But now it is Review Rednesday, and we have a review of Fire Force 13 to present! Spoilers ahead!
Oh my gosh, you guys, this volume of Fire Force was...I don't know. I want to think it wasn't a whole lot more difficult than average, because I don't think it was, but aaaaallll the science... Uuuuuuugh. I don't even know if the science is good science, but that's not our job. Our job is to find out all the correct terms, and also to translate the explanations in a way that is hopefully true to the Japanese. I do feel like this volume had an awful lot of paragraph bubbles. So many lines of dialogue that took up three lines of script... Aaaaahhhh... I have to admit the whole firestorm thing was really cool...but I'm one of those types who only sort of cares about how they made it work. There was a time when we suspected it was Ohkubo-sensei's editor who did all the scientific research, but then we re-watched Soul Eater and we were like, "Yeeeeah, Ohkubo is a science nerd."
That reminds me! The cover flap! Oh my goodness, surely these are being printed in the English release, too, right? Ohkubo-sensei has a whole rant about how Jason Voorhees doesn't carry a chainsaw, that's Leatherface, stupid. It's like, wow, you're really passionate about this. But I think I know why. When we re-watched Soul Eater, I think there was a very short bit where you see a guy in the background with a mask and a chainsaw. But I don't remember what episode it was in, or even what was being talked about at the time [Athena says it was probably one of the Excalibur episodes], so for all I know, I imagined it after we read his Jason-loves-machetes rant. We're not into horror movies, so this was the first time we ever knew that apparently Jason really did go to space. The things they come up with.
Okay, so what happened in this volume? They were fighting the demon Infernal, and Shinra was fighting Charon. Right! Shinra was fighting Charon! And also there was a brief interlude while Hinawa and Karim just kindly gave us some exposition about how second generation powers work. We think it's so funny when they do that. We're always like, "Are you sure this is the time to be musing about your different powers?" It's kind of like an educational TV show, where they try to make it seem spontaneous, but you know they're just trying to teach you something. Of course all of their talk made us go back to, "In that case, I'm preeeetty sure Sho is actually a second generation..." Either there's a subtle difference that we're unaware of, or it's just one of those things. Anyway, I thought it was awesome in volume one with Maki, and I still think it's awesome now, that second generation pyrokinetics can use third gens' powers against them.
But back to the demon Infernal--Viktor has come up with a plan to destroy it, and that's where it gets ridiculously scientific. I'll sum it up for you. They made a firestorm. And firestorm is the technical term for it. It's like a tornado, but with fire. I think of all the elements, the fire tornado gets the coolest name, but if you go with whirlwind instead of tornado, that's pretty fun. Dust devil is fun, too, but "dust" sounds kind of underwhelming. Waterspout is just...I'm sorry, water. We had to look up other scientific terms, too, and it was frustrating because there aren't any good English Wikipedia articles about the different kinds of urban winds. Fortunately, somebody on the interwebs made up a whole glossary of scientific wind terms in Japanese and English. Whew. [ETA: It was after we wrote this review that half of California was on fire (again), and there was an actual firestorm, but all the news outlets were calling it a "firenado," and we were like, "Guys. This is already a thing, and it's called a firestorm. Get with the program." Incidentally, apparently our brother-in-law was working on the fire where that happened at the time.]
So they made a firestorm, and then they had to shove the demon into it, and oh man, that was the best. So much awesomeness. First when Captain Obi just tackles the thing. It's like, "What are you thinking, dude!?" And then when they bring the stupid fire extinguisher. I do kind of wish we'd found something better than "stupid" for the fire extinguisher, but it wasn't from an entire lack of effort. And if you say it with the right tone of voice, it should be fine. It's "stupid" as in "it's really not very smart," not just "I need a negative adjective for this annoying thing." But anyway, that part was great for so many reasons. Vulcan is awesome, Obi is awesome. And that was one of the most unique ways I've ever seen to build tension in a fight scene. Seriously, you should go read it.
They toss the demon into the firestorm, and then Hinawa uses his powers to blast it (they use the firestorm as a railgun! so much science!), and Karim (whose powers are already ridiculously scientific) freezes it. So now all that's left is to grab Inca and run, but! Inca decides to go with the Evangelist because she's creepy. Seriously, she imagined her future with the Evangelist, and it was like, "Whoa, when did this turn into Corpse Party?" And then it was the worst when Panda came along and tried to rescue her, and she saw the lines and roasted him. That was tragic enough in and of itself, but Inca was all, "It wasn't my decision, it was fate!" and I just wanted to punch her. She says she wants to feel the joy of life through living on the edge, but I think she's just lazy and afraid to take responsibility. Ugh.
But Shinra! Oh, Shinra, he's the best. Even though Inca is a terrible person, he still wants to save her. And it's not just that he didn't see her terrible side--he saw her walking away with the people who were willing to destroy a whole city. He even got mad enough to say he was going to kill her. But deep down he's still worried about her, and that's what makes him the best.
