In the Year 198 of the Solar Era, specialised fire brigades are combating a new threat referred to as “spontaneous human combustion” where people are suddenly transformed into creatures called “Infernals”. And while the first generation of Infernals were simply a result of spontaneous human combustion, later generations gained the ability to manipulate fire while keeping their human form.
The story follows a young boy, Shinra Kusakabe, who has the unique ability of being able to ignite his feet, and who joins the Special Fire Force Company 8, a group of flame users like himself who work together to defeat the Infernals as they appear. And as an evil organisation that begins deliberately creating Infernals starts to make their move, Shinra begins to unravel the truth surrounding the mysterious fire that took his family from him 12 years ago.
Oh man. It’s been a good, long while since I done a First Impressions post for premiere episode of a new seasonal show. It’s been over a year in fact. What the heck happened?!
Well, this season is just too jam packed with shows to talk about that I decided to dust off the old seasonal First Impressions format and bring it back. And what better way to do so with what might well be one of the best premiere episodes of the year so far?
In the world of Shounen Manga, Fire Force has always been a bit of an underdog and is an all too common case of a successor series that’s unfortunately nowhere near as popular or widely celebrated as it’s predecessor. The art style and narrative structure likely gave it away to anyone who wasn’t already aware, but for those who are completely in the dark, Fire Force is the successor to the infamous Manga Soul Eater. And given how big of a fan I am of that series, I picked up the Manga for Fire Force pretty early into it’s run and I immediately fell in love with it.
Ever since I first got into the series, I’ve been dying for it to get an Anime adaptation. And we’ve finally got one. And it’s not a disappointment. At all.
As you’d expect from a series like Fire Force this premiere was more or less just setting the stage for what’s to come. It’s the usual Shounen fare of introducing the main character, the setting and the primary idea that the series is going to be focusing on. And not unlike the opening to Soul Eater, this episode does an excellent job in providing all of these details, while still managing to be an entertaining and engaging episode.
The main character Shinra is pretty fantastic. He has the pretty typical desire to be a hero and make a difference in the world, but he also has a rebellious streak and confidence in his own abilities that make him stand out from the average hero in-training. And he’s more than capable of backing up that confidence by being a complete fucking badass. But Shinra also comes with a tragic backstory; his family died in a fire many years ago and the blame was pinned on him and his powers, resulting in him being ostracised by everyone around him. It’s pretty clear that this backstory is going to be one of the driving points of the series, with the real culprit behind the fire likely to become either a rival or antagonist later on in the series.
The other characters also seem pretty fun, although it’s still early days and we’ve yet to be shown a proper insight into who they really are or what their goals and motivations are. But as of right now, they’re a fun cast of characters with entertaining personalities and excellent chemistry. I especially love Maki and her obsession with romance. She’s a top tier waifu for sure. Totally my type.
But the most interesting aspect of Fire Force so far is it’s setting. We’ve yet to get all of the details, but the mystery behind spontaneous combustion and the Infernals is already a compelling mystery and the way that the world functions in response to this threat is fascinating. I’m especially looking forward to meeting the rest of the Fire Force organisation and seeing more Infernals as the series progresses.
And how can I talk about this episode without mentioning the incredible art and animation? David Production have always been one of my favourite studios, having done some truly phenomenal work on the Anime adaptation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Level E. Even their weaker efforts, like Sakurada Reset still looked pretty fantastic. And Fire Force is no exception. The show looks amazing!
The original visual style of the Manga has more or less been kept intact, and David have done an excellent job bringing the world and it’s characters to live. Everything pops, and there are so many breathtaking shots and animation cuts that I’d honestly go as far as saying that this is easily one of the best looking premiere episodes of the entire year. This might well be David Production’s best looking work, and I hope that it continues to look this good throughout the remainder of the series’ run.
And the music is also pretty kickass. That opening fucking rocks.
My only real criticism of this first episode was that I wanted a little more story-wise. It was a very by the number introduction episode for a Shounen series, and while there’s nothing particularly wrong with that, it didn’t make for the most narratively interesting premiere. But given that I’ve read a little ahead in the original Manga, along with my love for pretty much all things Shounen, I know that the good stuff is coming shortly. The wait will be worth it.
Which then brings me to my big concern about this adaptation: The all too familiar question of “how episodes is this going to be?”
Is the show going to be one cour? Two cours? Will it last a year? Will it become an ongoing series like Black Clover? Will we get a second season if it ends? As of now the Manga is still ongoing and currently has 16 volumes, so there’s plenty of material for the show to adapt. And given that David Production have been known to make multiple seasons of ongoing series, such as Jojo, I have a feeling that if Fire Force does well, it’ll keep getting seasons. Maybe. Or maybe not.
Regardless of how long the series is here for though, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. This episode was just about everything I could have wanted from a first episode, and I’m really glad this adaptation has turned out as well as it has so far. If you haven’t had the chance to check out Fire Force, I strongly recommend you do so. Especially if you’re a fan of battle Shounen. You won’t be disappointed. Trust me. It’s great. And it only gets better from here.
What are your First Impressions for Fire Force?