Fire Force or En En no Shōbōtai is the fourth magna by Atsushi Ōkubo. His other highly notable work, Soul Eater, ended its run in 2014 while the anime adaption aired from April 2008 – 2009.
With a crazy boarding school story about children that could wield other children as weapons, the story garnered adoration from many nerds and cosplayers. Now, a little over ten years later, his ongoing manga Fire Force ignites onto the summer anime scene.
In the year 198 of the Solar Era in Tokyo, humans are spontaneously combusting, erupting flames and becoming destructive beasts called “infernals”. Special forces have been created to combat these infernals. Imagine fire fighters who are fighting conscious conflagrations with prayer and a taste of their own flames. The main character is Shinra who is nicknamed “Devil’s Footprints” because he is able to cause his feet to explode into fire at will and utilize that skill to help the Special Fire Force Company fight infernos.
Four Fierce Factors from Fire Force
1. The Beginning
A train rumbles into the station as a we pan to a passenger, smoke escapes his lips. He then ignites into flames to the horror of the other passengers on board. Watching from the platform is a black haired boy with scarlet colored eyes. He is our protagonist, Shinra. There is glee on his face as the infernal emerges from the train. This anime is not holding our hands with this opening sequence; it gets straight into it with little delay.
2. The Animation
There is always a ton of anime each season, so those that do not have ample amount of time may judge based on looks. Fire Force is produced by David Productions which has done quite a few JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series and Cells at Work. It is very similar to those series, but also very reminiscent of his sibling, Soul Eater. Classic visual motifs of Ōkubo are very present along with vibrant depictions of flames, which play a large part in the anime. Even the reflective strips of the Special Fire Force Company’s uniforms seem reflective like firefighter uniforms IRL. The anime waits about ten minutes before giving us backstory on why people are bursting into flames by using breathtaking visuals.
“Flame is the breath of the soul.”
3. The Opening Song
Anime fans love their openings and endings. “Inferno” by Mrs. Green Apple plays at the end of the first episode in this new anime format that is popular these days; waiting until the end of the first episode to give us the musical goods. The band has done only a few other anime songs, but “Inferno” is certainly a great tune paired with Fire Force. The animation is great and there is a A LOT going on in the 1:31 length opening song.
4. Maki Oze – Second generation pyrokinetic
Best girl material right here! Once upon a time, anime fans would claim their “waifu” or “husbando”. The practice may still be around, but more so fans love to claim their best boy and best girl in this new era of Japanese animation fandom. Maki is a stand out from the episode from the moment she jumps into action. As a second generation pyrokinetic, she is capable of controlling flames in a different way than Shinra. Her personality is kind and cute – so, definitely best girl!