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Anime

Fire Force Episode 23: Recap and Review

Episode 23 – “Firecat”

Fire Force episode 23 opens with Shinra debriefing Captain Obi, Captain Hibana, and Licht on what Dr. Giovanni said to him in episode 22. Shinra tells them about Leiutenent Konro and heads with Captain Hibana to the 7th. Captain Konro isn’t present, he is headed to a storage shed alone. When they arrive they witness Konro being attacked by a White Clad. Shinra is concerned as the White Clad assaults Konro with a series of fire swords. Due to his tephrosis, Leuitenent Konro is vulnerable. However, when he looks defeated, he K.O’s his enemy with a single sword slash. Konro recalls his encounter with the demon that appeared Asakusa. After he defeated the Infernal he was transported to another dimension. 

Later, Shinra and the others return to Company 7th where Captain Shinmon offers to train the Company 8th, Tamaki, Arthur, and Shinra. He sends Hikage and Hinata to “play” with Tamaki. She not at the same level as Shinra and Arthur so I think it was appropriate. I’m hoping that Tamaki becomes more than just a fanservice vehicle for this series, so I’m excited about the possibilities. While Hinata and Hikage chase Tamaki around, Shinmon ties Shinra and Arthur to pits over a flame. Tamaki flashbacks to her childhood, when she discovered her powers and joined the Fire Force. She’s motivated to “show everyone” especially after Juggernaut’s injuries.  

Tamaki’s breakthrough

Fire Force tries to make Tamaki’s “lucky Lecher Lure” more serious than I think it warrants. It’s a silly argument for fanservice, don’t try to make it into an actual complex. Anyway, Tamaki’s fire cloak adds a partial cat face, as she faces off against the fully cloaked Hinata and Hikage. The following case scene was more impressive than I thought it would be. When she reaches 45 sec. Tamaki has another flashback of her and Shinra. In it, he encourages her to have some self-respect. In her final ten minutes, Tamaki stops and charges the twins. The “unite” and turn into “mother fox.” Tamaki breaks through them with her Nekomata Fireball. Captain Shinmon stops the contest after a minute noting that Tamaki was “suppressing her power.” 


Anime

Fire Force Episode 21: Recap and Review

In episode 21 of Fire Force, Dr. Giovanni and gets creepy insect mods.
Dr. Giovanni and his creepy insect mods

Episode 21 – “Enemy Contact”

Juggernaut loses his left hand as well as the feeling in his leg. He thanks Tamaki for giving him “courage.” As he passes out, the Infernal surround them. Tamaki prepares to fight them all to get Juggernaut to the surface. Elsewhere, Company 2 begins to panic as the Infernal overtake them. Suddenly, the Knight of the Purple Haze, Iron appears. Iron reminds me of Pyramid Head from Silent Hill crossed with a Ku Klux Klan member. Hinawa shoots him, comparing him to Arthur. Hinawa’s bullets do not affect. Shinra is attacked by Dr. Giovanni. He’s altered his body to have “increased affinity with the Insects.” Dr. Giovanni reveals that he has two green insect legs. When he’s attacked by two Company 2 members he kills one by stabbing him in the jaw. Fire Force episode 21 seems like it will continue the more horrific themes in episode 20. 

Company 2 has been useless so far and are cannon fodder. Shinra plans on drawing Giovanni away from the others. Dr. Giovanni claims that the White Clad are here for “him,” and he should be concerned with himself. Dr. Giovanni altered his body to have “Hair-pencils,” these organs are used by male moths to utilize pheromones. Dr. Giovanni used this ability to “read human emotional and psychological states.” Somehow this allows him to read Shinra’s mind, I don’t get it, but I’ll go with it. Dr. Giovanni then goes on to rant on how insects are aliens. What is interesting is that this is the second time Fire Force has mentioned something as being “not of this world.” The Evangelist was mentioned as being otherworldly a few episodes ago. Regardless, Dr. Giovanni reveals that he has six insect arms.

The White Clad plans to blow up Tokyo

Elsewhere, Arthur takes on an “army” of Infernals. He weirdly abandoned two wounded members of Company 2. They’re attacked by an Infernal while Arthur interferes in Shinra’s and Dr. Giovanni’s fight. Meanwhile, Hinawa and Takigi Oze continue to fight Iron, who Hinawa suspects is a third-generation pyrokinetic that uses his power “within his body.” Iron can harden his body, allowing bullets to bounce off and creates massive strength. Iron heats and cools his body changing his hardness. Takigi and Hinawa spent most of the time bickering over Maki. When Iron attacks again, Takigi nullifies his flame and Hinawa uses his Ricochet Control to hit his joints. Tamaki continues to battle Infernal, suddenly, two more White Clad appear. When it looks like Tamaki might die, Captain Obi and Gustav Honda, and Vulcan appear. One of the White Clad, Sasori, challenges the “nonpowered” Obi who knocks out Sasori with one blow. Honda does the same to the other White Clad. After they regroup, the crew learns from Licht that the White Clad are planning on blowing up the research facility. 


