So not a lot happened this episode, however, the continued fight between Shinra and Sho rages on. There were things I liked about the episode and then things I didn’t like. Which is to be expected with this series. Despite my gripes with Shinra, I am WEAK to sibling bonds. So seeing him desperate to try and connect with Sho was very heartbreaking. Not to mention it basically shows the extent Shinra is willing to go through to bring his brother back.
We pick up right where we left off from last episode with Shinra and Sho standing in that strange place where we got some freaky imagery with Shinra. However, we learn that the fire the Adolla Burst actually comes from this place, a twisted dimension, basically the underworld of Adolla. Now, I’m not sure how I feel about different dimensions being brought into the plot. Especially since it’s what we assume is the reason human combustion happens… Okay, this is starting to sound A LOT like Promare now. I just recently watched that movie and I’m like: wow, some of the things are very similar to Fire Force. And with this alternate dimension thing where the fire comes from is linking even more similarities between the two. Though I am sure that Fire Force came first.
We also get our first glimpse of the Evangelist, who looks very unworldly. Which I guess matches his name. The guy remains a mystery and I have to wonder what exactly he is, especially since some of his subordinates “aren’t human,” according to Yona in regards to himself. I doubt we’ll get any more answers about him this season so what and who he is will continue to remain a mystery… until the next season comes out or I go read the manga. Though at this point… I’m not sure if I’m up for either.
In any case, Shinra gets the beating of his life. Not only is he physically being destroyed, but also emotionally since it’s his little brother (who he swore to protect) that’s beating the tar out of him. I honestly didn’t expect Sho to start stabbing him all over the place. I feel like it should have been expected with him using a sword and such, but I figured: “Oh, he probably needs him alive. He probably will rough him up with hits and kicks. He wouldn’t ACTUALLY STAB HIM.” Boy was I wrong. Though I am surprised how many stabs Shinra was able to take. It wasn’t surprising how one-sided the fight was though.
Sho’s fighting style is pretty intense. Especially since he’s able to stop time… by going into a different dimension? I still don’t really understand it, even if it was explained to some extent. They tried to break it down into scientific terms and that only made me even more confused. Don’t try to explain something like “crossing into other dimensions and time” and trying to make it seem realistic. I can believe the other fire abilities since they have scientific reasonings for them. But crossing time and space, no. However, I do like how it was shown in the fight with Sho literally disappearing and reappearing in a blink of an eye, just to demonstrate how he literally is stopping time to get from one place to another. And no matter what kind of speed Shinra uses, he can’t fight that. There was a moment where I was caught off guard when Shinra was just slowly walking over to Sho before he suddenly disappeared and started beating him with his sword. I don’t know why, but that scene legit made me jump. Probably because of how sudden it was from just a slow, solemn moment to fast and furious.
When Shinra starts getting fed up with Sho’s attitude, I couldn’t help but think of the One Punch Man scene of Saitama pointing at Tornado and saying “Who is this sassy lost child.” I know it doesn’t completely capture the scene here, but it has the same energy lol. The two are so different personality-wise, that it almost seems natural that the two would clash. However, both seem to share (not only their sharp teeth and red eyes) but their stubbornness. Both refused to budge from their beliefs and that stubbornness were making them frustrated with each other. Especially when Shinra kept treating him a little kid and even forcing Sho to see some of his memories. And while we can all root for Shinra to keep his promise to his mom and bring Sho back, Sho also has a point that just because they’re siblings, doesn’t mean there is a bond between them. The term, “blood is thicker than water” isn’t always necessarily true. Just because you share blood with someone, doesn’t automatically mean you have a genuine bond with them.
Sho doesn’t know Shinra as far as he knows and it almost seems insensitive for Shinra to try and force his brotherly feelings on him. However, there’s also the fact that Sho is heavily brainwashed by the Evangelist, so it only makes sense for Shinra to want to save him. He’s his last family member, someone he cherished when he was little. I can get behind Shinra wanting to pull Sho away from the White Clad, however, him trying to force his familial feelings on him is a bit too soon for Sho. It may even be too late for Sho to reciprocate those brotherly feelings, however, I do think there’s still a chance for them to at least be friends if Shinra is successful in pulling him away from the Evangelist’s ideals. Though that is definitely easier said than done. However I do admit I got a lot of feels when Shinra said that Sho being alive was a miracle to him. Shinra has lived with the pain and suffering of having lost his entire family that one night and just the confirmation that Sho was alive probably fueled Shinra with so much hope. Just that thought is enough to overwhelm me with feels. UGH.
The animation wasn’t as crisp and fluid as it was in the previous episode, however, it still had good flow and good enough animation for all the fights to feel and look good. There were a lot of strong posing in the characters and you can just feel the emotions pouring out of Shinra during the fight. It was a really enjoyable fight visually and with such high emotional stakes… ten out of ten would watch this fight sequence again. Fights that have a lot of meaning behind them are definitely the best. Especially when you can see the emotion storming between the characters. In this case being Shinra desperate to try and bring Sho back and the pain of having to fight his last family member. Even Sho started showing more emotions throughout the fight. Even if it was just frustration and annoyance.
Now, I’m not sure how I feel about Shinra’s power up. I’ve always been iffy about Shinra overcoming things through sheer willpower. Though I guess in this case, he is only able to do it by connecting to Sho through the Adolla Link. And it doesn’t seem like an ability he can utilize on his own at any time he wants. So there’s that I guess. It also seems to have a lot of repercussions and risks as it apparently will eventually cause blackholes??? Not to mention, every time he does it, he essentially “dies” since he’s splitting his body into subatomic levels and then coming back together. And while this ability alone could make him OP as heck, against Sho, it puts him a little more on par with his little brother. Even if he ends up getting beat up more than Sho. I also couldn’t help but roll my eyes over the prospect of Shinra risking death and doing that ability again despite being overheated, because of course he would. And through sheer willpower, he’s going to make it out alright just like all of his other battles. Though I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this fight and its emotional stakes.
I admit, I got a lot of sibling feels this episode since they give me life. This episode was pretty good, even if I was like ??? through the explanation of Sho’s power. We also find out that Captain Burns did actually know what Shinra was capable of. Though it wasn’t too big of a surprise since it was hinted that he knew but pretended to forget about him. And while I’m sure Shinra will make it out of this predicament, I’m hoping he suffers from permanent damage because he continued to push himself past a limit he shouldn’t have. Kind of like what Izuku had to sustain because BOY, YOU CAN’T KEEP DESTROYING YOUR BODIES LIKE THAT. I will only accept Shinra making it out through sheer willpower again if he suffers from long term effects because of that choice. If he doesn’t… Good to see you’re no different from any other shounen protagonist.