Anime

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

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Fire Force Episode 9: Recap and Review

The Great Cataclysm

Episode 9 of Fire Force opens with a retelling of the events of the Great Cataclysm starting with the prologue. After the world is engulfed in flames it becomes covered in ash. One man appears Raffles I. He searches with his disciples for light. They discover the “unsullied flame.” In chapter 2, Raffles uses this flame to create Amaterasu. Suddenly, we are back in the Tabernacle. It turns out that despite his stupidity, Arthur memorizes Pi. He’s able to read the tables but they’re unsure what they mean. Meanwhile, Ogun, Shinra, and Tamaki put the Infernals to death. The Demon Infernal becomes enraged and attacks Tamaki.

Juggernaut intervenes and the Demon punches a hole through his chests. Or at least we’re lead to believe that. It seems that Juggernaut’s uses “layers” to build his size. I thought like many people probably did that he had died. However, after watching it a second time I realize there wasn’t any blood. Regardless, it’s a surprisingly funny moment. Recognizing how tough the Fire Force is, the Demon creates a scythe, blocking Shinra’s attack. Shinra receives another adolla Link from the devilish woman. Inside the Tabernacle, Licht is terrorized by the energy he feels from inside. They notice a “white feather arrow” key stuck in a keyhole. 

The meaning of sacrifice

Arthur sees seven more lined up next them. Pan and Licht realized that together that makes eight arrows and that the white arrow represents “sacrifice.” Licht concludes that the source of Amaterasu’s power is a person that possesses the Adolla Burst. They assume that the Woman in Black is the sacrifice inside the Tabernacle. Outside Shinra realizes the same thing. Shinra begs Ogun to “buy him some time.” Ogun takes off his uniform and uses his Flamy Ink. Tamaki explains that with this power he’s able to rival the power of Captain Burns. His speed and firepower are dramatically increased. While he dominates the Demon he doesn’t seem to do much damage. 

It’s an impressive action sequence. Shinra comes into contact with the woman in black and learns that she only has enough power to give him “one second of grace.” Shinra believes it’s more than enough time. This was a very good episode. It expanded the universe, explained the source of a Tabernacle’s power, and showed us some of Ogun’s strength. Considering how long “anime time” can be I expect one second’s worth of power will be enough. I’m interested to see what Shinra does with it. 

Fire Force Episode 8: Recap and Review

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Fire Force Episode 8: Recap and Review

The Demon Infernal appears in Fire Force Episode 8
The Demon Infernal

Protect the Forest

Shinra hears a voice during the Adolla Link that whispers “protect the forest.” Scop tells the story of their “benefactor.” After the Great Cataclysm 250 years ago, Scop meets a human woman. She claims to have come from “beyond the spatial rift,” to recreate the world. She gives them flame, ends their hunger, and extends their lives. Eventually, she repairs the Tabernacle, creating the Oasis. Scop and the others keep the Tabernacle safe, waiting for her to return. Shinra deduces that the voice belongs to her. Suddenly, the encounter an Infernal.

Infernals want to destroy the world

Licht is attacked by them but is rescued by Pan and Shinra. They’re besieged by a group of Infernals and Hellhounds. Ogun and Arthur defeat them without much effort. Shockingly, one of the Infernals begins to speak. Lieutenant Pan asks one of the Infernals to live in “harmony” with the animals. However, the Infernals believe that the Tabernacle was built to “destroy the world.” They plan to blow it up. Confused, Shinra and Arthur suggest that maybe the woman was evil. Scop tells them that this isn’t possible. Elsewhere, a Demon Infernal orders his followers to kill the Fire Force. The group decided to split up. Licht, Arthur, and Pan search inside the Tabernacle, while the other face the Infernals outside.

What’s the meaning of Pi?

While searching the inside they get trapped. Outside Shinra, Ogun, Tamaki, and Juggernaut are surrounded by Infernals and Hellhounds. The Demon Infernal plans on destroying everything so it can go to heaven. Unable to die, the Demon Infernal hopes that the aftershock from the destroyed Tabernacle will kill him. Shinra accepts that they must fight. He’s quickly overwhelmed by the Demon’s power. Shinra and the others are well aware that they can currently produce the power needed to kill the Demon Infernal themselves. Suddenly, Shinra receives another Adolla Link. Meanwhile, Arthur, Pan, and Licht investigate the numbers of sequences on the stone tablets. They’re are shocked to learn that Arthur can read them.

