I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this episode. While I shouldn’t be surprised, but this series continues to truck along without really allowing us to focus on one plot point. Several more layers are added onto the already several layered cake this series is making and it’s honestly getting a little difficult to keep track of all of them. I almost wish this series had more of a “monster of the week” kind of pacing while slowly opening up the plot points and showing us more character dynamics. With the weekly rant about the pacing out of the way, let’s dive into the actual review.
We get introduced to one of the other departments, the 5th and BOY are they shady as heck. But before I get into that, can we just talk about how… “interesting” the dynamic is in that team? I think I just stared at the scene of her stepping on the guys and thinking: What am I even watching anymore? The team seems full of shady and arrogant (and masochistic) people and I got suck glee when Maki punched that one guy in the gut for trying to start stuff with them by badmouthing Obi. YOU DON’T BADMOUTH OBI.
I’m interested in the captain of the 5th’s power and what exactly it does (less of her as a character). Though it does throw me off that her eyes have flowers in them. It’s also pretty suspicious that she’d want to capture the infernal alive and what she plans to do with it. I know they said that the rest of the Fire Force groups were pretty shady, but I didn’t expect them to be THIS shady. Not to mention when she told Obi she would share all the information she got while studying the infernal, I was like: Yeah right. There’s no way she would share information considering how her entire group looks down on the 8th. Who knows where the information she finds will actually go. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
This episode definitely delved more into the corruption of the Fire Force as one of the soldiers actually killed several people and was put on trial for it, only to be let go. But after his sentence, he was immediately turned into an infernal as if it was all planned. However, unlike the other infernals, the guy still possessed his sense of self. And while I know he was written for the viewer to hate him, but man did I HATE THIS GUY. I absolutely loathe characters who would take the morals that people live by and then twist them to fit their agenda. He even went as far as talking about how the force were just murderers and even tried to take advantage of the system by claiming they can’t kill him since he was supposedly found unguilty at his trial. The more this guy talked, the angrier I got. But man did Hinawa make an impact in this episode for me by dropping lines like “I’m not so good-natured as to pardon scum like you.” TELL HIM HINAWA. There are times where it’s beneficial to be merciful, but with this guy, he needs to be stopped IMMEDIATELY.
I COULD give this guy the benefit of the doubt of having a mental breakdown of some sorts since he could have broken down under the pressure of having to kill people once they’ve turned. As it has been established that the people the infernal were close to had to bear the burden of losing their loved ones and the Special Fire Force were essentially killing people in that sense. However, once you involve innocent people, that’s the end. Especially since this guy had no qualms going after just random people off the street, claiming it’s the same as the Fire Force killing infernals. Now that just made me angry. I could not stand the thought that he views as killing innocent people is the same thing as infernals. TECHNICALLY it is the same, but once someone becomes an infernal, it sounds like they’re in a constant state of suffering and just lose control of themselves and it’s merciful to put them down. Kind of like in a zombie situation. It’s like the person is trapped within themselves but they have no control over what they’re doing. It’s definitely a hard pill to swallow and even I’m not sure what should and shouldn’t be done as it’s a very gray area in regards to the rights of an infernal.
Another thing that I’m not a fan of that I’ve noticed is how much the series focuses on Shinra. Now, obviously he is the main character so of course it’s going to focus a lot on him. But that’s not the thing that bothers me. The thing that is annoying is how much Shinra seems to tank situations on his own. He’s the only one that’s fighting in most scenes while the others are on standby or are trying to make their way to the scene. And while I love watching Shinra fight, I would rather see some more teamwork in the battles and not just watch Shinra solo. Like how he fought with Arthur against the infernal earlier in the episode or how everyone had a hand in fending off the infernal in episode 1. Hopefully we’ll get to see more teamwork in future episodes.
Also was it just me or were the transition shots not as fluid in this episode? There were times where it just felt so choppy and the shots didn’t flow together as well to demonstrate transition of action. Like in one moment Shinra was moving, but one shot later he’s standing still. Not to mention there was a distasteful scene of Shinra accidentally looking up the 5th’s captain’s dress. Typically I’m just like: okay whatever.. At those types of scenes. However, the situation was way too serious for a moment like that and it just felt so out of place. There are times and places for that kind of moment and that definitely was NOT the time.
However, there was a moment that just had me ROLLING in laughter and was basically the best part of the whole episode. I was getting super pissed at that one guy badmouthing Obi and the squad and was all too thrilled to watch Maki secretly punch the guy in the stomach. But I absolutely LOST IT when Hinawa looked like he was going to scold her but instead gave her a thumbs up. It’s official, these two are my favorite characters. These two have always cracked me up in the past and I’ve noticed that they have a fun dynamic. With Hinawa constantly putting Maki’s little sputters out in the past and him being the one person she’s terrified of. Hinawa’s expressions never change, which makes his actions all the more hilarious. Like when he had that small little sweat drop when Shinra was flying next to the matchbox and then the thumbs up. Man, I love this guy.
This episode… wasn’t the greatest. But it had its ups and downs and I got a big ol’ laugh at the end with Maki and Hanawa. I do hope the series will slow down from throwing all these different plot points at us every episode and focus more on the team building. Because right now, I’m not convinced that they are one at heart.