Episode 18 – “The Holy Woman’s Anguish”
Religion has been at the center of the Fire Force series. The Holy Sol Temple is one of the major institutions in the series along with the Fire Force Companies and Haijima Industries. However, with the revelations on the possible corruption of the Chruch, the faith in the Holy Sol Temple has been shaken. No one’s faith has been altered more than Sister Iris. She has been largely been a minor character at this point. Iris has always had a strong religious faith and performs the prayers needed to allow Infernals to pass on. Iris has had a hard life, surviving a fire that burned down the convent. Despite this, she maintains a happy exterior and is hopeful. Fire Force episode 18 focuses on her.
His faith is not shaken
Early in the episode, Sister Iris delivers the rights for the wife of a man that became an Infernal. He is visibly shaken but glad that his wife has been given “salvation.” This man’s emotional state is put at ease by his faith in the Holy Sol religion. Shinra accompanies Sister Iris to the Church to baptize the equipment. While there Shinra meets Lieutenant Huo Yan. They discuss how the recent revelations regarding the Holy Sol Temple and the Evangelist. Yan explains that some units have stopped coming to baptisms, even people like Karim. Huo Yan says that he was shocked that the Evangelist was at the head of Holy Sol Temple, but his faith is not shaken. For Yan, he reveres the Sun and fire, “not the Evangelist.”
We need something to believe in
“People need faith” as what Yan claims. He highlights the importance of “believing” and how you can’t lose with it. Sister Iris and Shinra go to the National Holy Sol Cemetery to pray for her fallen Sister’s Clematis and Sakura. Suddenly, a priest turns into an Infernal while praying. Sister Iris begins the prayer, as Shinra sends the priest to the afterlife. The tragedy shakes one of the nuns. as the father prayed daily. She asks Iris, “Does God have any mercy?” The question is never directly answered but I think Fire Force is showing us the challenge that comes with believing in the Holy Sol religion. The Evangelists is an otherworldly figure, but unlike most God’s she doesn’t want the best for her worshipers. What does this say about her followers?
That why Fire Force soldiers need Sisters
Shinra tells her that Obi believes that the worst thing about the job is getting used to it. Without Sisters, they would forget that the Infernals were people. He relays the argument that Lieutenant Huo Yan made to him, belief in the Sun, and fire doesn’t require believing in the Evangelists. Sister Iris seems inspired by Yan’s view. She and Shinra return home. Fire Force tackles some serious topics like Religion, faith, and corruption. However, it wastes time on the silly fanservice. This episode is full of it. Shinra objectifies Iris, but White Clad Assault takes the cake. Having been defeated by Tamaki’s “Lucky Lechery,” Assault has prepared himself to defeat her. This part of the episode is unnecessary and silly, but most fanservice is. That said, I did find parts of it to be kinda funny.