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Manga / Fire Force

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Fighting Fire with Fire.

"Causes of death are many and varied. Old age, illness, suicide. Out of that long morbid list, there's one end that people fear above all others: Death by fire."
Captain Akitaru Ōbi

The year is Solar Calendar 198. The risk of death runs high, but among the usual deadly fare, one grisly method of demise stands out the most: Death by fire.

Known as the "Spontaneous Human Combustion", many people now face the risk of turning into "Infernals", rampaging beasts with no control over themselves and in a state of burning pain. It's a completely random and extremely fatal process, with nearly no way to stop it. To combat this, the world established "Special Fire Forces" - groups with members who can control flames enough to extinguish the Infernals and put the rampaging souls to rest. Some officers can control fire, while others can create fire in unique ways.

Shinra Kusakabe is one such person. Armed with the power of Devil's footprints and a fiendish smile, he aims to become a hero and uncover the secret of the Infernals to better the world as a member of Special Fire Force Company 8. However, Company 8 exists as Internal Affairs to investigate the secrets and lies of many groups across The Empire. Meaning Shinra and his allies will have to journey across the nation and battle criminals, cults and other officers to uncover the truth about the Infernals. Especially as Shinra is also investigating the fire that killed his family 12 years ago...

Fire Force (Enen no Shouboutai, lit. "Fire Brigade of Flames") is a manga by Atsushi Ohkubo of Soul Eater fame (and a prequel of the same), which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine from 2015 to 2022. It was brought over to English audiences by Kodansha in 2016. An anime adaptation by David Production was announced in November 2018, with Funimation to stream the show abroad and serve as co-producers. The series began airing July 5, 2019 on Tokyo Broadcasting System, and began airing on United States television via Toonami on July 27th.

Fire Force provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to E 
  • Abandoned Area: In a variation of an Abandoned Mine, the Tokyo subway system has been abandoned and sealed off and renamed the Netherworld. It remains a highly dangerous, incredibly vast underground system that was destroyed by the cataclysm that wrecked the planet. This results in the state religion viewing it as the literal entrance to Hell because the sun's light cannot reach into it. This was probably done to discourage people like Vulcan from exploring. As a result most believers are very worried about going into it. Being religiously forbidden and just plain terrifying to the average person made it the perfect place for the cultists to hide out (there's also the irony of a bunch of sun cultists hiding in a place where the sun don't shine), though they're probably going to abandon it after they fight with the 8th fire brigade. Not as abandoned as it first appears, there was a regiment of assassins living in the Netherworld to serve the state.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Benimaru, leader of Company 7 has one. To the point that he tells his crew to reinforce his (the "admirer's") house, so he won't have to stay at HQ like the rest of the citizens after the brigade's usual tactics.
  • Action Girl:
    • A pre-requisite for women in the Fire Force, unless they are nuns. Even the nuns put up a fight when they have to.
    • The mysterious Knights of Ashen Flame organization the Fire Force battles have high-ranking and powerful female members who can fight as well.
  • Advertised Extra: Sho is given a spotlight in Season 2's first opening. He doesn't have as big a role as the opening implies and only shows up back to normal near the end.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Following one of the most intense battles with the White Hooded criminals, Shinra suffers from terrible wounds that require hospital treatment to save his life.
  • After the End: The series is set 250 years after The Great Disaster caused a world to be engulfed in flame. The Tokyo Empire survived, but most of the world was ruined.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • One of the Infernals Shinra & Co. have to put down is a widower with a teenage daughter who calmly waits for his death. Shinra feels awful about killing him but has no choice.
    • Infernals in general get this treatment as they are in constant pain and unable to control themselves. Except for Setsuo, who receives no such sympathy.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Haijima Industries is the corporation that makes all the material the Fire Soldiers use, but despite this it's far from ideal. They are involved in many shady plots, are not against lethally disposing of troublesome workers, perform inhumane experiments in children with fire abilities to test their power, employ a sadistic bully who loves his job of testing the abilities of the aforementioned children way too much, and even they are aware that the Amaterasu plant that powers the entire empire is powered by an Adolla Burst user who lives in constant torment trapped in the plant. However, the president of Haijima doesn't shares at all the fanatic belief of the White Clad and actually wants to preserve the world, opposing the goals of the Evangelist and even ending becoming an ally of Company 8 eventually, promising to minimize the experiments on the children and putting his trust into Vulcan's idea of a project similar to Amaterasu that doesn't needs a human life as a source of power. As such, despite being far from benevolent, they end coming as better and more reasonable than the delusional followers of the Evangelist.
  • And I Must Scream: Infernals are fully aware of what is happening to them and once the transformation ends, they exist in constant pain and burn until they are killed. Infernals don't age, so they have to be killed for the pain to stop. Some of them have survived since the cataclysm. They have been burning to death without the solace of death for 250 years.
  • Alternate Universe: One where the entire planet was wrecked by flames and Japan was one of, if not the only, place that survived the disaster and was conquered by another country/ideology, to the annoyance of the traditionalists/barbarians in the Seventh Brigade. Also, people developed flame powers.
  • Almighty Janitor: Company 8 are understaffed and looked down on by the rest of the organization. They also drive the entire plot forward. Also, Shinra and Arthur are recruits fresh from the academy but still fight opponents with years more experience than they do.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Vulcan to Lisa ("Why do you looks so insecure?") when she declares she's only the cult's tool and she doesn't care what happens to her or Vulcan (this is after a lot of signs she's uncomfortable with her role).
  • Art Shift: Ohkubo is able to radically shift his style for the sake of a good scare.
    • Giovanni the Plague Doctor gets two in Chapter 70: First he gets very "sketchy" when creepily feeling up Feeler AKA Lisa and reminding her of her place. Then he gets "bold and sharp" when he gloats about everything he has been taught, and that the Fire Force will gain nothing (Ōbi's response: "Then he must've been a bad teacher").
