WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 15 of Fire Force, "The Blacksmith's Dream."
The Fire Force anime is entering a new era, marked by a thrashy new opening-title sequence featuring Shinra's villainous brother, Shō, who is allied to the Evangelist and, within the latest episode itself, Captain Ōbi's new recruitment push.
Company 8 are sent a forensic scientist -- something they woefully lack -- in the form of the bushy-haired, Viktor Licht. He's unpowered but assures them his skills are top-notch. The fact that he was sent by the dubiously motivated Haijima Industries, however, is more cause for concern to the group than his qualifications, given that a lot of the other Companies the 8th are tasked with investigating have ties to the corporation. Licht points out that the 8th are also in need of an engineer, something Ōbi concurs with.
The Captain's top candidate is a man called Vulcan, who Captain Hibana refers to as "the god of fire and forge." The problem is -- he detests both Haijima Industries and, as a result, the Special Fire Force because of the pair's ties. Ōbi decides to try and soften the stubborn blacksmith up by sending Shinra, Arthur and Iris to make a deal with him dressed down in their civilian clothing.
Vulcan is your classic reclusive hoarder: living in the midst of an overflowing scrapyard piled high with old inventions. He has two assistants -- the red-haired Lisa and aspiring apprentice, Yu. While Vulcan himself, who wears a ram's skull, repels his visitors by throwing cans of soft drink at them, Yu decides to hear them out and, realizing that Company 8 really aren't like the others in the Special Fire Force, allows them to enter Vulcan's workshop.
The trio aren't the only Soldiers after Vulcan, though, as Company 3's Dr. Giovanni soon comes knocking, too. The crow-masked engineer makes Vulcan an offer he assumes he won't refuse: as the 3rd have shut off the renegade blacksmith's supply line, they're hoping to force him to come to them for materials. Vulcan stands firm, however, which we later discover is because he blames Giovanni -- a former student of Vulcan's grandfather -- for the unnatural deaths of both his grandfather and father. Giovanni then signed his soul away to Haijima Industries, deepening Vulcan's hatred of the company.
Once Giovanni leaves, empty-handed, Vulcan shows Shinra, Arthur and Iris -- who are fascinated by his strange, animal-themed inventions -- his "dream." Using a sophisticated projector, Vulcan conjures to life a tour through the natural world that the Great Disaster destroyed. "Amaterasu can only provide energy for the Empire's people," he explains. "So, I want to create an energy source that will allow the whole world to come back to life, and bring the animals that have gone extinct into this world."
It's this speech that makes Shinra realize why Ōbi has his sights set on the man -- not so much for his sought-after skills (though those are clearly part of it) but for his selfless, eco-warrior schtick. Unfortunately, Vulcan's answer is still a no, but at least it's a softer no than Giovanni got. Speaking of which, just as the young Company 8 recruits are about to leave Vulcan's scrapyard, Shinra's newly awakened Adolla Link -- or, "hero's intuition," as he dubs it -- signals Company 3's Captain's "hostile intent," and he tells Arthur and Iris that they need to stay put to help defend their potential future colleague from an incoming assault.
New episodes of Fire Force are released every Friday on Crunchyroll, and as SimulDubs from FUNimationNOW.
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