Fire Force Episode 13: Recap and Review

Captain Burns after losing his eye in episode 13 of Fire Force
Captain Burns after losing his eye

Episode 13 – A Pair of One-Eyes

Fire Force episode 13, “A Pair of One-Eyes,” opens with Captain Burns and Joker squaring off. However, Burns isn’t looking for a fight. He wants to “hear” Joker out. Burns offers Joker some “leads” on the secrets of the Holy Sol Temple. Joker reveals that both he and Captain Burns received their Adolla Links during an incident inside Amaterasu. They encounter an abnormal Infernal that triggered the link. Joker and Captain Burns teleport to another dimension. When they return to their world, Joker is still holding a smoldering stone. According to Burns, that stone still burns even though it doesn’t have any oxygen. 

Captain Burns offers Joker the notebook of Raffles’s wife. It’s a detailed account of the Day of the Cataclysms. Raffles’s wife notices that he was acting differently and concluded that he was a different man. Burns believes that Raffles might have been an “inhuman, higher-dimensional being.” Benimaru still doesn’t trust the contents of the dairy. Joker thinks they may have reached a dead end. Elsewhere, we learn that the Holy Sol Temple is a religion that started under the orders of the Evangelists. The goal is to manipulate humanity and lead them to Adolla. Captain Burns offers to cover up the incident, as Joker plans to investigate Haijima Industries. Benimaru refuses to break into Haijima facilities because they provide medicine for Konro. 

Captain Burns offers to help them in exchange for investigating Haijima. Inside the Haijima industries, three scientists discuss their “models.” Two of them have had nothing but failures but the third has one S-rank success, the child that Rekka Hoshimiya turned into an Infernal, Nataku Son. Lisa joins the 8th Company temporarily and Konro is present to inform them of the events at the Holy Sol Temple. The debriefing is useful for summarizing the events but not much else. Oba tells the crew that 70% of Japan works for a Haijima company. Shinra instantly thinks of Licht, who has been called back by the Haijima industries. At Haijima Group, Captain Hibana warns Licht that he’s “going to get eliminated.” She right. Once Licht brings Shinra to them, they will kill him. 

Fire Force Episode 12: Recap and Review

Fire Force Episode 10: Recap and Review

The pillars in episode 10 of Fire Force
The pillars

Episode 10 – The Woman in Black

Shinra is given the second of grace from the Dark Clad Women. However, before he attacks, we learn that the Evangelists want to destroy the world with fire. Blessed with grace, Shinra explodes with speed as his body is broken down to the particle level. At this moment, Shirna goes back in time to witness Tempe’s past. He was a victim of the Great Cataclysm. Having lost his family, status, and wealth, he travels to the spatial rift. There he encounters the Evangelists. He begs her for “a return to joy,” she releases an insect that pierces his chest and transforms him into the demon. Shinra destroys him with the remaining grace. 

Shinra and the woman have another conversation via Adolla Link. She tells him that she was once human. However, she was “enkindled with an Adolla Burst” by an Evangelist’s insect. She repaired the Tabernacle however, it had existed for 250 years at that point. The women in black believes that the Evangelists have been manipulating mankind for centuries, resulting in numerous religions. She thanks Shinra for saving the forest. The Fire Force regroups as Licht, Pan, and Shinra discuss how the first pillar came to be and what the Holy Sol Temple and Haijima could be hiding. 

The Holy Sol Temple’s deception

The Fire Force says farewell to Scop as they complete their mission. As Shinra thinks about the girl in Amaterasu, Licht notes that if she is inside then a “contradiction is created in the dogma and scripture of the Holy Sol Temple.” This means that the Prologue of the Great Cataclysm is false. Shinra and the rest of the team return to their respective forces. This exposes a lot of new conflicts. First, the narrative that the Holy Sol Temple is now in question and they may have killed the first pillar. I’m also more curious about her life story. Fire Force Company 8 has always been presented as a possible problem for the establishment. I wonder how the Holy Sol Temple will respond. 

Fire Force Episode 9: Recap and Review

Pokemon Twilight Wings: Episode 7 Recap and Review

Leon and John at the Stadium in episode 7 of Pokemon Twilight Wings
Leon and John at the Stadium

The final episode of Pokemon Twilight Wings, Sky, opens in the hospital where it all began. Leon’s Championship match has arrived and because of John’s letter, all the kids from the hospital get to attend. On his way to the Stadium, John sees Leon lost on a mountain top. He asks the driver to stop. Elsewhere, the children are excited, however, Chairman Rose has no idea where Leon is. Meanwhile, Leon asks for a ride, with the winds being so powerful the driver tells Leon to ride Armorgaw without the taxi. 