    • Shinra is sent back to the past and witnesses what civilization was like before the Great Cataclysm. What he sees is a bunch of black and white photos of Real Life modern-day Japan. Shinra seems to also be aware of this shift because what he sees scares the piss out of him.
    • Likewise, Sumire's flashback to the time before the Great Cataclysm depicts her via photos of a real-life Japanese woman.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Faerie's Adolla Burst explanation is cited by some readers as one of the worst misunderstandings on gravity. He explained that in order to reduce Earth's gravitational pull toward an object he increased the object's mass closer to that of Earth while Newton's Law of Gravitation states that gravitational force between two objects is directly proportional to said two objects's masses, thus what he should've done is reducing the object's mass. Even if the explanation turns out to be true in real life, Faerie seemingly phasing through Sho's sword slash is not something that should happen to something with mass and density close to Earth's.
  • Author Filibuster: Roughly half of Chapter 281 is dedicated to Ohkubo arguing the value of Fanservice and sexualization in general. If it wasn't obvious enough to the audience, the Moral Guardian that his in-story mouthpiece is arguing against gets called out for being a minor, nameless character whose role is finished and promptly vanishes into thin air.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • A major facet of Doppelgängers is that they are the counterparts of people in the real world, except flipped in personality and demeanor. Even of people, and dangerous pyrokinetics, who died. As such, when the Great Catalcysm occurs, Doppelgängers of the dead start pouring into the real world to attack others, such as the case with Rekka and Hague.
    • Once Shinra gains omnipotence, he brings back everybody from the dead. This includes characters literally retconned out of existence, and characters who were dead before the manga even began, such as Benimaru's adoptive father and Iris's sisters who perished in a blaze years before Shinra ever met her. Even minor characters such as the first Infernals Shinra took care of come back.
  • Badass Bystander: The Infernal widower. When a person ignites, the agonizing pain is beyond all comprehension and forces them to go berserk. Instead of attacking others or destroying things, the man had a strong enough will to retain a level of sanity. He calmly waited for the Force to put him down, while avoiding damaging anything around him and never once harming his daughter, while being on fire. Akitaru believes that his actions prove he was strong enough to beat his condition.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: What Princess Hibana believes. She used to use her power and knowledge of chemistry to create beautiful displays with her Fire Flowers for other young nuns. When they were all (excepting herself and Iris) burned alive in a fire, she was driven mad. Believing such a destructive force couldn't possibly be good, this lead to her obsession with money and experimenting on Infernals.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Second and Third Generation Flame Users are this, able to control and use fire against the berserk Infernals.
  • Balancing Death's Books: One Serial Killer's excuse for why he's a killer: as a fire-fighter he saved loads of people so it's only fair he balances things out by killing loads of people. This was before he got superpowers...
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: There are several cases of men being shown bare-chested in the anime, but their nipples are never shown, while in the manga, they're sometimes shown, at least as outlines. Same goes for women, but that is usually done through censor steam, censor foam, and so on.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played with. After Rekka beats up Tamaki at the end of episode 8, her face is bruised and bloody for the last scene of that episode and beginning of the next one. Then, after the opening credits of episode 9, she is back to normal. And then gets much more fanservice-y.
  • Bland-Name Product: It's not "Coca Cola", it's "Moca Cola".
  • Blow You Away: Stream of the Butchers uses fire to control the air around them.
  • Body Double: Two cultists perfectly imitate the Hinawa and Akitaru in order to turn Benimaru of Company 7 against them, causing a distraction while they release the Fire Bugs. Yona of the Cult is able to change the appearance of anyone. Including himself.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: One theory behind what Human Combustion is that the Sun God is punishing the wicked. Although it strikes the innocent just as often as it hits the guilty.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In light of the arson of Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building that took place on July 18, 2019, Mainichi Broadcasting System in Japan made the decision to change the color of the flames in episode 3 of the anime adaptation, making note to make further changes for similar situations in future episodes.
    • Sexual elements (i.e. it wasn't shown how Shinra caught a glimpse of Hibana's underwear, it was only suggested), violence and swearing was toned down in the anime, as well.
  • Breather Episode: After the dramatic first season finale, the season 2 premiere is a well needed cooldown from the plot (though still has some time to throw in some action against a giant Infernal).
  • Casting Gag: Captain Burns and Juggernaut were both Convoy/Optimus Primes in the Unicron Trilogy and both had something regarding firetrucks for each of them.
  • Character Tics:
    • Shinra has a habit of grinning like a madman when he's nervous or anxious, frightening or unnerving others, and leading to a lot of embarrassing and misunderstood situations. In particular, this was used against him as a child when he "smiled" at his mother's dead body, earning him the malicious nickname "Demon" because people thought he was smiling because he enjoyed what was happening. Though on the beneficial side, it tends to do the same to his opponents in combat. His brother does it too, though it's unclear if he's also nervous or excited.
    • Ōbi is always training; this is how he, the lone Muggle, ensures he can keep up with a squad of fire-users.
    • Princess Hibana calls everyone gravel. The only exception is Shinra, only after defeating Hibana.
    • Karim repeatedly repeats redundant words over and over. To the point that the translator had to clarify that that's really how he talks. Has to do with the nature of his weapon, which takes air and repeatedly cycles it until fire becomes ice.
    • "Joker" doesn't just Say It with Hearts, he uses clubs, spades, and diamonds too.
    • The two creepy twins of the Seventh Brigade use two different fonts when talking, apparently to make them seem cutesy yet erratic.
  • Cheerful Funeral: The Asakusa town does not follow the Sol Temple's ritual for cleansing Infernals; instead, Benimaru burns down blocks of houses as funeral offerings, and the community later rebuild them as part of a traditional festival.
