In Fire Force episode 13, “The Trap is Set,” Benimaru Shinmon leaves the members of the 8th Special Fire Company to investigate their claims. Sagamiya Konro, injured from breaking up the right between them, stays with them to give them a quick history lesson. Meanwhile, Benimaru arrives in the town center and finds everyone accusing everyone else of foul play. Quickly realizing this is exactly what the 8th Company warned him about, he tries to decide what to do — just as multiple Infernals appears across the city. With everyone at each other’s throats, will Benimaru and the 8th be able to protect the citizens? Will the Fire Companies be able to uncover who’s behind the attack? And what’s going on with the twins all of a sudden?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s in This Post
3 Favorite Moments
Moment 1: Shinra Steps Up for Konro
The flashback gave us a good sense of why Benimaru had seemed so preoccupied as he treated Konro’s wounds in the previous episode. Konro had not only taken damage to keep Benimaru safe. He had also advocated for Benimaru to take on the leadership role instead of him.
Konro concluded the story by saying that he’d be happy to offer his “two-bit life as many times as I need to” for Benimaru’s sake (04:30).
His conviction settled heavily on the members of the 8th. Shinra finally spoke up and said he shouldn’t talk like that. To Konro’s surprise, Shinra went on to say (04:38), “For almost as l can remember, my family and everything else I held dear has been lost. So to me, there are no two-bit lives, or even high-priced ones. Everyone’s life is precious.”
Konro was completely serious: he had no qualms about protecting Benimaru with his life. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
He ended by saying that before Konro decides to throw his life away, he should “use me.”
Konro was shocked, but based on the quiet smiles on the faces of the members of the 8th, they weren’t. That moment was enough to earn a favorite moment designation, but Konro took it up another notch. He said that until Shinra found something that was really important to him, he’ll rely on Shinra. What’s that mean? That Konro thinks Shinra can make such an offer because he doesn’t have a cause of his own to risk his life for? Very interesting end to a very interesting scene.
Moment 2: That’s No Way to Treat a Little Girl!
To be fair, Hinata was right, too. It wasn’t only Arthur. I mean, Arthur being right is scary enough… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
After Benimaru saw the chaos in the town center, it became clear that the followers of the Evangelist were somehow sending doppelgangers into the city. Friends were turning on friends right and left, so it was no surprise when Konro and the people of the 8th came upon Hikage and Hinata fighting furiously. Well, as furiously as they could. It was actually kinda adorable. Shinra tried to distract them with a promise to play tag with them again, but Hinata kept insisting that Hikage tell her where the real Hikage was.
Suddenly, Arthur leapt into action. He hurled his knee in Hikage’s face (08:49) and slammed her into a wall. Everyone from the 8th Company wrestled him to the ground, and I think I head Maki Oze say, “I thought you were a good idiot!” All the while, Arthur insisted that Hikage was a short old man dressed up like Hikage. Strangely, Hinata agreed! She was really happy with Arthur.
Either Arthur and Hinata were right, or Arthur had just kneed an innocent little girl in the face. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Arthur and Hinata were the only two not surprised when “Hikage’s” face started to ripple and change. Arthur was right: it was a short old man who had taken on Hikage’s looks. Somehow, only Arthur and Hinata could see through the disguise.
Oddly, no one apologized to Arthur for how he was manhandled.
Moment 3: Shinra and Arthur Join Forces – Sort Of
Shinra continues to not be an idiot when it comes to tactics. Formation is foundation! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Shinra recognized that the Evangelist’s forces might be trying to separate him from the rest of the 8th Company, so he proceeded carefully. But not carefully enough. A shot from the sniper Arrow knocked him to the ground, where another attacker fought through Shinra’s defenses and pinned him. Only Arthur’s timely arrival saved Shinra’s life.
Arrow fired an arrow at Arthur and said mockingly that even if he stopped it temporarily, there was no way he could extinguish it. His grin was triumphant when his sword actually sliced through her attack. It winked out of existence.
That was cool enough, but it wasn’t my third favorite moment.
Let’s just say their default operating mode is not “cooperative.” Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Shinra and Arthur tried to fight their two opponents, but they kept getting in each other’s way. At one point, they were arguing among themselves and gave one of the attackers a clear shot at kicking them in their faces. At another point, they both agreed they should work together, but when they tried, they still ran into each other.
Finally, Shinra had had enough. He’s demonstrated earlier how well he can think on his feet, and did so again. Saying that their opponents’ formation kept them out of each other’s way, Shinra lifted himself into the air (20:18). Now, he and Arthur had clear fields of fire that don’t overlap.
I tell you, Shinra’s getting good at this!
Before I get into my thoughts for this episode, I want you to brace yourself. I have an observation to share that might shock you.
