TelevisionTalks: Fire Force
As I’ve said, I’ve been binging anime while I’ve been working, so I’ve fallen a bit behind on the shows and talking about them. I’m coming back with another one this week, Fire Force.
In a world where spontaneous human combustion is a thing, and when it happens, the people turn into monsters, there is a special elite set of stations. Station 8 was created because every other station either has allegiances to their area, the Hijima corporation, or the religious order, and everyone is supposed to be working to figure out the cause of spontaneous human combustion, but they aren’t and Station 8 is tasked with figuring it out. That’s where new recruit, Shinra Kusakabe, is assigned. He’s a 3rd Generation pyrokinetic which mean that he can create and manipulate fire. Can he complete his dream of becoming a hero and help figure out what happened years ago when he lost his mother and brother in a fire?
This is a pretty standard anime in that it has a big ensemble cast of characters who all get their moment to shine, there is a lot of fighting and completely absurd situations that happen. There’s humor and fan service, and it kind of meanders towards the main plot at times, introducing new characters along the way, and then will rush through other parts of the plot. That said, I like the story. I think that it’s fun, and it’s not an anime that I’m going to think about after watching it, but I’ve had a good time watching it, and I feel like in 2020 that’s what I really want, and more so when it starts to get darker earlier, it’s just nice to have a show that you can pay attention to but doesn’t demand all of your brain power.
The cast of characters is what really makes this show. I think that the villains, while mainly just monsters, work pretty well, and I like the whole of station 8. They’ve done a solid job in the show of giving them all their moments, though the show does focus mainly on Shinra. There are plenty of other characters, like Arthur, Iris, Maki, and more that are getting a lot of chance to shine. While Shinra often gets to take down the biggest bad guy, in combat, it’s not like some anime and shows in general where the side characters get beaten up and the main character then comes in and saves the day for everyone. In this, everyone is very good at what they do and fairly competent about it, as competent, if not more than the main character.
The story itself makes a fair amount of sense actually, in an anime way. I think that they do a solid job of building the world out further and further as they go, which is really great because they don’t do a knowledge dump on you at the start. You learn more as you go, possibly matching when the creator learned the stuff or decided on stuff, but it works. And I think that it really is so character driven around Shinra most of the time, it also works. He has good motivation for what he is doing, why he is doing it, and an attitude that makes sense for the story and for the problems that he needs to overcome.
Let’s talk a bit about fan service. I wrote about Food Wars! last time and the fan service for Fire Force is no where near on the same level. There is a character who will lose articles of clothing at times and shots of cleavage, but for the most part the losing of the clothing is more for comedic affect than for fan service reasons. That isn’t to say that there aren’t characters who are drawn the way they are drawn so as to be fan service almost every time they are on the screen. That is certainly something that is the case for a few of the female characters. There is also an episode where there is a nude calendar shoot, but that is all the male characters in the calendar, and also no nudity is shown.
Overall, I think this is a pretty classic anime in terms of what it does. And I like that about it. It’s a show that doesn’t pretend it’s going to go that deep, but it also isn’t a random nonsensical plot to it. I would recommend this one to most anime fans, I think some will find it a bit to light and goofy for their taste, but I think that this is a pretty safe anime for most people to watch and enjoy.