Fire Force, pound for pound, offers some of the best animation we've seen this summer season from any of the new anime that have been released. The series, which follows a young "devil" fire fighter named Shinra and his fellow band of supernaturally powered fire fighters, mixes a sense of fluidity to create amazing battles and idiosyncratic characters for fans to bite into. At Anime Expo, we talked with creator Atsushi Okubo to discuss what his biggest surprise for the series currently was and which character it revolved around:
Comicbook: What is one of the most surprising things that has happened in Fire Force that you didn't even see coming, that your characters were leading you towards, and then you were shocked when you ended up putting it in the story?
Atsushi Okubo: It's probably when it came to Hinawa. I think that it was surprising how he's evolved into somebody that's ... He started out as a very rigid, serious person that keeps everybody in check. But now, as writing him, he's become a charming, sometimes even comic relief, a little quirky person. That's a little nice surprise.
Hinawa is a very serious and quiet member of Fire Force Company 8, harboring the ability to manipulate flame by channeling it through his firearms. Perhaps not as flashy as Shinra's ability to blast out streams of fire from his feet or Tamaki's power to spring a "Naruto-esque" fox appearance, he still acts as the "rock" that the team can rely on and its clear that Okubo has an affinity for the character, surprising himself with just how much he's changed over time.
What do you think of Fire Force so far? Has Hinawa been your favorite character of has someone else from Company 8 taken home the gold? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Fire Force!
Fire Force was first created by Atsushi Okubo for Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine in 2015, and has since been collected into several volumes. The series follows an elite team of fire manipulators as they and deal with spontaneously combusting people in a alternate take on Tokyo. Kodansha USA has licensed the series for an English language release, and they describe Fire Force as such:
"Terror has paralyzed the clockwork metropolis of Tokyo! 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. 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?"