Fire Force S2E2 Review – Quick Summary
In Fire Force S2E2, “Flames of Madness,” Akitaru Obi gave Shinra Kusakabe some unexpected good news: Captain Hague of Special Fire Company 4 granted Shinra a meeting! Hague might have some information to help Shinra resolve his complicated family situation. Accompanied by the Captain’s granddaughter Asako Hague, Shinra visited the 4th Company, which was like a homecoming for him. The 4th ran the Fire Force academy, and he met some old friends like Instructor Pan before visiting Hague’s office. There, Shinra learned that Pan’s last-minute warning that the Captain hadn’t been himself was an understatement. Why is Captain Hague so interested in Shinra’s Adolla Burst? Or would “obsessed with” be more accurate? And was Shinra imagining things, or were there more voices in his head than normal?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Best in Show Moment for Fire Force S2 E2
In the end, Shinra rededicated himself to becoming a hero. But he could not have done it without a little help from his friends, especially Arthur. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Setup: Shinra, the First Pillar, and Weaponized Facts
It’s easy to forget just how young Shinra is. According to My Anime List, he’s only 17 years old. Though he’s utterly committed to becoming a hero and uncovering the truth about his mom, he only has limited life experience. He hasn’t had to live through the inevitable betrayals that many of us as older adults had to work through. Plus, he’s idealistic.
The First Pillar hit him exactly where he was weakest: in his dedication to his mission. He only recently learned that his mom wasn’t dead. Instead, she’d been turned into the Demon Infernal that he had assumed killed her. So, the foundation for his life, the negative energy he’d used to defend himself against “mother killer” taunts all through school, was completely false.
The First Pillar also used the most dangerous weapon at her disposal. She used facts. No half truths here. She used the facts as he himself already understood them. It’s no wonder Shinra’s mind fell to such an attack! It would have been unbelievable if he had not fallen.
Before Shinra even realized it was the First Pillar talking to him, before we viewers even know what was really happening, the First Pillar’s facts were deranging Shinra. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
By the way, I can’t say enough positive about Arthur Boyle in this episode. I only regret having to focus on this one moment! If you’d like to read more about him, please see Irina’s post on I Drink and Watch Anime. It’s a great perspective on this episode.
Delivery: Shinra Remains Shinra, with a Little Help from His Friends
When Shinra went insane, Arthur told him he had three chances to get himself under control. Before Arthur could even finish, Shinra attacked.
All while he and Arthur fought, Shinra kept up an inner debate with the First Pillar. He couldn’t dispute her facts. He needed something else, like a change of context, to have a chance of throwing off her influence.
The First Pillar had reminded Shinra that he couldn’t avenge his mother because she wasn’t dead, and he couldn’t kill the demon his mother had become because she was his mother. Giving into despair, he fell further into her trap as he said (20:05) “It’s too much hassle, so I’m gonna burn everything now!”
Arthur say his chance, saying, “What about your brother, Sho?”
The First Pillar was so angry at Arthur’s question that she lost her composure. That was the instant her control began to slip. Arthur followed up with a series of special Arthur attacks, culminating with “Knight Head,” a powerful head butt. The pain and blood bought Shinra precious mental seconds. “Now who am I supposed to wanna kill to keep in living?” he asked.
Arthur’s question about Sho broke the First Pillar’s concentration, which gave Shinra precious seconds to regain his sense of self. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Arthur’s answer was that Shinra should protect the people who are precious to him. “That’s something that Knights, heroes, and Fire Soldiers all do,” (20:53), Arthur said.
It was the rhetorical wedge that Shinra needed. Shinra poured all of his power into his feet, as if he was going to launch himself at Arthur. The First Pillar felt exultant, thinking that she’d convinced him to lose himself to fury and despair. But instead, Shinra launched his left left upwards to drive his own knee into his face. The blow restored his equilibrium. He once again proclaimed his goal to be a hero.
And he could not have done it without Arthur.
What did you think of Captain Hague’s addiction to the Adolla Burst? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!
Fire Force S2E2: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Enen no Shouboutai: Ni no Shou – Episode 2 discussion
- I Drink and Watch Anime: Fire Force 2 Episode 2 – The Return of the Knight King
- AngryAnimeBitches: Enen no Shouboutai S2 Episode 2
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Fire Force Season 2 Episode 1 Review: A Fire Soldier’s Fight
- Fire Force Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Flames of Madness
- Fire Force Season 2 Episode 3 Review: A New Flashpoint
- Fire Force Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Groping through the Fire
- Fire Force Season 2 Episode 5 Review: Corna (Sign of the Devil) / A Secret Plan