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EP. REVIEW: Fire Force


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Kuroi Ren



Joined: 09 Dec 2018
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Kuroi Ren wrote:
The way I see it, Hibana just needed someone... [I still feel that deep down, she was just scared]
My biggest problem with her characterization and Ep6 is that I couldn't see any consistency between previous words and deeds and how things ended up. I try to keep "shounen" in mind with this sort of show and I think I'm a bit of one myself so I appreciate some things but when she so quickly "fell apart" when Shinra refuses to let her get the better of him and flips from being an out-of-control megalomaniac/dominatrix to a meek schoolgirl with a crush, it's a little much. And on top of it, Shinra goes from involved in what could be a life-or-death struggle to a completely unconcerned proclamation of support and affection (?) without sufficient motivation I can see. He could sympathize and understand she was "acting out" from hurt but it seems really dumb that the next step is "it's OK, we're all good now".

Were I to do some analysis, I'd say that the tragedy (or whatever happened) at the orphanage/cloister made her re-evaluate the value of her special abilities and "fire" itself along with the whole philosophy of the Sol Church. It would seem she concluded that the philosophy was BS and turned to hate herself, her abilities and the fire itself. All that left her with was knowledge and a special ability that could get her what she wanted, but only that. I didn't see earmarks of inner fear like defensiveness, just the opposite, she seemed almost over-confident that her power was unbeatable.


If she felt unbeatable, she wouldn't research that much. Besides, it's a coping mechanism to show a strong front. I do agree that it wasn't handled the best way but I don't think my theory about Shinra offering her hope being what made her change her mindset completely is wrong.

Besides, it's shounen like you said. You have to expect the unrealism that boys like

Also, she felt that the "philosophy was BS" is correct. Exactly why being beat by someone who adheres more closely to the selfless helper philosophy can help her
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Kuroi Ren



Joined: 09 Dec 2018
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:29 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
Kuroi Ren wrote:

Accidental molestation? What are you talking about?

Um, how about the character who only exists to be a literal fanservice "magnet"? The character who has a named "ability" to get assaulted? The character who, within 30 seconds of our introduction, had her breasts and ass groped by our protagonist? That ringing any bells?

Amibite wrote:

Ton of people. That's why it's so common in anime. It's a fanservice action manga aimed at boys so it's to be expected.

If you're anyone other than a horny 12-year-old and you obtain any sort of enjoyment out of that hoary obnoxious trope, then I think you seriously need to re-evaluate your life. Hell, even for the target audience it's gross. Depictions of relationships should at least have the tiniest bit of thought put into them, and if you have to rely on schlock like that to get someone to notice your work, you've already failed as a writer.




You're right. Fanservice goes too far. But who's the character that is a fanservice magnet?

If you're talking about the girl that literally showed up in ONE episode, then it doesn't really matter. Besides, it seems like a characteristic that will die quickly even if she joins the MC cast
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:21 pm Reply with quote
Kuroi Ren wrote:
If you're talking about the girl that literally showed up in ONE episode, then it doesn't really matter. Besides, it seems like a characteristic that will die quickly even if she joins the MC cast
Judging from the fact that she shows up as prominently in the OP as any of the actual members of Company 8, I think it's a safe bet that she becomes a main character.

And I do really hope that, once she does, they tone down the perv magnet thing. Of course, even if they do so, that just raises the question of why in the heck they even bothered giving her that "character trait" (and I use the term incredibly lightly) in the first place. It annoys me on every level, from maturity to in-universe logic to writing quality to simple human decency, and while I don't mind at all if other people don't find it annoying (you are totally free to your opinion!), that doesn't change the fact that I and many others do.
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 853
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:27 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, have to echo that I also find the perv-magnet thing annoying. I don't mind well-executed fan-service, but it is easy for it to become a distraction from the actual story, and catgirl's few scenes so far were so absurdly over-the-top that they immediately screamed away the sense of verisimilitude & immersion the show had worked (modestly) hard to build.
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Gasero



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 857
Location: MI, USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Yttrbio wrote:
it's not the end of the world if fictional boobs put a smile on someone's face after a long day of doing "mature society" things.

I prefer not to see breasts and butts, but it doesn't really bother me to see them. However, I think what Fire Force does is tasteless.

Those fictional breasts are attached to human females who, in a well written stories, would mainly have a focus of interesting personal traits and development that complements the main narrative.

So far in Fire Force, females have been subjugated to a lot of sexual fanservice with odd or convenient justifications. It's probably not a coincidence that one of the main female characters personality traits is to be groped. None of the male characters seem to have that trait, but only 6 episodes of Fire Force have aired so maybe that will change later.

