What They Say:
The Secrets of Pyrokinesis and Into the Nether.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 18 serves as a nice break from the constant fights and focuses on training and upgrading scenes. It serves as a reminder that Shinra and Authur are still rookies despite all the fights they have been through. Vulcan also creates machines that boost Fire Force Squad 8 powers. Maki gets a flying arms contraption, Tekkyo, based on her flames that also serve as a hammer and Obi gets a machine that uses magnetic technology to turn off fires. Vulcan has made a strong first impression as a member of Squad 8. An issue I had with the training arc is that it didn’t know how to set up training for Authur. Nobody knows what to do with Authur. He is a capable fighter when he is surrounded by knight memorabilia but is otherwise useless.
It’s wonderful to see how most characters from all the Fire Force squads have grown to loosen up their hearts. This change has felt like it has come naturally and not manufactured. Benimaru shows how he has lightened up by agreeing to teach Shinra and Authur and cracking a couple of jokes at Shinra’s expense. Another character who has been had their frozen heart loosen up is Hibana when it comes to protecting Iris.
Episode 19 introduces the Nether as a place that has a negative reputation and is used to scare children. I felt it was introduced a bit late to be a place of fear and disgust. It doesn’t bring a sense of dread as the anime is intending to do so. I feel that the Nether should have been mentioned earlier in the anime in order to create a sense of dread.
The imposters return in this episode in order to confuse Iris and have to figure out who is the real Tamaki. The imposter trope is used well in this episode as it’s done quickly and more for comedic effect. The only way Iris discovers the truth is when Tamaki’s Lucky Lecher Ability activates to the maximum and ends up stripping all of her clothes.
When a character gets introduced with a name such as Assault, I just know they’re going to be used as a punching bag. He is hyped up by the White Clad as a character who is so vicious and strong but ends up getting pummeled by Tamaki and Iris. I do have to wonder why there are two rats just eating nuts as Iris and Maki are beating Assault to a pulp.
Nevermind, the rats are there for your protection so you don’t have to view the gruesome beating of Assault. Iris is a savage being if you look at the picture below. The picture had to be censored so that people dont have to view the atrocity of Iris’ actions.
A character that has been underutilized so far is Maki. Maki is one of Squad 8 heavy hitters and is something this anime has been forgetting about. Maki is able to easily beat up the group of White Clad soldiers that had given Shinra and Authur such a hard time in the previous episodes. The divide and conquer tactic is something that I enjoyed seeing in this episode as it gives other characters a chance to shine and I feel this feel applies to the episodes coming up.
It’s about time that Shinra gets a training episode. Shinra has been in so many battles but has never gotten a chance to learn how to master his ability. Those battles have given Shinra a chance to meet people who can show him how to use his powers at a higher level. Squad 8 set out to face the White Clad but are separated and set up to face them individually.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll, Funimation