The “Devil” Who Strives to Be a Hero
- Episodes: 24
- Genre: Action, Supernatural, Shounen
- Airing Date: July 2019 – currently airing
- Studio: David Production
Fire Force Preview (No Spoilers)
An unexplainable phenomenon of “spontaneous human combustion” has swept the country, randomly transforming people into flaming monsters called Infernals that terrorize their surroundings. A third-generation pyrotechnic named Shinra joins the Tokyo Fire Force Brigade so he can use his fire powers to keep everyone safe from the Infernals, as well as hopefully find out the truth of what happened during the house fire twelve years ago that killed his mom and little brother.
Shinra Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. He’s More Mature Than Your Typical Shounen Hero
Even though Shinra is the teenage protagonist of a big shounen anime, he doesn’t really act like it. He’s levelheaded, works well with his team, and (most amazingly of all) is properly suspicious of shifty characters who have a reason to lie to him. He’s still naïve in many ways, particularly when it comes to underestimating his opponents in battle, but we can’t deny that it’s refreshing to see a shounen protagonist who doesn’t blindly trust everyone he meets, only to be shocked when they betray him.
2. His Design Is Simple but Memorable
Atsushi Okubo tends to favor bold, graphic designs without too many extraneous details, as can be seen in characters like Maka and Medusa from his previous work, Soul Eater. Shinra follows this trend with a simple but memorable look that effectively communicates his personality at a glance. His relatively neat hair and bunker gear show that he takes his work seriously, but we notice the hint of a wild side from his red eyes, sharp teeth, and flaming feet. Who says you need a crazy character design to stand out?
3. He Strives to Be a Hero, Despite His Reputation
Shinra suffers from a muscular tic that causes him to bare his sharp teeth in a grin whenever he’s stressed out. When onlookers saw him grinning after the fire that took his family, they branded him as a “devil” whose powerful pyrokinesis probably caused the blaze to begin with. Because of this, Shinra strives to become a hero so he can shake off that undeserved reputation and use his powers for good.
4. His Pyrokinesis is Incredible
Shinra is a third-generation pyrotechnic who can emit flames from the bottoms of his feet to use for a number of utility and combat purposes. His ability to drift along the ground and fly in the air comes in handy for anything from fighting Infernals and corrupt Fire Force members to acting as a human crane while reconstructing a damaged house. He also has some kind of rare trait called an Adolla Burst, which may come into play later on in the story...
5. He Bounces off the Other Characters Perfectly
Fire Force is filled to the brim with wacky characters, from the sadomasochistic Princess Hibana to the knightly but supremely idiotic Arthur. Shinra plays an excellent befuddled straight man to all of them, leading to hilarious moments such as when Arthur jumps on Shinra’s back during flight with a cry of “Hi ho, Silver!”. Shinra puts up with it, but his face suggests that he’s contemplating dropping the kid from low altitude into the street!
Shinra is a refreshingly different take on the standard shounen anime protagonist—it just goes to show that the main character doesn’t have to be exceedingly naïve for the plot to progress. We hope to see more of what he can do in the coming episodes this season!
What did you think of our overview? What are your favorite Shinra moments? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!