Leon agrees and takes John along. As they fly, Leon convinces Armorgaw to fly faster. They finally arrive and Chairman Rose begins the show. Leon tells John that they will battle the next time they meet. Leon battles against Raihan, the Hammerlocke Dragon-type Gym leader. John cries as he witnesses an epic battle between the two. Raihan uses his Goodra, against Leon’s Aegislash. However, uses Surf but it doesn’t seem to do anything. Next up is Flygon verses Dragapult, which uses its signature Dragon Darts move. Dragapult’s is defeated by Raihan’s Duraludon. This sets up a final clash between, Gigantamax Duraludon and Charizard. 

The episode ends abruptly, however, it was the perfect conclusion for the limited series. While Pokemon Twilight Wings was never about Pokemon battle specifically, I’m glad it closed out with a brief but exciting battle. The ability for Pokemon to be more focused on a narrative that felt real, made me hope that future games might feature this level of attention to the story. Pokemon games have made strides in gameplay, but I never pay attention to the story that feels unimportant. Regardless, Pokemon Twilight Wings is an amazing animated series, that proves no matter the length and focuses of a Pokemon series, it can still be entertaining. 

Pokemon: Twilight Wings Episode 6


Fire Force Episode 4 & 5: Recap and Review

Inca refuses Shinra's help in episode 4 and 5 of Fire Force.
Inca wants to be thrilled

Company 8 battle a horde of Infernals

Episode 4 and 5 of Fire Force are no stop action. Obi suspects that Haumea is releasing Infernal Bugs, creating a massive number of Infernals. Company 8 struggles to contain the outbreak, with Infernal appearing at random, it becomes difficult to get the sisters in place to pray. Meanwhile, Maki locates Haumea and sends Arthur to distract her. At the same time, Shinra and Charon continue their battle over Inca. When Shinra tells her that she will be safe with him, she rejects his offer of safety. Inca hopes for a life of thrills. Shinra is confused. 

Vulcan detects a demon Infernal. A rare type of Infernal, demons are horned sentient Infernal’s, with high strength and durability. The only two demons in the series were defeated by members of Company 7. When the Infernals overwhelm Vulcan and Hinawa they’re rescued by Lieutenant Karim. Elsewhere, Shinra is rescued by Toru Kishiri from the 5th and Juggernaut from the 2nd. Their interference allows Shinra to escape. However, Charon grabs him as he reaches a captured Inca. Company 2 and Company 5 arrives with reinforcements easing the burden on Company 8. Meanwhile, Arthur finally reaches Haumea, and she’s not pleased to see him. 

Shinra tries to use Corna (Sign of the Devil)

Finally, Shinra and Charon battle again. However, Shinra’s heat does not affect Charon, he prepares to use “Corna.” As the Companies get a handle on the Infernals, the demon remains. Episode 5, Corna (Sign of the Devil), centers on the defeat of the demon. Fire Force highlights the fact that the Second Generations are not inherently weaker than the Third Generation. The second generation can only manipulate already existing flames, while, the third generation can create and manipulate them. Logic would dictate that successive generations would be more powerful, however, I think Fire Force balances the power levels in this series well. 

Lieutenant Hinawa explains that one strategy of the second generation when facing the third is to use their flames to fight them. By concealing the generation to which they belong, they can catch the third generation “off guard.” Shinra releases this as he fights Charon. However, he still has the same problem, his flames don’t work. Inspired by his conversation with Obi, Shinra uses Corna, becoming the first person to harm Charon. Maki and the other faceoff against the demon. Licht creates a strategy to “kill two birds with one stone.” Using the second generation from the 2nd and 5th platoons to gather flames at the center of town. He believes that using the wind and air currents can create flame hot enough to destroy the demon

Licht plans for a firestorm

Maki standing in the center creates a vortex, Licht calls a “firestorm.” As Hinawa lures the demon to the firestorm, Vulcan arrives with the Matchbox. Using the cannon on top, Vulcan and Obi knock the demon into the vortex. Trapped, Hinawa can use the flames from the firestorm to accelerate the velocity to the missile he’s controlling. As the demon reaches the top of the firestorm, its core is pierced by the missile and it explodes. Lieutenant Karim freezes the remaining firestorm leaving a pillar of ice. All that remains the Evangelists. 