  • The Chosen Many: There are said to be eight people with the Adolla Burst which grants each of them unique and dangerous powers. The Knights of the Ashen Flame want to gather all of them.
  • Church Militant: Company 1 is extremely religious and backed by the Church. They are extremely well organized when it comes to fighting Infernals and many of its high-ranking members are priests.
  • Colony Drop:When Dragon is killed, Fairie tries to use his Gravity Master powers to pull the Moon from orbit and crash it into the Earth.
  • Combat Tentacles: Lucy/Feeler's flame powers take the form of octopus tentacles. When they really get going they appear half-human, half-octopus.
  • Conducting the Carnage: Inka Kasugatani comes into contact with the First Pillar and unlocks a new level of her Combat Clairvoyance that lets her predict explosions. She predicts her entire neighborhood and its people bursting into explosive flames and gleefully predicts each explosion and conducts each one as though they were music as they occur. She even goes so far as to ask one of her henchman for a stick to conduct the show.
  • The Conspiracy: Quite a few, mostly hinging on the truth about the Infernals:
    • Company 8's real purpose is to figure out the truth about Infernals, as well as investigate the other companies.
    • Company 5 is apparently involved in some, and is doing unethical experiments on Infernals. They also don't seem to care about sharing any of this data. Even though evidence suggests that the disease is being spread deliberately.
    • Captain Burns is keeping something secret, among them the truth about the death of Shinra's family
    • Joker has something to do with flame-powers and also claims to know the truth about Shinra's family. He also flat-out tells Shinra that the white-hooded cultists have his brother.
    • Company 3's leader is working with the cultists. When he is discovered, a large number of officers disappear as well, implying that many of them where also part of the cult.
  • Cool Car: The Special Armoured Fire Engines (nicknamed "Matchboxes") are armored fire trucks used by the Special Fire Brigades.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Played With. Average humans avert this by being vulnerable to heat and fire, while Second and Third Gen fighters have a heightened resistance to heat and fire. Although this resistance can be overcome by objects and attacks that are too hot.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Adolla Burst. A mysterious flame that burns endlessly and doesn't need fuel. It powers the entire Tokyo Empire and is strangely found inside Shinra's body, which makes him a target of The Big Bad. Turns out it allows him to detect powerful emotions and sense other people with the Adolla. There are meant to be eight people with the Adolla and they are needed for the schemes of the Knights of the Ashen Flame.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The dominant religion is clearly modeled after Catholicism, but they worship the Great Sun God.
  • Cult: One that wants to turn the earth into a sun. Also they have Shinra's brother Shō.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Lucy/Feeler when she amps up her Combat Tentacles.
  • Dark Chick: The White Hood's Arrow is cold, indifferent to emotion and a long range fighter.
  • Darkest Hour: Chapter 253 presents this in detail with the world undergoing the Second Cataclysm, with parts of the world being burned in massive flames, reality turning insane, massive fire storms everywhere, the terrified citizenry praying for mercy and reacting in horror at the possible end of civilization, and Infernal Dopplegangers now pouring into the world. The Special Fire Force is overwhelmed and Shinra is nowhere to be found.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The 8th brigade defeats the 5th. They hold a barbecue together barely an hour later. That part was an invoked trope; the official reason for it was to celebrate a successful training excercise, which is 100% false and used for political cover. The straight version of the trope is Captain Hibana is regularly hanging out with 8th.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Part of the Mêlée à Trois between three factions involves four different women beating each other up or working together to beat the other side.
  • Distant Finale: The last chapter has a Time Skip of 25 years showing Shinra's now grown children with Iris and Inca. It then skips to centuries later, showing the Soul Eater characters as children, including Lord Death creating Kid in Shinra's image, before closing on Maka's parents reading the story of the Fire Force to their daughter.
  • Dueling Messiahs: Done and deconstructed when Shinra must combat and destroy a fake recreation of Raffles I the setting's equivalent to Crystal Dragon Jesus for the Corrupt Church that controls the Tokyo Empire, on live television. Even though Shinra is a righteous person who wants to save the world from destruction, the public thinks he is a devil when he has to kill the destructive fake recreation of Raffles I, which is basically akin to shooting a revived Jesus Christ in the face on public broadcast. This results in the public hating him enough to cause him to disappear when reality starts being dictated by the people's perceptions.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Burns appears in Chapter 2, during Shinra's flashback, before appearing in Chapter 5.
    • Arthur appears on the title page of Chapter 0 before joining the main cast in Chapter 2.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In the beginning, the Fire Company helmets read 'fire soldier'. After the series was branded 'Fire Force' internationally, the helmets changed to read 'Fire Force'. Word of God claims this helped to highlight the organized nature of the group and looked cool.
  • Ecchi: Downplayed. There are several instances of (near) female nudity and clothing damage, not to mention Tamaki's Lucky Lecher Lure, but it's very easy to forget about it amidst the action, tension, and humor.
  • Eldritch Location: The Adolla World is a place where fire burns infinitely and without fuel or emissions. It also changes depending on who is viewing it. Shinra and Shō see a blank white void with burning bones scattered around and other oddities. Burns and '52' see the dimension as a dark cosmic void featuring twisted architecture and grotesque things that leave them screaming on the floor.
  • Elemental Baggage: Played Straight and averted; second generation Pyrokinetics like Maki cannot start their own fires but can control existing fires and have to rely on flints and other starters when none are available. Third generations like Shinra or Arthur, however, are able to create their own fires from nothing, though usually in a specific focused way as opposed to full flames.
  • Elite Mooks: The Demon Infernals. Far stronger than the normal counterparts and so durable that explosion strong enough to level a city block is required to defeat them. To it put into perspective, these Infernals are so powerful that it took Benimaru himself a great deal of effort to destroy one, and a team effort to recreate a rail gun to destroy another. Even a fused giant Infernal is less threatening than a single Demon.
