Episode 6, ‘The Spark of Promise’, continues the action from last week’s episode, but rather than the free for all that was Episode 5, this week we see a much more intimate encounter between Shinra and the Captain of Company 5, Princess Hibana. Will Shinra be able to take down Hibana and rescue Iris or will her heat syncope technique be too much? Find out in this week’s episode of Fire Force!
Japanese Title: 約束の火華
Hibana and Iris reminisce about their time at Holy Sol, before the terrible fire that claimed the lives of all the nuns and children living there (except Iris and Hibana). Back then Hibana was something of a big sis to all the orphan girls at the temple, using here third generation powers to create beautiful flowers from her flames to entertain the girls. She was especially close with Iris, who she treated like a younger sister and protected when the temple was destroyed.
In the present Shinra begins his attack on Hibana, but all seems lost when her heat syncope powers prove to be too powerful for him. However, Hinawa’s grueling training pays off and Shinra is able to overthrow her abilities through sheer force of will. Unfortunately this is only a minor setback for Hibana, who summons a beautiful (and deadly) Sakura tree made of flames. (Because plot armor) Shinra is able to resist the attack and stage a counterattack of his own that literally knocks some sense into her as she recounts her time at the orphanage and her eventually collaboration with Haijma Industries. In exchange for information about the Infernals, Hibana was made Captain of Company 5 and allowed to perform her ‘experiments’ unopposed. This trip down memory lane (combined with a big heroic speech from Shinra) is enough to trigger a change of heart in Hibana who calls off her assault and agrees to cooperate with Shinra and the rest of Company 8.
Shinra v. Hibana: I’ve said it a few times in these reviews, but the action scenes are some of my favorite parts of Fire Force. Last week, we had an all-out brawl between the various members of Company 8 and 5. In this week’s episode the focus is on the one-on-one battle between Shinra and Hibana. It’s not as all over the place as the big battle in Episode 5, which allows for Shinra and Hibana to really dig down and use more grand attacks. Hibana is in her element, manifesting a fire-based Sakura tree in full bloom, an attack that is visually stunning.
Flashback Redemption: We gain some key insight into Hibana’s past at the Holy Sol Temple via a lengthy flashback sequence. In the flashbacks, we learn that Hibana wasn’t always so… eccentric; she was like an older sister to the girls at the temple, entertaining them with her fire powers and even demonstrating a proficiency for science. But when the temple burned to the ground she closed herself off and began descending on a downward spiral…
Man on a Mission: So, I wasn’t feeling Shinra before these last few episodes, but there is a surprising maturity to him that I think was missing in the first 3 episodes. During this episode he’s the first to notice that something is up with Iris and he’s the one that takes on Hibana to save her. His whole demeanor during the encounter is different too; he isn’t joking as much and he’s surprisingly serious…
Themes and Trivia
Company 5 Ceiling: The Company 5 HQ looks an awful lot like Michaelangelo’s ceiling mural at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, and is considered one of the most famous Renaissance art. The ceiling depicts several distinct religious scenes and iconography.
Usually I am not a fan of series redeeming the antagonist. However in this case, I LOVE HIBANA, so I suppose I can overlook it just this once. Hibana is a really fun character, both as an antagonist and as a soon to be ally and there’s a lot of potential for her to assist Company 8 during their investigations into the other Special Fire Force Squadrons; she has connections at Hajima Industries and a vast knowledge of Infernals from her experiments. I just really hope they don’t squander her potential…
Also was it just me or was this episode extra cinematic? The lighting during the fight between Shinra and Hibana is muted and the whole scene is bathed in this bluish glow that gives the whole encounter a kind of ethereal feel. Then there’s the way Hibana’s eyes glow pink when she uses her powers! And, let’s not forget Hibana’s attacks! There’s this really cool floral quality to her flames and did you guys see that Sakura tree she created FROM FLAMES?! Absolutely stunning!
But the whole time I couldn’t help but notice that Obi was nowhere to be found during the siege of Company 5 HQ. Of course there’s a post credits scene that shows him getting ready for the battle and it’s pretty badass too… However, he gets a call from Hinawa telling him that they handled it all on their own… You can feel his disappointment through the screen…
A Heroes Will
If you weren’t completely sold on Fire Force after the first few episodes, chances are this week’s episode will definitely change your mind! Gorgeous visuals and beautifully choreographed action scenes abound in Episode 6, ‘The Spark of a Promise’. This was a fitting conclusion to the Battle for Iris arc and a great jumping off point for the Company 8 investigations into the other Special Fire Force teams.
I’ll be back next week with another Fire Force review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Summer 2019 reviews!!
NEXT TIME: The Investigation of the 1st Commences ( 第1調査開始)
Summer 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast