A personal favorite from the new 2019 anime for me is Fire Force. A unique take on firefighters, Fire Force comes from the creators behind Soul Eater. So right off the bat, the art design is amazing. So what is Fire Force about?
In the year 198 of the Solar Era in Tokyo, special fire brigades called the Fire Force fight increasing incidents of spontaneous human combustion where human beings are turned into living infernos called “Infernals”. Shinra Kusakabe is a third-generation pyrokinetic youth who gained the nickname “Devil’s Footprints” for his ability to ignite his feet at will. He joins the Special Fire Force Company 8, which features other flames users who have the task of both working to extinguish any Infernals they encounter and investigate companies 1 through 7.
Shinra is a third-generation pyrokinetic who wants to join the Special Fire Force to help save people from human combustion. The story starts out with his back story shrouded in mystery. We know he’s lost his family to an infernal when he was very young. Because of his ability to light a fire from his feet, he gained the nickname “Devils footprints”. Many blamed him for the death of his mother and brother.
After saving a member of Fire Force 8 from an infernal on a train, Shinra introduces himself as the new recruit for that team. Considered a group of misfits, Shinra fit right in. Another unique reason Shinra got the nickname he did, and why many thought he killed his family, is his smile. His toothy grin happens any time he is nervous. Fire Force is full of serious storylines and sad backstories.
In the world of Fire Force, power is defined as one’s abilities as a pyrokinetic. As the generations went on since they first appeared, powers grew more complex and multifaceted. However, even among third-gens Shinra was different. Though don’t think he becomes ‘the’ super-powerful, with no training, character. The writers of the source material did a good job of keeping Shinra grounded and flawed at the best of times. Though as the season goes on, with the help of those in his company and those around him, Shinra does start to unlock his potential.
Fire Force also has a dark sense of humor that makes it a fun and enjoyable watch. Shrina is a flawed but likable character, which is not uncommon in Shonen anime. What makes Shinra and Fire Force different as a Shonen anime, is that Shinra isn’t aiming to be the #1 Fire solider in the nation. He is simply looking to stop human combustion and to save people. And he has a devilishly infectious smile too.
The animation style brings back memories of Soul Eater. And that should not be a surprise since this series comes from the creators behind Soul Eater. But it goes just beyond style alone. The sound effects that accompany the action scenes related to Shinra’s ability and the others make for an added level of suspense. Fire Force also picked some of the seasons ‘hottest’ (Yes, I went there) opening and closing songs, including Inferno, featured above.
Blu-Ray Release – Part 1
Season 1 Part 1 was just released on blu-ray/dvd combo pack from Funimation. It contains the first 12 episodes of the 24 episode first season. This basic release also comes with a digital copy and some limited special features.
- Anime Expo 2019 Q&A with Atsushi Ohkubo
- Speed drawing Video by Atsushi Ohkubo
- And Inside the episodes