Anime

Fire Force Episode 19 and 20: Recap and Review

The Nether Zone

Fire Force episode 19 begins a new arc focusing on the Nether. Maki takes center stage. Her father, General Danro Oze, receives a report from the Special Fire Force. He’s an intimidating figure. The Oze family get together for the first time in years. They mock Maki’s appearance for being too buff. Regardless, the dynamic of the Oze family is typical. Her brother heads down into the Nether to investigate the strange smells coming from the area. Along with his colleague, they investigate the strange smells coming from the equipment room. Inside they find Infernal insects and realize that it was a White Clad lab. Suddenly, a White Clad suicide bomber appears and kills himself. The lab is destroyed but Maki’s brother survived. General Oze upon hearing this, demands that the Military be involved in investigating the White Clad.

The 8th is asked to join a joint mission into the Nether. Maki receives orders from the military to return. She doesn’t want to go but when Hinawa tells her to go back she relents. After introductions, Special Fire Force Company 2 and Company 8 explore the Nether together. Fire Force episode 20 focuses on this exploration. This episode was strange. It felt like it had a horror element to it and it felt like it was more bloody than the series is generally. The companies encounter Infernals. The second company open fires and are quickly overwhelmed. I was shocked that they were so quickly defeat considering that they’re military and Maki is so skilled. The episode makes a weird decision. Several of the company 2 members get short flashbacks, one with his fiance, another with his pregnant wife, and the last one with his sneaker. 

Juggernaut verses Orochi

They all are killed by Infernals and reanimated by Ritsu. The scene may have been intended to be funny but it was awkwardly executed. Platoon Leader Hajiki is given more introduction than his company 2 comrades but he’s then decapitated by a White Clad, Orochi. Enraged, Juggernaut overcomes his cowardice and attacks Orochi. At first, he creates a machine gun, but its countered by Orochi’s Medusa Whip. She then begins to strike at Juggernaut’s inflated body, drawing blood. Juggernaut’s ability to regenerate his uniform is never explained but borders on the ridiculous. Regardless, he’s able to use this ability effectively. Juggernaut can hit Orochi with a massive bomb resulting in the obliteration of Orochi. It’s not clear that what happened to Juggernaut, but it appears that he may not survive. 


Anime

Fire Force Season 2, Episode 18: Recap and Review

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. 

Anime

Fire Force Season 2 Episode 17: Recap and Review

Nataku Son fires a powerful blasts in  Fire Force Season 2 Episode 17.
Nataku Son fires a powerful blasts

Episode 17 – ‘Boys, Be Weak’

Fire Force Season 2 Episode 17 shows that Shinra is ineffective against Nataku. The radiation continues to rise as Nataku continues to panic. Nataku reveals that he’s always been under oppressive pressure to succeed. His parent pressured him to be perfect in school, hoping he can become a doctor. However, when he failed to continue to be flawless (he got 87% on one test), his parent didn’t respond well. His mother handed him over to Haijima, expecting him to do well there as well. Nataku believes he has to continue to improve. He then releases a massive amount of radioactive energy, shooting a powerful blast towards the earth. 

Charon the Reflector

Charon has a second-generation ability to absorb kinetic energy and turning it into thermal energy. He’s able to use this ability to reflect that power from Nataku’s attack. The attack is so powerful that it leaves a crater in the moon. Annoyed that Nataku almost killed all the weak people, Korono destroys the Giant Infernal. He tells Nataku not to “get stronger.” This triggers a surprising response from Nataku. He feels free from the pressure to get stronger because Korono doesn’t want him to be stronger. Seeing that Korono is willing to “protect” Nataku, Charon is put at ease. Charon is a complicated character. He sees all the pillars as important and only wants their safety. He’s neutral in this regard. Of course, he’s willing to die for any of them.

You can’t survive with Haijima as your foe

After the devastating events of the Haijima, Licht, Shinra, and Obi met with the President of Haijima. He makes it clear upfront that he would like to form a “united front” to counter the Evangelists. In exchange, he will reconsider the hit he put on Licht. If Shinra is willing to participate in the experiments, Haijima will change the experiments they practice on the children. At one point, the President tells Shinra not to get “too emotional.” This seems to be the central belief of Haijima. To the Haijima Corporation money is the most important. When questioned by Licht on the Amaterasu, Gureo admits that an Adolla Burst user was sacrificed. He argues that the sacrifice of one person is acceptable if it helps 15 million. 

He asks if Amaterasu is shut down what will “become of the people who live in this country?” This does suggest that if the Amaterasu is shut down the first pillar might survive, but it wasn’t confirmed. Suddenly, Vulcan barges in claiming that he can create a new power generator better than the Amaterasu. Gureo Haijima becomes almost childlike (he’s playing a Gameboy like device the whole time) in the hope that Vulcan is right. If he’s right then Haijima will back the 8th. So Haijima will support the 8th as long as they can recoup their profits. While the 8th remains the most “good” of all the organizations, Fire Force continues to introduce complicated moral characters like President Haijima, Charon, and Licht. 

One Piece Chapter 993: Recap and Review