This time around on Fire Force, we see some new plot aspects emerge with a new story arc while some more dust themselves off and reappear for their time in the spotlight. There’s some more great Eighth company antics, some worldbuilding, and even a hint as to where Shinra’s brother might be! Let’s take a look.
1. The Emperor of Japan
So for a minute during watching this show, I was getting confused between the Evangelist and the Emperor, thinking that they were one and the same (maybe they are? Don’t spoil me!). However, we see the Emperor here call together the current captains of each Fire Force company to discuss the advent of this Evangelist and his assault on the city with man-made infernals, thus quashing my confusion. We hear this summoning in a playful scene between the Eighth company, as we see Hibana’s subtle infatuation with Shinra grow as she makes him lunch and stuffs Obi’s locker with notes asking for Shinra to get a raise. It’s cutesy, and a fun way to ease us into the episode.
Also, Tamaki seems to be very much on board with the Eighth after the Rekka event, and for better or worse, so is her Lucky Lecher charm. It does lead to a great scene where Shinra expects something perve to happen but instead, enjoys a well-placed knee to the head.
2. Amaterasu and the Captains
Fire Force gives us a few moments of interesting worldbuilding this episode, with one of the most enjoyable ones being the power plant Amaterasu. What makes it so much fun isn’t necessarily the concept itself (although a clean renewable energy source is definitely a fun thing that would love in our own world, thanks), it’s Shinra’s adorable reaction to finding out he’ll be seeing it for the first time! It gives the audience the opportunity to share in his childlike joy as they watch from afar in a train like a kid getting a tour of the big city for the first time.
The other bit of worldbuilding here is that when we get to the Emperor’s meeting, we’re introduced to all the other Company Captains in the same room as each other, each with their own unique character design and aura about them. Two that stuck out at this stage are the plague-mask sporting Dr. Giovanni, who suspiciously holds council with Hibana about something and Benimaru Shion who is allegedly the mightiest Fire Soldier out there, leaving Shinra in total awe.
3. What’s the deal with Shinra!
As it turns out, The Emperor wants to discuss a few things, but also wants to address the nature of Shinra’s powers and what being an Adolla Burst entails. The best way that this is told is that it’s compared directly to Amaterasu, the energy plant we were shown earlier. By… being? an Adolla burst, Shinra has a totally pure and clean source of energy within him, which can presumably be harnessed in the same way that Amaterasu is. This makes him a class-A target for the Evangelist, so the Emperor expresses concern over what should be done with Shinra.
Dr. Giovanni seems to want to ‘look after’ our precious boy, but Hibana suspects that he will just want Shinra for experimenting on, so she and the Eighth Company express that they’ve already done a good job harboring him and will continue to do so.
4. Meeting with Joker
Meanwhile, a familiar cigarette-toting figure that we haven’t seen in quite a few episodes seems to be listening in to the Emperor’s conversation just outside. Once Shinra is on his own within Amaterasu to gather his thoughts, the enigmatic Joker appears to discuss his situation, seemingly as an ally. The show is using him sparingly enough so that we really can’t tell what his motives are or where his allegiance lies, which makes him an interesting character to re-insert back into the narrative at this point. He congratulates Shinra on coming closer to his potential, telling him about an Adolla Burst being a reincarnation of the Earth’s sacred flame.
On top of that, Joker also reveals a little more about Shinra’s family from his tragic past, telling him the brutal information that not only is his brother Sho alive and well, but he’s also a knight working for the Evangelist’s army. Shock and horror!Continued below
Afterward, Shinra is notably shaken as Joker does his disappearing act to avoid further questions, a classic move in the ghosting repertoire. The rest of the episode is actually a little quieter than many past ones have turned out, with Hinawa making the Eighth Company sift through some paperwork in order to find anything about the Evangelist and his order. Arthur hilariously crashes and burns as we go through the scene, with Shinra playfully mocking him about it. Eventually, the gang cooks together, and we get a tender scene between Shinra and the oft-cold Hinawa. The latter reminds Shinra that he can always talk to the team, or specifically him, about anything considering the weight that is on his mind.
In a refreshing change of pace, rather than holding onto his secret, Shinra tells Hinawa and the company about Joker and Sho. It should move later episodes along at a much quicker pace, but the exciting stinger of the episode is a short shift to the Evangelist’s headquarters, where we see Sho himself with the same twisted smile as our protagonist, sitting atop a throne with a sword in hand. What’s his angle?!?