After the tragic incident that happened to Kyoto Animation last week, I can definitely see why this episode was delayed. I heard rumors that they were going to censor this episode, but if they did, I honestly didn’t notice. Every scene and action still flowed together really well.
The pacing and storytelling still continues to unimpress me but I won’t delve too much into it since I’ve already complained about it in the previous two episode posts. Though I do want to comment on how this does not feel like episode 3. Ever since this series started, it honestly feels like we’re already several episodes in without properly getting to know the characters well enough to care about them. It was also weird when the cat girl just randomly popped up out of nowhere without a proper introduction.
Speaking of the cat girl… why… just why… of everything they could have done with her, why is she just the token fanservice girl??? I was just at a loss of what even happened between Shinra and her. This went above and beyond the typical fanservice elements… well aside from ecchi. But still, that was a bit of shock I could have done without. I honestly shouldn’t be that surprised. This is the Soul Eater creator afterall and there were all sorts of fanservice in that series.
Anyways, I feel like a lot (if not too much) happened in this episode. We first start off with Shinra going up to that guy in the 1st squadron who appeared in his flashback. It’s pretty obvious that the guy remembers him and knows a lot more than he’s letting on considering his reactions. Even Shinra starts to suspect him for knowing more about the fire that supposedly killed his family. And while I do think the guy knows something about it, I don’t think he’s responsible for it. I am curious at what his thoughts of that incident are though. Especially since he was holding Shinra’s hand after the event.
I’ve already stated that I don’t like how the main villain has been introduced so early and now has revealed himself to the main character. Not only that, but he basically dropped the bombshell that Shinra’s baby brother is actually alive. I’m not even sure how to even react to that because the information was dropped so early on, not giving us any time to speculate. I suppose I’m just used to the typical way these shounen anime (at least the ones I’ve watched) play out with allowing us to get to know the characters more before we delve into the really serious plot related scenarios.
Three episodes in and the villain is already trying to sway Shinra to his side, definitely knowing more about him than Shinra realizes. However, it’s quite foreboding how he talks about whether Shinra will prove himself to be a hero or a devil. I know he will ultimately choose to be a hero, but I can’t help but want to see him sway between one and the other, possibly leading up to an out of control moment, which is a personal preference of what I like to see characters in anime do.
But can we just take a moment to appreciate how FREAKING FIRE THAT FIGHT ANIMATION WAS??? Despite my gripes with the series, the animation continues to impress me, especially when it comes down to Shinra’s fighting style. That break dance like fighting style is really freaking cool to watch. Especially with how well choreographed it is and it just gave me such a thrill. I had to go back and watch it several times because it was so good. I always have to give good fighting choreography attention because that’s one of the biggest things that attracted me to anime.
We’re learning more about Obi little by little and while he isn’t overly interesting, he’s a good character to have around. He kind of reminds me of Daichi from Haikyuu as he seems to be the stronghold of the group. He’s also willing to put the lives of others above the mission and was apparently stripped of his decoration when he disobeyed orders to save lives. Which is a very commendable thing, but I suppose in the eyes of the organization, makes him seem like an untrustworthy soldier. It just shows how much Obi cherishes life and cares for the people who are affected by the infernals. He’s a great mentor figure and I still think that he is a great person for Shinra to have in his life. And it shows again in this episode where Obi explains how the Fire Force organization works and that his group’s objection is to investigate the other groups to see what information is being withheld by them and ultimately uncover the reason why infernals exist. Obi is like the perfect mentor figure for him and is sure to steer him in the right direction. This is also exactly what I would like to see more of, learning more about characters rather than jumping straight into the plot.
This series continues to be an absolute ride to watch and while I’m not a fan of the pacing, I still eagerly await to see what happens next. Especially now that so much information just keeps getting dropped in every episode.