Follow TV Tropes

Following

Anime / Promare

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/main_promare02_02.png
On the Great Flames of the World.
Promare is a Japanese animated feature film co-produced by Studio Trigger and mobile game company XFlag, released in Japan on May 24, 2019.
Advertisement:

Featuring the same creative team as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill, Promare is the third collaboration between director Hiroyuki Imaishi and scriptwriter Kazuki Nakashima.

One day, a mutation suddenly appeared in a portion of the population, turning normal humans into "Burnish" who could generate fire. While these Burnish could learn to control their powers, they still had to burn, and would often discover their mutation in high-casualty explosions triggered by stress. Despite the Burnish only wanting normal, peaceful lives, normal humans quickly came to fear them, and any Burnish-caused fires led to violent government responses and lynchings. Tensions rapidly escalated until the Burnish triggered the Great World Blaze, an apocalyptic event that wiped out half the human population.

Advertisement:

Thirty years later, society and technology have adjusted to the existence of the Burnish, but they are still hated and feared, with most preferring to hide their identities. Mad Burnish, a radical group from the days of the Great World Blaze, continues to commit high-profile arson to protest the oppression of the Burnish, spurring the creation of a special firefighting unit named Burning Rescue. After a confrontation with Mad Burnish, Burning Rescue rookie Galo Thymos is forced to examine what drives the Burnish to such extreme methods.

Certain showings also included Promare: Side Galo or Promare: Side Lio, short films examining either character's perspective on Galo's first day with Burning Rescue.


Spoiler Warning: As the film is released worldwide, major plot elements will be presented and blocked by spoiler tags. Please refrain from lifting spoiler tags if you intend on watching the film.
Advertisement:

Promare provides examples of:

  • 108: During the opening rescue, Galo is launched onto the 108th floor of Foresight Pharmaceuticals.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: When Galo wakes up after being captured to seeing Lio, Galo's ready to go swinging. Lio admonishes him to be quiet as the other Burnish are having a meal, he then sets off a small fire burst in Galo's face after Galo makes a crack about the Burnish actually eating. Lio calmly follows-up asking Galo if he really thought that the Burnish didn't need to eat because they weren't human. This makes Galo realize that despite believing that the Burnish deserve rights, he still subconsciously holds onto society's dehumanizing views of them. All the while as "Λsʜᴇs" plays softly in the background.
  • Affably Evil: Lio Fotia is rather polite and makes it a point to spare those who aren't in his way despite being the leader of terrorist cell. Helps he's not actually evil or even a villain at that, but only painted that way initially by the actual bad guys.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Every captured Burnish gives their power to Galo and Lio, helping them form the Galo de Lion.
  • Angst Nuke: The Burnish were revealed to be regular humans at birth, but mutated when undergone a certain length of severe stress.
  • Another Dimension: The truth about the Burnish's power comes ultimately from symbiosis with a parallel universe of living flames called the Promare that had broken through reality and bonded with individuals who were able to have an affinity for hearing their 'voice'.
  • Arc Symbol: Triangles seems to be the shape that represents the Mad Burnish while squares represent Burning Rescue. Deus Prometh is primarily represented by circles.
  • The Ark: Kray's plan is to launch a Colony Ship with 10,000 Earth civilians to a habitable planet to escape what he claims is the inevitable meltdown of the planet. This is later revealed to be a symptom of his savior complex, as it was possible to stop the meltdown, he just didn't try.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Lio, in a berserk fury and hellbent on killing Kray after Freeze Force captures all the Burnish in a honeypot operation, lights what seems like all of Promepolis on fire as collateral damage. He only comes to his senses after Galo demands to know what happened to the Mad Burnish "never killing without reason".
  • As You Know: When being recognized for his apprehension of Mad Burnish's leader and generals, Galo mentions how Kray saved his life at the loss of the latter's arm... to the man himself.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played straight for the majority of the film, only ever being averted once when Posthumous Character Deus Prometh shows Galo, Lio, and Aina the footage of Kray shooting him in the head.
  • Boss Subtitles: Much like its predecessors, Promare has characters and gadgets introduced with large on-screen text—in this case, black block letters in English with thin, stylized red Japanese on top of it. The film also borrows Kill la Kill's visual gags, with the text apparently being physical objects in the world that logically change their position or angle in the shot and even get reproduced in in-universe recordings.
  • Captured on Purpose: Lio, Gueira, and Meis intentionally let themselves be defeated and captured in the beginning to be taken to the prison containing other Burnish. While they succeed in breaking out with the prisoners, Vulcan predicted this tactic and had a tracker on one of the escapees, which leads to the Freeze Force tracking down the Burnish hideout and capturing them all later on.
  • Chekhov's Skill: While in the cave, Galo watches Lio try to revive a dying Burnish girl with a Kiss of Life. After rescuing Lio from the spaceship's core and noticing that he's turning to ash, Galo desperately takes the last of the Burnish power Lio temporarily granted him and attempts it himself. It works.
  • Colony Ship: The Parnassus, which is fully equipped to restart the human race at a habitable planet with 10,000 Earth civilians. There's just the tiny wrinkle that it requires Burnish sacrifices to warp.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded. Per Professor Deus Prometh, it was by complete chance that Aina dropped Galo and Lio onto Galo's favorite cooldown lake, which just so happened to hide his Underwater Base. If she had not done this, then nobody could have piloted his mecha against Kray, who would probably have killed everybody without anyone to stop him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Galo's fight against Gueira and Meis after Lucia powers up his Matoi-Tech. His mech becomes fast enough to completely outclass and restrain both Burnish, destroying both of their vehicles and armor.
  • Demonic Possession: Burnish flames are revealed to be a parasite type alien life form in which responds with certain types of humans who are emotionally sensitive with a strong desire for an outlet, and or for a change of life. Once mutated, Burnish whose will are strong enough are able to morph their flames into however powerful, and useful forms they wish; which includes The Mad Burnish armors, transportation vehicles, and weapon shapes. Depending on the mindset of their host, Burnish members can be Heroic Hosts; which the Mad Burnish members are.
