One of the beautiful things about anime is how fantastical and varied series can be from each other. Fire Force is one such anime, and it serves as a shining example of how far creativity can go when unhindered by the tastes of general audiences. Its world is an interesting combination of alien and familiar, it makes a real-world profession into something out of this world and it utilizes fire in imaginative ways.
The anime takes place in Japan, but not the Japan viewers are familiar with in the real world. This world has suffered from the Great Cataclysm, where most of the planet was set ablaze. Japan became the Tokyo Empire, where power is generated from a giant nuclear power plant named Amaterasu. This is all the stuff of fantasy, but the show’s protagonist and central characters happen to be this world’s equivalent of firefighters.
Fire fighting is a very different concept in the world of Fire Force. Instead of the real-world profession of extinguishing fires and saving people from them, the “Fire Force” serve in a theocratic militaristic capacity, literally fighting fire demons (called infernals) that people turn into. This anime imagines firefighters more as superpowered veterans.
This leads to this anime’s magic system, which is the main bulk of where the creativity comes from. There are shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, where fire is but one element in the lineup, and users of that element can shoot flames, create steam, conjure lightning and use concentrated fire blasts as thrusters. Fire Force, however, takes this one element and does so much more with it.
Second-generation pyrokinetics can manipulate fire that already exists. Once the fire is produced, they can manipulate it in a variety of ways, as Maki does, using technology to help her have more devastating destructive force. It is important to note, however, that second-generations can not generate their own fire.
In contrast, third-generation pyrokinetics can generate their own fire and use it to their advantage. One such example is Arthur. He generates his own flames and channels them through a sword hilt, concentrating it into plasma and forging his signature sword. One of the captains of the Fire Brigades, Benimaru, is a fusion of second and third-generation, able to manipulate pre-existing fire and generate his own.
Viewers are also presented with what’s referred to as fourth-generation pyrokinetics. These are individuals who have awakened their Adolla burst and Adolla link. This is essentially a generation of pyrokinetics that can access more potent Hell fire. The protagonist, Shinra, is one such pyrokinetic, shooting flames from his feet. This grants him so much speed that, at one point in the anime, he actually manages to send himself slightly backward in time, helping him recover from injuries. This is arguably the greatest example of the creative lengths this anime goes to.
This anime has such an interesting and unique world, but the show-stealer is surely its fire-based magic system. The element is pushed to its physical, logical and magical extremes, giving the viewer an experience that’s nothing short of completely unhindered creativity.