  • The Empire: Tokyo is not the name of the capital city anymore. It is the name of the empire the cast lives within. It also doubles as a The Theocracy. It's not all that bad as it allowed human civilization to reform and allowed refugees passage upon the Great Disaster.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: As more is revealed this seems more and more likely. It appears that the power source for the entire empire is fueled by Human Sacrifice. Also, the Church is hiding the truth behind its foundation and wants to trigger an apocalypse.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The White Clad are trying to start one by combining the realm of Adolla, basically Hell, with the normal world after their last failed attempt turn the world into a mostly destroyed Crapsack World. Their endgame is to essentially turn the planet into a Sun and it's unlikely anyone would survive the final result.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: A huge part of the series.
    • Princess Hibana has four-petaled flowers/rounded crosses in her eyes. They turn into hearts for a single panel, implying she has fallen for Shinra's heroic nature and ideals.
    • Hoshimiya Rekka, a company commander and priest in Squad 1, has stars in his eyes, which may mean Wingding Eyes are a possible side effect of having flame powers.
    • Benimaru an X in only one eye, this shows he's a hybrid between 2nd and 3rd generation fire powers.
    • The cultists' archer has a downward-pointing arrow in her eyes.
    • Another cultist has a capital 'A' in his eyes to indicate that he is an Artist.
    • Hina and Hika have vertical rectangular pupils, to go with their kitsune motif.
    • Tamaki's cat-like "highlights" might count.
  • Eye Scream: You don't get a cool eyepatch without one. Captain Burns' hidden eye is not a pretty sight and it seems to burn when he fights. Joker's isn't much better. Both Joker and Burns lost an eye gazing upon the Evangelist and 'hell'. Despite their strength, both are brought to their knees out of terror and pain.

    Tropes F to Q 
  • Fantasy Keepsake: Joker managed to grab a burning piece of earth when in the Adolla realm. This proves that he wasn't hallucinating.
  • Fanservice:
    • Iris and Maki first make their appearances in a Shower Scene with little in the way of modesty.
    • Tamaki Kotatsu is known to get into fanservicey situations due to her clumsiness usually having a Naked Freak-Out over it, to the point its a Running Gag. She's a walking exaggeration of this trope as she suffers this at the worst times in ways that sometimes defy all logic.
    • One Breather Episode chapter showcases that the Fire Force men are ordered every year to strip down and take photos to make a sexy calendar. Fans get an eyeful of several of the male characters shirtless and looking good with characters like the members of Squad 1 using basically just a rag.
  • Flaming Sword: Arthur wields one. Fittingly, he's named it Excalibur. Shinra's brother also has one.
  • Flechette Storm: Princess Hibana uses the fire equivalent of Senbonzakura.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Vulcan loves animals and his goal is to make robot versions of all the animals that went extinct in the cataclysm before the story began (and there's a lot of them: Iris recognizes the model whale and elephant in Vulcan's house because she saw them in a book) and his most prized possession that he's willing to give to Shinra as a show of trust and turns out to be the hiding place of the Amaterasu power plant's key is a holoprojector of ocean animals.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Vulcan, the inventor the 8th Brigade wants to recruit as their engineer, is universally recognized as the best engineer in the Tokyo Empire. After they ultimately recruit him, he upgrades all of their equipment and creates new tools for them to use in short order.
  • Genius Ditz: When he and Shinra have to sneak into a locked room he uses a "mini-Excalibur", a one-time use hilt made of plastic, to cut the locks. Shinra is horrified as this makes it very obvious who went into the room, but Arthur doesn't care and points out that if the people in charge had dealt with the various Infernal conspiracies they wouldn't have needed to do this in the first place.
    • He's also the one of the first people to notice Asakusa has been infiltrated by lookalike cultists intending to cause confusion when he (somehow) realizes at once that one of the creepy twins is actually a "manlet" with an altered face ("her" sister being the only other person to see this).
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: All pyrokinetics' irises glow slightly when their powers are in use.
  • Good Old Ways: Company 7 and their community in Asakusa are apparently the only "traditional" Japanese left in the country. They neither wear western clothes, worship in cathedrals, use nuns in their missions nor do they regard the emperor as their leader. They also prefer the Japanese way of ordering their names, last name first. As opposed to the rest of the Tokyo Empire, which has adopted the western doctrine of ordering names, first name first. They are seen as "barbarians" by wider society.
  • Grotesque Cute: The Fire Force has three mascots which were originally cute animals until the third one was changed into an old man. Shinra and Arthur think it's disturbing while others find it adorable.
  • Heart Drive: All Infernals have an organ somewhere in their bodies called a "core" that must be destroyed to kill them. Fused Infernals retain all the cores of their component bodies and will continue to function until all of them are located and destroyed.
  • Hero Academy: The Fire Department trains new officers for the Fire Force. Shinra, Arthur and Ogun all attended and it is run by members of Company 4.
  • Heroic Fantasy: While definitely an Urban Fantasy, it uses the motifs of heroic fantasy. There's Arthur, who thinks himself a knight, Shinra, who's known as a devil that wants to be a hero and Maki is explicitly referred to as a witch after she creates familiars out of fire (then, of course, there's her cute witch's hat). When they fight flaming humanoids called Infernals with a nun praying for the infernals' peaceful rest, they appear as crusaders fighting The Legions of Hell (which Akitaru says other companies think they really are).
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Shinra genuinely wants to be a hero but being a pyrokinetic with a demonic grin combined with the fiery deaths of his mother and baby brother isn't helping his reputation.
  • Hellfire: It is hinted the Adolla Burst might be this, as the dimension it comes from, Adolla, is referred to be probably Hell or maybe Heaven. Matter obtained from Adolla never stops burning.
