After watching Promare I saw so many people comparing it to this mysterious Fire Force series so much that I absolutely had to check it out given how amazing Promare is. Now the first half of the first season is out on Blu Ray/DVD I was finally able to see how different they are.
Initially it is easy to see where the comparison kicks in. After a major worldwide fire event people now spontaneously combust, but this is where the similarities end. In Fire Force the world is now mostly inhospitable, but the Tokyo empire is still going strong despite the odd person catching on fire.
When someone catches fire, they become angry Infernals or Demons who go crazy causing havoc which is where the Fire Force comes in. The Fire Force responds to these events using their general weaponry. However, they are bolstered by the people who survived a fire event and now have fire abilities.
Shinra is one of these people with his ability to burst flames from his feet which can help him fly or land awesome fire kicks on enemies. Thanks to his nervous tick which has him showing a toothy grin he is often misconstrued by the general public as a villain. This wound up adding a nice slice of character uniqueness that helps the show stand apart a bit.
Season 1 Part 1 basically follows Shinra joining Company 8 through to the discovery that a cult is causing people to burst into flames. Each Fire Force company is self-governed, and all have different interests in mind. Company 8 is tasked with investigating them to find the cause of all these issues.
I won’t spoil the plot any more than I need to there, but it doesn’t take long before it goes from being a generic action anime to something interesting and intriguing. Unfortunately, there are times Fire Force is exactly what you expect from an anime in negative ways. The most common of this is the fan service.
I get some people love it, and I have been known to enjoy it when shows poke fun at fan service, but this isn’t the feel I got from Fire Force’s use at all. Tamaki who is an enjoyable character with cat-like fire abilities yet keeps winding up in weird situations that has her in minimal clothing or having her body handled by Shinra accidentally. There were also a couple of times where characters had their clothes burned away to underwear because… well no good reason.
Despite how little I like the fan service, Fire Force is a fun action series so far. The use of religious roles within the organisation and premise makes for an intriguing world, with a plot that I look forward to seeing play out.