Now that was one heck of a turn that this story took. I know we were all prepared for things to get a bit mad once we finally encountered one of these bastards who actually turn people into Infernals, but to actually encounter one who would go so far as to turn kids into them? I’m impressed that so early we have crossed that line. Well, not too surprised at the same time since we have seen our fair share of anime series which went to that dark place incredibly fast. At the end of the day, at least we know what inevitably brings Tamaki over the the 8th.
The shocker for those of who probably lost our **** about the way the previous episode ended, was seeing what came next. It was a truly anime moment, because the last thing you would have expected was for there to still be a fight to finish. In contrast to the fight with Hibana, this was the one we were waiting for. Something that would actually show us what it looks like for Shinra when he is caught in a real fight. It also helped having an opponent who also shares in boosted physical attributes because this is one of those anime series where the visuals are at their best when the characters are moving with intensity. Particularly when we have a main character who is so good with his feet, and footwork in general. Ignoring some of the comedic moments thrown in, the pacing was excellent too. There wasn’t too much time talking, and there wasn’t too much time fighting. They struck a solid balance between the two.
Speaking of the talking bits. I was impressed with how they also managed to turn this into an enlightening moment for everyone when another step further was taken towards addressing the goal of turning people into these ‘pilots’. We might not know the end game yet specifically, but for now we do know what they are looking for in the people they perform these sick tests on. The fact that Shinra could be tied into this was great for pushing the idea that there was a greater conspiracy towards what happened when his mother and brother burned up those years ago. If Shinra matters, then you want to know why at that age, and you want to know who ordered such a tragedy befall his family. I think we all still even want to know where his father was throughout all of this.
Even better was that by the end of the episode we could see that there are far more dangerous forces out there beyond those within the Fire Defense Agency who they were trying to snuff out. This also didn’t give us too much insight into the answers we seek, but knowing is half the battle in a story like this.
What did catch me off guard was the bits of humor that they threw in there. They just couldn’t help throwing Shinra and Tamaki in awkward situations again. I still don’t entirely get why these things happen when she’s around, but the good thing is that they could do this without cutting too much into the seriousness of this confrontation.
The opening scene really breaks your heart all over again because of the decision to have us go over that scene with Rekka and Tamaki again. It was a tough pill to swallow that a fire soldier could lose their way that much, but it helped that they added a little more visual to what was going through her mind in the moment. This was at the same time appreciated because you could easily look at this and question why Tamaki didn’t try to fight back. She’s not helpless, so at least the attempt would have gone a long way. Trying to show her admiration for Rekka eased some of that confusion since it wouldn’t be that easy to attack and hold nothing back.
Fire Force “Spreading Malice” gives us one of our more memorable episodes of the series for the big action scene that they indulged us with. It’s not always going to be about the action, but damn if you don’t want to see what a character like Shinra can do when he gets moving! I loved that they could give us this while at the same time blowing us away with the revelation that there is so much going on behind the scenes. Meaning we have just barely scratched the surface of this investigation. Good thing that this week they also announced a second cour. Even if it would be better to simply get a second season altogether. Regardless, this should be a proper motivator for viewers and fans alike to boost the viewership and popularity of Fire Force!