Well, this certainly was a very exciting episode as it packed a lot of things in and it didn’t feel particularly rushed. And I’ll admit, a lot of things happened in a way I didn’t expect them to. So I suppose that’s a plus. The animation was also pretty good during certain scenes despite it dipping in quality pretty severely in the second half. Guess they used up a lot of their budget in the first half.
I do like that Shinra didn’t get out of the situation on his own. Especially since he didn’t bulldoze his way to victory like he typically does and did need help from Hibana and Vulcan when he got captured. Though I suppose he was easily stopped in Vulcan’s workshop due to the cramped space there. But nevertheless, he still needed help and gave way to teamwork rather than Shinra pulling his one man army stunt. Hibana also proved to be a good ally this battle
at the cost of Arthur lol. Now this is the kind of thing I had hoped to see at the beginning of the series. The opening promised me that the team would often come together to take down infernals. However, from the very first episode, it portrayed a completely different dynamic than I would have liked. It gets tiring real fast, so I’m glad they finally changed it to more of a team effort this time around. I also appreciate that Shinra couldn’t get away on his own and had to be helped by crazy scientist guy.
I had a feeling that the key would be hiding in that mechanism since it was the last thing that his father had given to him before passing away. Especially with how much emphasis they gave Giovanni pounding away at it. They wouldn’t have made it out to be such a big deal if it didn’t have any significance and there it was. I’m actually surprised no one thought to look inside the thing in the first place considering how fast Giovanni found it. Though I guess he was just destroying it initially out of spite for Vulcan’s family. And while I dislike Shinra getting the final hit in, it was still satisfying to see him punch Giovanni right in the face when he came crashing into the warehouse. Kind of like how I felt in his fight with Rekka. But then again, he didn’t really get to defeat Giovanni like what happened with Hibana and Rekka and Giovanni more or less escaped without taking too much damage. It is a bit concerning what exactly the key can do to Amaterasu, especially now that it’s in the hands of the white clad. Guess we’ll find out in the next few episodes or so.
I was honestly surprised that the confrontation between Shinra and Sho happened this episode. Though the thought was definitely in the back of my mind since Sho did say a few episodes back that he was going to collect the Adolla burst personally. When Shinra stepped out and it showed Sho I immediately shouted at my screen: THE INEVITABLE MEETING. The two brothers finally meet and I couldn’t help but cringe at how Shinra got super excited and started exclaiming praises towards his brother. I’m like: Do you not see the situation?! Sho is obviously on the side of the enemy and doesn’t share your enthusiasm in this meeting. But I guess Shinra is just blinded by his excitement upon finally seeing his brother again. However, even after Sho one shots both him and Arthur, Shinra never seems to realize that his brother is his enemy right now. Even going as far as to tell him that he’ll come back and save him one day. In a sense, yes, Sho does need to be saved, but that is definitely not how he sees it. Especially when he doesn’t even react to Shinra’s declaration of coming back for him. From the looks of it, Sho seems to have been groomed since he was a small baby to be a loyal member of the white clad. So coming back to save him is definitely not going to be an easy feat. I just feel like Shinra doesn’t have the right mindset on how to deal with Sho. Especially when Sho claims that he feels disgusted to be related to him. The situation is quite tragic since Sho shows absolute disinterest in Shinra as a brother and Shinra not really seeing the whole problem.
Sho’s ability is something else. It most likely has him moving at such speeds that no one can see him rather than stopping time since he’s always steaming when he comes to a supposed stop in his movements after using it. Sho is definitely a force to be reckoned with, especially when Joker randomly shows up and is able to fend him off. And dare I say nearly corner him if not for Joker’s quick escape. Joker has shown to be quite powerful as he didn’t have any trouble with fending off Shinra, Arthur and Tamaki in a previous episode. And the fact that Sho was able to keep up with his attacks and even land a hit on him shows just shows how high level his combat prowess is.
On the topic of Joker, he is still a giant mystery as he’s always doing things to prevent the Fire Force and the White Clad to accomplish what they want. I’m still not really convinced of his character especially with how random his appearance felt. Though he does make me worried, considering he seems to be playing some sort of chess game with everyone without them knowing. He also makes it a habit of getting in their way whenever it benefits him in some way. It’s also pretty worrying when he says that he can’t let the White Clad have Shinra YET. What do you mean, “yet”??? So he does mean to allow them to have him at some point? NGHHHHH.
This episode was pretty good as it exceeded my expectations. Especially in regards to how Vulcan was going to join the team. I knew he’d eventually cave and work for them, but the circumstances kind of forced him into joining in a sense for his protection. However, it worked out for the best as the 8th will be able to give him the family bond that he craves. In regards to Lisa, I felt conflicted when he still insisted in extending a hand to her when they were making their escape. The girl basically showed herself to be a traitor and a white clad member and he still saw her as family despite her stomping the notion into the ground. However, she did make it clear that she did care for Vulcan to an extent as she nearly took his hand but at the last second pulled away, most likely out of guilt. Despite how detached she was, Vulcan’s kindness towards her still touched her in some way. I feel there’s a parallel between how Vulcan and Shinra view Lisa and Sho’s positions respectively. They both want to “save” them, but that’s not the whole picture of the situation. Though I do think Lisa is more susceptible to switching sides eventually compared to Sho right now. Redemption arc maybe?
I really enjoyed the battle choreography as the animation team seem to put in extra effort to show off Shinra’s break dancing fighting style. Though I also enjoyed the fight animation between Sho and Joker. I’m happy with how this arc turned out as it went against its usual formula and showed me something different for once. And while I still don’t have strong feelings for Vulcan, I do admit it was touching how he told his grandfather that he would be breaking his promise of not having anything to do with the Fire Force. Basically stating his stance as an official member of the 8th. I enjoyed how this arc turned out more than I expected and I’m eager to learn what kind of dynamic Vulcan will bring to the 8th.