These two episodes focus on what the Fire Force does best, high octane action. Each episode successfully balances the many fights that are occurring simultaneously. However, I think it took too long for Shinra to figure out the problem with facing a second generation. That said, I liked the fact that Fire Force reminded us that even with all the new powerful characters, the second-gen. can match them. I still believe that Inca is going to join the Evangelist, especially with Shinra offering her safety. Finally, the humor in Fire Force is flat. Tamaki’s clumsy fanservice and Obi’s inability to aim were ridiculous and distracting. The next episode will likely focus on Arthur more and the conclusion of Charon verses Shinra. However, I don’t think that either fight will result in a conclusion. 

Fire Force 2, Episode 3: Recap and Review


Deca-Dence Episode 3: Recap and Review

Natsumi struggles to master battling Gadoll in Deca-Dence Episode 3
Natsumi struggles to master battling Gadoll

Let’s begin your training

Deca-Dence Episode 3 opens with Kaburagi reviewing the moment Natsume “dies” and her chip malfunctions. Kaburagi throws her into the deep end. They practice on a Gadoll called Spoonwormer’s. Small and pink, the Spoonwormer is fairly weak. Kaburagi gives a tutorial that both educates Natsume and the audience. He explains that it’s important to force the Gadoll to activate their zone. The Gadoll appears to do this instinctively. Within this zone, a magnetic field is generated, making gravity unstable. The round tank lets he wearer see waves. The goggles permit Gears to see Arteries of the Gadoll, which carries oxyone. 

Oxyone is the main source of energy that powers Deca-dence. It fuels almost everything, including the attacking and riding of the Gears. The tank automatically fills with oxyone. Killing mid-size Gadoll requires bleeding them out. Natsume doesn’t take to battle the way you might expect the main character. However, she has another limitation, her arm. 

It’s not your weakness it’s your strength

Natsume’s arm features only three “fingers” making gripping difficult. This is especially problematic when trying to use the regulator lever, that’s used to adjust oxyone usage. Despite the difficulty, she refuses to give up. Kaburagi takes her to a weapons store. He creates a new artificial arm for her that has five fingers, a hose valve, and a compressor. Natsume will be able to use needles with. While returning home the Gadoll attack, destroying the ground. Natsume and Kaburagi rush after Pipe. Meanwhile, the Gears prepare for battle. 

After episode 2, I wondered what Deca-Dence would focus on. I didn’t expect more surprises but was curious about how they would respond. This episode focused on Natsume’s training while explaining the world more. We learn how humanity lost its way, how difficult battling Gadoll is, and Kaburagi’s tendency to save “bugs (Natsume and Pipe).” This behavior is going to become a problem for him in the future. In the meantime, Natsume will get a chance to fight for real. 

Deca-Dence Episode 2: Recap and Review


Fire Force 2, Episode 3: Recap and Review

Inca, the fifth pillar in episode 3 of Fire Force
Inca, the fifth pillar

In episode 3 of Fire Force, the fifth pillar emerges. So far the series has revealed the first pillar, Hitohashira-me, the second pillar, Haumea, the third, Sho, the fourth Shinra. We are now introduced to the fifth. Her name is Inca and she has an odd view of life. Inca can “see” the path of flames that allow her to avoid them and to locate future fires. She uses her ability to “predict” when they will break out, then extorts the victims. Her antics haven’t gone unnoticed. She was known for arriving at scenes before the Fire Soldiers. They correctly deduce that she must be the fifth pillar due to her unique powers. 

After experiencing the Great Fire, Inca decides to value life above all else. However, she appears to love being surrounded by danger. Inca is selfish, greedy, and a bit sociopathic. When she learns that a “sea of flame” will engulf an entire area, she becomes excited. Regardless, both the Evangelists and Fire Force pursue her. Charon and Haumea are the first to locate her. However, Charon is unable to convince her to join. Charon is an interesting character. He can be menacing in one moment and absent-minded in another. 

Charon also seems very comfortable with violence, brutally killing Inca’s friend Sancho. Overall, he’s a rather hulking figure. Shinra eventually encounters Charon in this episode. While being immuned to all of Shinra’s attacks, he’s able to overpower Shinra with powerful kicks. Unfortunately, their fight isn’t completed. Shinra appears outmatched and I don’t like his chances. Regardless, the question is which side will Inca choose. Based on her behavior, I think she’ll join the Charon and the Evangelists. 

Fire Force 2, Episode 2: Recap and Review


Deca-Dence Episode 2: Recap and Review

Natsume tries to blackmail Kaburagi in Deca-Dence Episode 2.
Natsume tries to blackmail Kaburagi

I don’t think I’ve ever had the experience of having an anime switch it up the story so abruptly before. I watched the first half of this episode in a daze. Deca-Dence episode 2, “Sprocket,” reveals that the world in episode 1 is a simulation. Run by the Solid Quake corporation, Deca-dence is a “colossal entertainment facility,” it’s not a virtual world, but one that takes place on the continent of Eurasia. Players become “gears” becoming customizable avatars. Then players join together to hunt Gadoll. I took a second viewing to be certain whether the “humans” were the “Gear” or the cute little robots, it’s the humans. Regardless, at the General Corporation Chimney Town, players gather to play.

