We’re back at the 8th headquarters and as soon as they showed that scientist guy my immediate response was: OH NO. And he’s not the only problem either. Two more rather concerning individuals are starting to move as well, being Sho and Giovanni the Captain of the 3rd. But back to the scientist guy. I don’t know how I feel about him joining, especially since he made it clear to the viewers that he’s got his own agenda. However, it doesn’t seem like he’s trying to hurt them… yet. Though he is trying to find a way to use them. I do appreciate that both Obi and Hibana seem wary of him. Hibana going as far as to say that she smells a rat lol. So it seems at the very least he’s under suspicion. Which is definitely a lot better than just trusting him off the bat. Unfortunately he’s under suspicion for the wrong thing… Though I guess it makes sense since only the viewers have seen him with Joker.
Pushing the suspicious scientist to the side for now, the episode mostly focuses on recruiting more members to the 8th. They’ve set their eyes on finding a mechanic as to give Hinawa some relief from those duties and expand on what the 8th can do. It is interesting to note that they did hint at possibly finding a mechanic earlier on in the series when Obi apologized to Hinawa for having to deal with that task despite it not being his job. In any case, seems the 8th is trying to recruit a specific mechanic named Vulcan and sent Shinra, Arthur and Iris to go see if this Vulcan guy is a good fit for the 8th. However, it wasn’t going to be an easy task as Vulcan had turned down all previous offers from other fire forces and has a distinct dislike towards the Fire Force and Haijima.
As soon as Vulcan showed up I was like: Yup, you’re going to be part of the 8th because the opening spoiled it. But even if the opening didn’t spoil it, if it’s what the 8th wants, they’ll usually get it. Especially since it’s basically dealing with Benimaru all over again. He hates/doesn’t trust the Fire Force, but the 8th is about to show him that they’re different. So I’m not sure if I’m on board with a rehashed plotline in this game of “finding more allies.” Not to mention, I feel like Vulcan is basically the typical character of a tough exterior with a tragic backstory while kind and gentle on the inside. He’s nothing new character-wise and I feel like I see that character type so much already in other anime.
However, we do learn something interesting about the world. All of the animals have gone extinct. I never actually noticed there being no animals around. But when I thought about it I was like: “now that they mention it, yeah, there are literally no animals in this world.” There were never any pet dogs, cats or even birds flying in the skies. It’s something you don’t think about unless someone points it out to you and it’s a REALLY interesting bit of information. And it also makes sense with constant combustion probably destroying habitats and the smoke contaminating the air quality. I do like how they foreshadowed how it was Vulcan’s dream to bring all the animals back. Just looking at his shack made your brain tick a little on how something doesn’t feel right. And Giovanni commenting how much Vulcan’s liked animals since he was a kid and seeing all the animal robots made you think a little bit more up until it’s revealed. I did really like the little gizmo that showed holograms of all the different animals that used to live there. It’s honestly really sad to think about how all of the animals died out because humans prioritized preserving the human race. It just makes you realize that so far in the series, we’ve been confined to a certain space and haven’t ventured very far outside or at all. Is humanity trapped in this one space around the Amaterasu? Is this Attack on Titan?! It’s no surprise that Shinra found Vulcan to be a good fit in the 8th as he’s thinking of how to help others rather than himself. Something the 8th all have in common.
We also get to learn a little bit more about Giovanni and his rather hostile intents. We find out that he’s basically been pressuring Vulcan to try and force him to join the 3rd, knowing his great talents as he was also apprenticed under Vulcan’s grandfather. Even going as far as to cut his supply line. Now if the opening had anything to say about it, it was basically confirmed that Giovanni is most likely the Fire Force that has been committing underhanded atrocities such as turning people into infernals using those infernal bugs. And MAN, that last scene in the episode scared the living crap out of me. Just the sound and the imagery of Shinra feeling Giovanni’s murderous intent made me feel SUPER uneasy. Especially with how abrupt it happened in mid-sentence. I am really curious as to what exactly can and can’t Shinra feel. It’s still not clear yet what determines the “tingles.”
The episode felt pretty slow in the beginning, but it was definitely a cool down from the last episode… only to jump back right into the action by the end. I do admit that it was a good build up to that moment though. However, I didn’t really care for the humor in this episode. It felt weird and didn’t really land most of the time. Even if I laughed at Arthur getting nailed in the head with the can. Though I gotta be thankful that they didn’t resort to fanservice “humor” like they typically do. Also, I’m just so tired of Shinra calling himself a hero… it’s so overused by this point and honestly feels super cringy. But we all know he’s not gonna stop… I’m actually kind of hoping Sho rebukes him for it… I know, I’m terrible.
Not a big fan of the new opening and a bit disappointed. Especially since it went from all of the 8th fighting together in the first opening to Shinra just tackling things on his own… Well, it’s certainly reflecting the overall series this way. UGH. Not to mention it freaking spoiled SO MUCH. Especially to whom is on the 8th’s side and who is an enemy. Though I am honestly surprised the captain of the 4th is considered a good guy despite how many shady feelings I got from him prior. Also, is it just me or did that one white clad member look like the former captain of the 3rd in Hinawa’s flashback??? Is this the same dude??? Also… wait… IS THAT THE GIRL WITH VULCAN WHO APPEARS WITH GIOVANNI?! WHAT THE HECK?! WHELP, now I’m expecting some sort of betrayal. Especially since we don’t see her with the 8th and she looks to be wearing freaking white clad clothing. Thanks opening! I’m also wondering if Viktor will also betray the group considering he’s standing farther away from the group in that final shot. Though I suppose it may just show that he’s not completely loyal to the 8th and has his own agenda.
It’s also only a matter of time before Shinra and Sho meet again and clash. Especially now that Sho will be tagging along next time they go on a mission. I also really like the visuals in the ending how Shinra and Sho started out on the same bath before diverging into two separate paths. And while it is unknown whether they will end up on the same path again, it is shown that they get closer to each other. So maybe there is hope for the two brothers. But who knows.