever. As the head of the Knights of the Ashen flame, he sees Shinra as an objective, something to acquire for a greater cause. Unfortunately, their less than grandiose reunion is interrupted by a quick getaway and an assist by the Joker.
The Joker isn’t on anyone’s side, yet he works with Licht, who himself works with Haijima Industries and the Fire Force. Are they both kindred spirits who have a different take on the Cataclysm, Amaterasu, and everything that’s led to these events? What link do they have exactly that puts them on common ground? Either way, the Joker is actually much more powerful than I originally thought, managing all on his own to withstand Sho’s immeasurable strength.
Shinra is a bit of an optimist huh? Clinging onto an old promise he made as a child, imagining a reunion with his brother that wouldn’t require killing him, and casually yelling out: “I’ll be back for you” when he just struck down your mate. A mate you don’t fully appreciate yet but have built a steady and loyal bond with. My question for Shinra, or his character, is: “How can you be so naive?” Or is it because of his innocence that he’ll be able to see things clearly as they unravel? Unlike Shinra, I’m not so much an idealist. I’m more practical. And with the anticlimactic way Sho reacted to reuniting with his long lost relative, I’d think it’d be much more practical to strike him down.
In the end, after Dr. Giovanni walks away with the key (a usb?) to Amaterasu, the gang returns to their home base with two new members: Yuu and Vulcan as their engineer. The Fire Force 8 circus is at full blast, with the exception of Tamaki’s “lucky lecher lure”, during their welcome dinner which makes them feel at home. So much so, Vulcan has already desecrated the church with an animal skull.
At least he’s found another home.
And episode 18 was a nice set up for what’s to come. This episode was written as a clear cut sign that upcoming battles will be more challenging which is why everyone is getting an upgrade. Shinra is learning a new finishing blow technique by practicing on Benimaru and using one of Professor Licht’s ideas, Maki is receiving power hammers her sputters can manipulate, Captain Obi is getting new gear too, and Arthur is going back to basics with his sword.
Looking forward to the upcoming events! I’m sure they’ll be a blast. See what I did there? No? OK.