    • Shinra also channels the Power of Rock to create a dark explosion. No prizes for figuring out what he calls it.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Joker. He's a fire-starting dirtbag who's unlikely to truly align with the Fire Force but he's not obviously on the side of the cultists either. He even fends them off so Shinra's team can escape them, although nobody sees him.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Lucy goes (returns) to Vulcan's side when she's had enough of Giovanni's manipulative ways.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: After spending 12 years trying to puzzle out the truth behind his family's tragedy, Shinra finally discovers what actually happened: His mother transformed into an Infernal and caused the fire in the first place. Eventually, she escaped without a trace. This revelation once again leaves Shinra continuing to search for the truth and that monster with no idea where to start, but with very different motives.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Giovanni, the Plague Doctor mask-wearing leader of the 3rd Brigade: he's got a trick hand that acts as a grappling hook and claims he's harassed generations of Vulcan's family over the key that controls the Amaterasu power plant, though that might just be Vulcan and his father and grandfather. Later on it's revealed he might be a Frankenstein's Monster who's Multiarmed And Dangerous.
  • Hope Crusher: Hibana tries to be this, belittling Iris' kindness and Shinra's heroic dreams. Shinra took it as a sign to try harder.
  • Horned Humanoid: A horned Infernal appeared in Shinra's home 12 years ago. Another one attacked Asakusa two years ago. These Demon Infernals are too durable to be destroyed normally. It demands an explosion strong enough to level a city to defeat them. Also, nobody knows how they are created. When a White Hood eats a "firebug" and becomes a demon, his partner is shocked.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Before the Eighth was formed some Fire Soldiers racked up "points" for killing Infernals, the more dangerous the better. It's not known if this is done either officially or "casually" at present.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Played with. During a fight Arthur wonders why he can't do anything ~ until he notices he is using his sword in his left hand although he is right-handed.
  • An Ice Person: Karim can convert heat into cold by using sound, hence his carrying a bell and saxophone. He claims it's not actually an ice power but an inventive use of his fire abilities.
  • Identical Grandson: The captain of Company 4 has the exact same hair color, eyebrows and glasses as his granddaughter in Company 6. Shinra is pretty shocked when he notices.
  • Idiot Crows: In "The Man, Assault" (season 2 episode 18), every time Assault defies Tamaki in a duel, he ends up humiliatingly defeated by her "Lucky Lecher" because of his Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality. And each time, one or two crows fly in the sky to insult him.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The cultists have simple names based on their fire powers: Flail uses an Epic Flail; Arrow is an Archer Archetype, Mirage has illusion powers, etc. Lisa and Arrow claim they're only tools for the cult and its "preacher", which their adversaries find rather sad.
  • It's Personal: Beni steps into Shinra and Arthur's fight with the "demonized" cultist because A) he's stronger than the two kids and B) a similar "demon" injured his second-in-command.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Each Fire Force Company is in charge of certain areas and they really don't like the other groups interfering with their work. This means Company 8 often needs an excuse to get involved without risking a fight.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Averted, Shinra tells his whole brigade everything he knows about Joker, the cultists, and that his own brother might be their enemy.
  • Kill the God: Shinra promises to do this, if the Evangelist is what people claim it is and if its plans are as evil as they seem.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Arthur seems to genuinely believe he's from King Arthur's Camelot. Shō has been brought up like this by the cult as well.
  • Last-Name Basis: Apparently this world uses western naming conventions except for the 7th Brigade, a group of traditionalists/nationalists who flout authority by dressing in traditional Japanese clothes and going by their last names first.
  • Light Is Not Good: The cultists' white outfits have a Shinto purification theme crossed with Knight Templar. Interestingly the cult's crosses are black while the Fire Force, their religion's, and Arthur's is white (or at least uncolored).
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Joker is a violent criminal who will endanger people's lives for the sake of his goals. But he opposes the cult and their goals to the point of aiding the Fire Force against them.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: The mysterious eternal flame known as the Adolla Burst is found inside certain people. Either because they can Save the World or become an Apocalypse Maiden, they are pursued by both the Fire Force and the White-Clad.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Once Shinra creates the being that becomes known as Lord Death, said Grim Reaper decides that the Playing with Fire powers that the cast uses are too powerful for humans to have, and removes them from the world. The powers of the Soul Wavelength and Magic replace them, at least in some people.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: One of the cultists uses heat to sculpt people's faces, though he occasionally winds up melting and burning them to death instead. Another member chides him for wasting loyal "materials".
  • Magnetic Hero: Shinra, has a habit of drawing in allies. So far he's won over power-worshiping sadists, a "barbarian", an antisocial engineer and some of their followers. His power is called Adore-a Burst, after all.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Gold of the Butchers can heat up a golden gauntlet to magnetize it and manipulate metallic objects.
  • The Man Behind the Man: All the Fire Force companies suffer from this. The organization is meant to be a collaboration between three different groups to Save the World, but the individual companies have strong loyalties to one of the founding or supporting groups. Company 7 avoids this as they are just a group of ruffians too powerful for the government to ignore.
    • Company 1 and 6 are controlled by The Church.
    • Company 2 is run by the military.
    • Company 3 and 5 are influenced by the Mega-Corp.
    • Company 4 falls under the Fire Department.
  • Mauve Shirt: Essentially weaponized in Chapter 251. By having his name be said out loud and silencing the antagonistic attitude of his mother, Tatsuto survives while his mother simply disappears when she's no longer relevant.
  • Medium Awareness: When Licht was talking about the real history of the world, he referred to the "prologue", which is shown before many episodes of the animé and tells bits and pieces of the history of how the world became what it is now.
  • Mega-Corp.: Haijima Industries have a tremendous amount of power because they manufacture all of the Fire Force's equipment. This means that they have control over Company 5.
