Fire Force Series

Anime Hajime Review: Fire Force Season 2

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Original Run: July 4, 2020 - December 12, 2020
Number of Episodes: 24
Genre: Action, Supernatural
Based on the Series Created By: Atsushi Ookubo

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Fire Force Season 2. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

The Tokyo Empire’s Fire Force Company 8 continues its fight against the doomsday cult, the Evangelist. However, the fire soldiers are only now beginning to realize how much they don’t know.

Aside from wanting to save his brother, who was taken by the Evangelist, Company 8’s Shinra Kusababe (voiced by Gakuto Kajiwara) vows to stop whatever vial plan may be in the works. To do that, though, he must first master his own powers.

Fortunately, Shinra has the full might of Company 8 behind him. Along with an ever-growing list of allies, the battle to determine the world’s fate might actually be winnable.

Series Positives

I would call this an upgrade, and it is great to see a sequel be as such.

In so few words, Fire Force Season 2 was exciting. Although the same can be said of its predecessor (Anime Hajime listed Fire Force Season 1 as one of the top twenty anime of 2019), this installment took things up a notch.

At its core, the Fire Force story is a simple one. The good guys are trying to stop the bad guys from destroying the world. While I suspect future chapters in this series – and I have every reason to believe there will be more – might get more complicated than that, the current straightforward narrative has allowed this show the freedom to go big. And when I say big, I mean huge.

This series’ story may not be the most unique, but fortunately, such an aspect is not the highlight. That distinction goes to Fire Force’s characters and action.

To that first point, no character has broken out as this show’s shining star. No one has been a dud, and that is always a plus. However, I can’t single anyone out as a clear favorite. As it happens, that hasn’t been a problem. Fire Force’s larger-than-life personality doesn’t steam from an individual; it does so from the collective.

The way characters play off one another and how they work as a unit has made this show so much fun.

Fire Force Company 8, for example, felt like a team. They bickered and bantered, but when it came down to it, they had each other’s backs. You wanted to root for them, and there was a sense of unease whenever one was in danger. And losing a likable character would be bad enough. Yet, in the case of Fire Force, there was an extra layer of worry because peril could mean losing a critical part of what made Company 8, Company 8.

Thanks to this closeness between the characters, Fire Force could retain its sense of humor even in the most harrowing of situations. Company 8 members could crack jokes and egg one another on in the middle of a fight without compromising the seriousness of the moment; a crucial matter since Fire Force Season 2 got quite dark on several occasions.

This comradery also fed into the second pillar of Fire Force’s strength – its action.

There were so many kick-ass moments throughout this season, a trait not uncommon in shounen anime. Another equally typical occurrence in other shounen series is the main character being the only character worth watching. Dragon Ball Z and Goku come to mind.

Despite the Dragon Ball universe having a slew of excellent characters that far and away surpassing its protagonist, how many times was Goku the only one capable of saving the day? Far too many to count is the answer.

Now, let’s look at Fire Force. How often was the main character, Shinra Kusakabe, the winning factor? Only twice, and one is debatable since I consider it more of a draw. This is significant because there were fights Shinra participated in, and he wasn’t even close to being the most powerful combatant. He may have helped and held his own, but someone else would be the one to deliver the finishing the blow.

Hell, the fight scenes where Shinra was the dominant force weren’t even the best of the season. One of my personal favorites didn’t even involve Shinra. I’m talking about the time the character Takeru “Juggernaut” Noto (voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi) defeated someone by smashing their face in with an atomic bomb-shaped fireball.

Additionally, there were two full episodes dedicated to Benimaru Shinmon and Joke (voiced respectively by Mamoru Miyano and Kenjirou Tsuda) effortlessly taking on the entire Holy Sol Temple by themselves. Yeah, that was pretty f@#$ing cool.

Let me emphasize; there wasn’t a single dull moment in Fire Force Season 2. It started strong and ended even stronger. Plus, with this series now delivering TWO outstanding installments, one can only assume a third will be coming sooner rather than later.

Series Negatives

If there were one thing to say against Fire Force Season 2, it would be its lack of consequences.

As mentioned above, this season had some dark moments. Deaths – and violent ones at that – were common throughout this installment. Be that as it may, the full weight of these often sudden and gruesome demises was never felt for very long. In the moment, things could get pretty grim. Still, by the end of an episode – or even by the end of a scene – it was like nothing had happened.

At the risk of giving too much away, Company 8 went on a mission that took them back into the Nether, the giant labyrinth below Tokyo. On this occasion, they were joined by Company 2, which had a much larger supply of fighters. Sure enough, the Fire Force soldiers ran into the enemy, and a massive conflict broke out.

Since only a handful of Company 2’s personnel had connections with Company 8, most were cannon fodder. By the end of the fight, Company 2 was in utter ruins (incidentally, Company 8 resurfaced virtually unscathed).

To put it another way, one of Tokyo’s eight Fire Force Companies, as well as one of its largest, was devastated. You would think the aftermath of such a tragedy would be tremendous and widespread. But no. The series simply moved on to the next thing.

This may have been the most egregious example, but it was a prevalent problem throughout Fire Force Season 2.

If a story is willing to lean into the levels of destruction this one courted, then a little acknowledgment would go a long way. Although Fire Force could be ridiculous, that is no reason why it could ignore its more severe developments.

Final Thoughts

As I said, this was a massive step up for an already excellent series.

This season’s story may have stayed rather basic, but it more than made up for that in several places. The animation was better, the characters were more fun, and the action was so much more exciting. This show is nearly impossible to put down once it starts going. And it starts going immediately.

That is why Fire Force Season 2 has earned a recommendation.

But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Fire Force Season 2? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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Anime Hajime Review: Fire Force

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