What was that I hear? New arc time! “For Whom The Flame Burns” last week was a big one because this was the boldest move we have seen from the White Clad. Obviously because they wanted to make sure that the 8th didn’t make too much progress in their snooping, but at the same time because there was no better time than now to show these fire soldiers what they are up against. From what we have seen? They are up against people who represent everything they stand against.
With that said, I enjoyed how this episode started off. Since this is the start of a new arc, with it comes a brand new opening sequence. It was a struggle at first to see this happening. I think I speak for many when I say that the first was the kind of song you could play on repeat when you weren’t watching the series. An excellent song, and a pretty cool animation to follow. This one wasn’t a bad change. A bit more intense than the first one, but still hits the right notes. At the same time it helped that with a growing story they matched this showing all of the people encountered so far, while also teasing the new characters we would come across down the road.
Speaking of new characters, off the bat we jumped right into the introduction of one of them as the episode began. It was only a matter of time before we began to see the 8th begin expanding their roster. It made sense that the first person they would come across after Tamaki is someone who is a researcher. As they even said themselves, there’s only so much reliance that they can place on another company when they have their own priorities too. And neither can they always be there to help when called upon. Was a bit surprised by the appearance of Licht, but he certainly fit in as someone who does not have the kind of mannerisms that you would get from those in other companies. The 8th seemed like the kind of place an engineer would go to tinker and not be bound by too much red tape. Especially when some of the other companies are already established and riddled with shady practices.
This introduction brought us straight into our next. When you are picking up a researcher, why not also go fishing for an engineer while you’re at it? Now I wasn’t too surprised hat they would go for someone who seemed unobtainable. That is usually how these things go. What managed to stand out more than that is why this Vulcan would be such a challenge to get to. From first impressions he definitely looked like someone who could build some amazing things for the 8th, and his outlook definitely matched the kind of vibe that you get from most of the team too. How we got to know Vulcan was engaging because you wouldn’t have guessed what this blacksmith’s dream was. You think of someone who builds machines, and the last thing which comes to mind is something that deals with the natural world. In the context of the way this world works, you could at the same time understand it. The best takeaway from getting to know Vulcan’s story was also experiencing more world-building. Even now there were things to discover about this world that we didn’t know before.
Sending Shinra, Arthur, and Iris to confront Vulcan was smart too. Waka is older and requires a more professional touch, Vulcan on the other hand requires those who can appease to his youthfulness. Things were of course going to get a bit goofy sending these three his way, but the result made this worth it. It was endearing to put people together in the same room who truly still held on to their innocence and dreams like Vulcan.
There as one thing I appreciated more than anything else this week, and that was knowing that the core reason for the 8th being is not being forgotten on top of their more pressing investigation. As important as it is to deal with the Evangelist, there is no denying the problems still existing with the other companies that have yet to be fully explored.
Overall, Fire Force “The Blacksmith’s Dream” was a strong start to the new arc. The mission is still the same, but current events have opened the doors to new possibilities everywhere you turn.