Tamaki Kotatsu’s clothes stayed on for the entire episode.
I told you to brace yourself! It’s too much to hope this’ll be a trend, but I’d still love to see her live up to the promise of the fighting skills she shows off in the OP.
I’m still wondering what Konro meant when he said, in reaction to Shinra asking him to value his life more, “Thanks. I appreciate how you feel. Until you find something that’s truly important to you, I’ll count on you” (05:19). Does he mean that Shinra wouldn’t offer if he had a cause important enough to make him want to preserve his life for it? Did Konro see something immature in Shinra’s desire to be a hero? Whatever the reason, Shinra was mystified, too. I hope this becomes important later. I love ambiguous stuff like this — if it turns out to be unambiguous later!
Konro responded positively to Shinra’s sentiment. But his words were ambiguous… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
There are some actions, or attitudes, or even phrases that just set me off. Put another way, there are some things an enemy can do or say that immediately make me root for the protagonists, even if I don’t even like them.
In this case, I already like Shinra and the rest of the 8th. But now, I particularly dislike their enemies (the Evangelist and his/her followers in general). Worst of all is the newly introduced Yona.
Why, you might charitably ask? Thank you for that perfect segue!
Yona said, “In the chaos of the fires and the imposters, no one will trust anyone now. Then they will learn that Sol is the only thing they can believe in” (11:40).
I’ve studied a lot of theology. I’ve studied a lot of the ways people use theology to affect history. And if I boiled all of those lessons down to their most basic form, do you know what one of the lessons would be?
There are villains that are almost too real. Like Yona here. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
If you gotta lie or trick people to prove your god is right, your god is wrong. Put more clearly, your god is a fake. And so are you. You should stop it.
Another lesson is that it’s understandable to be willing to die for your beliefs (though you might want to investigate alternative strategies, to be honest). However, you are evil if you want to make other people die for your beliefs.
Evil. Not misunderstood. Flat out, unambiguously, beyond a shadow of a doubt, evil. And you should stop that, too.
Yes, I’ve phrased these hyperbolically to increase the entertainment factor, but I think the lessons are solid. I think even a cursory open-minded survey of history proves them. And I think as a species, we continuously miss opportunities to learn from history. We continue to use our god to justify all sorts of mistreatment of other humans.
And if I might step out of my “let’s celebrate anime” persona for just a second, I don’t know a way out of this. I feel like Alice in my latest Caw Out Award. I know the problem. It’s in my face every day. Just like the people screaming about how we’re a Christian nation (the United States), as they make decidedly un-Christian decisions about how to treat other people.
What is it about our species that lets us gleefully die if we know we’re taking an “enemy” with us — when that enemy is just another human trying to live their life? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I blame my mood on FoundOnWeb’s recent post about the effects of a thermonuclear war. I made the mistake of analyzing it and realizing that as bleak as it was, it was actually overly optimistic. There’s a part of my brain that really annoys me: it’s the reality engine, and it freakishly insists on seeing “that which is” as opposed to “that which I want to see.”
That’s another reason I try to stay positive. It beats setting up a tent in the Abyss. And I’m not talking about the abyss from Made in Abyss, either. At least in that fictional place, there’s hope.
Sorry about that — just something I had to get off my chest. But this sentiment has an important implication for Fire Force: I’m going to watch the show, because I want to watch Shinra stomp the daylights out of these enemies. No, I need to watch Shinra do that. And I’m going to enjoy it when he does.
What did you think of Shinra and Arthur’s tactics in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Enen no Shouboutai – Episode 13 Discussion
- 100 Word Anime: Fire Force Episode 13 – Stoking the Fire
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- Review: Fire Force Episode 1: Shinra Kusakabe Enlists
- Review: Fire Force Episode 2: The Heart of a Fire Soldier
- Review: Fire Force Episode 3: The Rookie Fire Soldier Games
- Review: Fire Force Episode 4: The Hero and the Princess
- Review: Fire Force Episode 5: The Battle Begins
- Review: Fire Force Episode 6: The Spark of Promise
- Review: Fire Force Episode 7: The Investigation of the 1st Commences
- Review: Fire Force Episode 8: Infernal Insects
- Review: Fire Force Episode 9: The Spreading Malice
- Review: Fire Force Episode 10: The Promise
- Review: Fire Force Episode 11: Formation of Special Fire Force Company 8 / The Mightiest Hikeshi
- Review: Fire Force Episode 12: Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa
- Review: Fire Force Episode 13: The Trap is Set
- Review: Fire Force Episode 14: For Whom the Flames Burns
- Review: Fire Force Episode 15: The Blacksmith's Dream
- Review: Fire Force Episode 16: We Are Family