I certainty watched a lot more anime this year than I have done in the past. The downside to that is that I have also seen a lot more bad anime in pursuit of broadening what I’m consuming. Introducing my 3 Episode Rule series has been a good excuse to watch something I haven’t seen before and then think about it somewhat critically.
Today’s entry is certainly not something it would have taken much arguing for me to start watching though, falling into some pretty familiar territory based on my watching history.
#9: Fire Force
Originally Aired: 6th July to 3rd January | 24 Episodes | Based on Manga Written by Atsushi Okubo | Action, Shounen, Post-Post-Apocalyptic
I keep going back and forth as to whether this show is good or not week to week. Certainly I like the show, or else why would it be appearing on this list. I mean, what kind of weirdo would put something on a top ten list and then spend the majority of the post criticising it. *nervous laughter*
From the very same mangaka that wrote Soul Eater, Fire Force is an action Shounen set in a rebuilt Tokyo Empire after some kind of an apocalyptic event in which demons from hell burst onto Earth and burned nearly all life into extinction. Now, society has rebuild itself around a quasi-fantasy inspired religious society in which Fire Soldiers protect the populous from the victims of spontaneous human combustion, turning them into mindless monsters called infernals.
Fire Force has a lot going for it; an interesting world and visual style, a cool superpower set all based on different uses of fire and pretty likeable cast of characters. It’s action is by far the strongest aspect of the show though, it’s a battle show through and through in which there is rarely an episode that goes by in which people aren’t beating the crap out of one another.
Our main character; Shinra is a visually interesting little lad too. Dubbed the Devil’s Footprints through the academy, his red eyes, shark teeth and nervous habit of smiling menacingly all make give him the look of a villain, while opposed to his very well meaning and childlike approach to being a “hero”. It makes him pretty endearing, along with his dumb trait of giving himself overly long superhero style names that end in “man”.
From a visual standpoint, I really like Shinra, the series obviously does it’s darndest to make him look cool and get a whole bunch of fantastic visual action moments throughout the series, it’s just too bad his actual character and development are pretty weak throughout. He has motives and a tragic backstory, but hasn’t really developed all that much throughout the series. He is certainly a character with some potential for growth, but like most Shonen protagonists, his dogged persistence and optimism end up getting him through the day.
Fire Force feels like a style over substance kind of series. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’re meeting more and more characters as the series goes on, and for the most part their characters arcs are one and done. They get some focus and growth as part of their introduction and ingratiation into the cast, then just become a static presence as the plot and and action surges forward.
Fire Force is the kind of show you can’t think about too strongly to me, which is why I ended up stopping writing the individual episode reviews on here. The action and slow unveiling of the grand conspiracy that may or may not have caused the apocalypse that put the world into the state it is now is the driving force. As for the characters, they’re just paper dolls, there to look cool and/or be waifu bait.
Fire Force is an incredibly visually stimulating show packed with a series of amazing fights, cool powers and banging openings. just don’t try and dig too deep, or you’ll end up tearing through clear to the other side.