Anyway, it's Reviewsday! And we have a review of Fire Force 10 to post! Spoilers ahead!
Wow, it feels like a million years ago that we translated this volume of Fire Force. It was in fact two weeks ago. Okay, a week and a half. But with all the stories we've been working on in the meantime (not to mention two impromptu trips to Disneyland (one of them was to work!)), it feels like so much longer. Can I even remember what happened!? Probably, because this volume was basically one long battle.
Athena says, "Well, first, we went to the Bengal Barbecue..." See, this volume was another part of the Disneyland Office Initiative. We started out in the Bengal Barbecue, because the seating is technically inside, and it was a chilly day where they were predicting a chance of rain. Then our Indiana Jones fastpasses kicked in, so we took in a ride, said hi to Farley, and then decided to try the funnel cake, which is still a bad idea, but the topping was a good idea. Then we stayed at the Hungry Bear Restaurant for a few more hours because it's beautiful there, although it's less beautiful since they installed a super wide walkway between the restaurant and the Rivers of America. It used to be so nice to eat right next to the river. Anyway, that turned out to also be a not great idea, because it was still a chilly day and my hands were frozen stiff by the end of it. I think that stint was ended by our Big Thunder fastpasses. Then we wandered around in search of a lonely bathroom. Our search basically failed because all the bathrooms are crowded these days, but the ones we decided to try weren't so crowded, but the point is we ended up over by the Fantasyland Theatre (formerly known as Videopolis), and there was a table in the sun, so we figured what the heck, we might as well finish. We were so stinking cold by the end of it. I mean, obviously we dressed for the weather, but usually going outside means moving around more, and my goodness, our circulation must be bad, because sitting around, even in the sun, was just too cold.
Anyway, the lesson we learned from all this is first, if you're going to do Disneyland Office on a cold day, try to find somewhere indoors and stay there, and second, we're not so bad with the science-y terms, even if we don't have a dictionary. Because oh my goodness, the science in this one! I mean, guys, it's fire powers. People having the ability to control fire with just their minds is not scientific. I mean, technically it is, because if we ever want to make it a possibility, science is going to be how we get there, but right now the idea is just fantasy. But they made everything else about it scientific, and it's kind of mind-blowing that a manga artist (probably with the help of his editor) would connect enough dots to make it make sense. And I wonder if a specialist in this stuff would look at it and go, "Yeah, that could work," or if they'd be like, "No way, dude."
But let's establish what's going on. Shinra finally met up with Sho at the end of the previous volume, and now it's time for the big showdown (pun not intended, but I'm cool with it). And that's basically what about two thirds or so of the volume is about. So the first big thing that happens, other than a lot of action and Sho saying, "Shut up, you're not my real family!" and Shinra saying, "Yu-huh, and I'm gonna knock you around until you admit it!" (okay, so Shinra's not that bad of a brother; it was more like, "If you're going to insist on not listening to me, then I'll fight you until you can't fight back anymore"), is that Viktor figured out how Sho's powers work. And I'm kind of glad that Viktor was like, "No, that's crazy," because seriously, it totally is. And he explained it all to the readers in as simple terms as possible, but the concept is so complex, we had to stop and work it out between ourselves to make sure we were getting it right. We think in the end everything added up, but I guess that's up to the readers to decide. On the other hand, I kind of feel like most of the readers are also not going to have an easy time following it, no matter how well we managed to get it to work. I'm not going to tell you how it works, because...well, mainly because I don't want to go back and remember all that stuff, but also it's a good incentive to buy the book!
Anyway, the point is, Atsushi Ohkubo (and/or his editor) figured out a way to use fire powers to stop time. It's mind-blowing. But we also have to question it a little bit, because it actually involves manipulating heat that already exists, instead of creating his own flames, so wouldn't that make him a Second Generation pyrokinetic? They say he was Third Gen (Fourth Gen with the grace of the Evangelist), but we don't know. I mean, he can still be a Fourth Gen to indicate that his powers are astronomical, but based on the definitions of the different generations, we're pretty sure he's Second.
So the brothers fight for a while, and of course because Sho is so much more powerful than Shinra, Shinra has a power-up mid-battle. And it's even freakier than Sho's power! But a lot simpler to explain. I mean, when I say it's freaky, that might call to mind images in a different direction from what I really mean, but when you hear about it, you'll know what I mean. Okay, I'll just tell you. He goes so fast that he disintegrates his own body, but he doesn't die, because he keeps accelerating after that until his cells are going back in time to when he was still alive. It's wild.