Each player can gain experience and reach the top rank. Kaburagi was a top ranker 7 years ago. While traveling to battle Gadoll, Kaburagi’s hunting party discusses removing the natural limits placed on players in-game. This prevents the damage received for effecting the players in the real world. However, if you cheat and modify yourself, you can gain strength. Doing this is obviously against the rules and could result in “being scrapped.” In the first episode, one of the pressing questions was why did Kaburagi hate “war”? It turns out he aided his friend Mickey in cheating the game. Before this, however, Mickey reveals that he’s questioned the system. The robots are property of the corporation and as such is subjected to being replaced. 

Deca-Dence Episode 01: Recap and Review

Kaburagi’s a tool for the system

Unwilling to return to a replaceable robot again, Mickey begs Kaburagi to help him. Kaburagi does so with the condition that Mickey will only use up to 20%. Elsewhere, we are introduced to Hugin and Munin. Together they are task with riding the system of “bugs.” One such bug is Mickey. Exposed as a cheater he’s scrapped and Kuburagi is arrested. In exchange for his life, Kuburagi is forced to work for the system. He will be an armor repairer during the day and a “recovery agent,” at night. Some humans are considered dangerous to the corporation. Somehow humans have been “chipped” and Kaburagi is told that he should recover the chips and report bugs. Deca-Dence focuses on the system and the power of the corporation. 

Defeated, Kaburagi resigns himself to be a tool of the system. He’s given 175 years until he will be scrapped. We return to the Deca-dence world were Kaburagi learns that Natsume is a “bug.” The system considers Natsume to be dead. Therefore, she exists outside the system. He decides to teach her to fight to “see how a bug would survive in the world.” The first episode of Deca-Dence gave the impression that it was a series similar to Attack on Titan. This series made a fool out of me. The willingness to drop this bombshell in the second episode is impressive. Attack on Titan waited for the third season to reveal the secrets of its world.

I thought the first episode was pretty good, but now this series has been elevated. However, this early reveal robs it of any emotional heft. We barely know these characters so it’s difficult to care about them. Deca-Dence takes some risks but I think that it will all be worth it. 


The God of High School, Episode 2: Recap and Review

Jin, Han, and Mira watching the fight in episode 2 of The God of High School
Jin, Han, and Mira watching the fight

Episode 2 of God of High School introduces the motivation of the three main characters, the mysterious head of the tournament administration Park Mujin, and the villain Kang Manseok. Jin wants to fight and get stronger, Han wants money but doesn’t specify why, however, we see someone he loves is in the hospital. Mira’s dream is to revive her “family sword dojo.” Jin accidentally drops the sword into the river. This creates an opportunity for the three characters to bond as they work together to find it. The rest of the episode takes place at the tournament.

The Seoul Preliminaries Tournament is just one location in many. The winner will be granted a chance to participate in the National God of High School Tournament. Most of the matches are quickly over, as the cannon fodder is easily dispatched. The main match is between Go Gamdo and Kang Manseok. Once the fight starts Go takes the lead. Dominating with his Tai Chi techniques, he manages to knock Kang into the audience. Flustered, Kang is forced to use one of his arms. With his speed and fists, Kang switches the dynamic with Go.

‘The God of High School’: An instant hit

Jin breaks the rules

Seemingly unsatisfied with a victory, Kang attempts to force Go to say “Please forgive me.” In flashbacks, we witness Kang at a moment of desperation, tearfully begging for his life. Regardless, Go refuses to beg and Kang becomes more sadistic. He breaks both of Go’s arms. Fed up, Jin interferes and strikes Kang with a devastating kick. In doing so he violates the rules of the tournament. Despite this, they continue to clash with Jin finally knocking Kang out. He’s then knocked down by the power of Park Mujin. Jin will be punished but the tournament will continue. 

We don’t get much on Park Mujin, but for some reason, he was at the Pentagon in America. He seems to have harmed the President, but that wasn’t confirmed. At least we know what he looks like now. The God of High School made an explicit point of showing us that the nanomachines can heal a broken neck, so Go and Kang will be fine. With all the cannon fodder gone the next matches will feature all the important fighters. I expect that they will focus on one or two of the matches for now on. As for Jin punishment disqualification seems appropriate but the wouldn’t make sense for this series to continue right? 