Fire Force Episode 7: Recap and Review

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Fire Force Episode 7: Recap and Review

Arriving at the Chinese Peninsula

Fire Force Episode 7 marks the beginning of the Chinese Peninsula arc. The Fire Force hopes to discover more information regarding the Adolla Burst. The Fire Force members, particularly Arthur, Ogun, and Shinra, are excited to be in a new land. In Road to the Oasis, the Fire Force team quickly get to work. Their first goal is to head toward the spatial rift. Neglecting to wear a face mask, most of the crew, are affected by the gas emitted from the land. They appear stoned, laughing, screaming “Hell Yeah,” Tamaki imagines that she’s talking to her mother, and Juggernaut destroys a stone pillar with his missiles. 

After they calm down, they encounter another strange sight. A talking mole being chased by a giant worm. Forced out of the Oasis, the mole must steal to survive. With the worm now chasing the Fire Force crew, Ogun and Shinra are sent to distract it. This turns out to be our big action sequence. It’s particularly interesting because we haven’t seen many of Ogun’s abilities yet. The newest member uses his Yoruba Spears along with a hoverboard to fly. The moment is a cool intro but is mostly just that. We’ll have to wait to see Ogun’s full power. Regardless, they escape. 

The Sea of Infernals

The mole, Scop, explains that Oasis has water and plant life. However, they have been driven away. Suddenly, four crows fly overhead and Scop flags down one named Yata. Also a talking animal, Yata explains that most animals can’t talk, but he doesn’t know why. Meanwhile, Shinra and Ogun notice a sea of orange lights scattered across the ground. Upon further examination, Shinra realizes that they’re all Infernals. Considering exercising the Infernals, Shinra is told by Yata that the ground is unstable and they could fall into the lava underneath. Shinra accepts that they won’t be able to safely put the Infernals at peace.

The following morning they head to the Oasis. Yata shows Shinra the Tabernacle, an Amaterasu like the one found in the Tokyo Empire. Scop shows them more of the Oasis. Lieutenant Pan and Shinra get into a disagreement about how to approach the Evangelists. Pan believes that the Fire Force’s main purpose isn’t to get into conflict because they’re not the military. Up until this point we where lead to believe that the reason that Scop, Yata, and the other animals were forced out of the Oasis was due to the Evangelist. However, it turns out that they pushed out by Infernal dogs called Hell Hounds. Scop warns them that the hell hounds “boss is worst,” as Shinra receives an Adolla Link

Fire Force Episode 6: Recap and Review

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Fire Force Episode 6: Recap and Review

The new Fire Force team
The new Fire Force team

Episode 6 of Fire Force brings the search and capture of the fifth pillar to an end. Inca wishing to find greater levels of danger chooses to join the White Evangelists. To symbol her official evil turn, Inca kills her former accomplice, Panda. It’s a brutal moment but marks the episode’s best-animated scene. I thought it was odd that Shinra glossed over Inca’s willingness to join the White Robes, suggesting that she was “taken away” by them. Regardless, Company 8 realizes that they don’t know much about the eight pillars or the motives of the White Evangelists. Viktor Licht aims to find out more about the Adolla Burst.

The other companies plan to assist, although Captain Leonard Burns suggests that the 1st is too religious to helpfully. As a result, Karim has to sneak out and Tamaki joined the 8th under the “pretext of being suspended.” Most of the other companies are handicapped in one way or the other. Regardless, multiple companies are working together on a joint operation to discover more about the pillars. The newly formed team will be heading to the Chinese Peninsula. Having never left Tokyo, Shinra is excited to see the outside world. Joining the team will be Team Leader Ogun Montgomery, Takeru Noto, Arthur Boyle, Shinra, Tamaki, Viktor, and Purt Co Pan. There wasn’t much else to this episode, but it was mostly used to transition to a new arc. 

