What can we say about a manga that is actually on fire? Well a lot. We love the fact that since Atsushi Ohkubo previous work on Soul Eater was a smashing success; we were easily swept into this manga with little to no effort. The art style is vividly gorgeous and it took us a second glance to realize that it was still Atsuhi-sensei’s work. The stylized design of his characters and art is a solid testament towards the loving care that goes into bringing the characters to life and immersing the reader into the worlds they are exploring through the carefully drawn character and backgrounds.
What Fire Force brings to the table of anime heroes and action is one that takes the everyday fireman and cranks the design and feel of their job to an eleven. This alternate Tokyo is very steampunk feeling and with that, brings an oddity in the sense of lore and engagement. The oddity is that in this world firemen may put out house fires, but they instead focus on combating a much more dangerous flame. This flame is the number one plague, the number one cause of death in a world where cancer is but a distant worry; spontaneous human combustion. While near the realm scarcity in our world, in the world of Fire Force this affliction is all but too real and these firemen must face it head on. The premises behind this is just so good. Never have we personally thought that a manga about spontaneous human combustion would be so intriguing.
The other intriguing aspect, the main character Shinra Kusakabe, is an absolute delight of a character and a person with whom we hold massive interest in. His shadowy past is as intriguing as it is sad; This is is just what the doctor ordered. I must admit that while I wasn’t expecting much to come out of this character I very much enjoyed feeling wrong and look forward to seeing what else comes our way in terms of story development.
Aside from the characters, can we just say how amazing the art is?! Even in the most simplest of scenes or the more action orientated, the style stays solid. While definitely different from animation, manga can still suffer from sloppy and lazy art when introducing super vivid scenes. The manga does not fail to keep us locked on and drooling over to absolutely stunning artwork and while we can praise the art form, we can fault some scenes for lacking much in the background. While it is a time saver it just leaves us feeling like there could have been a little bit more, but having the characters face and speech bubble present in one section makes it feel more like an engaging RPG of sorts.
Fire Force can be enjoyed on almost every major, digital publishing platform or from your local Barnes and Noble. We would like to thank the amazing Kodansha Comics for providing us with the review copy for this impression! We hope to bring you more on this amazing manga and may have to pick up the physical copy soon!
Kodansha Comics: http://kodanshacomics.com/series/fire-force/
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