What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Fire Force “Flames of Madness”! Not the kind of start you expected from the second season premiere of Fire Force, but given everything these Fire Soldier have been through so far? I think we can overlook that one episode where the guys are actually doing a nude photoshoot for a calendar. The impression we have been given is that this week we can look forward to getting back into what comes next for Company 8.
First off, I appreciated that they wrapped things up quickly with the whole photoshoot competition. It was a humorous thing for a start to the second season, but that was it. There was no way they were going to get away with dragging that on longer than it needed to be. Some series probably would, so fortunately Fire Force is not one of them.
So with this week’s episode, they jump right into what comes next for Company 8’s investigation into the White Clad and the mystery of the Adolla Burst. I welcomed the idea that this would lead us to the 4th Company. One thing I has consistently enjoyed about the series is the time they have taken to work their way around each Company and what separates them from the rest. Now when it comes to Company 4, it’s pretty straightforward as to what makes them stand out. They are the company which handles most of the training for these new Fire Soldiers. Not only that, they are led by someone who you would call their most season veteran in terms of experience dealing with fires over the years. I was only taken back by the personality of this captain. We have been introduced to some with colorful personalities, but none like this old man here. All it took was getting to know this guy through his meeting with Shinra, and then everything became clear.
If there was one thing we knew we were in store for, it was some action because Shinra finds himself controlled by one of the White Clad. It turned out to be exciting for the challenge in taking down Shinra at this level. There was no better time than now to show that difference in power that he has right now compared to some others. Maybe they were also holding back against him since he wasn’t in his right mind, but still it says a lot that it even took as many as it did to snap him out of it. I didn’t feel we were let down by what the Company’s captain was capable of. Just as much of a force to be reckoned with like Captain Obi. I would say probably more just for the difference in experience and arsenal. Even Ogun impressed me despite not seeing too much of what he is fully capable of. Overall, I was just excited to see a character who was actually black. As for Purt, he didn’t go unnoticed for his display of usefulness for an ability that is highly supportive. Never thought I would see someone bard-ish in a series like this, but there he was.
Now what stood out most from that confrontation was at last seeing what makes Shinra and Arthur rivals. Up to this point, it didn’t quite make sense. It looked like there was a huge skill gap between them. It was only a matter of time before they gave us a reason to see Arthur as an equal, and apparently that takes special circumstances for the guy. I couldn’t argue with the strength he is able to tap into once he fully dives into the role of a knight. At the same time it benefited to see that for a Fire Soldier like Arthur, his usefulness doesn’t stop at having a sword in hand. Beneficial, but they have made it clear that he is not vulnerable without.
In turn they also made a statement about the threat-level of the White Clad. It says something when they even have a member who is strong enough to influence someone from that great of a distance. This was a situation that could have gone a lot worse than it did under different circumstances. If the situation was any different, someone probably would have lost a life in this exchange.
By the end of this episode, I was shocked by the focus they have finally begun shifting towards Arthur. This guy right here is an underrated favorite because on the surface what’s not to love about a character who can be so simple-minded, yet so formidable? There were things we had to look forward to this week, but what hits you out of the blue is he decision they made to explain why Arthur is the way that he is. This is something I admit that I never truly questioned when at a point you simply accept that he is dumb and sees the world through a Camelot lens. So I was grateful when in the moment they decided to jump right into his past and upbringing. I was satisfied with the revelation they gave us. It was a comical story told for the fact that it is that easy for a kid to get swept away in that fantasy. Yet at the same time it was heartbreaking, because you don’t simply retreat to that kind of fantasy in your head without a good reason. It was unfortunate, and surely enough he doesn’t even fully understand the story he told himself.
There was madness this week, but not without a dose of chaos too. Fire Force “Flames of Madness” made it clear that right now there is no greater danger to these Fire Soldiers than asking the right questions. For better or for worse, they have the attention of the White Clad.