It's not just fighting, of course. We learn some other things, too, like about the Evangelist...no, wait, we don't actually learn anything about the Evangelist, but we do learn that the bugs and the fire powers all come from a place called Adolla, which has been seen by people before but nobody really knew about it, because when people saw it, they called it hell. So everybody did know about it, they just thought it was something else. And basically that's all we learn about it. And we get to see what it looks like.
And there are flashbacks, with Shinra remembering Sho as a baby. And as they keep fighting (or "playing tag," as Shinra called it), the adolla link lets Sho see Shinra's memories and then even one of his own from when he was taken to the Evangelist as a baby! What! That's like a huge spoiler! Only not really, because I mean, come on, we all knew it was something like that. But the point is, all the memories seem to make Sho doubt his faith in the Evangelist, but most importantly, he acknowledges Shinra as his brother. Awwwwww. This is where I started to worry that Disneyland Office might lessen the impact of some of the more emotional scenes in manga. At this point, I'm going to say that the cold may have had more to do with it. But anyway, Sho acknowledges Shinra as his brother right before he notices that Shinra has run onto his sword. So you know. That's...great. But Cloud totally survived getting stabbed right through the chest in Advent Children, so he'll probably be fine. (Later they clarify that he was stabbed in the...I don't remember the scientific name, but it was the pit of his stomach.)
And since that battle has cooled down, Haumea decides to come along! I mean, it makes more sense if you're following the story. But anyway, Haumea. When she first appears, she seems like this ethereal, cryptic, mystery person who kind of keeps to herself and is all, "I know all the answers, but I'm just the silent type, so you're not gonna get any of them from me." But then she comes along here and goes all Kefka on us. We weren't entirely sure how to deal with her, but fortunately most of her eccentricity comes across in her poses. The main thing about her is that she is the third known character with an adolla burst, and she apparently has mind control powers (which don't work on Arthur, bwa ha ha). It's also worth noting that Haumea is a Hawaiian deity who is also the mother of Pele, goddess of fire. The thing that caught our attention was the fact that she's mostly known for being a mother, because! it still hasn't been proven that Shinra and Sho's mother died in that fire. Not to the audience, anyway. And more than that, if both Shinra and Sho have it, and it goes to people who are descended from the Great Sun God, then what about their mother, right? It's starting to look like the Evangelist and her followers could kill a heck of a lot fewer people if they would just consult a genealogist.
So Haumea is about to take Shinra off to the Evangelist when Takehisa and Arthur show up to fight her off. Eventually the whole team is together, and they escape the dungeon and finally! take Shinra to a hospital. We're so glad they finally acknowledged that lethal wounds can kill people. We're still a little annoyed about whatsisname losing his arm. And of course there's a Fire Force Company that specializes in healing pyrokinetics, and I really kind of like their aesthetic. But the best part was when Arthur spied on the operation to save Shinra. I'm not going to spoil it, because I don't think I could do it justice, but you guys, it's hilarious.
Shinra's life is saved and now he has a surprise visitor: Captain Burns from Company 1! What! AND! He's finally going to tell Shinra everything about that fire! We were kind of like, "Wait, already?" but then we're like, "Oh yeah, this is volume ten." And they did reveal the reason Burns was so reticent about it before, sort of. There was a short scene where he said he'd hoped Shinra Kusakabe didn't enter "this world." We think he means the world of the Fire Force, but we had to guess, and we sure hope we got it right! We won't know until next volume, when all the secrets will be revealed! (If we can manage our schedule properly, we should get that translated before this volume goes to print...) Stay tuned!
Oh man, you guys, Fire Force is so good! You should totally all read it!!! Actually, we discovered that, according to the normal release schedule, volume fourteen should have been released in Japan last month, but they skipped a cycle, and we won't see it until next month! We're hoping that means they're working on an anime, but! we also found out that Atsushi Ohkubo went to France for Japan Expo, so it might have just been because of that. So we're hopeful but trying not to be too hopeful.
Anyway, this week features two releases of first volumes! Woohoo! The first is The Voynich Hotel, which...we probably should have been more careful about agreeing to translate. It's a funny series, but it has lots of stuff in it that we don't really like. Read about it when we finally post our review!
And the second is Fruits Basket Another!!! Wooohhooooooo!!!! It's the sequel to Fruits Basket, about all the Sohma's kids! Check it out, you guys! It's a lot of fun!
And tune in on Thursday, for our review of another volume one! Hatsu*Haru!! You guys, this series is so much fun. I can't wait to read our review!
Today I'm thankful for finishing so much work today, especially for finishing Nekogahara, the hope of less brain-intensive work for the next couple of days, Page resuming her spot under the desk, and dreams of there one day being a Fire Force anime.