Anime Commentary Review

Fire Force – Episode 1: Shinra Kusakabe Enlists


First Thoughts Prior to Starting the Show:

I must be honest before I start. I’ve already seen this first episode when I was shown it when it first aired. It impacted me so little that I legitimately only remember one scene from the episode, so this will be almost like a first watch-through for me. I just didn’t like it enough to want to continue onwards to episode two. It felt so generic to me and the characters weren’t interesting to me at all.

I’ve also already seen some later episodes before (which I will mention when I review them) because my partner is watching it weekly and I’ve been joining in for the past, I’d say, three to four weeks? Anyway, I decided to start this over from the beginning and give it another shot for two big reasons: I really liked one character and am intrigued, and I absolutely loved another. Take a guess which ones. The latter may even end up in my Top Favorites of All-Time if I continue to see things that I love about this character. Go ahead and guess which two intrigued me enough to want to start over from the beginning. Let’s see if anyone gets it correct.


Random Commentary:

  • Aw, It’s Rin Okumura’s little brother.
  • I don’t know why exactly, but to me, this show is like a mix of Ajin and D.Gray-Man, which, I’m not opposed to one bit.
  • I hate this opening because it gets stuck in my head. It’s, ahem, “lit”. It’s okay to laugh. I did make a funny.
  • “You think it’s a dump?” “No!” Don’t f*cking lie, Shinra. You literally just thought it.
  • Smiling when you’re nervous… That’s kind of new for a shounen protagonist.
  • “I came here to be a hero.” Something tells me he and Deku would become the best of friends.
  • I lost it when the lieutenant threw the clipboard when Captain Obi was messing with Shinra. He’s me on every level when people are annoying me.
  • Ugh, my weakness is when we’re shown a glimpse of the past of when the protagonist was a young child, usually around 5 years old. I can’t handle the cuteness.
  • Maki is buff. Damn.
  • Their vehicle is called “Matchbox”… That’s such a me joke.
  • Jeez, he’s just thrown right into his first mission without any type of briefing or anything? Good luck, Shinra.
  • What’s with Maki’s witch hat? It looks kind of goofy.
  • I must say, they all work well together as a team.
  • Damn it, that’s such a pure smile at the end.


Final Thoughts:

I remember what my biggest issue with this episode was when I first watched it. As incredibly animated and choreographed as the fight scenes are, they are so damn short. I feel like I’ll miss most of it if I blink even once. I mean, if it’s between this and a Dragon Ball Z fight that lasts 20 episodes, then I’d definitely pick this, but come on. A little more emphasis on the fights wouldn’t hurt, especially when it’s such eye and ear candy. Not only are the visuals phenomenal to look at, but the sound effects used for the abilities and fire, in general, are such a treat. My favorite sound effect is when Shinra uses the fire from his feet, that sort of sonic boom sound that’s heard. It kind of pumps me up.

The characters themselves were alright. When I first watched it, I really wasn’t interested in any of them. They just felt kind of generic, bland, and cliche to me. Even now, I’m still not super into them, but I can at least tolerate them a bit more.

Shinra – Probably one of the most boring protagonists I’ve come across in a long while. He just feels so dull. Nothing about him is interesting apart from maybe his ability? I thought the fact that he smiles when he’s nervous would do it for me, but not even that can make up for how utterly basic he is in all other aspects. He’s just your cut and paste version of every other shounen character in the newer series coming out. I don’t care about him. This is why I initially dropped the show.

Obi – He reminds me of certain captains from some sports anime. He’s laidback and easygoing but seems extremely dependable and trustworthy. I’m kind of liking him. The fact that he also seems to be the only one on the team with no special abilities makes him all the more interesting. I’m curious to see how he holds up as a non-user captain.

Hinawa – Probably my favorite of the team so far. I tend to like the more serious and focused characters that act as the right-hand man to the leader. Plus, his eyes intrigue me. I don’t know what it is with me and characters that show any sign of having cool/unique eyes.

Maki – She’s freaking buff. And kind of adorable from the little I’ve seen of her? She’s not so bad so far, so I’m hoping it stays that way. There’s nothing worse than annoying female characters plaguing the screen for most of an episode.

Iris – I’m not interested in her at all either, just like Shinra. She isn’t annoying so far, though, so that’s certainly a plus. I’m a bit weirded out that the females aren’t so obnoxious… yet. She also seems to not really take much part in the fights and just prays. I guess her nun outfit isn’t just for show.

Overall I at least don’t hate all of the characters. They’re actually kind of split down the middle with me right now: I’m enjoying/interested in 2 of them, neutral about another, and completely disinterested in the last 2. I guess that’s better than hating all of them, though.

Also, I figured I’d talk about it since I mentioned this particular scene in the beginning: I’m in love with the scene where he’s recalling his mom and brother and she says, “See you later/Off you go” and he responds in the present with, “I’m off/Off I go”.  I’m a huge sucker for those types of scenes where they kind of merge the past and present well. It was so well-executed that it almost made me care about Shinra for about a minute. I don’t know why that scene impacted me so much, but I’m hoping more like this will be shown so that I can care about Shinra at least a little. I hate watching/reading a story where I have zero interest in the protagonist. I want to like him/her, after all.

They also couldn’t’ have made it more obvious that his brother is still alive. House burned down with mother and brother inside, yet they magically couldn’t find the brother’s bones? Then he must be dead, right? Oh, please. I just hope it isn’t done in a type of huge reveal scene because that would be such a waste and would truthfully be a little irritating.

The next several episodes will be my first watch-through for them, so I really don’t know what to expect. I just can’t wait to get through them and then watch the ones that originally got me to start watching this series more regularly. Onwards to the next! Látom.




I’m a 27-year-old story-telling fan. I enjoy all forms of media, including anime, manga, literature, films, video games, music, and everything else in between. I’ve been writing short stories and novels for myself as a hobby for as long as I can remember. I’ve never considered myself good enough to become published, but I’m hoping to change that someday. I’m a huge sucker for characters, so that’s usually what will make or break a majority of stories for me. Other than that, I spend my days working and trying to pay my bills (how fun, right?).

5 comments on “Fire Force – Episode 1: Shinra Kusakabe Enlists

  1. “What’s with Maki’s witch hat? It looks kind of goofy.”

    HAHA, that was literally my exact thoughts whilst watching and I was soo bothered throughout the entire thing. Turns out the mangaka for Fire Force is also the mangaka for Soul Eater which explains why she just randomly has a witch hat even if the anime isn’t even about witches…

    I agree with you about Shinra though. I’m 11(?) episodes in and so far, i’m not really feeling him. Nothing makes him different from any other shounen protagonist and he follows almost every trope a shounen protag could follow. The only thing I really like about him is his Fire Feet ability or whatever because that means some beautiful Sakuga moments my eyes get to eat hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …Why didn’t I make that connecton in my head? The character designs are SO similar to the ones from Soul Eater! It makes sense why Maki would have a witch’s hat, even though it does look super goofy.

      I’m so glad you agree. I was mentioning it to someone online the other day and they got butt hurt that I found Shinra so boring. I mean, he’s not bad, per say, just super bland and tasteless. As you mentioned yourself, his ability is about the only cool thing he’s got going for him. Well, at least we don’t absolutely hate him, so there’s that!

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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