I must say, David Production is really doing a lot better with these final few episodes as with every fight, you can just feel the tension build towards the final climax. Every character is putting their life on the line and struggling against their foes with every fiber of their being. I just wish I had more of an attachment to the 8th folks. These episodes do make me like them a little better, but considering they were all there in the beginning and I didn’t start caring about them until NOW, just doesn’t feel like natural storytelling. There are exceptions, sure, but just judging from the overall storytelling of this series, makes me believe that the series expects us as the viewers to care about them early on.
In any case, the battle between Hinawa and Arrow was INTENSE. Not in the usual sense since there wasn’t too much difference in showcasing the fight, since they were basically just shooting at each other from long distances. I honestly have never seen a fight like this. Usually the fights start out long distance and then become close quarters, typically ending with a fist or sword fight. However, this fight consisted of hitting the other with a more powerful blast, which is kind of hilarious in hindsight.
But man, those fireforce outfits are REALLY bad for stealth missions considering they’re constantly glowing and giving away their location to their opponents. Especially in the dark. When Hinawa was talking about how his position was compromised, I was just yelling at the screen saying no matter where he goes in this dark tunnel, his position is always going to be compromised because he’s freaking glowing! You can’t really hide your glowing rings in the darkness. Speaking of darkness, they did a lot better at showing things despite it being dark. They made sure the audience knew that it was too dark for the characters to see, but lit it up so that we could see what was happening clearly without me having to up my brightness on my screen to max (which is what you’re SUPPOSED to do in the first place). Though there were some parts that they definitely could have brightened up a bit more, but that’s just a nitpick. Otherwise, it was fine.
While we didn’t learn anything new about Hinawa, this fight emphasized what we already knew about him, showing just how strongly he feels about certain things. We always knew Hinawa valued the life of others, which is why he was never that aggressive with infernals since he knew that they were people whose lives had been cut short. It’s actually very touching how much Hinawa deeply cares for life and hates how the White Clad are just trampling over everything to get their way, not caring how many lives they take. It was also very touching how much he cares for the others in the 8th and pushed through his exhaustion so that he wouldn’t worry anyone or let all of his duties fall solely onto Obi. He just loves the 8th so much T^T. Hinawa is such a good character, I just wish the series treated him and the others in the 8th better. It was also exciting to see him actually show a more manic expression rather than his typical stoic one. He was a lot more expressive in this episode than he has been previously and it was nice to see a different side to him.
Just seeing Hinawa and Arrow trade powerful blasts was certainly not the fight I was expecting. It was almost reminiscent of the fight between All Might and Nomu in My Hero Academia since the sheer force and power behind each of their blasts prevented the other villains to interfere. I will admit that it was pretty epic when Hinawa’s blasts destroyed the barrel and had to change it every shot. Not to mention how his final shot was timed just right so he could use his second generation pyrokinesis to take the fire from Arrow’s attack and fuel his own, giving it double the amount of power. That scene had to be the best in the episode. And man was it satisfying seeing Arrow get WRECKED since she always carried this stoic, “high and mighty” attitude. Not to mention she was beaten in a shootout, her specialty no less and by a 2nd generation no less. Just shows that being a 2nd generation does not mean they are necessarily weaker. If only that bubblegum guy could have seen it… that would have put him in his place.
However, I figured that the face changing and illusionary mist guy would show up to try and finish off Hinawa while he was exhausted. I was SHOOK when it seemed like Hinawa shot that mist guy through the head, only to feel stupid because of course it would just be one of his illusions. How crazy epic would that have been if it were the actual guy. Hinawa is HARDCORE. Though I admit I laughed REALLY HARD when it revealed that Hinawa was actually just shooting Arthur down. HINAWA IS JUST SO EXTRA I LOVE IT. He couldn’t just wait for Arthur to come down himself. No, he shoots him down to hurry him up. THANKS HINAWA.
I will admit, I did appreciate seeing Arthur’s development from his training with Benimaru. Though it did feel like certain things came up randomly since they didn’t show it much in that training episode, but whatever I guess. I do like that he did learn to think a little more and take in his surroundings during his fights rather than just charge straight into things. I also was impressed that he was able to find the illusion guy through is breathing and I laughed pretty hard at Hinawa’s face when Arthur basically struck just an inch above his head. I will admit that it must have been pretty anxiety inducing to have those copies just run up and slash at you. That would make ANYONE jump or sweat, so kudos to Arthur for not even flinching and just focusing on finding the real one. I do have to wonder if Arthur actually killed that guy though since his attack literally went right through him. And while I don’t like the younger ones coming to the older member’s aid, I’ll accept it this time since Hinawa wasn’t having trouble, he was just worn out from a previous opponent. I’m thankful that Hinawa has sufficient backup since he’s basically beaten pretty badly.
And then we have Giovanni and Lisa in the last bit of the episode, which was the minor spoiler that I saw when looking up some stuff in the manga to check things. I just saw their appearance, so it wasn’t too much of a spoiler since it was pretty much inevitable that they’d show up considering the opening. However, I was pretty surprised to see Lisa blushing A LOT at Vulcan’s compliments. Especially since she didn’t show THAT much affection towards him when she was still under his household. I guess distance makes the heart grow fonder? (lol) Though I guess it does show that Vulcan’s kindness has definitely touched her in some way. I have a feeling that Lisa may switch sides, but considering how tight a grasp Giovanni has on her, it may or may not be after this fight. Though it absolutely TERRIFIED me how the artstyle just shifted to this weird moving lines for Giovanni. That whole scene was so unsettling, especially with Giovanni already looking pretty terrifying to start with. I was even freaked out when Giovanni showed his arms in that one shot. Just the moving camera and unfocused linework gave it such a creepy vibe. It was well done to give me the creeps.
I have definitely been enjoying these last couple episodes a lot more, especially when Shinra isn’t the main attraction and is spreading out the love between all the characters currently. Though I’m sure they’re just waiting to shine the spotlight back on him when his inevitable rematch against Sho comes up. My affection for Hinawa has gone up again, especially with how emotive he was during this episode. I’ve also come to have a begrudging respect for Arthur… just a little bit though. I’m curious as to what will become of the Giovanni and Lisa fight since no one is a pyrokinesis in the Obi, Vulcan team. Though I do hope that Obi and pull through with Vulcan’s inventions.