My Reading Brain

Fire Force, Vol. 1

By: Atsushi Ohkubo
Series: 炎炎ノ消防隊 [Enen no Shouboutai] (#1)
Summary:The city of Tokyo is in the grip of a reign of terror! Possessed by demons, people have begun to burst into flame, leading to the establishment of a special firefighting team: the Fire Force, ready to roll on a moment's notice to fight spontaneous combustion anywhere it might break out. But the team is about to get a very unique addition: Shinra, a boy who possesses the unique power to run at the speed of a rocket, leaving behind the famous "devil's footprints" (and destroying his shoes in the process). Can the Fire Force discover the source of this strange phenomenon and put a stop to it? Or will the city burn to ashes first?

Review: For years, people have spontaneously combusted and lately, they become fire devils that wreak havoc. The fire claimed the life of our main character’s mother, and he has some fire control abilities (as well as a creepy, devilish grin). In his journey to become a hero and uncover the truth about his mother's death, he joins Fire Squad 8, which operates from a cathedral and has a nun on their team. Does he have what it takes to be a hero?

Although I liked the idea of an action-packed firefighting shonen manga, it seemed rather basic to me. The characters are all pretty generic and lack any kind of originality or thought put into them, with stereotypes, tropes, or character traits. While the main character’s backstory and motivations were fine, his constant talk of being a hero reminded me too much of My Hero Academia.

Next, we have the ladies. Are there any explanations for why Tamaki’s name and Maki’s character design are so similar? Tamaki genuinely looked like Maki when she first appeared. Also, what’s up with Tamaki’s power manifestation? I find it both unappealing and nonsensical. And what the hell is going on with the captain’s pupils at Company 5? Is there a reason they are clover-shaped? I find it so distracting!

The manga had many inappropriate scenes, particularly targeting Tamaki with jokes and sections.

Could we also get some female characters with true depth instead of existing to serve the male characters? As a manga reader, I am bothered by the sexualization of the few women in the story, and I don’t find it to add anything to the plot.

The idea of fighting fire with fire intrigued me, and I expect watching the tournament arc with great interest. It is interesting enough to keep me reading, and the characters are not overpowered. I wish the author had taken some more time to develop interesting characters. Despite their simplicity, adding some nuance and complexity to the characters would improve this manga greatly.

My overall opinion of this manga is that I don’t love it, but I don’t completely dislike it either. I’m open to reading more chapters in the future to see if the characters develop more depth. If not, I probably won’t be continuing the series.