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The Fire Hunter
Episodes 8-10

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 8 of
The Fire Hunter ?
Community score: 3.6

How would you rate episode 9 of
The Fire Hunter ?
Community score: 3.5

How would you rate episode 10 of
The Fire Hunter ?
Community score: 3.6

©Rieko Hinata, Holp Shuppan/WOWOW
I have never been happier not to have to review something anymore. The last three episodes of what is mind-bogglingly only the first season of this deteriorating production introduce even more half-realized plot threads. Instead of walking through each and every half-hearted development, we're going to look at where this series ultimately failed. It's not just in its lack of coherent animation cuts. The Fire Hunter failed to materialize cohesive character arcs, instead continually throwing another ingredient into the pot until it no longer resembled something edible.

Readers familiar with the source material have pointed out that the script treatment of the novels is partially to blame, cutting context wholesale without adapting around the lost information or streamlining the plot. Instead, the series has relied heavily on inferences. Viewers are supposed to connect Point A and Point B without any visual clues or dialogue to lead them there. This is most evident in the lore featuring the Lady Goddess, additional gods, Divine Clans, the Spiders, the comet/satellite, and the different kinds of bestial fire byproducts. There was always too much, and The Fire Hunter was happy to stack more onto the pile instead of getting to the point.

Ideally, this cour would have been better served as an extended travelogue as Touko headed towards the capital to acquaint the audience with different populations, like the treefolk, the guardian spirits, the Spiders, and the Divine Clans. Cap it off by reaching the capital and introducing Koushi and the Okibi household dynamic next. Then move on to the machinations of the Divine Clans within the capital itself and the incoming comet.

None of this would have corrected the limited animation, but this would have led to a more coherently paced story and potentially a more well-liked cast. I didn't find any of the characters actively bad, but I never grew fond of them. It was difficult to become invested in anyone in particular, whether it was Kaho arbitrarily deciding to marry the convoy driver, Akira's missing brother, Koushi's (weakly represented) moral dilemma, his suddenly feral sister, or Kira's family. There's a lot of groundwork for things we were supposed to care about but never connected with me emotionally.

I'll give the series credit for one thing only; I would read the novels. If I had developed any investment in the characters, I could see myself riding out the second season. Instead, I'll probably never think about this series again.


The Fire Hunter is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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