So we finally get back on track from the ongoing plot from the first season with Shinra coming to have a talk with the 4th’s captain. Who turns out to be… rather creepy. Apparently he has some sort of connection to the Adolla Burst, but it’s cut short when some of the 4th’s members end up being controlled by Haumea and Shinra’s repressed anger and rage suddenly comes out.
I’m all for characters going into a mad rage and turn into some sort of berserking monster, but this felt way too sudden. Sure they showed that Shinra has always been bothered by the fact that people constantly call him “devil” and “mother killer,” but it never showed that it particularly bothered him in the current moment. I’m sure people can interpret that he’s always tried to ignore it when people talk about him like that, but this moment didn’t feel naturally built-up and it honestly felt like it came out of nowhere. There wasn’t a recent moment where he felt particularly angry at being referred to as a “devil” which is problem. Not to mention you’d think he’d be more pissed off at Arthur for continuing to call him that or at least show subtle hints that reflect that it is legit bothering him. It also didn’t seem like Shinra was particularly consumed by his hatred in the first place, he was more or less just shocked that this person was trying to control him. I dunno, this whole thing didn’t feel well built-up and convincing to me. I feel like we should have been given more brief flashbacks about all the terrible things that happened to him while training at the academy and show just how much it bothered him and how it bothers him now.
And we suddenly get an Arthur flashback that basically reveals why he’s… well, himself. It’s pretty messed up considering he lived in poverty with his parents, but they encouraged his imagination to the point where he would view things differently from how they actually were. Such as believing he had more than enough food despite it being hardly any. But then it got even more messed up when his parents just straight up left him???? What the heck?! They looked like a happy family despite their conditions, but then they just leave him to take care of the house.. by himself as a freaking child?! Not to mention this flashback had no business being in the middle of this fight. Flashbacks are fine if they are applicable to the current plot and story in the present time, but when they have almost nothing to do with the situation at hand, it slows down the pacing of a scene that should be fast paced. While it was “nice” to get some backstory on Arthur’s condition, it didn’t feel like it added anything. If they really wanted a flashback, they should have had a better one to showcase Shinra and Arthur actually being friends rather than just rivals or enemies.
Shinra is able to overcome the possession in the most obvious way predictable fashion. It was pretty obvious he was gonna knee himself in the face to snap himself out of it. This moment felt like it should have been a hard hitting moment, but it didn’t have enough build up for me to particularly care too much. Which is a shame because this probably would have hit really hard if not for it feeling just super random. The mystery is still there as to who exactly this woman called the “first pillar” is. Even when Shinra commented on how it looked like Iris my reaction was: “does it?” She’s an interesting character at least so I guess I’ll leave it at that.
So… yeah…. if you are familiar with my first season posts of Fire Force, you’ll know I’m not a fan of how the anime was presented. I was hoping things would get better but this episode basically hit me with all the things that reminded me why I just cannot talk about this series without being exasperated. And the thing is, the content itself is really interesting but it all just happens too fast and in my face where I feel like I can’t process exactly what is happening or it’s just so easy to miss very vital bits of information. Such as me being confused over what causes people to be sent to this alternative universe of the Adolla Burst and also not understanding how and why Burns lost his eye. They hardly touched on that tidbit or just glossed over it really fast. Not to mention that things feel like they just happen for the sake of happening with little to no build up. The pacing doesn’t feel natural most of the time because and at one point I just straight up yelled “what is pacing?!” because I was just so baffled at the sheer speed of how things were moving. There were also parts that just felt SO RANDOM. Like Karin and the other 4th members dressing up as the Fire Force mascots… why???
We were introduced to a bunch of new characters this episode and the ones that Shinra is on good terms with seem cool. I’m just disappointed we didn’t really get to see Ogun do anything besides throwing a couple of fire spears down and getting hit. Is it so hard to ask to see actual battle teamwork in this freaking series??? But considering he’s showcased in the opening, I’m sure we’ll see more of him. Though I do wish he was at least alluded to earlier considering he and Arthur were supposedly the only ones who palled around with Shinra. From the first season, I got the impression that Arthur was the only “friend” Shinra had in the academy, but then apparently both Pan and Ogun were good to him.
I feel like a lot of people really like this series because the plot is interesting and it’s always so fast-paced, but for me personally, it moves way too fast where I just can’t find myself to care about any of the characters because they basically gloss over developing them properly. This series hardly gives me time to breathe and have a chance to absorb all of the information because it’s just “gotta go fast!” But then they choose to slow down the momentum of the scene by including flashbacks or moments that have no business being there. I’m probably not the right demographic for this type of pacing, but I promised to give this series 3 episodes to try and convince me before I decide to continue or drop it. But so far, it’s just proving that this type of pacing isn’t for me. And it’s a shame because the stuff that goes on in this series is really interesting… I just cannot stand how it is presented.