Rumi OkuboHisako KanemotoSusumu Chibafirefighters
Fire Force: Season 2
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2020: F
Also known as: Enen no Shouboutai: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Director: Tatsuma Minamikawa
Original creator: Atsushi Okubo
Actor: Aoi Yuki, Ayaka Asai, Chikahiro Kobayashi, Cho, Daisuke Ono, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Gakuto Kajiwara, Hiroki Yasumoto, Hisako Kanemoto, Itaru Yamamoto, Katsuhisa Houki, Katsuyuki Konishi, Kazuya Nakai, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Kengo Kawanishi, Kenichi Suzumura, Kenji Nomura, Kenjiro Tsuda, Kentaro Ito, Lynn, M.A.O, Maaya Sakamoto, Makoto Furukawa, Mamoru Miyano, Miyuri Shimabukuro, Mutsumi Tamura, Rie Kugimiya, Rumi Okubo, Saeko Kamijo, Saori Hayami, Satoshi Hino, Sayaka Ohara, Sho Hayami, Shogo Sakata, Shoya Chiba, Susumu Chiba, Taiten Kusunoki, Takahiro Sakurai, Takaya Hashi, Taku Yashiro, Tomoaki Maeno, Tomokazu Seki, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Yumi Uchiyama, Yusuke Kobayashi, Yutaka Aoyama
Keywords: anime, fantasy, firefighters
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Episodes 25-48
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=22952
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 30 May 2023
Enen Shouboutai
I enjoyed it a good deal. It's a laugh. Its shounen fights bog it down at one point, but its other battle-heavy stretches are terrific. The three-way battle and shifting alliances circa ep.15 are a joy, while the Nether expedition towards the end is top-notch.
The cast are the key. I like them all. They're childish, goofy and sometimes absurd, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Arthur Boyle the Knight King is the show's mascot, an idiot of legendary proportions who'll be remembered by anime fans for years to come. (He claims to be King Arthur and his superpowers are proportional to his current derangement. His colleagues humour him and at one point use him as a comparison point to rank a very very very insane foe's idiocy.)
There are lots of others, though. The show's hero is Shinra, a devil-faced loon who finds Arthur irritating and is always fighting with him. (It's mutual.) Maki and Tamaki are Company 8's two female fighters (not counting non-combatants like Sister Iris and Lisa Isaribi) and they're both much better served this year. Both get hero arcs of their own in the season's final third, with Maki's overprotective idiot family and Tamaki's reaction to having to get rescued again. This is a light, fun action series, but both of those characters get hurt emotionally there.
Then we have the baddies. The main foes are the White-Clad, of course, and their presumed master, the Evangelist. These tend to be axe-crazy loons with terrifying superpowers. Also, though, we have Haijima Industries, whose child care staff include people like Kurono Yuichiro (an emotionless super-strong sadist who reverses the usual stereotype by having a hard-on for beating up weaklings) and the Puppeteer. I love the Puppeteer. Okay, yes, she's insane and would murder me, but she'd be so polite, friendly and well-spoken about it. Imagine a primary school teacher in pigtails who talks nicely to everyone and always has a big, lovable smile even in mid-battle.
Then there are people who could go either good or bad, like Inca. (That question is eventually answered, mind you.)
I enjoy the show's childish sense of humour, e.g. the nude male calendar contest in ep.1, or the gang going hyper on volcanic fumes and turning into even bigger idiots in ep.7. This is a pretty violent show, with lots of death and killing. This can even occasionally be gross. (That insect leg through the jaw in ep.21 is a bit ew.) Despite this, though, the show always has a sense of humour and is quite good at balancing sincere character beats with jolly entertainment. (Season 1 got the tonal balance wrong big-time with Tamaki in ep.8, but this season avoids that mistake.)
I loved the three-way battle in eps.15-17. Awesome. Villains become heroes, while still being evil. Arthur's heroic pea brain made me almost die laughing. (His allies have to persuade him that an armoured vehicle is the stone into which he must insert Excalibur. This is a very silly conversation.)
The Nether expedition is less comedic, but has a far, far higher body count and those Maki and Tamaki story arcs. I loved that too.
Is this a great show? No, obviously not. It's a goofy shounen series, with a hero who trains to get stronger and will have lots of fights. Its goal is to be funny and entertaining, with cool fights against cheerfully mass-murdering enemies. This it achieves. That said, though, the show's not as childish as a lot of its genre brethren. It's about a city-wide emergency service of psychic fire fighters, protecting the city against natural and unnatural disasters. My favourite bit of worldbuilding here is the religious angle, with nuns who say prayers for the pyrokinetic undead that have to be defeated. (That's why I love the spiritual discussion in ep.18.)
Will I ever rewatch this? Probably not, although a third season has been announced and I could imagine doing the whole saga for laughs. It's not without depths, if you look for them, and its characters are passionate about their loves, hates and fears, but for the most part it's just jolly fun. But it's very good at that.