Okay, we're about a million years behind on writing reviews, and the farther behind we got, the harder it was to say, "Yeah, let's just put off all the other stuff we could be doing and write about three thousand reviews." And a big part of this was because after so much time, with so much stuff inbetween, we pretty much forgot everything that happened in this volume. I think for Fire Force, the forgetfulness effect was enhanced by watching the anime, which has us focusing on different parts of the story, and then that effect was further exacerbated by our having to go back and read our own translations after each episode. But anyway, the anime's pretty fun to watch, even if it does race through most of the story except for the fan service. There's a new episode tomorrow! Woohoo!
So we re-read our translation of this volume, and now I think we're ready to review it! First, Haumea gets into Nataku's head...and Nataku's already inside a giant Infernal, so it's already a pretty scary situation, and then Haumea comes and makes it worse, which is what she does. So Nataku goes all nuclear on everybody and fortunately Vulcan has a Geiger counter or whatever it is that detects radiation, because he's able to say, "Oh, snap, we need to get people out of there!" And then we have some of the best interaction between Vulcan and Arthur yet. I also want to say that I love how they don't take forever trying to figure out what they need to do--they can tell the kid suddenly went berserk, they know Haumea can make people go crazy, and they know Arthur can stop her. So that's what Vulcan goes off to do, and that's what takes forever, but in the most hilarious way.
But first, I wanted to point out two things. We don't know if it will get changed between translation and printing--if it does, it will be in the name of translation purity. Vulcan tends to call Haumea the "dengeki onna," which means "electric woman." It's okay on its own, we guess, but usually in English, we come up with nicknames, and we figured it wouldn't be too far out of character to have him call her Zappy McPsycho. We also think it's a pretty concise description of Haumea's personality and powers. I mean, it would definitely be too much to have him call her that every time he calls her "dengeki onna," plus it would detract from its hilarity if we used it too frequently, so we only used it once, but when we were reading through the script, it cracked us up, so I wanted to mention it.
The other thing I wanted to point out was when Nataku was having his meltdown (pun not originally intended, but welcome when I realized it was there), he was talking about suffocating and stuff, and he has a line that, before editing, ended up as something like, "I'm suffocating and I'm going to take all of you with me!" We just read it last night, and I don't remember anymore. All I remember is that we had such a hard time trying to figure out how to get the right nuance on that line. I think we succeeded, but it ended up being way longer than the Japanese...but I certainly don't remember what the Japanese is, so... Anyway, the point is, sometimes it can be really hard to get things just right.
But back to Arthur and Vulcan. Oh my goodness. I mean, if I just recap the scene, there might not be much point in reading it for yourselves, so maybe I shouldn't say anything. I don't think it was too difficult to translate, either, even though it was fairly talkative. But just the way that Vulcan is trying so hard to accommodate Arthur's delusions and figure out how things work in Arthur's head, and how it ends up being possible but also impossible... It's so funny, too, how Vulcan is able to create the scene for Arthur, but then Arthur will notice something. That's probably not helped by the fact that Arthur doesn't trust Vulcan after the whole Silburro incident. But the whole thing about the driver's seat in the stone bearing the legendary sword! Vulcan's like, "Uh, it's not a stone--it's a snake!" There's still a driver's seat, but Arthur is sufficiently distracted. Also, the back-and-forth about whether the legendary sword should be inserted into the stone or pulled out of the stone... Ahhh, you guys, it's great.
Eventually Vulcan and Arthur manage to neutralize Haumea, but Nataku is still freaking out. Shinra and Kurono are charged with stopping him! And there's so much ridiculousness there, too. I'm still not sure what I make of Kurono. He's just...I don't even know. He's consistent, anyway. But this is where we learn that the whole reason Nataku keeps...doing whatever he's doing...is so as not to disappoint his parents, and he's just under so much pressure. It's one of those things that's like, "...So?" from an outsider's perspective, but we as human beings do want our parents' approval, so it's relatable, even if the solution (to just stop worrying about them) seems simple. And that's where Kurono and his sadistic love of weakness comes in! He basically orders Nataku to quit trying to get stronger, and Nataku was so cute and so sad, because he's like, "Because you don't think I can do it?" It also kind of made me want to slap him--it's not always about you, ya stupid kid! But I do understand where he's coming from, and that he isn't really aware of Kurono's sick hobbies. I mean, I know that Kurono wants him to stay weak for his own benefit, but Nataku doesn't. And they do communicate long enough to get on the same page, which means now Nataku has someone telling him it's okay, he doesn't need to push himself that hard. And we all need someone to tell us that sometimes...just...Kurono might not be the best...I mean...he's sincere, but... I don't know about that guy.
