With a flashy and comical depiction of pyrokinesis, Fire Force has given anime and manga fans a new visualization of the concept ‘fighting fire with fire’. In what’s likely a future world — what the author calls the 198th Solar Year — a phenomenon called Spontaneous Human Combustion becomes a constant threat to civilization.
To convey so many of the possibilities of widespread pyrokinetics, writer/creator Atsushi Ōkubo has weaved the story of Shinra Kusakabe into the anime and manga outlets with very subtle differences between them. Here are 10 things in Fire Force that changed with the transformation from page-turner to episodic.
10 Shinra’s Nervous Habit
A fire breaking out in the opening moments of Fire Force made it an extremely action-packed intro in print and in HD. What the anime leaves out is the explanation of Shinra’s strange nervous twitch right from the start as well. In the story, Shinra tells Obi, captain of Fire Force Company 1, about the wide, jagged-toothed grin on his face whenever things get tense, but the manga’s first few pages give a quick idea of Shinra’s social struggle.
9 Think It Through
The Fire Force anime blazes a very stunning and colorful trail, rarely ever slowing the flow to get the story told. Having the room to do so, the manga displays many more contemplative moments, giving an added sense of depth to each of the characters.
This is usually the case for the print media, but knowing all of what is on Shinra’s mind works well since there is a strange link between his mental state and cheek muscles.
8 Too Hot For TV
Although light and in good humor, the dialogue (and monologue) of the Fire Force manga are not rated PG. The insults thrown around — which are quite plentiful in the series dialogue — have been toned down and censored just enough to be one step out of the proverbial gutter.
Most manga readers who aren't fluent in Japanese are well acquainted with the changes that come with adaptation. Luckily, FF’s overall playful tone is held across the mediums even after the censorship edits, so anime fans don’t have to miss out on too much of the fun.
7 ‘The Devil’s Footprints’
For better or worse, Shinra Kusakabe has one hell of a nickname. Called ‘The Devil’s Footprints’ for his ability to shoot flames from his feet, Shinra isn’t the least bit discouraged from his dream to be an active and practicing super-hero…and it’s not hard to guess what that means for his shoe game.
Having saved the life of Company 8's Nun Sister Iris, Shinra quickly had enough votes of approval to get his firefighting gear custom made for him right out of the gate. The anime makes a noticeable but harmless change to put the manga into motion when the alterations to his uniform are pointed out.
6 Gorilla Theory 101
How can you not respect a guy who stacks weights on himself like Jenga blocks while standing one-legged on a yoga ball? Company 8’s Captain Obi is an “unpowered” human who got to his position with pure brute strength, and the wisdom to know what to do with it.
Obi, the so-called ‘gorilla of Company 8’ has no problem sharing his knowledge as well. The manga shows the captain explaining a bodybuilding rule to his newest recruit, Arthur Boyle, but this explanation does not appear in the anime.
5 Not So Mindless
It may sound depressing, but Fire Soldiers must come to terms with the fact that every vicious Infernal they hunt was a regular part of their communities only moments prior to combustion — even if they are like a crazy oven with arms legs and trying to eat you.
The Infernal seen on Shinra’s second mission of the series held on to his humanity, staying calm and settled at his dinner table and not causing anyone any harm. The manga even has the thoughtful Infernal squeezing out a few words from beyond the flames.
4 Fire Soldier Amenities
Hyper-confident attitudes seem to be the trend among the Third-Generation Flame Humans, and during the new recruit training at the 1st Brigade Cathedral, the Special Fire Force’s Third-Gen soldiers had a few days for a heat check. Surprisingly enough, the youths were able to find some common ground.
The scene was nothing vital to the plot, but one of the recruits’ verbal skirmishes included the Fire Brigade company’s barracks and use of bunk beds — a few lines of dialogue that don’t appear in the anime.
3 Hot And Cold
With one of the more creative and complex pyrokinetic abilities — and wordplay — in Fire Force, Karim Flam of Company 1 certainly deserves his screen time. It's actually quite safe to say he's the coolest in the bunch.
Both readers and viewers of Fire Force get a detailed explanation of Karim’s temperature-altering tuba, but the manga shows an extra Infernal at large that is found and extinguished by Karim’s refrigeration. The scene wasn't good for much more than to see Karim do his thing an extra time.
2 Who Wouldn’t Want To Get Lucky?
Though each Fire Soldier has his or her own story and motives, who would even sign up without at some time wondering why the random fires are happening? Captain Obi's goal in putting together Company 8 is to find the source of SHC (Sudden Human Combustion) and saw it necessary to investigate the Fire Brigade itself.
In the anime, Shinra, needing time to search the rooms of his suspects, promises the Company 2 recruit Juggernaut to set him up with Company 1’s lecher magnet, Tamaki Kotatsu. The manga has Shinra promising both Toru of Company 5 and Juggernaut the hookup, despite the possible love triangle.
1 Deja Vu?
When it comes to manga to T.V. adaptations, deleting scenes is perfectly normal, and sometimes beneficial. An entire scene is changed for the introduction of Yuu, Vulcan’s apprentice/errand boy, and you almost have to wonder if this forgotten piece of the story was doomed from the beginning.
During the clash with Setsuo Miyamoto as a self-aware Flame Human in the manga, Shinra arrives just in time to keep Yuu from getting barbecued in the deranged serial killer’s rebellion. The anime skips this first look at Yuu, as well as his reminder to Shinra of where they had already met.