Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18: Tamaki is shocked to see Assault
Anime Best in Show

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18 Review – Best In Show

Quick SummaryBest MomentSetupDeliveryOther Posts

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18 Review – Quick Summary

In Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18, “The Holy Woman’s Anguish / The Man, Assault,” gave us two episodes in one. In the first, we’ve known that Iris has had doubt about the Holy Sol Temple since season 2 episode 11, when Shinra and friends returned from China with word that the Evangelist had been instrumental in founding her church. What has that knowledge done to her faith? In the second half, Assault, having just recovered from his defeat way back in Season 1 Episode 19, had thrown himself into training. The defeat had utterly humiliated him. Now, he was ready for revenge against his most powerful adversary, Tamaki Kotatsu. Wait. Tamaki? He sees Tamaki as his most powerful enemy? Yes, and he’s ready to take her on again, after a grueling training regime. Does he have a chance against her awesome might?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Amazon stuff here

Favorite Quote from Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18: Iris has been working out.

Iris’ bicep impressed Shinra. A lot. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

For a show that, at least for a while, had a reputation of having wildly incongruous fanservice, Fire Force can be surprisingly sweet. I mean that in a good way.

Take this episode, for example. The Eighth had kept Iris so busy that weapons and ammunition had piled up for baptism, and she couldn’t carry it all to church. So, Shinra helped. He was so excited about this “church date with the sister” that he could barely contain himself.

Iris offered to help him carry it, and he protested that it was way too heavy for her. Apparently, her association with Maki had paid dividends, because she’d been working out. Proudly, she pulled up the arm of her habit and showed Shinra her flexed bicep.

Shinra, who was deeply and personally impressed by the sight, tried to rein in his young man impulses.

“This is an off-limits upper arm,” he told himself sternly (04:04).

I really liked the humor in this episode.

Best in Show Moment for Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18: Shinra's words put Iris' heart at ease

Iris had dedicated her life to helping others. The Evangelist’s role in founding her church called that into question. Shinra was able to show her she was still on the track she’d chosen. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Sister Iris Endures a Crisis of Faith

Ever since the team had come back from China with the news that the Evangelist had been behind the foundation of the Holy Sol Temple, doubts gnawed at Iris’s faith.

This episode played up her growing worry. Shinra could see it, and he wanted to help, being the earnest young hero that he is. As he waited in the courtyard, she knelt in a quiet place within the church, beside the baptismal font. Maybe because the church was so quiet that there was nothing to distract her, even as she mouthed the prayer, she had to wonder, that if the Evangelist had in fact founded her church (05:48), “Who exactly am I offering up my faith to?”

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18: Doubts seem louder in a quiet church

Iris’ doubts seemed louder in the quiet of the church. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Her worry was so obvious that the supervising sister called her out, saying that her “worldly thoughts” were easy to see. That just made her feel worse.

When she had finished, she asked Shinra if he would visit a little shrine. Remember the sisters who had died in the convent fire from Iris’ past? They were buried in this shrine. When she opened its doors, she found a lot of gaudy decorations. I immediately wondered if Hibana had been there, and sure enough, Iris confirmed it! It was funny, but it was also bittersweet. As aloof as Hibana held herself, she still visited the shrine.

There had been a priest and a sister in another part of the cemetery, and the priest spontaneously combusted. Shinra asked Iris to begin her prayers, and he sprang into action. His training and experience have come so far that he was able to easily put the Infernal to rest.

Delivery: Shinra’s Practical Support

The other sister, distraught at seeing the priest dead, remembered that he’d been a pious man who prayed often. She wondered if all of their prayers did any good. “Does god not have any mercy?” she asked.

This seemed like Iris’ final straw. As she and Shinra walked alone, tears filling her eyes, and she asked if the god they worshiped was actually the Evangelist. She asked herself is she were part of a faith whose only purpose was to lead people to their deaths.

Shinra had seen enough. He said, in the way only earnest young heroes can, “That’s not true!” He went on to describe how he had to kill as part of his job, and each death weighed on him. “That’s precisely the reason why we Fire Soldiers need sisters,” he said (14:10). “It’s because you see the Sun — see its light that the rest of us can keep fighting.”

Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18: Shinra's honestly helped get through to Iris

He’s not a great orator. But he was honest and he care about her. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It wasn’t an existential explanation. It’s wasn’t an analysis of the nature of divinity or its effects on mankind. It was a Fire Soldier telling his Sister that he needed her, in the role she had chosen, acting the way she had chosen. In a few moments, he reaffirmed the choice of her life’s work. Honestly and earnestly. Best of all, she felt better when he had spoken.

I wish more discussions about faith and religion used that level of honesty and affection!

What did you think of Assault’s training regime? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

Fire Force Season 2 Episode 18: Other Posts

Other Anime Sites

This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)

10 thoughts on “Fire Force Season 2 Ep 18 Review – Best In Show

  1. I didn’t really have a favourite moment this episode. I guess if one stood out it was Shinra and Iris spotting Hibana’s gaudy arrangement. That cought me totally off guard, and for a moment I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. But it makes so much sense, and is totally in character. It was a great way to remind us that Hibana’s had the training, too, especially since we last saw her at Haijima. Little scenes like that may not be memorable or deep, but they show just how involved the show is while also being pretty effortless and easy to follow. It also served as a good distraction from the otherwise more serious scenes, and stops the show from becoming sappy while still continuing with the theme.

    Oh, and I also really like how the show treats religion. It’s an important part of many people’s life, even if you yourself don’t get much out of it, and you can still profit from the side-effects.