There is also the fact that Maki is teased for being strong and assertive. None of the male characters are teased for their strength and confidence. The show depicts Arthur as 'dumb' and yet at the same time says that he is attractive to women because of his confidence.

There is also also the fact that females in the show are already swooning over the male lead. As if the writer is trying to fulfill fantasies about lead male characters being romantically interesting to every female.

Again, these are my opinions. I think these are harmful depictions of society, but if people want to enjoy a show that depicts people in this way, then go ahead.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:27 am Reply with quote
Gasero wrote:
There is also the fact that Maki is teased for being strong and assertive. None of the male characters are teased for their strength and confidence.
Has Maki been teased for being assertive? I'm not saying she hasn't, I totally believe that the show would do it, I just don't recall that ever happening.

She's my favorite character in the show by far, and I have to admit that part of the reason I like her is because I find her design and personality attractive. So I'm not against people turning off their brains and enjoying fanservice in an anime. What I am saying is that the kind of fanservice that the author put in with fox-girl is disrespectful to her as a character and just transparently pandering, and it does the opposite and turns me off. It also shatters my willing suspension of disbelief and leads to me becoming annoyed by other artificial aspects of the setting and characters that I would otherwise have been okay with. So it's a real annoyance in the show, to me.
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Kuroi Ren



Joined: 09 Dec 2018
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:00 pm Reply with quote
I made a post earlier regarding Hibana's sudden change of character not being totally unrealistic. The speech from her to the captain this week basically summarised what I was saying. She just needed someone....to show her the way and to bring her back to her senses.

Shinra was that guy hence her liking him
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Kuroi Ren wrote:
She just needed someone....to show her the way and to bring her back to her senses.

Shinra was that guy hence her liking him
I totally understand that this is what the show was going for with her sudden change of character.

I also think that, as executed, it came across as completely artificial and ridiculous.

She was introduced as this over the top sadistic character who thought of other people as subhuman, even her own subordinates. What about her fight with Shinra snapped her out of that mindset?

He didn't communicate or embody any concepts that seemed to attack her worldview. He didn't reveal anything about his own backstory that chimed with her own experience, but showed a competing way to process and overcome that trauma. He didn't really connect with her in any meaningful way that I could tell.

He literally told her "I'm the hero and I'll save you," then punched her in the face, which flipped her character alignment from 'evil' to 'good'. Now she's not only working with the good guys, but her whole personality has shifted from sadistic selfish monster to moe blushing onee-san, and all her abused minions are hanging out at the barbecue. Okay.

Maybe I'm just spoiled for pacing due to other shonen shows and their notoriously drawn out approach to story arcs, but I think that I could possibly have bought this character turnaround if I was given a few more episodes to see Hibana pre-heel-face turn. Then the invasion arc could allow an episode or two more for the invasion to play out, with better writing around the climactic fight between Shinra and Hibana that threw their opposing philosophies into comprehensible contrast. After that, maybe her character turn would feel more earned, and I'd be more attached to her as a character rather than just regarding her as an archetype and ship-bait trophy for MC Shinra.

As it is, the show is more and more feeling like a beautiful series of awesome fight scenes interspersed with eye-rolling fanservice and the barest bones of setup and character building.

Wait, I did mention this was a shonen magazine show. What exactly was I expecting?
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Kuroi Ren



Joined: 09 Dec 2018
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:47 am Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
Kuroi Ren wrote:
She just needed someone....to show her the way and to bring her back to her senses.

Shinra was that guy hence her liking him
I totally understand that this is what the show was going for with her sudden change of character.

I also think that, as executed, it came across as completely artificial and ridiculous.

She was introduced as this over the top sadistic character who thought of other people as subhuman, even her own subordinates. What about her fight with Shinra snapped her out of that mindset?

He didn't communicate or embody any concepts that seemed to attack her worldview. He didn't reveal anything about his own backstory that chimed with her own experience, but showed a competing way to process and overcome that trauma. He didn't really connect with her in any meaningful way that I could tell.

He literally told her "I'm the hero and I'll save you," then punched her in the face, which flipped her character alignment from 'evil' to 'good'. Now she's not only working with the good guys, but her whole personality has shifted from sadistic selfish monster to moe blushing onee-san, and all her abused minions are hanging out at the barbecue. Okay.

Maybe I'm just spoiled for pacing due to other shonen shows and their notoriously drawn out approach to story arcs, but I think that I could possibly have bought this character turnaround if I was given a few more episodes to see Hibana pre-heel-face turn. Then the invasion arc could allow an episode or two more for the invasion to play out, with better writing around the climactic fight between Shinra and Hibana that threw their opposing philosophies into comprehensible contrast. After that, maybe her character turn would feel more earned, and I'd be more attached to her as a character rather than just regarding her as an archetype and ship-bait trophy for MC Shinra.

