After the past couple episodes of Fire Force, it is safe to say that now they have gotten the ball rolling for this story. They started with our first encounter with Infernals, then Shinra finding himself in a more suitable position to begin asking about the fire that took his family, confrontations with enemies who have mysterious agendas, and then a strong emphasis on the kind of crap going on within the Fire Defense Agency that Company 8 was created to investigate. A lot of things going on in a short amount of time, and yet all of it reasons to keep coming back for more!
Now what got me pumped for this episode was finding out why this one was titled “The Battle Begins”. When the plot begins to thicken, this gives you the impression that something big was heading our way. Considering all of the above mentioned, that could have meant a lot of things. For the most part it did mean most of those things, but most importantly it meant that this is the point in the story where things begin to get serious. For those of us who don’t read the manga, it was quite the bomb dropped on our laps to discover Company 8’s secret agenda. The last thing you would have expected is that they would be placed there to keep an eye on their own. Which leads us to the real reason why this episode was titled the way it was. That was worth the wait and build-up. Something like what happened with Company 5 isn’t something you so easily overlook. The pacing was great that they could actually do something about it. All of this led to a battle that truly showcased what everyone has to offer in a combat scenario. It was something different to see fire soldiers versus fire soldiers instead of Infernals. What I appreciated about this battle in general was the fact that they went all in. This isn’t another battle that is done in one episode, they made this big enough that we are left anxious for the other half to come next week.
Something that we really found ourselves able to take notice of was the significant difference between someone who is a second generation, and someone who is a third generation. While the appeal of the firepower and tact of those like Shinra is hard to beat, credit where it is due for the creativity that goes into what second generations can do when they find other means to generate a spark. Plenty of fire soldiers from Company 5 proved that these abilities can get fairly unique.
Something I also did enjoy about this episode was the way that the dynamic for this team took shape a bit more. If there was one thing that this show was lacking, it was solidarity between these characters who are supposed to be a team. They did have moments working together to stop Infernals, but that was for the most part it. Aside from that they had the tendency to be off doing their own thing. This went double for Shinra and Arthur who seemed to team up more than the others. Having this moment to emphasize their goals made a big difference in giving them a reason to all be together and on the same page about what comes next. Now when the big battle came they still did split off, but this time around you could overlook this because we were seeing something from most of them that we weren’t given the opportunity to see before. Takehisa in particular caught me off guard because initially I would have assumed he was pretty average. His eye did always do a glow, but it wasn’t until now that you actually knew what came with that glow.
I only had one concern currently, and that was with Iris as a character. I can see the value of all of these characters but her. This isn’t a problem with Iris herself, but it is a problem with the role she plays as a sister. Better yet, the role that all of those like herself play. I mean, where do you really begin making viewers care for the prayers? How do you really add depth to a story like hers without leaving viewers feeling like they need to see more of everything else fleshed out before this? That’s at least how I felt. Maybe the The Holy Sol Temple are just as troubled as the rest of the companies within the Fire Defense Agency? Who knows, though this meant that the only way to know would be to be patient with this storyline.
Fire Force “The Battle Begins” was certainly one of the most exciting episodes so far. I didn’t think this is where we would find ourselves at episode five, yet here we are. What you can’t take from many of these anime to premiere this summer is that they don’t waste your time. This may be speaking too early, but most are moving fast and making every minute count. Fire Force delivered with an explosive episode this week that proved to us that we haven’t seen anything yet.