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EP. REVIEW: Fire Force


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gumbaloom



Joined: 11 Sep 2017
Posts: 72
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:01 pm Reply with quote
Ok so I just watched 19 I think James is going to have a lot to say about the back half and in a not good way. One long crass joke.....
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WatcherZer



Joined: 29 Dec 2016
Posts: 148
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:43 pm Reply with quote
I cant believe we got a full fledged cameo from a Soul Eater character in the latest episode in one of his favourite haunts.
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ETX



Joined: 27 Jun 2014
Posts: 315
Location: England
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:39 am Reply with quote
Heaven forbid James get's subjected to titiliating fan-service in other anime, geez...
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:37 am Reply with quote
I was surprised at how I didn’t completely hate the second half of this episode. For one thing, the Scythe cameo was great. For another, the “joke” was on Assault. But Tamaki’s whole shtick is gross. You know what would make it better? A character who strips on purpose—either to make it easier to fight (which wouldn’t be hard to suspend our disbelief for in a fire powered themed series), to purposefully discombobulate their enemies, or both. Think Gray from Fairy Tail. Add some consent on the stripped character’s end get all the fanservice with none (or less) of the humiliation and grossness.

The first half of the episode was great, it really delved into the crises of faith these deeply religious characters are struggling with, and addressed it in a realistic way. I don’t want to draw on too much real life parallels, but I kept thinking of Catholics who struggled during the height of the child abuse cover up revelations. Many people who choose to stay religious have to consciously separate their personal beliefs and connections to faith from corrupt or abusive Faith Leaders, and I think the episode illustrated the process as well as a shonen manga story could.
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Gasero



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 am Reply with quote
I think Fire Force would have been a much more interesting series if the religious theme from the first few episodes stayed more prominent. The series quickly turned into "which fire force team has the coolest powers" and dropped the most interesting part of the world that was created.

I'm glad to see some of that original theme return.
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everydaygamer



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 572
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
I did not like how the Haijima arc ended. Kurono was depicted as completely abusive. He does not have any positive qualities or nuance, but somehow his desire to beat up weak opponents is good for Nataku? I got the impression that they wanted to show that Shinra can’t save everyone with “talk-no-jutsu,” which is fine, but having “Uncle Reaper” talk Nataku down instead doesn’t work. I’d believe that the Puppeteer has more positive influence than Kurono because she seemed to care about kids, at least a little? But not Kurono. He should not be allowed near children.


Nah the whole point is that while both Kurono and Nataku are messed up (especially Kurono) they are ironically what each other needs right now. It's not a good long-term solution but for right now it's the best solution they have to keep Nataku from exploding again as well as keeping him relatively safe.
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everydaygamer



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:24 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
I was surprised at how I didn’t completely hate the second half of this episode. For one thing, the Scythe cameo was great. For another, the “joke” was on Assault. But Tamaki’s whole shtick is gross. You know what would make it better? A character who strips on purpose—either to make it easier to fight (which wouldn’t be hard to suspend our disbelief for in a fire powered themed series), to purposefully discombobulate their enemies, or both. Think Gray from Fairy Tail. Add some consent on the stripped character’s end get all the fanservice with none (or less) of the humiliation and grossness.


It's funny that you use Gray as an example because a lot of the time his stripping is involuntary, he literally can't help himself. It really isn't any different from Tamaki's situation except that Gray has moments where he will intentionally strip because it helps with his magic.

Personally, I find her whole accidental stripping thing hilarious just because of how ridiculous it is. No matter the situation Tamaki can just end up in a state of undress and everyone, hero and villain alike, just has to deal with it. I don't get why people would want to waste energy being offended over something so patently rediculous.
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lostrune



Joined: 09 Jun 2012
Posts: 297
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:57 pm Reply with quote
everydaygamer wrote:
Personally, I find her whole accidental stripping thing hilarious just because of how ridiculous it is. No matter the situation Tamaki can just end up in a state of undress and everyone, hero and villain alike, just has to deal with it. I don't get why people would want to waste energy being offended over something so patently rediculous.


Same. Love that kind of sexy humor. Anime knows what we like. Smile
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NeverConvex
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Joined: 08 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:11 pm Reply with quote
I'm with Agent in badly disliking the gag in almost all its forms, but I don't think I would like it very much more (maybe a smidge, I guess) if it were re-done with her having more agency in it. I think what it is primarily lacking is an awareness of timing and quality/depth of joke. Playing that gag in the middle of the emotional battle with Rekka a season or two ago was especially jarring, incongruous with the context of the scene. Fire Force has been utterly awful about respecting the emotional tone of the scenes it built up, and consistently destroys its own hard-built atmosphere with ill-timed jokes. I think this plays out in a less dramatic fashion even in less important scenes; shark-face kid will be talking to unfashionable-lieutenant guy and I'll be trying to follow their conversation only for the whole flow of things to be interrupted by Tamaki getting naked for no apparent reason. I'm really not at all opposed to fan service, but when you regularly destroy the flow of scenes by shoehorning it in with no apparent purpose or motivation, I find it more annoying than sexy, and it undermines my experience of the scene in which it is appearing.

The most recent episode was less bad, I think, though. Making the naked thing a repeat gag with a meaningful structure to it as Tamaki repeatedly accidentally defeats the bad guy, and juxtaposing that with his grim-dark hyper-serious training montages, was a little bit funny, which I couldn't really say for earlier uses of the joke. I can't give it much more than that, though; "girl accidentally strips and titillates bad guy into defeat" is just a concept that lacks layers. I need a little bit more meat on my comedy to get me rolling on the ground.

Also agree with Agent in thinking the handling of Kurono/Nataku's relationship was extremely disappointing. I'm not opposed to the portrayal of broken relationships that nevertheless are the best the two people involved are capable of managing right now, but that isn't at all what the anime tried to play those two off as. Honestly, I don't think Fire Force has sufficient command of emotional nuance to tell that kind of story effectively, and so it came off as deeply self-contradictory.

And agree with Gasero that it's a shame Fire Force seemed to give up on most of the religious aspects of its world-building in favor of throwing a pure shounen power-party every episode. I originally (back in the first four of five episodes, I guess) thought Fire Force's world-building seemed quite novel, and that it could create a genuinely quite unusual setting; nowadays, though, it just seems like cookie-cutter shounen fare to me, with the unusual aspects of its world mostly relegated to plot mechanics of only superficial importance to the show's atmosphere.

All that said, I am amused that the show's central mystery has been revealed to us as: "Nuclear power is people?!" Soylent Green has many forms.
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:37 pm Reply with quote
everydaygamer wrote:
It's funny that you use Gray as an example because a lot of the time his stripping is involuntary, he literally can't help himself. It really isn't any different from Tamaki's situation except that Gray has moments where he will intentionally strip because it helps with his magic.

Personally, I find her whole accidental stripping thing hilarious just because of how ridiculous it is. No matter the situation Tamaki can just end up in a state of undress and everyone, hero and villain alike, just has to deal with it. I don't get why people would want to waste energy being offended over something so patently rediculous.


I think it just boils down to some people just don't understand why people like fanservice. The humiliation and lack of agency is part of the appeal in these situations with Tamaki.
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AksaraKishou



Joined: 16 May 2015
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Location: End of the World
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:29 pm Reply with quote
For the people who want more religious themes... spoiler[get ready]
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1601
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:40 pm Reply with quote
About the Assault/Tamaki showdown, I believe it was an artistic decision to leave it hanging because it already was an extended joke and to show the result when the audience can guess the rest would take the humor away by over-extension. It could be funnier if the show left it so the obvious question can be asked later to an ominous declaration like "you don't want to know..." Smile
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:38 am Reply with quote
everydaygamer My point in using Gray as an example is that it never seems to bother Gray that he’s stripped, consciously or otherwise. It bothers the people around him, and *their reactions* are often funny, even for fans who aren’t attracted to Gray’s bare chest.
But the biggest issue with Tamaki’s accidental stripping is how it tends to mess with the tone of serious scenes, particularly Rekka’s fight, as NeverConvex said. There are scenes I’ve found it funny, like the fight scene in the first cour of this season in which Tamaki is trying to perform nun duties for the first time in the field and is hampered by her inability to stay clothed, but there are also scenes like the Rekka fight where the attempt at humor spoils the whole scene.

The review of the latest episode suggests a theory that, if true, would make me feel better about the show focusing on Maki just to sideline her: maybe she is spying for the 8th. The show wouldn’t have to tell us now, the show didn’t reveal Licht’s double agent role right away. Maki’s Dad wouldn’t agree to a joint investigation unless his daughter was safely moved to a secretary position, so she was pressured to move—but that doesn’t mean she intends to stop working with the 8th.

I did like meeting Maki’s family this ep. The gags were great. I did not catch that Dad’s eyebrows moved out of the frame, but I did catch that Maki’s brother uses baby talk while on the phone with his girlfriend, so the whole family got a tough side and a softy side. Also, glad her brother didn’t die, he was tripping some major death flags this ep.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1919
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:33 pm Reply with quote
I think I hurt my neck with the tonal whiplash in this episode. The death flag scene; proposal, child, shoes worked for me at first acting as a parody, but when they all died horribly right after, it landed very flat and didn't work for me. I don't think they did a good job going from humor to horror.
I haven't minded most of Tamaki's use and the lucky lecher stuff in the past, but this weeks LL didn't work for me at all and just seemed odd. The fact that she wasn't able to put up a fight was also very disappointing. This would have been a great time for her to shine (or at least put up a fight and show off her powers).
I thought the Hajiki death worked well as a sudden unexpected (at least in timing if nothing else) death, but it didn't land very hard since we didn't really know the character.
I enjoyed the Juggernaut and Orochi fight as well, but I thought the regenerating layers was a bit over used. At first it worked as a gag, but now it's somehow simply become a very powerful super power (at one point he was beheaded...)?!? I think he'll survive, but probably lose that uncovered arm.
I feel like this episode would have worked better if they just focused on the horror and action and didn't try to go for those early jokes.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:37 am Reply with quote
The sneaker gag had me rolling, but it only worked* (*not for everyone) because we didn’t know these characters at all, and they were treated like NPCs. I was genuinely upset that Hajiki was killed, because we were getting to know him, and they were setting him up like a significant side character, complete with a cool ability and a quirky gag (poor memory). Oh, well.

It sucks that Tamaki was a damsel in distress again (and it would’ve been nice if they didn’t feel the need to add BDSM tones in the way Orochi tortured her), but I was kind of expecting Juggernaut to save her because the show is doing a Chekhov’s girlfriend thing with him—Juggernaut’s mom told him that the next time he visits, he should bring a girl. Then we see he has a crush on Tamaki, but no self confidence, so he has to save her, I guess. Rolling Eyes
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