  • Deus ex Machina: Played straight, and then repeatedly lampshaded. Two thirds of the way through the movie, Aina launches Galo and the raging Lio into the frozen lake to cool them off a bit. The place had so far no significance whatsoever, just a nice locale Galo found and likes to relax at; but when Lio's flames vaporize the entire lake, it's revealed to be hiding Professor Deus Prometh's lab, giving our heroes access to a truckload of exposition and a Super Robot they can use to take on Kray's overwhelming advantage. Then said robot turns out to actually be named the Deus X Machina (because it's Pr. Deus's machine), and the late professor cheerfully admits that if it wasn't for dumb luck, no one would have found him and Kray would have just blown up the world unopposed.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Burnish are a persecuted minority whose symbol is a pink triangle, much like the one Nazi Germany used to denote gay prisoners in its concentration camps. It may be worth noting that the word holocaust is the name of Ancient Greece's religious animal sacrifice that is completely consumed by fire.
    • It's very easy to read much of the film as a direct commentary on the rise of fascism and the climate crisis of The New '10s. This is especially apparent when contrasting the solemn, oppressive Freeze Force against real-life institutions like ICE, right down to the similarity of their names. The scene where Freeze Force, apropos of nothing, raids a pizzeria to arrest one of the employees for being an unregistered Burnish, can ring very similar to illegal immigrant crackdowns.
  • Drop Pod: Inverted. The Burning Rescue Mini-Mecha come folded up in pods that get launched up to reach burning floors on skyscrapers.
  • Eagleland: The setting, the city of Promepolis, gives off this vibe. Burning Rescue is meant to embody Type 1, brave, resourceful heroes who never give up. Freezing Force and the Foresight Foundation embody type 2, militaristic, bullying racists who are willing to sell out everyone else for their own benefit.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: During the movie, it happened nearly twice:
    • The first time was in the backstory, when the Burnish appeared 30 years ago. The overuse of their powers resulted in a conflagration that enveloped the world and killed billions.
    • The second time nearly occurred due to Kray Foresight and the Foresight Foundation abusing Burnish to power the wormholes to be used to escape the planet. Using the Burnish in this way would unintentionally antagonize the Promare living in the planet's core, which would have resulted in the entire planet covered by fire, through volcanic eruptions. Of course, this was also predicted to occur before the wormhole project, and accelerated the potential catastrophic event.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Most of the worded songs on the soundtrack have lyrics that directly explain the current circumstances of the film's narrative as it occurs.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Burnish are given a lot of this as shown in the opening scenes of their first appearance in the world; showing protests and counter protests as they demand a place in society. In the present, although the heroes are fair enough to acknowledge that they're not all bad, the other patrons of a pizzeria they frequent are disgusted after learning that the baker of their pizza is a Burnish. Despite believing in Burnish rights, Galo is not a perfect ally, either, with one scene revealing how his ignorance of their powers causes him to unconsciously dehumanize them.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Battles between the Mad Burnish and the government involve the former's fire powers vs. various ice weapons deployed by the latter.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The lockers at Burning Rescue HQ offer some details about the squad members:
    • Varys' locker is full of basketball-related stuff.
    • Aina's locker contains a mirror for her to check her look, a photo of herself and Heris, some concert tickets, and a Joy Division-lookalike poster.
    • Lucia's locker door is a vending machine full of snacks and sweets, and the locker itself has a chupa chups on a pedestal; additionally, there's an Atari-lookalike sticker on the outer side of the door.
    • While Varys, Aina and Lucia all have lots of colorful stickers on their lockers' doors, Remi's locker looks the most professional, with what seems to be some documents and to-do notes posted on the outside...but then Remi opens the door, and on the inside there are two big pin-ups of naked women. Additionally, there's a small photo of Remi and his girlfriend.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Zig-Zagged.
    • The Burning Rescue mechs seem to be done in bright colors, mostly orange. While the Mad Burnish heavily use black.
    • Inverted with the reveal that the Mad Burnish are actually the good guys, and the true villain is a case of Light Is Not Good. Burning Rescue do remain heroic however.
    • Also, even the Burnish themselves aren't exempt from this as their Technicolor Fire at first seems menacing and a telltale sign of their villainy but are actually heroic—at least in the case of The Mad Burnish anyway, as Kray Foresight's own Burnish powers manifest with predominantly an inverted color scheme that shows Purple Is Powerful.
    • In the climax, the Burnish-powered warp engines are indicated by a searing shade of fuchsia. When Galo and Lio implore them to tap into their connections with the Promare to help save the world, however, the Burnish powers appear as a more pleasant teal shade.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Galo and Kray get into this during the Lio de Galon vs. Krazor X fight.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: When Kray and Deus discovered what was happening to the Earth's core and how the Burnish could potentially power the warp gate, Deus refused to go through with it because of the damage it could cause. When Kray confirms with him that they're the only two people to have discovered this information, Deus finds himself on the receiving end of a bullet to the head. Fortunately, it turns out that he had enough foresight to realize this was a possibility and saved his mind via Brain Uploading.