  • Mercy Kill: Infernals are former humans permanently and randomly turned into insane monsters that exist in perpetual, maddening agony from their uncontrollable flames and are effectively immortal. As there is no known cure for the transformation, a Fire Soldier's duty is to kill these creatures both to protect the public from their pain-induced super powered rampages and to end their suffering. While the cast agree that death is preferable to the agony of being an Infernal, the full moral implications of Fire Soldiers effectively being government-mandated executioners is a matter of much in-universe debate.
  • The Mole
    • Licht is secretly working with Joker.
    • Giovanni is part of the White-Clad.
    • Lisa is actually a member of the cult and has been living with Vulcan so she can find the key to the Amaterasu power plant. She seems to have a Heel–Face Turn but decides at the last second not to go with Vulcan when they're rescued by Licht. She later completes her Heel–Face Turn come season 2, albeit reluctantly.
  • Nay-Theist: With the Evangelist being treated like a divine being, a lot of the Fire Force count. Burns and Five-Two are explicitly acknowledged her as God and then spend the rest of their lives working against it. Benimaru is a notable example, in that he denies the importance of Gods and the Church, and believes humans should act moral for their own sakes instead of for divine dogmas.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Haijima Industries hasn't done much in the story, but they are distrusted by most people within the Fire Force and the majority of their employees are Mad Scientists.
  • Never Say "Die": When someone in the Fire Force finishes off an Infernal, they never "kill" or "put down" or "execute" them. Since most incidents involve Mercy Kill, it's always "put them to rest".
    • In the manga, when captain Obi reprimanded Arthur for flouting his order to conceal his weapon from civilians (he took Shinra aside, as well, so he too would hear his way of doing things), he calls a firesoldier's destruction of an Infernal "murder", reminding them that all Infernals were human once, and that they have surviving family, friends, and so on that would suffer more if they saw the tools that would kill their family member, friend, and so on, even if it was most certainly a Mercy Kill.
  • Nice Guy: Shinra is so unflinchingly nice to everyone he meets. The only person in his life who doesn't consider him a friend is Arthur, and that's because he sees him as The Rival instead.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: In the climax "God"/Lord Death decides to remove pyrokinesis from the world under this logic.
  • Nuns Are Mikos: The Fire Soldiers use nuns from the Holy Sol Temple to confirm last rites onto a flame-person to purify it when it's destroyed. While the nuns' outfits resemble Catholic nun's habits, the purification rites they perform are taken straight from Shinto. Ironically, the Japanese "traditionalists" of the Seventh brigade employ neither nuns nor miko.
  • Obliviously Evil: The Serial Killer within Company 1 seems detached from reality to the point he doesn't understand why his victims are terrified of him. After he's finished with one victim, he simply and cheerfully tells his next that they have to be strong and brave if they want to succeed.
  • Perspective Flip: The fire 12 years ago is initially shown from Shinra's perspective, with later details being highlighted through Burns' view on the event. Joker's flashback shows yet another perspective on things as the fire is a backdrop to a major turning point in his life. Things are also show from the view of Shinra's mother.
  • Plague Doctor: One of the Company Captains, Giovanni, wears a plague doctor mask.
  • Playing with Fire: People with Ignition abilities are classified in three categories.
    • There is the First Generation, people with no control over their ability and who are little more than mindless monsters when it randomly activates.
    • Then there is the Second Generation, people who have the ability to control pre-existing flames, be it turning the fire into shapes, moving it, or even nullifying it.
    • Finally there is the Third Generation, people who are given strange abilities with fire. Unlike the Second Generation they can create their own fire.
  • Playing with Syringes: Somebody is creating Infernals artificially using bugs. It's actually a member of Company 1 and the cult they serve. These bugs are theorized to come from an alien world.
  • Power Glows: Pyrokinetics' eyes glow when using their powers.
  • Power Incontinence: For unknown reasons, First Generation pyrokinetics can't control their flames, which leads to them suffering random spontaneous combustion and subsequently, their transformation into as Infernal. Second and Third Generation pyrokinetics retain control over their powers and have a strong resistance to heat and burning which seems to prevent them from transforming.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Subverted. Arthur manages to screw his up before beginning a battle, instead of settling for a mere, "humph."
  • Production Throwback: There are a lot of references to Soul Eater hidden through the series, which was Ohkubo's previous manga.
    • Akitaru's mask is similar to Eibon.
    • Maki's little flares look like souls from Soul Eater.
    • One shot at the very end of the anime's opening is very similar to a silhouetted shot of the Soul Eater main characters.
    • In the premiere of season 2, Shinra briefly makes the "I have met Excalbur" face when he's called in.
  • Pull the I.V.: Upon waking up in a hospital room in Chapter 88, Shinra wastes little time in removing his IV so he can get out of bed. Pulling it out is removed in the anime.

    Tropes R to Z 
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Chief of the Fire Department. Despite all the crazy schemes Ōbi pulls and feathers he rustles, his old Chief stands by him and supports him as much as possible. In a world of shadowy figures and questionable organizations, he seems to be the lone exception.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Karim Flam can safely freeze someone in ice with the goal to unfreeze them for interrogation. He doesn't realize that his ice also keeps targets medically stable despite apparent mortal wounds.
  • Refusal of the Call:
    • Benimaru, Captain of Company 7, constantly defers to his second-in-command, Konro. This is because he feels Konro's experienced and responsible approach makes him more qualified. While everyone else sees Benimaru as a leader, he struggles to see himself as such or to trust his own judgement.
    • Vulcan refused to join the Fire Force or the company that supplies them though he does reluctantly have business with the 3rd brigade captain, who's most closely aligned with aforementioned company
  • Regional Redecoration: The Great Disaster consumed the entire world in flames 250 years ago. It shattered entire landmasses, obliterated nations, and left most of the world uninhabitable. A world map in episode 3 shows the continents broken up into hundreds of islands and large parts of them underwater. Tokyo, now left on a small chunk of what used to be Honshu, was a safe haven during the event and may be the only bastion of civilization left.