Now Company 8 has decided that they need to find out more about the adolla burst and the pillars that the First Pillar was talking about, so off they go to China! And all the gags just flash before my eyes, and you guys, it's hilarious, you really need to read it. On the way there, the team learns that Juggernaut of Company 2 comes from a family of potato farmers, and oh my goodness, you will learn more about potatoes than you ever wanted to know. ...Okay, it's actually probably stuff that you already knew if you ever did any research on potatoes. It was really pretty funny, because once he got started on potatoes, he went on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny. And then! they made it to China, and we meet Juggernaut's family, and they speak with...a dialect...of some sort.
We did the research. At first, we thought of maybe just going straight to an Irish accent, because of Irish potatoes, but we were good and we followed protocol. First we found some of the lines in question, and we Googled them with hougen to find out what dialect it was. It told us it was a northern dialect, so we were like, "Okay, north! Let's do this!" But for some reason, we decided to try few other lines, to be sure. Especially because the way they said thank you was very unusual, so we figured it would take only a few seconds on Google to corroborate. Only that version of thank you wasn't on Google. So we tried some more lines...and got dialects from southern Japan. We even found out that Japanese Wikipedia has a dialect comparison chart, so we went through the whole thing and guess what! We found elements of the Noto dialect from all over Japan! So we're thinking Ohkubo-sensei just made the whole dialect up. Our suspicions are supported by the bizarre "thank you" (aribatou gosaruran), which we didn't find anywhere (if it was common in any region, someone on the internet would have said something, right?), and the fact that, while most of the dialect appears to be rural, there's one example of the urban Osaka "honma". So we said fine, if Ohkubo-sensei's going to make up a dialect, so are we. And we included elements from the hillbillies, and from the American mid-north (Wikipedia tells me the correct name for the region, but I can't be bothered to check now), and we threw in just a hint of Irish in a couple of places. We wanted to use Idaho, too, but they're too close to standard (except for the word "crick," apparently).
The dialect only shows up on a few pages, but those pages took us an hour to edit. It was ridiculous.
And then the team heads out toward the Spatial Tear. We had a bit of a hard time deciding on a term for this, too, because...I don't remember why. I just remember discussing a lot of options. I know one of the problems was that if we had it was something "in space," it would make people think of outer space, which is a totally different thing. I also wanted to use the word "rift," but thanks to a lot of video games and other things, "rift" sounds like some kind of other world that exists in the inbetween or something. In this case, it really is just a tear. We think. They haven't gone into it since Viktor's explanation way back when.
Anyway, they meet a talking mole, and that had us going, "Aww, why couldn't they take Vulcan? He would have LOVED this!" But we know why they couldn't take Vulcan--their mission takes them to another Amaterasu! And if Vulcan were there, he might be able to give answers too quickly. On the other hand, it doesn't seem that likely that he knows them, but back to the first hand, we don't really know what he knows. Anyway, Shinra sees a bunch of Infernals wandering the earth, and their motivation to solve the mysteries and save all the un-extinguished Infernals is increased.
I want to mention Pan and Ogun, because they're awesome. I'm not sure I have a whole lot to say about either of them. It appears that Pan's full name is a play on Curt Kobain, which is mildly annoying, because it's not as close to Pan as in the satyr god in English. But fortunately, Ohkubo-sensei did specifically make it three words, so we're still reasonably sure that he was also named after the satyr god. Ogun is named after a god from African mythology--I think Nigerian, but I don't remember. His attack names are from the same region (my brain only holds the information as long as I need it, which is how we were able to make the connection but why we no longer remember). We go to the Wikipedia article on these things so we can get the right spellings, but we're always so rushed that we don't have time to read them--just to skim and find interesting tidbits, enough to know that it sounds fascinating. Maybe one day we'll have time to find out more.
And I think that about covers it. The preview for the next volume indicates that there's some interesting stuff about to happen. But we're actually all caught up! As of this writing, the next volume won't be out for more than three weeks! Woohoo!! (I mean, we have plenty of work to fill up our time until then, but it's nice to be caught up for a little while.)
Anyway. The series continues to be awesome, and I hope that someday the American manga readers can discover its awesomeness.
Ah, Fire Force. What a great series. I'm so excited for the anime!
This week, we only have one release, and it's Waiting for Spring 10! ...At least, I think it's 10. Hold on while I check. ... Yeah, it's 10. And tune in next week for our review of the sixteenth volume of the sadly underrated Missions of Love!
Today I'm thankful for having a good amount of free time today, finishing that Sailor Moon review just in the nick of time, making good progress on A Fragmentary Passage, managing to get that Ice Queen challenge taken care of, and our swan plushie being on its way!