  • Healing Factor: Burnish can heal from any injury thanks to their fire powers, but eventually this energy will be exhausted, which results in the Burnish turning to ash.
  • Humongous Mecha: To combat Kray’s plans, Galo and Lio receive one called the Deus X Machina by Deus Prometh. They remodel it with Burnish Fire into a cooler-looking one Galo names the “Lio de Galon.” Meanwhile Kray Foresight wields his own in the penultimate fight that, while not name-dropped by Kray, is given the name Krazor-X by Galo, which dwarfs theirs in both size and armament. Ultimately, this is all topped in the finale when Galo and Lio, coupled with all the Burnish energy in the world, form a planet-sized mecha by the name of the Galo de Lion to save the world and return the Promare to their home dimension.
  • An Ice Person: Burning Rescue and The Freeze Force can shoot ice out of their weapons in order to counter The Mad Burnish's fire powers.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Between Burning Rescue who combat Burnish flames and the Freeze Force who are tasked with capturing Burnish terrorists. Becomes more pointed when the Freeze Force start arresting civilian Burnish and anyone who associates with them.
  • Kiss of Life: The Burnish method of resuscitation by blowing the performer’s flames into the receiver’s body. Burnish flames are lively alien flame cells that are parasitic towards their hosts’ body, if the flames are to be forcefully taken out of the host (a Burnish individual), that host will lose his life. Galo performs this on Lio by exhaling the last bit of flame Lio left to protect The Burning Rescue back into Lio’s body to save Lio’s life.
  • The Magic Goes Away: After allowing the Promare to expel their flames and seal the rift between realities, the Burnish's power ceases to exist in their universe and all of them return to being ordinary humans.
  • Mini-Mecha: The "Matoi Tech", named after the "matoi" banners that Edo-period firefighting units used. They're taller than people and big enough to fit the pilot, but not tall on skyscraper levels.
  • Muggle Power: The setting takes place in a social norm where mutated humans—The Burnish— are captured and suppressed by their non-mutated brethren.
  • Mundane Utility: After Kray reveals his own gigantic mecha suit to fight Lio de Galon, he uses several attacks that including disintegrating buildings into soil and absolute zero bullets to freeze Lio de Galon. While powerful attacks, he reveals they would have been used to terraform the planet he was evacuating to: the "buildings into soil" gun would have provided farmland and the absolute zero bullets would have been used to hold back volcanic activity. For all of the attack power, they had pragmatic uses.
  • Noodle People: The members of Mad Burnish are very lanky.
  • Not So Different: Galo and Lio, as exemplified in the song Nexus:
    We're not so different
    Flip the coin it doesn't matter
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Mad Burnish makes a point of never killing anyone with their flames and leaving escape routes when they set fires. Galo reminds Lio of this to get him to snap out of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Galo fondly remembers Kray heroically carrying him out of a burning building back when he was a child, an incident that jumpstarted Kray's career and eventual ascension to governor. After he's revealed to be Evil All Along, Kray reveals what actually happened: he had been the one to set fire to the building after losing control of his Burnish power. The young Galo ran out of the building on his own and to Kray, the only person around the at time. When other people arrived at the scene, Kray was given credit for saving Galo's life, which he took advantage of to raise his public profile.
  • Playing with Fire: Burnish in general can create and manipulate fire, but this trope is especially prevalent with The Mad Burnish, an organization whose goal is to scorch everything. However, their main opponents are the Foresight Foundation, who are experimenting on Burnish, and they never kill anyone and always leave escape routes for civilians.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The warp drives Kray plans to use to evacuate the Earth use Burnish as a power source, exploiting their interdimensional link to the Promare to open holes in space. The process is agonizing and eventually lethal. Deus Prometh reveals that Kray's warp technology is unfinished; the refined design that powers his Deus X Machina is safe and painless.
  • Reset Button: Arguably what happens in the end as Galo and Lio together mend the tear in reality by allowing the Earth to be scorched (while protecting all life with their flame), allowing the damage caused both in the past and by Kray Foresight's recklessness to be undone and restore the Earth to its proper state and allowing the Promare to return to their dimension.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: On top of all the names that reference fire in general, many things specifically reference Prometheus, the Titan who was Chained to a Rock for giving fire to mankind.
    • The title itself, the city of Promepolis, and the deceased Dr. Prometh all allude to the myth.
    • Fennel Volcano has a Meaningful Name — the Burnish attempt to hide there, echoing how in some retellings of the myth, Prometheus hid the fire he stole from the gods in a stalk of fennel.