  • Religious Horror: While present early in the story, later arcs really push this element of the series using Catholic imagery, demonic possession, hallucinations of a creepy dimension that might be Hell and/or heaven and by looking at the corruption and darkness within the only organized religion in the setting. The main villains being cultists and some thing beyond humanity they worship promotes this aspect.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Ogun from Company 4 is Shinra and Arthur's previously unmentioned best friend from their school days, which happened pre-series.
  • Rule of Three: Princess Hibana has three identical hench-wenches there's actually at least a dozen of them who attack in groups of three.
  • Shipper on Deck: Iris reveals herself to rooting for Shinra x Tamaki and Obi x Hibana. Made even funnier when, in the end, Iris herself ends up bearing one of Shinra's children.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Second and Third Generation pyrokinetics all explicitly have extreme resistance to both heat and radiation that allows them to use their fire powers without self-injury. They also seem to be able to give their flames a degree of kinetic force as fire constructs behave like physical objects in their hands, which allows them to injure other pyrokinetics with their flames even without the ability to burn them. They also seem to posses some degree of enhanced strength and durability in general.
  • Shock and Awe: Haumea has electrical abilities. Not only does she have the ability to generate electrical shocks but she can also use it to directly influence people's nervous systems. It won't work if she tries using it against plasma though.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The nun of Company 8, Iris, is petite, pale, shy, sweet, and wears plain nun clothes. Her step-sister, Fifth Brigade's Princess Hibana is tall, tanned, atheistic, arrogant, sadistic, and dresses in low-cut dresses with splits all the way to her hips.
    • Shinra and Shō: Shinra has short black hair and the Face of a Thug, dark clothes, grins like a demon, wants to save people, and was initially just another recruit; Shō has white clothes, is basically expressionless, belongs to a cult that wants to turn the world into a second sun, and if his throne is any indication he's rather important. When the two finally meet Shinra's first response is to greet his brother; Shō's is to try and slice him in two.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Flail is mostly just a brute commanded by the Knights of the Ashen Flame. He was also the Company 3 officer that Hinawa and Akitaru clashed with in the past. That disagreement lead the pair to found Company 8 and everything that came as a result of that choice. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
  • Sniper Duel: Between the 8th's Hinawa and the cult's Arrow, although they're so powerful Arrow's allies liken it to watching a pair of tanks.
  • Spell My Name with an S: With a cast including Japanese, Chinese, African, and European names, this is to be expected. Many of the titles and ranks are also changed depending on the translation:
    • Leonardo or Leonard?
    • Sōichirō Arg or Sōichirō Hague.
    • Foien Li or Huo Yan Li?
    • Is Karim's surname 'Fulham' or 'Flam'?
    • Some translations say that Lisa's name is 'Lucy'
    • Jonah's name in the official translation is 'Yona’
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: A common third-generation ability.
  • Standard Bleeding Spots: Shinra basically suffers from all of these as the series goes along.
  • Start X to Stop X: "Fight fire with fire" is taken very literally here.
  • Stealth Sequel: The end of the series reveals that story is actually a prequel to Ohkubo's prior manga Soul Eater. The smiling moon shows up, Arthur's Excalibur refers to him as a fool, and Shinra, Sho and their mother perform a Soul Resonance. Chapter 300-301 goes even further by having Shinra create a new world with locales directly from Soul Eater, as well as Lord Death, the three-eyed Madness of Fear, and the laughing sun. The story finally ends far in the future, with Maka, the protagonist of Soul Eater, as a child reading the now fairytale of Shinra and the Fire Force.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Shinra and Iris mistake Lisa for Vulcan's "new device" and both somehow come to the conclusion that the startup buttons are located in her breasts.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Every single mission by the Seventh Brigade involves blowing up buildings to flush out the Infernals. The citizens don't mind as "things can be replaced, lives can't".
  • Suicide Attack: The followers of the Evangelist sometimes turn themselves into Infernals to overcome a stronger enemy; At least one time, one of them used a more traditional suicide belt to both destroy evidence (a laboratory where they develop insects that turn people into Infernals) and to take out policemen investigating it (they failed to with the latter, since both policemen survived with relatively minor injuries).
  • Super Civil Services: The story takes place in a Heroic/Urban Fantasy world where special firefighter teams literally fight fire with fire. They are in charge of combating and putting to rest the threat of "Infernals", former humans turned into blazing, rampaging beasts in fiery agony.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: Overusing a Third Gen power causes the body to 'overheat', which means their flames stop using oxygen to burn and instead use their body. Hasn't actually happened yet, but the Seventh Brigade's second-in-command is starting to char after he used too much of his powers at once.
    • Later on we are introduced to Kurono Yūichirō who works for Haijima. His entire right arm has charred from overuse, though curiously it doesn't seem to affect his abilities at all and he just keeps on using them anyway.
  • Super Toughness: Demon Infernals are incredibly durable, able to shrug off all but the most powerful attacks without a scratch.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Shinra is typically the narrator of the story, though Viktor assumes the role rather frequently.
  • Take a Third Option: Shinra's solution for dealing with the final dilemma at the climax of the story. On one hand, reviving the world will just cause another cataclysm once humanity wishes for despair all over again. On the other, Shinra can destroy the world. He chooses neither. Instead, he remade the world, but fundamentally alters it by creating a benevolent personification of death and rendering souls into a more tangible form. With the severity of death lessened, people would be more comfortable with it as a concept and less inclined to give in to the sort of existential dread that created the Evangelist. The resulting change creates a world that is balanced by "madness and sanity" instead of "despair and hope", creating the world of Soul Eater.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Many members of the Fire Force have names that have something to do with fire, heat or light.
