“Hīrō to Hime” (ヒーローと姫)
Maybe I was a little harsh on the last episode but with so much going on and a pointless character introduced it was hard not to be. That being said I’m here to be impressed and with a title that makes me feel that Arthur might be the main character for the episode…
I doubt I will be.
I do really like this anime. I really, really do.
That being said whilst Arthur wasn’t really the main focus of the episode and him and Shinra actually made a good team there are still big problems that are now getting unforgivable and difficult to over look.
Story wise the concept is super interesting, the whole Infernal thing is a fantastic story and gives so much scope for great stories. From just normal “bad guys” like the one in this episode to the girls father in the second episode who was seemingly able to stop himself from fully turning and doing any harm, there is so much to mine from that.
All of the characters as well have interesting personalities and room for really interesting stories later in the show. The Sister who seems to have had her story told in the ending credits for example hasn’t even really been looked at yet but could end up being one of the best mini-stories the series will have. Obi is there to keep a eye on all the other Companies meaning that there is something happening that needs to be investigated…
Yet here we are in another rushed episode with another sex centered female character and more questions thrown on top of a already bloated list of questions we have.
This is episode 4.
Whilst the world building is a mystery in itself and the Companies being run by different industries for certain purposes again is a mystery that needs time to run we also have Shinra’s involvement, why Sho was saved, who the people who know he was saved are and whether or not the Fire Force has his brother or the bad guys have them. We now have the Captain of 5 who decided to butt into this episode to take back the Infernal who was self aware which adds to the mystery of what they are up to which ties into the “8 is there investigating the others” but also kind of makes it too much.
1 seems dodgy just because their Captain is a bit of a dick.
5 now seems dodgy because it looks like they are probably manufacturing the ashes that Joker was using.
Both Captains, Joker and his gang are all in the running for “main bad guy” but we still have infernals running around and everything is so messy now that episodes aren’t breathing and it is becoming hard to even get to grips with things.
I hated the 5th Company. I hated Hibana and yet what they were doing was super interesting but they hid it behind basically a dominatrix style character who spent most of the time being flanked by some interesting looking characters but also three identical female characters, probably meant to be triplets to be fair, with their boobs out and a bunch of men who enjoyed being walked over because of course they would. She also has a power that seemingly allows her to control people and so on and so forth and it took any interest of the 5th away.
This episode also saw a comedy bit with the three mascots that told us about the Infernal before he turned, a actual firefighter that had killed people to look more heroic trying to save them, it saw his trial and his fight with Shinra was super cool. It showed the worlds attitude to firefighters, tried to explain the difference between firefighters and the Fire Force yet somehow none of that was given a episode to really settle and be told because it had to be thrown into what then became a mess of the 5th Company, mysteries upon mysteries and so on.
Some really good moments like Maki taking out the member of 5 and looking terrified of how Hinawa would react but getting a thumbs up, the beautifully animated scene of Iris in the chapel as well as everything in the court room kind of gets overshadowed by the mess the episode ended up being.
This show also has 24 episodes. IT HAS THE TIME TO LET EPISODES BREATH! You have shows that let mysteries slow burn and multiple story lines play out in 12 episodes really well and this one has double that amount and seems intent on rushing through every single thing they can within a short period of time and I have a headache just watching the episodes.
Which is a shame because I honestly love this show.
Or at least the concept of it and all of the characters in Company 8 because if Arthur is more like he was in this episode and works well with Shinra going forward even he is a brilliant character.
It is just the execution of the episodes, poor pacing and no real development of characters or bonds within the team, that ruin it.