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anime

Fire Force Season 2

This second season of the still incredibly well animated and directed Fire Force really surprised me, and I ended up liking it even more than the first season, but I really didn’t think I would. The first episode of the season is very silly. There are calendar shots and shopping. I thought “Oh hell, they are going to go full fan service in the second season”. But I was wrong! The first episode was more of a gimmick, that doesn’t really get repeated later in the season.

Clearly the relationship between Shinra and his past, how it affects his present and what will happen to his brother are the primary story of this show. This season this plot, the A plot lets call it, gets pushed to the curb a bit and we are more focused on other plotlines, a bunch of B plots lets call them, which brings forth a lot of interesting world building and fleshing out of characters that were in dire need of fleshing out.

One of the characters that got fleshed out more and more focus this season was Arthur. He was one of  my favorite characters in the first season, mainly because he is a hilarious anime version of Don Quixote. In this season we learn how exactly he became so delusional about his own person. The reason is trauma. Arthur and his parents were immigrants to this dystopian version of Japan. His parents worked hard to get their business going, but it, and their dreams burned down. Arthurs parents just left him one day, leaving him a single short note, declaring him the king of their castle from now on. And that delusion protects his shattered heart and soul.

I really didn’t like Tamaki in the first season, to the point that I thought she was just harem fodder, annoying nudity and nothing else. But, after the season I at least have sympathy for her. She is suffering from similar maladies are Jessica Rabbit. They were just drawn that way. In her case, more directly, she was just born with this ridiculous power and her life has been hell because of it. Never ending series of misunderstandings, lost friends, bullying all because of something she can’t control. She also adds quite the backbone and gets stronger, more reliable as the season progresses.

Maki and Juggernaut get their spot light moments as well. We get to know their families. Maki is from a military family with bad hearing who flip the switch easily and get loud. Juggernaut is from a working class family, farmers from what is left of that was once China. Maki always needed to be assured by others. She didn’t do things because she wanted them, but because she was told she would be good at them. Later in the season she makes a stand, and starts to take her own life in her own hands. Something similar happens to Juggernaut. Faced with a potential loss, he will push himself to his limits, trying to save the ones he cares about, shunning all his previous fears, especially the fear of fire and his own ability.

The mysterious fire user nicknamed Joker finally gets some backstory. And wow, its both heartbreaking and terrifying. Joker was a member of a high Escalon guard for the Temple of the Holy Sol. But, as with a lot of people who start thinking with their own head, he realized that things and especially the people in the church aren’t what they should be (sounds familiar, huh catholics???). Joker wants to know the truth about the world he lives in and is sacrificing a lot every day to attain his final goal.

Out of the new characters, two really made an impression on me. One being Inca, the new pillar. Before she awoke her powers she was a woman addicted to thrills, mostly those around fire and infernos. And once her powers kicked in, she develops psychopathic tendencies. Ogun is a school friend of Shinra’s. He has the ability to turn his fire abilities into a sort of armor that increases both stamina, strength and durability.

I was really surprised to find out that Amaterasu is using people as a power source. It is an interesting version of the “Trolley problem”. Is it moral or right to use one person as a source of fuel that literally saved human civilization from extinction? It probably is. I wonder if this is the end for Shinra? Will he be forced to make some sort of sacrifice or just become the next source for the Amaterasu. It is still not clear what the Adolla is, or where all those antagonists came from. Hoping for parallel dimensions, would be kinda lame if they were in fact aliens.

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