Fire Force Episode 4 & 5: Recap and Review

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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


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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


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Fire Force 2, Episode 2: Recap and Review

The First Pillar manipulates Shinra in Episode 2 of Fire Force
The First Pillar manipulates Shinra

Shinra is heading to the Special Fire Force Company 4 headquarters to have a meeting with their Captain. Shinra saw Captain Hague during an Adolla Link. The Fire Defense agency is in charge of the regular firefighters, the Academy, and the Fire Force Company 4, which it uses to run the academy. In Fire Force episode 2, Flames of Madness, we are introduced to Ogun Montgomery the only friend that Shinra had while at the academy. He’s also the friend of Arthur, he seems to play peacemaker between others. The promotion of Season 2 of Fire Force implies that Ogun will at least partner with Company 8. I look forward to seeing more of him and his powers. Shinra finally meets with Captain Hague a strange and creepy man. His office is dimly lit and he immediately asks Shinra to “burn him.” 

Captain Hague is an old man with black-rimmed glasses, a buzz cut, and a scar across his face. During this strange encounter, the first pillar, a naked blonde woman, begins to manipulate Shinra. At first, he’s able to dismiss her. In conversation with Hague, Shinra learns that in a moment of despair he experienced the Adolla Link. Fire Force has always had an explicit religious tone to it. Hague seems to have been “converted” by his experience. To him, Adolla was a “truth” that needs to be shared with the World. Suddenly, Shinra’s old classmate attacks while in the mascot suits. The first pillar manages to push Shinra over the edge. He gives in and becomes possessed by the first pillar. Shinra has always flirted with his dark side. Having experienced tragedy and rejection, Shinra often felt alone. Despite this, I found the dramatic shift in Shinra this episode to be too sudden. The main hero given into a dark power is common in anime, such as Naruto and Bleach. However, the transformation felt earned. 

Captain Hague moves the battle outside. Along with Pan Ko Paat, who buffs Hague, the battle a rampaging Shinra. Initially, Shinra flames prove overwhelming for Captain Hague to handle. However, he does find his exposure to the Adolla flame to be pleasant. Ogun and Arthur arrive to stop Shinra’a rampage. Arthur directly battles Shinra, giving him three chances to stop. Arthur goes into his inner world and we learn why he’s the way he is. Living in poverty, Arthur’s parents encourage him to lose himself into his imaginary world. I also appear that his parents abandoned him, but the episode doesn’t elaborate. The flashback is oddly placed and becomes a distraction. I would like to know more about his childhood but this episode doesn’t feel like the right time. 

The fight largely ends predictably, Shinra remembers that he wishes to be a hero. He rejects the first pillar and as she leaves she tells him that another child with the Adolla Link will be born. She excited to see which group, the Evangelist or Company 8 will reach the child first. The pacing of this episode was to fast. Arthur’s backstory doesn’t feel like it belongs, and Ogun is underused. Furthermore, the battle is between Captain Hague and Shinra could have been left out, he didn’t do anything. Overall, Fire Force episode 2 introduced us to many new characters and storylines, but that made it feel bloated. 

Fire Force 2, Episode 1: Recap and Review


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Fire Force 2, Episode 1: Recap and Review

Company 8

Fire Force Returns

The Fire Force Season 2 begins with an episode titled, A Fire Soldier’s Fight. Company 8 is enjoying ice cream meanwhile Shinra is considering the tasks he needs to accomplish to save society. He wants to find a way to “turn infernals back into people,” unravel the “mystery of the Evangelist and Adolla Bursts,” and end “spontaneous human combustion.” Early on the episode focuses on changing the style of the Lieutenant. I found this moment boring and I think it went on for too long. Regardless, an explosion erupts and Shinra springs into action. 

Shinra encounters a massive infernal. He’s rescued by Arthur Boyle. The rest of Company 8 arrive to take down the huge infernal. Captain Obi sends Viktor Licht and Vulcan Joseph to locate the infernal’s core. Iris, Maki, Tamaki, and Hinawa join with Shinra to battle. Vulcan and Licht discover that the infernal has multiple cores. Five in all, one in each arm and leg, with a main core in the chest. The arms and legs need to be destroyed first. Lieutenant Hinawa shoots the first core causing the wrist and hand of the infernal to turn to ash, falling off. 