As it is, the show is more and more feeling like a beautiful series of awesome fight scenes interspersed with eye-rolling fanservice and the barest bones of setup and character building.

Wait, I did mention this was a shonen magazine show. What exactly was I expecting?


Did you not see her bullying her squad member. She's the same except with Shinra. And you're right, they should have made the change more drawn out but like she explained, she just needed reminding. Remember that Shinra went through the exact same thing with the fire incident and he decided to fight evil with good. She felt that she needed to become evil to fight evil and Shinra beating her showed her otherwise
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Kuroi Ren wrote:
Remember that Shinra went through the exact same thing with the fire incident and he decided to fight evil with good. She felt that she needed to become evil to fight evil and Shinra beating her showed her otherwise
Again, I understand where the show was trying to go with this arc, I just don't find it remotely believable or affecting. All the story beats you are talking about are classic shonen stuff, and it is there under the surface if you look for it, but the actual execution in the show didn't make any use of the potential there and just sort of assumed that the audience would go along with it because that's the kind of thing that happens in early arcs of shonen action shows.

As for Hibana not changing her personality completely, take a look at how she treated Iris at the beginning of the arc, and then watch the shower scene in the most recent ep (or don't, I know I don't want to sit through it again). She is a completely different person, which again, I could have bought if her path to growth was longer and better explored, but as is it's just a switch that was flipped from "stock dominatrix enemy tropes" to "stock onee-san fanservice tropes". I don't find it convincing, at all.

On the positive side, I accidentally watched episode 7 with the English dub this week, and I have to say that I really liked Hibana's English voice actor. Something about her performance made the character more tolerable, though the fact that she sounds more mature and self-confident also makes it seem even weirder that such an accomplished, powerful personality would fall head-over-heels for kid Shinra. But complaints aside, a really good dub performance that I think improved over the Japanese original.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1213
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:54 pm Reply with quote
^^VA is good "old" veteran Colleen Clinkenbeard (XXX). I looked it up because she elevated the character dialogue so much with her subtlety. Unfortunately it disconnected from the visuals which made her look too happy for the irony in the voice but the performance was a real gem...
Gasero wrote:
... It's probably not a coincidence that one of the main female characters personality traits is to be groped. None of the male characters seem to have that trait, but only 6 episodes of Fire Force have aired so maybe that will change later....
Dude, I'd KILL to see that last one Very Happy
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Lord Vaultman



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 470
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:55 am Reply with quote
That last episode (9) was really really good. The music finally (finally) came together on a consistent basis. The dub voice actor for rekka also threw in a stellar ferformance. It looks like fire force is finally hitting its groove.
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Echii



Joined: 17 May 2014
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:32 pm Reply with quote
The fanservice in episode 9 was good one and funny

And also we had good fight. It is best episode so far
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Kuroi Ren



Joined: 09 Dec 2018
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:17 pm Reply with quote
I am surprised with the amount of negativity in the review.

Judge the anime by anime standards. Not because of the source material unless you're chatting with friends. It's supposed to be a review about THE TV SERIES
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:24 pm Reply with quote
Cresadno wrote:
Every week it's always the same old story. No matter how good the episode is, instead of getting an actual episode review (breaking down individual well animated parts, talking about the direction and storyboarding like transitions, layouts, composition, music choice and placement, manga changes, etc.), we get a biased episode summary with the reviewer whining about the source material. (Causually mentioning "animation was nice" isn't enough, so you can tick it off the list)
Usually when people complain about a "biased" review, what they mean is "I disagreed with the reviewer and that makes me annoyed". I'm not sure what "biased" even means in the context of a completely subjective review of an episode; if the reviewer doesn't like it, then they can't help that.

Should they pretend to like it for the sake of people who did enjoy it and want to be validated? Should they take their personal views out of criticism (somehow) and just offer a straightforward summary of the plot? Should they just not write about things they don't like? All of those options would make for worse reviews, no matter your perspective on the material they are reviewing.

FWIW, I'm losing my patience with the show as well, and it's not just because of how juvenile it is. It's becoming pretty clear that the plot is going to remain very simplistic, with very little happening that isn't straightforward justifications for whatever action scenes and stock character bits need to be strung together to constitute a shonen action arc. That's not an inherently bad thing, and I hope it finds its audience, because those action scenes are still gorgeous. But the only thing I get from watching the show that I won't get from watching compilations of its action scenes on youtube is eye-rolling fanservice, which I can do without.

If you like it, that's fine. If you think I'm not being "objective", you are right! This is just my opinion.
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