Series 2 Premiere: July 3, 2020 Licensed by: Madman (AU) Episodes Commissioned: 24 Studio: David Productions Manga: 24 Volumes (as of July 2020)
Fire Force has been a leading example of incredible adaptation, and animation within the industry. The series could very well garner the same acclaim My Hero Academia has attained throughout its early stages of development. With Season 2 premiering earlier this month, its showing of character and narrative progression has been quite promising, especially in our lead protagonist. In our last Anime Analysis of its initial season, I had mentioned the series potential within depicting an Anime equivalent of 21 Jump Street. I feel as the series has now evolved beyond this trope, and into a leading example of how an excellent Shonen, should be displayed.
With an established potential to dominate the commercial market, its second outing aims to reinforce itself above the standards we experienced season one, and with a plethora of countless combustible elements, including a new series antagonist, a myriad of enemy factions, and some fiery friends joining the fray, Fire Force: Season 2 comes red-hot off the back of it’s spectacular first season. With the departure of Director Tatsumi Minakawa, Series Storyboard Artist Yuki Yase has stepped up to take the reigns for the anime’s next chapter. The second season lifts its source material from later entry’s of its novelisation, with some unique twists and added flair. The entire series is currently streaming on AnimeLab, and is available in Dub.
⚠ Main Plot (Warning: Spoilers)
A repose and some normalcy had returned to life within Tokyo, after the events leading to Shinra’s discovery. His mother had been discovered in Adolla, and had wanted to continue his investigation. With Captain Akitaru Obi promising Shinra, in discovering the where abouts of his mother, we’re once again greeted with Special Fire Force: Company 8, leisurely socialising and enjoying some down-time before a sudden uprise in Infernal cases. Shinra’s determination in transforming Infernal’s back to human become’s the series integral focus from its onset, with the group hell-bent on persevering on the mystery of the Evangelist and the Adolla world.
Tokyo reveled in their short respite, with sudden reports of multiple combustion’s occurring throughout the city. Company 8 expeditiously race into action with their toothy-grinned “leader” taking charge. With the group officially off-duty, Shinra, Maki, and others race toward’s the town square and are unexpectedly met with an oversized mammoth, in the form of an Infernal. The titan figure was revealed as a mutated form of the sentient race, and harnessed capabilities unseen from previous encounters. Maki informs Shinra to keep the giant conduit distracted while the ladies rush back to the Cathedral.
With his limited abilities, Shinra attempts to keep the beast at bay but is ultimately outmatched. Seeming to be the end, our hero is saved by the Company 8’s cocky and brash, blonde brute, Arthur Boyle. Assisting Shinra in battle, the two fight off the blazing behemoth before back-up arrives. With the 8th arriving in a timely fashion, the special brigade of soldiers begin to extinguish the dangers of this mutant force. Presumably defeating the Infernal, Scientist and research leader of Company 8, Viktor Licht exposes a the underlying power of the mutant infernal, with five cores that were essentially powering the monster. Viktor warns the group that each core must be destroyed before the Infernal could once again revive itself. The infernal suddenly resurrects itself with the force ferociously attacking each core inbuilt to the infernal’s body. With the team in-tandem working on each core, Shinra attacks the titan’s central core with his signature “Rapid Man kick”. With this, our elongated cold opening kicks over to our new OP, which more or less summarises our story, and what is known of our fearless firey’s thus far. The remainder of the episode leans towards a comical side of its narrative, with Captain Obi informing Shinra of his involvement in the Fire Force annual male nude calendar project. Marketed almost like a sport, the group have to decide on a pose that will essentially rank each Company, in its competitive calendar photoshoot.
Following up from this we head into the 2nd Episode, and this is where our primary plot-line begins to take shape for our season ahead. Shinra meets with Company 4’s Captain Soichiro Hague, a deranged elderly manwho seems obsessed with being burned alive. Hague is the grandfather of Company 6’s Lieutenant Asako Arg, who plays an integral part of the novelisation in later volumes. With his sinister approach, Hague triggers an overwhelming sensation within Shinra, with the voice of a young woman subconsciously convincing the fire fighter to succumb to his “full power”. Hague informs Shinra that he has experienced the same state of “euphoria” and existed in both Adolla and the real world, but yearns to return to its heavenly state, even though it may be hell. It is then revealed that the woman who is persuading Shinra is the First Pillar, a sacrificial source of energy powering Amaterasu, the thermal-powered generator located in Central Tokyo. The White clad plan on abducting all living pillars, to eventually reopen the gateway to Adolla. Shinra suddenly loses all control of his mind and body, and is seemingly possessed by the demonic deity. Hague forces Shinra’s vessel outdoors where he engages in battle with Arthur.