    1. “I guess if one stood out it was Shinra and Iris spotting Hibana’s gaudy arrangement. That cought me totally off guard,”

      TBH, I was really close to picking that moment, pretty much for the reasons you mentioned. It was so real, and it was so unexpected, that it just felt great. It says something about how well Fire Force has defined its characters when I could see that gaudiness and realize almost instantly it was from Hibana.

      “Oh, and I also really like how the show treats religion.”

      I do, too. Even though “I do not speak for the Empire. We stand apart” (in the words of Nero from JJ Abrams’ first Star Trek movie) because or matters dealing with the hierarchy, I have a real respect for individual faith and its expression. Frankly, Fire Force has surprised me in a good way in how it has portrayed faith and people of faith.

  2. A discussion about religious faith and convictions in an anime? And I thought Vatican Kiseki Chousakan was the only one of its kind. Especially relevant because of all the discussions I see online about how the Church is in rapid decline and facing a crisis since the 1960s.

    Seriously though, I had no idea Fire Force had this religious element into it. I know I said I’d hold off on watching new anime series but now with this, I’m tempted to jump into the fray and check this show out even more. Thanks for sharing Terrence!

    1. “A discussion about religious faith and convictions in an anime?”

      IKR? What amazed me first was that it was happening at all. Then it went past that and treated the topic seriously. Then, as if that weren’t enough, it treated it with precision and sensitivity. I’ve actually lived through some of those conversations, and what happened between Shinra and Iris was the real deal.

      I was impressed.

      “Especially relevant because of all the discussions I see online about how the Church is in rapid decline and facing a crisis since the 1960s.”

      One of the benefits to having a theological education was the understanding of cycles in church history. Indulgences brought about a decline that culminated in the Reformation. The Counter Reformation re-invigorated the church; and so on. What’s interesting to me is the length of the cycles. I still think of the Reformation as a recent thing.

      In fact, when I first saw your handle, “Traditional Catholic Weeb,” I honestly wondered if you were traditional in the sense of pre-Constantine, pre Council of Trent, or pre Vatican II. Sounds like pre Vatican II? A lot of my family’s in the same category.

      “I know I said I’d hold off on watching new anime series but now with this, I’m tempted to jump into the fray and check this show out even more. Thanks for sharing Terrence!”

      You’re welcome! In terms of how it treats faith, Fire Force has tried to strike an interesting balance. It’s never ridiculed faith; it sometimes puts the church as an organization in a negative light. Sisters like Iris and even Hibana are strong, interesting characters in general, and their relationship with their faith is surprisingly authentic.

      Just ignore the fact Tamaki is a sister. It’s best for all concerned.

      1. So was I when I read about that in your post. I honestly thought that, given the name, Fire Force would follow in the footsteps of other shows like Inuyasha or Naruto, and relay all the action towards battles and high-energy showdowns without the pseudo-Christian religious component thrown into them. Pretty cool to find a show that fits that kind of thing here and there – that kind of stuff piques my interest. And I know about what you mean with Iris and Shinra’s having their discourse on the faith crisis; it’s something that I’ve been through a few years back. Took a lot of prayer, study and honest reflection before I could settle any misgivings about it.

        From what I see it’s typically a combination of factors like poorly catechized laypersons, and gross misunderstandings of Church teaching that always precipitate the cycle of crisis for the Church – and unfortunately, triggers schism and has a long-wounding effect that can still be felt to this day. Church history’s pretty interesting in that way.

        In reply to your third query, I’m a Traditionalist in the pre-Vatican II sense – that’s the most common type folks refer to. Definitely not the sedevacantist type though. I’m surprised to learn that most of your family is rather traditionalist Catholic as well!

        1. “From what I see it’s typically a combination of factors like poorly catechized laypersons, and gross misunderstandings of Church teaching that always precipitate the cycle of crisis for the Church ”

          Don’t forget misdeeds by the hierarchy! That’s played a huge role in some of my recent decisions.

          I’ll be an Aristotelian Thomist until the day I die. But I might not set foot in a church again.

          “I’m a Traditionalist in the pre-Vatican II sense – that’s the most common type folks refer to.”

          The most common in this age. But I wanted to make sure, and that’s why I asked! Assumptions and I have a long history, and I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.

          “Definitely not the sedevacantist type though.”

          Glad to hear it! That’s an impossible position to take. One of my research projects in college was on the papacy, and if it retained its unbroken lineage back to Peter through the Avignon Papacy, the mid 1900s is not problem.

          What’s fascinated me is how loudly the conservative faction in the church screams that the pope is infallible — until they get a pope they don’t agree with. Then they bend over backwards to quality the statement.

          Either the pope is infallible speaking ex cathedra or not. It’s a binary thing.

          But I’m sure we all have our areas of interest!

          1. No worries, glad I could clarify and thanks for asking! I must say Thomistic principles are quite interesting, having read a bit of Aquinas’ Summa myself.

            I’m sorry to hear you feel that way 😓 I certainly sympathize with you: the hierarchy hasn’t been as strong nor uncompromising as it was back in, say, the 1950s. Even I feel sus about some things that they’ve said. However even with that, it will never take away what really matters in the Church: Christ Himself 😃 Hopefully I could reassure you a bit in this.

            Hoo boy, sedevacantism is a BIG topic that I don’t feel like botching around; and I’ve read all the arguments they make to defend their position. I know what you mean by the “conservative faction”, but I’ll only note that theologians do teach (even before V2) that you can ignore, and even correct, a Pope who says something wrong. Infallibility only extends to, as you say, ex cathedra and when he upholds traditional Church doctrine; not when he says “one plus one is window” 😉

Please let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.