What They Say:
A Fire Soldier’s Fight
Company 8’s junior crewmen take in a day of shopping for some new clothes for Lieutenant Hinawa, but their excursion is interrupted by the appearance of a giant Infernal. The 8th prepares for the annual Special Fire Force beefcake calendar shoot.
Flames of Madness
Shinra is approved to have a meeting with Company 4 Captain Hague, who may be able to provide information on the Evangelist and Adolla Bursts. However, once the meeting starts, nearly everyone involved begins behaving erratically.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shinra and the girls of Company 8 have a free day and go out shopping. Tamaki and Iris are out in sundresses. Maki wishes she could join them but is afraid her ogre charm would ruin the feminine looks. The episode started with a positive mood but Shinra had to put a negative spin on it. He has PTSD from his battle at the Nether. As part of their shopping trip, they decide to give Lieutenant Hinawa a makeover. His lack of common sense in regards to fashion makes a comeback in this episode. The crew goes out shopping with good intentions but they forget their original purpose and look for what clothes they can push his limit. The shopping trip is postponed because of a giant inferno attack. Arthur saves Shinra from the inferno leading to Authur becoming smug. Shinra and Authur rivalry continues to be an annoying rivalry. The rest of Company 8 arrives on the scene to deal with the giant Inferno. works efficiently as a team to take out the giant inferno.
After the fight scenes, comedy comes from all sides. Shinra and the girls did end up shopping for Lieutenant Hinawa. They bought him a weird shirt with discs attached to arms, a bunny hat that says “Nudist Bitch,” and bunny underwear to match. I feel like there should be a limit to a person’s stupidity regarding fashion but this is a bit too much. This should be expected since every other character has some stupid quirk. At the very least, Lieutenant Hinawa didn’t sell out the rest of the Company when he was being questioned by Captain Obi. Too bad the same can’t be said for the girls as they quickly blame him for the shopping trip.
This is an anime about firefighters so of course, there has to be a firefighter calendar somewhere. But this isn’t just any regular firefighter calendar. This is a nude fireman calendar featuring all eight Fire Force companies. This is the episode to watch for the wonderful fan service. So many fire soldiers showing off their muscles and abs. Shinra’s mind immediately wanders off and starts to think of Company 5 and imagines Hibana naked in the calendar. This episode includes fan service for all. To his disappointment, the calendar only includes men and gets lectured by Sister Iris. On the other hand, Hibana is having an existential crisis of seeing Shinra on the calendar. She wants to look at his naked body but she wants the pleasure all to herself. Maybe they are the perfect couple for each other. Company 7 also has its unique problems with getting their picture for the calendar. A perfect way for a recap and so much epic fan service.
Episode 2 goes into Shinra beginning with the Fire Force Companies. He started with Company 4 with their training academy. He meets Captain Hague of Company 4 for answers in regards to his Adolla Link. Hague is an erratic individual who wants Shinra to burn him. He gets a thrill from the prospect of being burned by Shinra’s Adolla Burst. Another wonderful peculiar character to join the band of misfits.
I spent so much of the first season making fun of the way Authur is as a character and I feel so bad after learning of his backstory. His backstory is somewhat normally tragic compared to most characters but it’s the most relatable tragic story. Others have some deep dark secrets as part of their story but Authur’s backstory is simple and just wants to make you cry. Having one of Authur’s former classmates add a dark sense of humor as he tells his story.
Part of Shinra’s PTSD can be attributed to the First Pillar. It is invading his mind and causing him to give in to his hidden anger and awaken his bloodthirsty desires. Shinra attacks the Fourth Company and it is up to Authur and the rest of Company 4 to stop him. Just as Authur had become a more likable character, he returned to his Knight vision mode. He envisions himself and the rest of Company 4 as the typical JRPG party. He becomes the butt of the jokes of Company 4 as he embraces his Knight powers. The jokes centered around his knight personality seemed better this time around.
The visuals during the firefights are amazing. It’s keeping up at the same level from Season 1. The first season focused on building the cast for Company 8 and Episode 1 of this season capitalize wonderfully on this aspect. Their bonds don’t need to be explained and this lets the episode move at a brisk speed. It served as a reminder of what the characters’ abilities are. This episode has the right flow as focused on reintroducing the rest of the companies with the calendar shot. It didn’t take itself too seriously and was just a fun episode to see the merry band of misfits again.
After episode 2, I feel nothing but pity for Authur. His backstory is a rare occurrence where his tragedy is as normal as can be. Shinra started as a dark character with a tiny sense of humor. He was a loner but quickly developed friends that meant the world to him. This is changing as he has to explore his inner darkness and reach into new territory. Shinra was full of hope that things will turn out well but that hope has been lost. The episode is creating chances for Shinra’s bonds to be tested.
The comedy in these two episodes is a wonderful improvement over last season. The jokes come more naturally. It doesn’t feel forceful to make a viewer laugh. The calendar part of the episode provided a ton of room for comedy that just made sense. The calendar part also serves as a great recap of each of the Fire Force companies to get viewers familiar with this world. There was one joke that did feel like it shouldn’t have been there though. It seemed a bit insensitive to Ogun. I hope that kind of joke never happens again in this anime.
Grade for Episode 1: A
Grade for Episode 2: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll and Funimation