‘Enen No Shouboutai’ Fights Fire with Fire

Last time, I talked about one of the most underrated anime of the Japanese summer. This time, I will be reviewing the ongoing anime, ‘Enen No Shouboutai’, which is heralded as one of the best anime of the summer. Based on the shonen manga of the same name, ‘Fire Force’ (as the anime is entitled in English), tells the story of young Shinra Kusakabe who joins the Special Fire Force Company 8 to fight infernals. These infernals are humans transformed by flame into otherworldly monsters that the Special Fire Force seeks to eliminate.

Being a third generation pyrokinetic, Shinra is able to produce flames and even fly using them.  It is this special ability that allows him to enlist in Special Fire Force Company 8 headed by Captain Akitaru Obi and his band of firefighters. Joining him are Company 8’s Lieutenant Takehisa Hinawa, members second generation pyrokinetic Maki Oze, Sister Iris, and later third generation pyrokinetic Arthur Boyle. Together, Company 8 seeks out these infernals in their jurisdiction and douses the fires of their life in the most humane way possible.

At first, this might look like your average shonen anime with great fight scenes and a fast-paced script. However, you will later come to find that Shinra joins the Fire Force to learn more about the death of his family. This is a very interesting partial hook, but still not enough to make someone stay.

When the story shifts from random encounters to a more organized rationale for the creation of the infernals, then you’ll definitely get hooked. There is a hidden power with an unknown agenda pulling the strings in the shadows. While you experience all of the action in the foreground, deep machinations are properly paced to reveal a powerful organization in the background just waiting for the right time to ignite the flames of chaos. This is a real anime with multiple story layers that will make you yearn for each following episode.

Of course, the initial draw of fighting infernals with fire is most intriguing to say the least. It appears to be counter-intuitive, but ‘Enen No Shouboutai’ shows us just how plausible and dramatic playing fire vs. fire actually is. Though the story begins where it should, there is an elaborate history to the anime that is told side-by-side with the current timeline. This storytelling technique benefits ‘Fire Force’ by allowing the scenes to thrive until it reaches a proper crescendo. This is no mere anime of action sequences. The action is well-placed to tell an engaging story.

Perhaps one of the biggest draws, though, is the beautiful message of the anime. When the whole world burns around you, do you sit back and watch or do something about it? Apparently, the answer is to act… by fighting fire with fire. Rather than sit around and mourn the death or loss of their loved ones, the protagonists of ‘Enen No Shouboutai’ move forward using the memories of their loved ones to fuel the flames of hope. The flames might guide them to a most unexpected path, though. Try ‘Enen No Shouboutai’. It just might spark a fire in you.

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