Fire Force Season 2 Episode 12

Fire Force Season 2 Episode 12

Shadows Cast by Divine Light

Fire Force season 2 episode 12 was a pretty good episode. I didn’t think the previous episode was all that great, but I’d say that this one made up for it. We got some Shinmon and Joker action, Joker backstory, and cool visuals. There’s not all that much more I could ask for in an episode besides Charon stomping on someone.

Let’s start this episode review at the end of the episode this week with the arrival of Captain Burns. Who was it who predicted that Captain Burns was at the scene of Shinra’s house fire to collect Sho for the Holy Sol Temple? Oh, right. It was me.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get everything right, though. I also suggested that there were no pyrokinetics within the church, but as we saw, that’s not true. The captain of the church’s secret police was a pyrokinetic, though none of his underlings seemed to be. I guess it’s still possible that nobody on the surface of the church is a pyrokinetic.

Shinmon and Joker from the anime series Fire Force season 2
Shinmon and Joker

And speaking of the church’s secret police, we finally got some backstory on Joker. He was originally an orphan who was a member of this secret organization until he escaped on the day Shinra’s house burned down. I don’t think his involvement in that group is what’s most interesting about his past, though.

What’s most interesting to me is that it’s during the time he spent in that group that he obtained his left eye. I say obtained because Burns has the right eye, so I assume they were once a pair and not an ability Joker awakened one day. It looks like we’ll be learning more about that in the next episode.

Psychedelic Smokes

My favorite part of this episode, by far, was when Joker revealed that he’d been filling the tunnels with psychedelic smoke. And no, it’s not because that means Joker is a stoner. Though, to be fair, I’m not actually sure how he’s able to remain unaffected. Is he just that used to it? We know he doesn’t normally smoke that kind of cigarette, so I assume not.

Anyway, there are three main reasons why I liked this scene so much. The first is simply the visuals. The visuals for this scene were very different from anything else we’ve seen in Fire Force before, and I liked that. It’s really cool to see a studio swap to a different art style to illustrate the hallucinogenic properties of a drug.

It was almost like a “lite” version of the witches’ labyrinths from Madoka Magica.

Joker holding a hallucinogenic cigarette from the anime series Fire Force season 2
Joker holding a hallucinogenic cigarette

The second thing I liked about this was that it was a believable way for Joker to win the fight. It’s not like he suddenly developed a new ability to let him win. He had been biding his time throughout the fight, keeping his opponent occupied until enough of the smoke had filled the tunnel for its properties to take effect. He knew that was his win condition, and he played to it.

And the final thing I liked kind of ties into the second: This development of smoker using hallucinogenic smoke was set up from the start of the episode. When Shinmon miraculously recovered from the poison that should have killed him, Joker took notice. He saw that Shinmon isn’t affected by toxins, so he knew he could use his smoke without it incapacitating Shinmon as well.

Also, as for how Shinmon was able to survive the poison, it looked to me like his body burned it out of his system.

The Killing Joke

In this section, I basically just want to talk about how I enjoyed the dynamic between Shinmon and Joker. They say opposites attract, and that universal law seems to even apply when it comes to anime bros. Really, the only thing these two have in common is their desire to take down the Holy Sol Temple.

Sure, they both have a goal that could be furthered by infiltrating the church, but their goals are very different. Shinmon wants the region of Tokyo that he controls to be recognized as an independent state. Joker just wants to learn the secrets of the church and then burn it down.

Further, their fighting styles are completely different as well. When it comes to combat, Shinmon relies on his own strength and skill to overwhelm his opponents. Joker is the opposite. Not only does he rely on schemes as he did with the smoke, but he’s also not afraid to rely on the strength of others — which is why he recruited Shinmon.

Joker using a finishing move from the anime series Fire Force season 2
Joker using a finishing move

But, what I think is the most interesting difference between these two characters are their philosophies. You wouldn’t expect two individuals who view themselves and others so differently to make a good team, and yet they do.

Starting with Shinmon again, people view him as a hero, but he doesn’t view himself that way. He just wants to be viewed as your average good samaritan, not a hero. Yet, he does “heroic” things such as refusing to use lethal force against his opponents who are trying to kill him.

Joker, on the other hand, is viewed as a villain. I think it’s fair to say that. And yet, he views himself as a hero — a dark hero, but a hero nonetheless. However, despite viewing himself as a hero, he’s the one of the two who has no problem with killing if it furthers his goal or if he simply wants revenge.

Conclusion

What do you think of Fire Force season 2 episode 12? Do you think Joker is going to team up with the other Fire Soldiers after this arc? Do you have a prediction regarding how Joker and Burns got their eyes? And, who do you like more, Shinmon or Joker? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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