    • The names of Kray and Biar, who are responsible for and likely aware of the truth behind his death, respectively, bring to mind Kratos and Bia, the agents of Zeus who chain him to a rock in Prometheus Bound.
  • Rule of Cool: Besides pretty much everything in the movie, this ends up Justified with a dash of comical Lampshading during the climax. Galo initially has a hard time piloting the Deus X Machina on account of it simply not being a cool enough weapon for him. Lio has to indulge Galo by using his Burnish powers to envelop the plain-looking robot into the shape of Galo’s favorite Matoi Gear before Galo can get in the zone.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Parodied. Galo freaks out after saving Lio's life via CPR not because he "kissed" Lio, but because he lit a fire for the first time in his life.
  • Shout-Out: Being a product of Studio Trigger, this is a given.
    • Galo's mech seems to share some design cues from Strelizia. He also wields the Matoi Gear, which contains a firefighting soul from "an eastern land". It also seems to take a page or two from the Gunmen.
    • Galo himself looks like Kamina. He even gets to use a drill!
      • Lampshaded by GKIDS and Yuri Lowenthal (who voiced Simon) during a watch party.
      GKIDS: A drill, huh? Hey Yuri, you know a thing or two about drills?
      Yuri: What is it with Trigger and drills...?
    • When Lucia has her goggles over her eyes, it looks almost a similar fashion to Simon from Gurren Lagann. Her overall look resembles Studio Trigger's mascot, Spring, and sounds like Sucy.
    • The way Aina pilots her plane is similar to the pose taken by the girls inside a Franxx.
    • Lio looks like Nova.
    • Ignis bares a striking resemblance to Mr. Gar.
    • Lio dishing out an agonizing “Dragon of Darkness Flame” and even riding it.
    • Lio de Galon at one point uses a kick framed like that of the Inazuma Kick.
    • The classic GunBuster pose returns.
    • Mascot Vinny looks like Akko's mouse form.
    • A location seen at a pivotal point in the movie is an homage to Mazinger Z. Deus Prometh's research center looks similar to the Photoatomic Institute, with the two characteristic towers and the iconic pool that opens to let out the mecha (the Deus X Machina, in this case).
    • Galo De Lion bears a notable resemblance to the titular mecha from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Spiritual Successor: To both Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill, although it takes considerably more inspiration from the former especially in the climax.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Promare, the titular beings that power the Burnish and what motivates them, are revealed to be literal living flames from a parallel universe and while immensely destructive, are ultimately not hostile themselves and are simply protecting their hosts... even though it risks causing an Earth-Shattering Kaboom to do so.
  • Technicolor Fire: All the fire in this movie's world seems to be bright purple with touches of bright green andmade of triangles, except for the flame in the pizzeria's oven, which has normal colors and shape. Said purple heat sources are powered by the Promare aliens. The pizzeria's flame, on the other hand, is a normal, human-created one. The World-Healing Wave at the end is a turquoise fire that sloshes around like water.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The formation of Galo de Lion and subsequent Astral Finale is accompanied by "Inferno", the movie's main theme.
  • Theme Naming: Given the premise, quite a few characters have names related to fire and classical/mythological references to it.
    • Lio Fotia has this twice over:
      • "Fotia" literally means "fire" in Greek.
      • "Lio" sounds like a variant of "Leo", fitting his proud and leaderlike personality. It is also a fire sign.
    • Rivals Ignis and Vulcan. "Ignis" is Latin for "fire", "Vulcan" is the Roman god of fire and volcanoes. The latter's surname Haestus evokes Vulcan's Greek counterpart, Hephaestus.
    • The Ardebit sisters: "Ardebit" is a Latin conjugation of "ardeo" that means "to burn".
  • This Is a Drill: In what is most definitely a Production Throwback to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Lucia equips Galo's mech with a drill to help him break into the Parnassus to save Lio.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Burning Rescue loved a certain local pizzeria, and threw a pizza party for Galo after his badge ceremony. Varys and Galo chowed down the most pies, and even went on competing with each other.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The long version of the PV spoils the existence of the true main villain and Galo and Lio joining forces.
  • Trick Bullet: Vulcan fires an Absolute Zero Bullet at Lio to severely weaken him, which constantly freezes the latter. Lio manages to remove it later in a fit of rage after his comrades launch him into a volcano for his safety.
  • Underwater Base: There's an entire secret laboratory hidden under Galo's favorite lake, run by a computer copy of a deceased researcher.
  • Uriah Gambit: Kray purposely assigned Galo to the Burning Rescue Fire Department because of its high mortality rate. He only grew more and more bitter when Galo kept surviving.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Foresight Foundation has no qualms about imprisoning and experimenting on children. Like all the other Burnish, children are also used to power the warp engines.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And pink, and green…
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: To the Burnish, the Mad Burnish are the freedom fighters. To everyone else, the Mad Burnish are terrorists.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report