The world of Fire Force changes forever when a supernatural phenomenon called “Spontaneous Human Combustion” begins to happen to random people. Similar to a plague, citizens are set ablaze and turned into aggressive creatures called “Infernals”. However, there are people who, instead of turning into mindless fire zombies, are able to manipulate the flame instead and preserve their human form. To combat the powerful infernals, humans began creating special fire forces composed of the pyrokinetic individuals gifted with the power of flame.
Fire Force, or Enen no Shobutai (炎炎ノ消防隊), is a Japanese animation series directed by Yuki Yase. It tells the tale of a young boy named Shinra, a pyrokinetic just recruited by Special Fire Force Company 8. Shinra earns the nickname “Devil’s Footprints” since he has the ability to ignite his feet at will. This technique allows him to dash or fly, using flame the same way a rocket does. As the plot goes on, Shinra quickly discovers that he has a lot to learn when the flames which come from his feet cannot always defeat the enemy.
Fire Force was adapted from the manga Fire Force by Atsushi Ōkubo and produced by the studio David Production in November 2018. It was aired on Funimation in July 2019. The second season of Fire Force has already begun airing, re-igniting the fan’s passion for the show.
The story follows the classic structure of a shonen anime (anime targeted for boys), but also brings in a lot of fresh aspects. For example, like many other shonen anime, the main character lost his entire family at a young age and is doomed to a tragic backstory. However, as the plot continues, the audience learns that his brother, previously presumed dead, is actually alive and well. The only problem is that his brother is working for a hidden but powerful faction whose goal is a mystery to be discovered.
Fire Force’s animation quality is extremely good and is a step up in quality compared to the other shows released during its time. The battles, instead of being filled with mindless cuts and explosions, are more like harmonious dances bathed in flame. Even the setting of each scene is a work of art. Almost every frame in an episode could be used as a wallpaper.
The character designs are also a great example of high-quality animation, as each individual character has a place to shine in the show. Although the characters have unique looks, they also have unique personalities, quirks, and abilities. Each pyrokinetic uses flame a different way, so each character has a different fighting style that suits them. For example, the main character Shinra is only able to produce fire from his feet. However, his peer Arthur is able to condense the flame into a sword similar to a lightsaber from Star Wars. Arthur is an interesting character who is extremely powerful in the correct circumstances. If he can envision himself as a knight, he is able to fight on par with the most powerful enemies. However, if that image in his head cracks or breaks, then he loses all self-confidence and suddenly becomes weak.
The sound design of the series pairs very nicely with the animation. Every single burst of fire has a distinct sound, which changes based on the density and the impact of the flame. When the fire is shot forward like a laser, appropriate sounds are played at the same time. The sound effects and music paired with beautiful fighting sequences effectively immerses the audience within the scene.
Most anime TV shows only use one or two composers for music in order to keep the theme uniform. However, music from Fire Force is produced by various different artists such as Kenichiro Suehiro, Mrs. Green Apple, and Aimer. These Japanese artists are well known for their previous works from different animations.
Overall, Fire Force is a classic shonen anime that anyone can enjoy. The storyline is filled with adventure and excitement. The fight scenes are gorgeous, paired with breathtaking art, allowing the scene to pull the audience into the world of Fire Force. Now more than ever is a great time to watch the show, especially since the second season was just released.