Oh, we’re getting to Iris’s character now? …Well, okay then. Finally!
I probably should’ve seen the writing on the wall. Somehow, I missed the part from last episode where Captain Hibana and Iris exchange looks. I also didn’t realize that a younger version of the former appeared in the ED until I saw the ED play again in this episode and my brother pointed it out to me. Whoops…
Hibana had a pretty over the top introduction, so much so that it felt too one-note and didn’t really hint towards anything nuanced. This episode does a better job making that kind of characterization work more towards the show’s favor. Whatever exactly happened at that nunnery, it must’ve shattered Hibana’s faith completely and turned her into the whacko we’ve been seeing. There’s also a nice, sharp divide between her personality and Iris’s. Whereas Iris remains devout and is passionate about helping the people, Hibana has veered entirely towards the science behind the Infernals and will only share her findings if it benefits her the most. You see the tension that duality creates when Hibana burns Iris’s habit with her powers. Admittedly, that scene doesn’t entirely work the way it’s intended — the lines between fan service and actual discomforting visuals are so blurred nowadays — but it does get the point across. The fact that Iris is still a nun, especially after the two of them seem to have went through, confuses and disgusts Hibana.
Part of me is a little confused as to why Iris decides to waltz into Company 5’s base now. From how it sounds, Company 8 has already been suspicious of them for a while. Surely, Iris knew her former sister was up to no good so why does she decide to take the initiative at this very moment? Maybe this has to do with Company 8 being relatively new but frankly, I think it’s happening now because this story is primarily Shinra’s and so, conveniently, he’ll be present for a major development. I don’t mind that Iris thought her plan would work though. Sure it’s risky and kind of stupid but seeing as how she’s a woman of faith, she would hope to appeal to whatever good is left in Hibana. She simply just hedged her bets wrong and didn’t realize how far Hibana seems to have fallen.
Regardless, I’m glad that we get to see Company 8 kick Company 5’s asses now. And what a good ass kicking it is. If there’s one thing I can give Fire Force high marks for, it’s that there’s clearly been a lot of though put into varying up the fire-based powers. Come on, you get to see flammable, explosive bubblegum. How often do you get see that and, in my case, write that down in a blog post?
The most impressive display of pyrokinesis though goes to Lt. Takehisa. There was some text in Episode 1 that stated Takehisa is a second generation but up until now, I didn’t know how he uses his powers when all I’m seeing is him firing guns. Now it makes sense; he manipulates the ignition of gunpowder in his guns. This episode shows how such an application can be used to its full potential. He’s able to redirect the bullets he fire and even re-spark the remaining residue for one last barrage. Absurd? Yes. Awesome? Also, yes!
There’s two people who don’t really get some action in this episode. First is Shinra but to be fair, he’s the most able to rescue Iris and he’s clearly going to be pitted against Hibana. Second, there’s Captain Obi who is actually nowhere to be found. That strikes to me as odd. I highly doubt he’s been kept in the dark of his company’s ambush. If anyone would lead the charge, it’d absolutely be him. My guess is that Obi is going to be a trump card for Shinra’s upcoming battle. In the last episode, he couldn’t even get near Hibana due to her powers somehow pinning him down. Perhaps Shinra is just there to stall and it’s Obi who’s actually coming to the rescue.
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