The two briefly come to blows, with Arthur using Hague (to the senior’s pleasure) as a shield. Arthur tries to remind Shinra of who he is and why he is a fire soldier. His attempts to break this anodyne trance that has Shinra overcome with rage, are unsuccessfully led by a flurry of fiery blows. Arthur then recalls living with his abusive father and mother who had dreamed of a greater life before completely abandoning him as a child. Arthur continues to battle Shinra, and with a newly found purpose, he convinces Shinra to reject provocations of the First Pillar. Meanwhile in Shinra’s mind, the diety claims that she and he are not the only Pillars, but another exists within Tokyo.
Commentary & Highlights (Warning: Minor Spoilers)
No doubt, the insanity bought forward from Fire Force’s previous season returns here with a ton to interpret. Gauging off its premiere, we’re initially bought into the deep end from the onset of its second episode. The first episode of the series brings everyone up to speed at a steady pace, reminding everyone of our quirky cast of zany fire fighters, and how they engage and interact with each other. This is a great example of recourse and refreshing those who may not have remembered every single minute detail of its initial series. Given the rapid pacing of its entire franchise, it comes as no surprise here that we’re given a prologue into the integral pieces of upcoming episodes.
I’m absolutely enthralled with the series direction, and its engrossing narrative told thus far. The new school of antagonists that are a complete mystery are encapsulating and will entice you to continue following this incredible story. While the first episode will confuse some, I understood its juxtaposition and intention from switching between an intense action sequence, to simply extending its comical branch in hopes of expressing the sudden departure in tone. Sure it may be an anomaly from what is experienced from the series’ overall intent, but its deviation persists with great presentation and personality.
The Pillar plot is certainly one that I am engaged with, and have many questions regarding its purpose behind supplying an endless amount of energy towards a corporate system that may overrule Tokyo. Yeah, it may be a typical anime trope seen from many series, and gaming franchises alike, but for some peculiar reason, this is a little different. It may be the fact that I had a sense of urgency while watching the second episode, almost a dread-like sensation overwhelm me. Trust issues with certain characters, old and new started to settle in and the mystery of the Pillars grew deeper with each interaction Shinra had with the First Pillar, and Hague.
In saying all this, the series’ quality in animation standards have improved beyond its first season, and that is quite the feat. Previously, I had praised Fire Force in its first outing into the anime atmosphere, as an inspiring display of fluid animation, vibrancy, flair, and a certain element of charm that may remain unmatched for quite some time. With this season coming into play with such headstrong momentum, there is no doubt that fans will get behind its poetry-in-motion. An original plot, mixed with a looming sensation of utter dread purposely cajole’s fans and devotee’s back into this insane world, and I for one cannot wait to see when it all comes to a head.
Noteworthy Mentions (Warning: Minor Spoilers)
“SPARK-AGAIN”by Aimer is old school, is so awesome. Such an amazing display of vibrant visuals that summarises the first season, with some introduction to key characters that will no doubt evolve the narrative leading into its following season.
I love this show. Everything about Fire Force proves its worthwhile, from its intrinsic display in standardising benchmark quality animation, usually seen from big budget feature length presentations, and beloved series like “My Hero”, it takes it further only re-inventing anime and proving the medium to be one of the most flexible genre’s out there.
Maki in the Back seat, Shinra in the front seat. While much of the initial season put feelers out to its audience in hopes of engaging in its female lead, Maki’s presence within the first two episodes are minimised to focus on Shinra’s character progression, and his connection to the Pillars and the White Clad.
The First Pillar. I like her, alot. She deviously delicious as a devilish deity that seeks to possess all Pillars in a fascinating approach. Intentionally brain washing each vessel in hopes of luring them to the White Clad, and enslaving them for total domination will be a great “cat-and-mouse” plot line to follow.
Fire Force – David Productions
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VERDICT: YES 👍
Shinra Kusakabe is a third generation pyrokinetic youth who gained the nickname “Devil’s Footprints” for his ability to ignite his feet at will. He joins Special Fire Force Company 8, which features other pyrokinetics who dedicated themselves to ending the Infernal attacks for good while investigating Companies 1 through 7 for potential corruption in their ranks. Shinra begins to learn that his younger brother’s abduction during the fire that killed their mother 12 years ago is caused by a mysterious doomsday cult that is behind the Infernal attacks. Company 8 and their allies oppose the White Cloaks and their Knights of the Ashen Flame, who seek certain individuals like Shinra and his brother (Sho) to enact a scheme to repeat the Great Disaster.
“Anime Analysis” provides reviews and impressions for the first two episodes of each Anime, and are not reflective of the entire season.