Episode 14: “The Ashen Reaper”
I, Victor Licht am a Haijima spy
Fire Force episode 14 opens with Licht reveals that he’s a spy. Obi was already aware. Regardless, Licht spied on Shinra for Haijima. Shinra was taken in by the researches to study him. However, the researchers failed to identify Shinra’s flame as being an Adolla Burst. As a result, the research facility has become more extreme with their experiments. He reveals that the facility ordered him to bring Shinra back, but he hopes to use this opportunity to investigate them. Shinra is winning to help. Obi asks the most pressing question. Which side is Licht supporting, the 8th or Haijima? He responds, both.
From his viewpoint, he can research the “truth” with Haijima, however, the 8th seems closer to the truth, so he also supports the company. Captain Obi points out that this means he’s with neither. Obi decides that Shinra can’t go alone to Haijima. The next mission for Company 8 will be to investigate Haijima Industries. Elsewhere, at Haijima Industries, we watch as Nataku and Kurono (Reaper) begin to conduct combat tests.
The Maddest pyrokinetic
Nataku asks “Uncle Reaper,” “when can he go home?” Kurono coldly responds, “when he’s dead.” The threat is supposed to scare Nataku into using his “true power.” Nataku is panicking, breathing heavily while sweating. He begins to imagine Rekka, who encourages him to fight. Nataku recklessly charges at Kurono despite becoming more unstable, the researchers don’t care if he dies. Furthermore, the researches note that Kurono deliberately works for them “just so he can pick on children.” More concerning is that Kurono rivals the power of Benimaru.
Later he reveals himself to be a coward. He claims that he enjoys harming those weaker than him because he “doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt.” Kurono can’t wait to face Shinra, since he’s “weaker.” Kurono doesn’t know that Shinra has an Adolla Burst. His first encounter with Shinra should shock him. Licht explains that Kurono is the “Maddest” pyrokinetic.
Entering the Haijima Facility
As Shinra and Licht enter the Haijima facility they notice that they’re being watched. It seems implausible that they would be able to leave of their own accord and they know it. Licht knows that he’s supposed to die after he brings Shinra in. Licht is amoral. His goal is to get the “truth,” and he’s willing to use anyone to get it. The only person he seems to care about at all is Joker. While inside, Shinra receives an Adolla Link from Nataku. Shinra and Kurono prepare to engage in combat. Kurono uses his tephrosis to spread black smoke. He activates his Right-Hand Eclipse attack which causes Shinra to bleed.
The black smoke can damage him somehow. Shinra uses his speed but Kurono can block his attack. Kurono explains that the black smoke connects to his sense, allowing him to respond to “minute fluctuations.” Shinra attacks in rapid succession, increasing his firepower with each hit. However, none of the hits work. Suddenly, Kurono turns the black smoke into solid weapons. Kurono is enjoying “weakening” Shinra and disregards the researcher’s request to stop. The most interesting aspect of this show continues to be characters like Shinra and Licht. The researchers and Kurono are easy to root against but their flat characters. Regardless, I still would like to see how or if Shinra can win. I predict that Kurono escapes.