It is possible that since he only wants to fight strong fighters being kicked out wouldn’t be that bad. Han and Mira need to win the tournament more. That said if Jin wins the tournament he could give Han the money and help promote Mira’s dojo. 


Deca-Dence Episode 1: Recap and Review

Natsume's first day at work isn't going well in Deca-Dence Episode 1
Natsume’s first day at work

Deca-Dence is a series set in the distant future, insect-like creatures called Gadoll have force humanity towards extinction. The first episode, Ignition, introduces us to Natsume, a girl who tragically loses her father and right arm to the Gadoll. Deca-dence is the name of a massive fortress that humanity lives in. Natsume is given the role of Tanker, a job she doesn’t want. She prefers to be a soldier, but her right arm is considered a disqualifying factor. Instead, Natsume is stuck hanging from the side of Deca-dence, cleaning vile Gadoll remains off the side. This is a job that she is expected to do for five years. Understandably, Natsume isn’t pleased with her lot, although she gets used to it. 

Her boss is Kaburagi, a rude and somber armor repairer. He wants to live the rest of his life peacefully and can’t comprehend why Natsume wants more. Despite, her traumatic experiences Natsume still wants to fight. Eventually, the Deca-dence is attacked by a massive swarm of Gadoll. They range from small to gargantuan, with the largest being the size of the Deca-dence fortress. We get a glimpse of how humanity fights the Gadoll. Called Gears, they use sphere-shaped backpacks to fly. Then the Gears impale the Gadoll with metal rods and absorbs the green blood the shoots out. As this battle is going on, Natsume, Kaburagi, and their colleague Fennel fall off the side. Kaburagi is left with no choice but to fight against the Gadoll. 

He tethers himself to Natsume and proceeds to dominate the Gadoll with his skills. Elsewhere, the General Minato and his crew ready the mass driver cannon that’s shaped like a fist. The Giant Gadoll charges at the Deca-dence fortress, the cannon fires, launching the fist into the stomach of the Gadoll. Defeated, the Gadoll falls apart leaving humanity to collect the remains. The first comparison Deca-Dence brings to mind is Attack on Titan. The parallels are obvious. Humanity besieged by a non-human species that resulted in near extinction, the use of gear that allow for flight, and the need to hide behind walls. That said, the series seems to have a different tone. However, that may change in future episodes. 

Natsume and Kaburagi seem rather typical so far. However, I’m curious to see why Kaburagi quit. His story is likely tragic, but I wonder how terrible his past is. The animation of Deca-dence is pretty good, however, the CGI isn’t impressive. You can see where 2D animation starts and the 3D begins. It’s not terrible but could be done better. 

‘The God of High School’: An instant hit

Tower of God Episode 8: Recap and Review

Quant fall off the bridge in episode 8 of Tower of God.
Quant fall off the bridge

The Power of a Ranker

In Tower of God episode 8, Khun’s Strategy, we get to witness the strength of a Ranker. Quant is proving difficult to handle so Khun activates his next strategy. He wants to “Lure the opposite team’s “It” to the exit for Khun and delay Quant for just long enough that Anaak — the true, secret “It” of Khun’s team — can make it out of the exit on the bridge and pass the test.” Khun plans is not without its limits. He tries to convince Quant that Anaak jumped off the bridge when in reality she’s hiding in a Lighthouse. This deception fails as Quant can sense the Shushi emanating from the Lighthouse. He challenges Khun to jump as well and pulls Khun off the bridge with him. Khun is rescued by Anaak and her vine-like weapon. With Quant at the bottom of the room and Anaak racing toward the exit, it appears that team ‘A’ won.

However, “Quant” manages to appear at the end of the bridge, taking the badge off Anaak. Khun seems devastated by his failure. His team tries cheering him up by praising his strategy. It turns out that Khun’s real plan was to guarantee that his friends on Team B would pass, but also negotiating a way for himself, Lauroe and his other friends on Team ‘A’ to make it to the next round.

Team B’s turn

The administrator and Lero-Ro discuss the betrayal, with the administrator pointing out that Khun didn’t betray his team, revealing the list of the friends he signed. I wondered how Tower of God would manage to keep Khun and the other more important characters from losing. Does it suggest that putting Khun on team ‘A’ for dramatic effect was a waste? Probably. However, I think what was valuable was showing how Khun thinks. If he’s willing to betray, admittingly strangers, would he do it to others if necessary? Speaking of betrayal, Endorsi after electing herself appears to join Khun in turning on her team.

Tower of God Episode 7: Recap and Review