    • The White-Clad leaders are all named after trans-neptunian objects.
  • There Is Another:
    • Joker hints that Shinra's brother is alive.
    • There are several people with the Adolla Burst and all of them are targeted by the Knights of Ashen Flame.
  • Torture Technician: Princess Hibana got a psychotic Infernal begging for mercy.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe example in Chapter 216, where Shinra and Inca combine their abilities to see the world before the Cataclysm and find... a photo-realistic version of 21st century Tokyo, with the sight being described by Shinra as nausea-inducing madness. Shinra later describes to Arthur that the pre-cataclysm humans are as them as they are to a drawing in the dirt: able to be classified as humans but still fundamentally different.
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • Shinra and presumably the rest of the country believes the Fire Soldiers are true heroes. Various conspiracies, dark hints like the captain of the First hiding the fact that Shinra's brother might be alive, the killing of an Infernal who wasn't an uncontrollable monster, and the torture/experimentation of a captured Infernal, and good old-fashioned corruption say otherwise. On the other hand those who witnessed their loved ones being "released" from being an Infernal are usually upset.
    • It's revealed that the callousness of the firemen is what led to an empowered official and a muggle "ordinary" firefighter to form Company 8.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: In order to stop the lookalike cultists from spreading chaos and distrust, Beni finally accepts his position as The Leader and orders everyone to fight each other. Amazingly it works: United in defense of their community, the civilians gleefully pummel each other and the lookalikes in a "fight festival" while Company 7 handles the fires.
  • The Virus: The world is plagued by a condition that causes Spontaneous Human Combustion that can turns people into fire monsters called Infernals at random. The only ones immune from the transformation are Second and Third Generation pyrokinetics.
  • Visual Pun: Played with the Force's mascots, Wan Wan Nyine. Due to in-universe Executive Meddling, one of the dogs is an old man that looks like a dog.
  • The War on Straw:
    • Princess Hibana is a collection of cynical bad habits. Her claims that Belief Makes You Stupid and her use of fur are examples of this, as are her Straw Nihilist and Straw Atheist tendencies. She's basically a nun-in-title-only, seeing as she's a money-hungry sadistic "scientist" in revealing clothes. She was "less than enthusiastic" about prayer to begin with and eventually rips off her cross and burns it; while she disregards God and salvation, she also thinks she's "special" because she (and Iris) were spared from the fire, despite her not being terribly devout before.
    • The Cultist in Company 1 is the total opposite of Hibana in the form of mindless faith and dogmatic zealoutry. Rekka also serves to show that Belief Makes You Stupid, as he kills at least 7 seven children, turning them into Infernals because he sincerely believes it'll help his "master" and give the children the power to overcome the flames (if it doesn't kill them).
  • We Can Rule Together - Joker offers Shinra a chance to join him and learn the truth without the law getting in their way. Shinra refuses, but Joker lets him know the offer still stands.
  • Weird Moon:
  • Wham Episode: As a series with many mysteries, Fire Force is full of these as answers to major questions.
    • Chapter 34 reveals what happened to Shō Kusakabe's bones.
    • Chapter 61 features a clash between the mysterious Joker and the Knights' leader.
    • The demon that killed Shinra's mother is explained in Chapter 89.
    • Chapter 246 has Giovanni reveal that the Sun was once a second Earth.
  • Wham Shot - The end of Chapter 51. Joker's main ally has worked his way into Company 8.
    • A flashback shows Shinra's mother as her eye starts to burn. Proving that there was indeed an Infernal that night.
    • Charon's violent murder of a civilian character brings a new layer of darkness to events.
    • The end of chapter 114. Shinra is shown the Oasis by Yata and we find that the "god" Schop and Yata worship is a building that looks exactly like Amaterasu.
    • The end of chapter 229, in which the moon has taken a familiar appearance...
    • The end of chapter 245 shows Fairie and the rest of his entourage committing sacrificial suicide to summon the doppelgangers of the strongest pyrokinetics in the series (i.e. Benimaru, Burns, Kurono, etc.) from Adolla to wreak havoc and continue to destroy the world now that Arthur has defeated Dragon and Shina stopped the Moon from falling.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Iris cannot resist pressing all the buttons in Vulcan's lab causing all of his inventions to attack Shinra and Arthur. Comes in handy when they come under attack by the Knights of the Ashen Flame.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Most Infernals just go berserk, a few of them keep retain their sanity... while going berserk because of the pain.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Shinra literally attempts to beat some sense into Princess Hibana. Amazingly it works. He doesn't hold back against any of his female opponents and doing so would probably get him killed.
    • Rekka kicks the shit out of Tamaki when he realizes she won't take the fall like a good subordinate
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Vulcan has no problem throwing cans at Arthur and Shinra's heads but hesitates and then decides not to hit Iris. The tea-thrower turns out to be a machine modeled after "the woman who lives with Vulcan" both of whom continue to pummel Arthur and Shinra while Vulcan himself has no time to mess with intruders.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Serial Killer hidden within Company 1. In addition to kicking Tamaki while she's down, Rekka's responsible for turning at least 7 children into Infernals and Shinra fears he may have been responsible for the fire that burned Hibana and Iris' convent.
  • Wreathed in Flames:
    • Hina and Hika of the 7th Brigade's powers: Their flames manifest as clothes and a "mask" that resembles a Kitsune.
    • Burns appears briefly in this state, burning with heat. Even his word balloons appear to be on fire.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Its eventually revealed that Adolla is shaped by the Collective Unconscious of man, and that the main difference between the people and the Doppelgangers that live there is that the Doppelgangers act like how the public sees that individual.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fire Brigade Of Flames, Enen No Shoubotai


Who's the real Tamaki?

Iris finds herself between two Tamaki, how can she find who's the imposter?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpotTheImposter

Media sources: