Fire Force – 02 – About All Any of Them Can Do

With the Rookie Fire Soldier Games coming up, Captain Oubi has high hopes for young Shinra. But he’s not the only rookie assigned to Company 8. That’s right, it’s the Rival/Friend His Own Age Who Is More Like Him Than Not, Arthur Boyle, the self-proclaimed “Knight King.”

Maki and Iris are enjoying the nice day on the roof when the two prepare to go at it, but Lt. Hinawa puts an end to both Maki’s idle fire manipulation (technically against regs, but he’s a stickler) and the attempted duel. Instead, he rearranges the fight so Shinra and Arthur have to go up against their senpai Maki.

While both third-gens are unconcerned about taking on a second-gen, Maki’s military training, experience, wonderful muscles, and most important, her ability to manipulate the flames of others means both guys end up taking quick losses.

Maki may be a little self conscious about her “ogre gorilla” alter-persona, but there’s no doubting her toughness despite not being the latest generation of pyrokineticist. If Shinra’s a devil and Arthur a knight, she’s a witch—and a very accomplished one, at that.

Taken down a few pegs, Shinra and Arthur shift their battle to see who can eat the ramen Oubi treated them to faster…which is not the point of eating delish ramen. There’s also a mention of how much gear a non-user like the captain has to wear (and Hinawa has to maintain) for the job, while Arthur’s Excalibur and Shinra’ feet and Type 7 ax are sufficient for them. Speaking of which, the alarm sounds and the now five-person Company 8 answers the call.

The scene is eerily quiet but the Infernal is inside, the father of a girl who already lost her mother to “infernalization,” and dreads being next as a matter of genes (though it could just be a coincidence). When Shinra and Arthur take out their weapons in public, they are scolded by Oubi. The Infernal they’re about to fight was a human, with family. It’s not a glorious battle, but a solemn funeral. If the rookies think otherwise, they can leave the 8.

Oubi is proven right when they enter the house and find the girl’s infernalized father just sitting quietly at the table, the shrine of his wife nearby. Shinra wonders why they should attack an Infernal that isn’t doing anything, but Arthur corrects him: the person sitting there is in tremendous pain, and they must put him out of his misery.

As Iris says the prayer, all it takes is a single quick strike form behind with Arthur’s plasma sword to send the father to rest. A quick and dignified end, but no consolation for his daughter as she never saw it.

Before they went in, a cloud of flames above the house formed into a smirk, and after they defeat the Infernal, the house inexplicably comes tumbling down; fortunately Oubi is tough and isn’t injured, but he and Hinawa immediately suspect a third party that’s messing with their duties. Indeed there is someone outside among the crowd, who leaves smoke letters in the sky reading “Joker.” Huh.

Meanwhile, Oubi completes his duties by doing what he can to comfort the surviving daughter in her time of greatest despair. He posits that because his parents protected her so thoroughly from the flames, she’ll be safe form now on, even if they’re gone. The fire soldiers didn’t fight a battle this week; the Infernals did, for the sake of their daughter, and they won, because she’s still alive.

Neither Shinra nor Arthur can sleep that night (obviously they were assigned the same bunk bed), realizing that the academy could not prepare them for the most terrifying part of being a fire soldier: getting accustomed to what they do. But as much as they snipe and sneer at nip at each other, they’ve perhaps started to realize that they’d rather have one another by their side than not, to help deal with those solemn times.

Military! – 02 (Second Chance Mini-Review)

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Military! was left behind with my first 6 drops of the season. However, given its tiny play length and that it was the strongest of the dropped shows, I felt like giving it a second view.

tl;dr – I am now satisfied having dropped it.

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Episode 2 introduces girl number 3. She’s the world’s laziest assassin, if a killer who uses MINIGUNS can be considered an assassin? However, as quickly as she shows up, Mini-chan leaves, because she doesn’t like gross things… which is what happens when her target gets beaten to a pulp for ‘peeping’ on his body guards.

It’s actually more complicated then that, as this show is remarkably dense and action packed for its run length, but that’s the gist.

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Verdict: if you enjoyed last week, you could do much worse than this show. It’s silly but doesn’t waste time and gives you a rush of action. If you didn’t enjoy last week or don’t find the loli-gun-girl action genre appealing, then Military isn’t worth going out of your way to acquire.

Sentence: (7) but still happily tossed into the fires of hell!

Military! – 01 (First Impressions)

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Military! is a 180-second format slapstick comedy about the son of a low-level businessman who’s accidentally ended up leading a country’s counter attack as a mercenary…due to an error in paperwork. This son is now as screwed as his balding dad, as the enemy country is not only out to kill him, but his new ‘bodyguards’ are bumbling, gun-happy little girls.

There’s a surprising amount of content hammered into the opening episode and, while it definitely feels like a slice out of a larger episode (a common problem for minis) everything worked well enough. If anything, it whetted my palate for a longer format version of the show…

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You may enjoy it: if you like over-the-top humor, brazen pantyshots, and gun-otaku weapon-tech exposition. Compared to last season’s Orenchi and Otaku Husband, Military! features a fair amount of action and decent visuals. It’s stylized and simple, but much richer than most minis I’ve seen.

You may want to skip it: if you want it to go anywhere. Minis are notorious for their ‘single episode stretched out over a season’ approach to storytelling and Military! shows no signs of being different. Also, over-the-top humor can be hit-or-miss. It hit this week but it could bomb next.

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My first impression of Military! was positive. It was quick without feeling rushed and the introduction of the setting (as a wacky place) and the four immediate characters was efficient without losing a sense of specificness.

Sure, the characters are your typical over-the-top archetypes: a shy girl who ends up flaunting the most skin, an overly eager girl who shoots everything, a boy who doesn’t belong in the world, and a bumbling dad who will send his son new characters to play with each week. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before but it has good energy.

If you’ve got three minutes to blow, give it a watch and let me know what you think in the comments below!

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