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Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Undercover Operations and A Completely Different Level

Quick Summary

In Fire Force episode 7, "The Investigation of the 1st Commences," with Princess Hibana firmly backing the 8th Special Fire Company (or at least Shinra Kusakabe), Akitaru Oubi makes a command decision to send Shinra and Arthur Boyle to spy on the 1st company. Their excuse? They're part of a rookie exchange/training program. Upon arrival, Shinra is determined not only to spy, but to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his mother and brother's death. So he challenges the company captain Leonardo Burns and his lieutenants to a sparring match. If Shinra wins, he wants the right to question the captain. Do Shinra and Arthur stand a chance? Will Maki Oze even let them fight? And if she does, will Arthur understand that this is an exercise -- or anything else, for that matter?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1: Hibana's Conversion Explained

Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Hibana hasn't lost any of her fire

Hibana vowed to track down whoever killed her sisters. I would not bet against her. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

I mentioned in my review of episode 6 that I was a little disappointed with how quickly Hibana "converted" to Shinra's view of the world (Iris' view, too). Though I seriously liked Shinra's over the top hero attitude, from a character perspective, I wanted a better explanation.

I guess the writers thought so, too, because we got a much better description of her reasoning in this episode. Of course, it started when the convent burned down, killing everyone there except for Iris and Hibana. That's enough to break anyone's spirit, but it was worse for Hibana. The flames she had loved seemed to have turned on her; her own power was a reminder of her loss. The more she learned about the world, the more perverse it seemed until she reached a point where she thought the perversion itself made her stronger (05:25). The catalyst to convince her otherwise, though, seemed to be a combination of Shinra's ridiculous heroic claims and his punch knocking some sense into her.

However.

I don't think her conversion would have stuck (if it's really sticking at all, though I think it is) if it weren't for the motivation she confessed to Akitaru. Now that she's decided to be honest with herself, all of the pain of that loss flooded back to her. Far from making her despair, it fueled her drive for -- justice? Vengeance? Is there really any difference in this case?

She vowed that she would track down whoever had killed her sisters and "burn them by any means necessary" (07:17). Seeing her expression? I believe her. 

Moment 2: Shinra Learns to Decode

Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Shinra decodes for Arthur

Shinra had decoded Karim's way of speech -- at least to a point -- so he was able to avoid a confrontation. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

We've met three of the lieutenants from the 1st Special Fire Company (I wonder if that's all there are), and they're interesting characters. As Shinra, Arthur, Maki, and two other first year recruits head for their meeting with Captain Leonardo, Lieutenant Karim Fulham stopped them. He immediately seemed to hurl insults at Shinra. 

At least, that's how it seemed. He said (10:25), "Sheesh. I bet even your crap is crap. Are you crappy, you crap?” Shinra started to get angry before he tried to parse what the lieutenant had said. He realized that in the final analysis, he had just said crap was crap.

Which is hardly insulting.

Then Karim turned to Arthur and said (10:52), "You’ve got the ass of an ass. An ass should ass like an ass, you ass!" Arthur, lacking Shinra's fine-grained intellect, was about to blow his lid when Shinra held up his hand and said, "Easy! He’s just saying your ass is an ass.” 

The funniest part? Arthur calmed down. It's been interesting to watch the dynamic between him and Shinra develop over the last few episodes. 

Moment 3: Shinra Hides in Plain Sight

Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Shinra strikes a deal with Captain Burns

Shinra decided that he'd use the opportunity to find out more about his family. I choose to believe he was being smart and was trying to hide in plain sight! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

The mission is for Shinra and Arthur to gather intelligence on the activities of the 1st company. To do that, they have to blend in. It can't be obvious that they're just there to look around. Shinra decided that he could kill two birds with one stone: He could fulfill the official mission and his own personal mission.

Remember back in episode 3 how Shinra had asked Captain Burns about the incident involving his mother and brother? Shinra remembers. So, I suspect, does Leonardo. After the Captain welcomed the first year recruits, Shinra used the opportunity to ask for a sparring match, ostensibly to judge their skills (12:28). Then he suggested a reward: if he won against the captain, he'd like to ask some questions.

The Captain agreed. 

Maki wasn't happy about it at all, but from my perspective, that just seemed to make it seem likely that Shinra was acting on his own to find out about his family. Yes, I may be reading more into it. Yes, Shinra might not be thinking ahead at all. But he's starting to impress me with his calm assessments of situations, just as he did with Karim's seeming insults. So I don't think my interpretation is a stretch at all!

Thoughts

The 1st Company's uniforms look cool. They remind me a lot of priestly garment, which they're supposed to, so mission accomplished! They also look functional -- at least, more than Tamaki Kotatsu's uniform. Don't get me wrong. She rocked a short skirt. But seeing how conservatively the men were dressed and seeing how she was dressed? Quite a contrast to how Maki dresses, or even Hibana. I wouldn't put it past Fire Force to be making a statement about 1st Company with this -- the world they're making is pretty detailed and thoughtful!

Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Why does Tamaki kick Shinra?

First, wow is her skirt short and second, why the heck did she kick Shinra as she ran by? He was just standing there! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

I don't know if Rekka Hoshimiya is a villain or not, but I have to admit I like his attitude. He got really excited in the cathedral when the Captain said he could spar with the new recruits. I'm pretty sure 1st Company is up to no good, but still...

What did you think of the moment when Tamaki leapt at the Captain but tripped (21:37)? Rekka stepped up and caught her by the shoulders before she could land in any embarrassing position. He even told her he'd stop her Luck Lecher Lure from activating. She seemed grateful. Does that make Rekka the Lucky Lecher Lure Limiter?

And I'm still waiting for a comprehensible description of exactly what the Lucky Lecher Lure really is.

After Hibana's conversion at the end of the last episode, I was really afraid that she's become more pleasant and pliable -- kinda like what happened to Zero Two toward the end of Darling in the Franxx. Talk about a tragedy! 

I won't lie -- when we see her hand-feeding Shinra, I was feeling kinda nervous. I mean, Hibana -- the princess who calls everyone gravel and who sat on a throne of live men -- acting subservient? 

Review: Fire Force Episode 7: Hibana was too pleasant for a minute

This shot terrified me. Hibana -- looking all sweet and innocent? What the heck, man? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

But two things happened that put my mind at ease.

First, as she fed a smiling Shinra (who didn't seem quite to know what to do with himself), one of her minions, Touru Kishiri (exploding gum guy) make a face. So she kicked him hard in the leg and gave him a verbal thrashing. That was sounding more like the Hibana we met a few episodes ago!

Then, during her conversation with Akitaru, she not only better explained her reasons for her "conversion," but she showed some of the determination we'd seen in her before. She fully intends to track down the people who destroyed her childhood and the lives of her dear friends. And then she plans to make sure they never do that again. The look on her face (see the screen capture from my first favorite moment) is a perfect illustration of what I like about Hibana. And why I have no more concerns that she'll just be Shinra's bright and cheerful girlfriend.

I wonder if Shinra has any idea of what he's gotten himself into?

What did you think of Hibana in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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