Let's just move on. Charon sees that Kurono will be a good guardian for the Sixth Pillar, so he tells the rest of the Evangelist's party to leave Nataku with Haijima for now, and the battle's over. Tadah! Which means now it's time for Company 8 to reckon with the Haijima CEO. And the short version is, yes, Haijima knows about Amaterasu (duh), but no, they're not malicious. So when Vulcan shows up and says, "Hey, I'll build a power source that's even better than Amaterasu and doesn't sacrifice anybody!" Haijima's all, "Sounds good, we're in." And Vulcan's like, "I don't care about rights--you can have all the rights to it you want, as long as I can revive the world!" And we're like, "Oh, Vulcan... You should have held on to your distrust of Haijima a little longer." We used to be that naive. But companies know things they can do with rights that could turn out to be Very Very Bad. Of course, all that is going to depend on Ohkubo-sensei. But we personally think this could have some not-so-good repercussions.
The other important message from this meeting is when Haijima asks Shinra if he thinks his life is worth more than 15 million other people's lives, and Shinra's like, "Of course not, I would gladly sacrifice myself if I could save that many!" Then Captain Obi is like, "No, Shinra. Fire soldiers' lives are worth more when they live them," and points out that he might end up saving even more than 15 million people. I like that kind of message...although I admit I'm not actively living my life for others... Unless you count making Japanese manga accessible to people who don't know Japanese? But the point is, you can do more good by staying alive, and I like that. I should also take it as a reminder to do more good in the world.
Finally, Sister Iris is having a crisis of faith. She's learning more about the dark side of the Holy Sol Temple and its founding, and she's not entirely sure what to believe in anymore. She and Shinra take Company 8's equipment over to the Baptism Church (or whatever it ended up being called) to get baptized, and...stuff happens and Iris feels better! Tadah! I mean, of course there's more to it than that. Shinra runs into Huo Yan from Company 1, and they have a discussion on the matter, where Huo Yan says, well, yeah, there are bad people in the church, but that doesn't change what he personally believes in. He worships the sun, and the sun is still there, so. So it has us very interested in seeing where they're ultimately going to go with this whole religion thing, but as religious people, we appreciate that the series doesn't paint religious people as blind sheep.
Shinra and Iris also visit the tomb where all the nuns from Sister Iris's orphanage were interred, and at the cemetery, Iris explains to Shinra the significance of sunflowers in the Holy Sol Temple. They're always planted at cemeteries, because they always face the sun, so they can help the spirits find their way back to the source of life. And Shinra tells Iris that she's like the sunflower of Company 8, because she always helps them find their way back to the right path. Awwwwwww. (Her response was pretty great, but I'm not going to spoil it.)
And they defeat an Infernal. He was a priest, so now all the other nuns are having a faith crisis, too. It's like how some people believe that if they do all the right things, God won't give them trials--if they're praying to the Sun God, they won't go Infernal. I feel like the Infernal thing should be a bit more of a sure thing, but we really don't know what's causing it yet, so...so the plot thickens, is what it means.
And now they have renewed faith and renewed hope going in to volume 18! Don't miss it!
Aww, I like this series! We're also even farther behind on reviews than we were when we wrote this one, to the point where we might have to declare review bankruptcy. I'm not ready to take that step yet; we'll see how we feel after we take a much needed mental health day. Or two.
Well, it looks like we don't have any new releases this week. But we do have three releases next week, so tune in for our review of Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight 10!
Today I'm thankful for the Pokemon Jobs feature in Sword and Shield, the super awesome reveal in one of the simulpubs we're working on, finishing our work with time to play Pokemon, catching so many Pokemon, and getting to name Pokemon after things from our favorite serieseses.