Tokyo is burning, and citizens are mysteriously suffering from spontaneous human combustion throughout the city! Responsible for snuffing out this inferno is the Fire Force, and Shinra is ready to join their fight. Now, as part of Company 8, he’ll use his devil’s footprints to help keep the city from turning to ash! But his past and a burning secret behind the scenes could set everything ablaze.
Shinra Kusakabe Enlists
The Heart of a Fire Soldier
The Rookie Fire Soldier Games
The Hero and the Princess
The Battle Begins
The Spark of Promise
The Investigation of the 1st Commences
The Spreading Malice
Formation of Special Fire Force Company 8 / The Mightiest Hikeshi
Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa
I’m extremely critical of anime no matter the genre, but this one needs a bit more critiquing than some others. I haven’t caught up to all the episodes, but I’m planning on watching the entire anime to solidify my review. My first impression was that this was gonna be an amazing anime. It started off strong with Shinra being introduced, but almost immediately lost my interest at the damsel-in-distress with the sister. I continued with it, and I like the character dynamics so far, but they aren’t being introduced well if at all. The plot jumps from one thing to the next, explaining Shinra’s background, to the Infernals, to the Rookie Games. The concept is amazing; I genuinely like the idea of Infernals, and Shinra’s devil’s foot. However, the pacing is too quick and all over the place. Not to mention the excessive fan service and degradation of women (though that’s to be expected in anime). This anime could be SO much better if the pacing were slower and the characters actually had more personality. Overall, Fire Force is not an anime I hate or heavily dislike but doesn’t suit my taste. I was hoping for more action and well thought out fight scenes, but instead I got two second fights and no explanation or too much explanation. This is definitely a “beginner” type anime. The animation is amazing, and I love the art style, but the story line could use some work.
The fire force seems to have a good idea of what it wants to be in hindsight, yet skews towards unnecessary fanservice wherever possible for no particular reason. It's quite tough to distinguish whether we are dealing with horny teenagers or brave firefighters, and if it continues to sway, the viewers just won't be able to take it seriously. We might just be watching it for the opening. Reviewed with 6 episodes watched.
Minor spoilers ahead, and this is based on the first 9 episodes. Fire Force is David Productions' newest work, and a rather impressively difficult shounen series to explain. It's based on the manga by Okubo Atsushi, renowned for his series Soul Eater Not!, but also to a lesser extent the related work Soul Eater. Fire Force is about a squad of firefighters that fight flaming monsters called Infernos, the result of people spontaneously combusting. How do they do this though, quite literally "fighting fire with fire", as the Fire Force uses pyrokinetics to dispatch of these Infernos. Yet there is clearly more afoot when our protagonist Shinra walks onto the scene with his devil's footprints, the expression of his pyrokinetics. While it has some issues, and does already seem to be a bit divisive whether you will or won't like it, I think overall the majority of people will enjoy it pretty well, 7.5/10 seems fitting. Now, because there are things that must be addressed, to give you an idea whether this anime is for you, we'll touch on them as well as tags first. To start, this is very much a shounen series, for all the "good" and the "bad" that comes with that. For example, while this is undeserving of an ecchi tag, a "fan service" or more accurately something to denote the risque comedy (you know what I mean) of this series would be appropriate. Other than that, the tags listed are all fairly accurate, the drama is light, the action is heavy, and there is a very supernatural premise going on. Obviously if shounen or specifically fan service is outside your interest, or something you're completely turned off by, this might not be for you. Now, the story of Fire Force is the particularly difficult part to explain, to start it quickly veers off from it's basic premise in the way you'd probably expect. Beyond that though, it does seem to be a bit of a slow burn (ha..) plot wise, and really only seems to just be picking up. Seemingly the early parts of this series has been to allow world building as well as introducing the main cast. While this does make it an annoyingly slow start, there is a decent attempt to keep you intrigued with a few mysteries as well as the world building itself. Notably the Infernos and the religion present in this world, where people worship the goddess Sol. I'm torn on how to judge this, but I'm giving it a more positive score of 7/10 as it does seem somewhat promising. The strangest part of this anime is the characters, who I don't find terribly likable so far. They're not bad, but they're not all that great, there is too little there that grabs me about them. Shinra is the protagonist and he's decent enough, he has a cute quirk in his nervous smiling, a perfectly tragic backstory for this setting, and personality wise is a little bland and straightforward but not offensively so. Aside from him, there are a lot of secondary characters here who mostly seem promising, but there are too many characters to build up really well in nine episodes alongside what it has been doing. On that front, I think my opinion will change as we get to know these characters a bit more, but as of now, the characters are an okay 6/10 nothing more. Now by far the strongest point to Fire Force at the moment is it's animation which is fantastic. Don't take my word for it, watch the OP or ED, go look up Fire Force sakuga. The animation here is amazing, and if you have a passing interest in good animation, even if you hate the characters, hate the story, hate everything about this show, it's worth watching for the animation alone. That or I'm sure there will be compilations of this anime after it ends, hell watch AMVs of it if you have to. It's not just that the animation is good either, there is just so much good animation. It only loses out a bit due to the CG that is used in places, while not nearly as bad as it could be, still standing out a little. 9/10 Sound is great here, plenty of well made SFX, especially important with fire being so prevalent. The voice acting all fits so well, legitimately can't imagine a more perfect fit for all these characters. The OST is yet another one that is there, but not particularly standout or memorable to me. Most importantly though, the OP and ED are outstandingly lit (haa..), I actually can't stop listening to them. Worth an 8/10, great in this aspect if you ask me. Overall a great shounen time is to be had with Fire Force, not a whole lot more, but certainly nothing less. The show gets way more negativity than it actually deserves, I guess that's just the way things are going to be now. In any case, I'd personally recommend Fire Force, especially if you're a real fan of shounen anime, this might be up your alley. Oh and people who make fire based puns about this show deserve to spontaneously combust. That includes me, so if you'd pardon me, I'm going to go set myself ablaze.
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