Fire Force is back! ….This would probably be the part where I say “and better than ever!” But if you’ve read my previous posts from last season, you’ll know that I do not have… the highest opinion of Fire Force. People kept telling me that the series gets better, but considering it just straight up ignored it’s own build up with the bonds within the 8th and makes Shinra out to be the only hero that can really do anything is straight up annoying. But I am willing to
suffer give this series another chance and see if it actually does get better.
Now, I never read the source material and am strictly an anime only, but this whole episode felt VERY filler esque. Don’t get me wrong, the fight was AMAZING animation-wise and they were sure flexing really hard for that fight. Though it kind of showed that they didn’t have any more budget afterwards since there were a lot of reused shots, not that much movement, the use of a lot of still frames and very choppy animation. Though to be fair, as far as first episodes to a new season go, this one wasn’t too bad. While they did spend a lot of time kind of reintroducing characters and their abilities, it wasn’t done in an obnoxious fashion where it makes you roll your eyes and say “I KNOW ALREADY.” I have to admit that they did it pretty tastefully and felt natural for what they were doing. So I’ll give it to them there.
And while the first part of the episode was a lot more low key, I kind of appreciated it since we hardly saw the characters dress down and out of their uniforms doing their own thing. In the first season we didn’t really see them anywhere but work and it was nice seeing them take a shopping trip together and just hang out like normal people. Not to mention this was kind of a more bonding moment I had hoped to see in the first season. Better late than never I guess… Though it still feels too late since the group has already been established and I would have liked to have seen them grow closer organically without them specifically telling me that they are close.
Now that I think about it, this episode had a lot of things I wished I saw more of from the first season. Such as characters bouncing off each other more and actually working together in fights rather than doing one on ones like season 1 did CONSTANTLY. All of the characters had a role in this fight and I was glad to see that it wasn’t just Shinra tanking everything. At first I rolled my eyes on Shinra going to take on the infernal on his own, but it was fine because it quickly showed that he couldn’t handle this on his own. And while this is all good, it still makes me feel a bit salty because of what they pulled in the first season with having Shinra being just OP as all heck and the other members of the 8th always felt more like an afterthought. Which shouldn’t be the case. This fight felt like it was demonstrating that all members of the 8th were important and these things can’t be handled alone. However, a lot of the conflicts that happened in the first season made the other members feel like they weren’t necessary half of the time. I still feel like I don’t know them very well. Heck, I feel like I know Vulcan more than the older members in the squad. I am curious if this second season will fix these negative feelings, but I have my doubts since the opening showed that A LOT of new characters are going to be introduced.
The animation during the fight was probably the highest quality I’ve seen from this show… but I think they flexed a bit too hard and early because the rest of the episode suffered for it. And while the action was beautifully choreographed, I do admit I feel a bit salty over it. More due to the fact that I heart that the main Haikyuu animator that animated for the first 3 seasons was busy animating this series and couldn’t make it back to Haikyuu for its 4th season, which is a reason why the animation is different there. And it makes me sad because I absolutely loved Haikyuu’s first animation style. Not to say that the 4th’s seasons animation is bad, I just personally feel like it isn’t as good. Because the first animation style was just so great, it’s hard to outdo what was previously established. To me at least. Though I will say I am glad they didn’t have these obnoxious cuts in between action shots that messed with the presentation and timing of everything.
Also I’m glad that Tamaki kept her clothes on the entire episode. And I have to give credit where credit is due. They were more tasteful in where they put their comedy within the fight and it wasn’t obnoxiously placed that messed with the pacing of the action. Like when Arthur offhandedly called Shinra weak and Shinra got angry. It was during a slight lull during the fight rather than in the midst of it, which was good placement. Overall, I think fight scene was well done despite it being basically filler. Though I think it begs the question of how does a giant infernal come to be. Especially since the first opening in the first season kind of promised a giant infernal fight, but never delivered. Also, they didn’t even elaborate on why the infernal was big in the first place since the only infernals we’ve seen have all been human-sized.
And then the last part of the episode happened. I’m not sure what to say besides there was a lot of man-service, which I suppose slightly evens out Tamaki’s unwarranted fanservice. But at least here it makes sense considering the topic of them being part of the a “fireman’s nude calendar.” And I admit seeing Karim’s surprise tattoo was 10/10. And I admit that I laughed pretty hard over Konro trying to take pics of Benimaru to send to the calendar due to the latter being uncooperative. He even tried to pull his “it can only be you” speech that he gave him in that flashback, which had me dying. To think he had the gall to try that for something like this lololol. I also like the detail of Shinra’s shoes and ends of his pants burning up when he uses his power. No wonder he’s always wearing rolled up pants and sandals most of the time. I mean, I guess we’d already know this, but it was kind of nice to see it shown like this.
But wow the opening was a mess. They were throwing way too many things at me at once. Makes me miss the first opening to the first season since that had the best pacing and a lot easier to follow. The ending was cute though as it was framed as one of those continuously running forward while attacking the enemies in front of you type of games.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad episode. It was a weird first episode, but I can’t say I disliked it. Not the greatest, but not the worst. It did do it’s job in making me curious as to what will happen in upcoming episodes while also reminding us what happened in the previous season in a tasteful manner. I’m hesitant to pick this up again considering I was losing my mind over the terrible pacing and lack of team growing the first season had. But I’ll give this episode 3 episodes to convince me it’s worth keeping up with.
Possibility of Watching: Reluctantly Moderate
Possibility of Blogging: I’ll give it 3 episodes
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Been a while since I read this part, but the calendar scene was definitely part of the original manga.
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