Arthur arrives

A new infernal arrives

Temaki uses her Nekomata to bind the infernal, while, Maki uses her powers to pulverize the core with Sput-Flare Rush. Next up is Arthur, who easily destroys the leg core with Violet Flash. Obi takes the second leg core, leaving the rest up to Shinra. With the Rapin-Man kick, he destroys the massive infernal. After a new OP, we return to the Company 8 headquarters. Obi is outraged by Hinawa’s new wardrobe. Particularly his hat the reads “Nudist Bitch.” Hinawa lies a claims that he bought the clothing, however, Obi knows who’s responsible. What’s next for Company 8, Fire Force Nude Calendar. 

I have criticized Fire Force for its female fanservice, so male fanservice is refreshing. Company 8 hopes to become the most popular as they are currently last. Meanwhile, Captain Hibana is obsessing over the possibility that Shinra is seen naked. All the Captains seem to be eager to appear to accept Captain Shinmon, who was secretly photographed in the bathhouse. This year Company 8 hopes to rise in the ranking. It’s silly but I found it more interesting than the earlier shopping spree. I stopped watching the series in the middle last season, hopefully, they can keep my interest for Fire Force Season 2. 

The Top 5 Bald Anime Characters

Misc

Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen and Fire Force Trailers

Promo for Attack on Titan season 4
Promo for Attack on Titan season 4

Fire Force Season 2 trailer

It feels like the first season of Fire Force just ended. Regardless, the second season of Fire Force will start this year in July. A child with the Adolla Bursts will be born, pitting the 8th Company and the followers of Evangelist against each other. Season 2 will introduce new characters such as Ogun Montgomery, a friend of Shinra, and Arthur, he’s currently a member of Company 4. I cooled on the series after about half the first season, but the trailer seems to offer more than the first. I’m hoping it won’t be underwhelming.

The dynamic of the Fire Force and the Evangelist battling over the “Pillar” is what most interests me. What’s the child’s story? Will it be a tragic one like Shinra’s? The animation is still top-notch so I think I’ll give it another shot.


Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 trailer

Jujutsu Kaisen is a manga series that I heard little about. A series illustrated and written by Gege Akutami, in its 11th volume. Jujutsu Kaisen follows the story of Yuji Itadori, a high school student that joins the Occult Research Club. Yuji’s grandfather is on his deathbed, but before he dies he instills two messages in Yuji “always help people” and “die surrounded by a crowd”. Yuji, however, understands this message as everyone deserves a “proper death.”

He learns that he made contact with a “high grade cursed charm talisman” its a rotting finger that his friends in the Occult Club unseal. The finger attracts evil creatures that prey on evil emotions. Desperate without magical power, Yuji decides to swallow the finger, becoming the host for a creature named Sukuna. Despite his possession, Yuji can keep control of his body. However, all sorcerers are required to exorcise Sukuna (and Yuji). Satoru Gojo, a teacher of Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College plans to postpone Yuji’s death “until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill him once and for all.”

This series sounds interesting and weird. I’ll give it a shot, the first season begins in October 2020.


Attack on Titan Season 4 trailer

Last week the trailer for the fourth and final season of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) was released and it was glorious. The final season of the acclaimed series will be produced by a new studio, with MAPPA (Dorohedoro, Yuri on Ice) replacing WIT studio. Yuchiro Hayashi (Dorohedoro) will be directing, while Hiroshi Seko (Ajin, Vinland Saga, Mob Psycho 100) and AOT season 1-3 scriptwriter, will oversee scripts. If anyone had doubts about whether a new studio will do right by the series, the trailer should ease that fear. The final season seems to start after a time skip, with many of the characters having a change in appearance.

The trailer opens with an unknown character who appears to be the sole survivor of conflict during war. We get glimpses of some of the characters we know like Reiner, Mikasa, and Eren. They’re noticeably older and seemed to be hardened by war. On the titan front, we see Eren and Reiner’s form, in addition to two new titans, one that resembles a lion and another that looks like the silver surfer. The trailer effectively portrays the chaos of war, while, pointing to mysteries that the series still holds. MAPPA makes good use of the music that the series is known for, as well as dynamic imagery. If this doesn’t get you excited for the final season I don’t know what will.

Samurai 8’s failure, Burn the Witch, and an argument for a Bleach sequel