This might be my favorite volume of Fire Force so far. I like the series but couldn’t quite get invested in it. Volume 5 comes on the heels of a bombshell cliffhanger left in volume four and I was a bit hesitant that this volume would be angsty and slowly-paced in response to working that out.
But no, this volume got some stuff done. The cliffhanger was addressed, mostly, without being too drawn out and angst-ridden and for that I was grateful. I was also grateful for the fantastic backstory about how Captain Obi and Lieutenant Hinawa actually formed Special Fire Force Company 8. Fujoshi-vision aside, it was an inspiring and sweet-yet-totally-shonen backstory and I enjoyed it immensely.
I don’t want to compare this series to Soul Eater all the time but I like how it “feels” the same. Stuff happens. Sure, there’s all this weird spooky conspiracy crap behind the scenes, but in the forefront, there’s ACTION. Even if that action is propelled by convenient misunderstandings and over-the-top characters.
So, I know that this is five volumes into a series, but I think this might be the volume that actually hooked me.
Also: there is a really fun interview at the end of this volume between Ohkubo and Fairy Tail‘s Hiro Mashima. It is totally worth the read.
I know “servamp” is supposed to be an abbreviation of “servant-vampire” but I think it might actually be a shorter term for “holy crap does everyone have the most fucked up backstory ever?!”
So in the tragic backstory department, Servamp continues to deliver. We delve deeper into the mysteries of the crew of C3 and into Tsurugi in particular. I don’t have much more to say about this particular volume other than it’s kind of painful in that heart-breaky way that damaged children incur. I was pretty excited about the appearance of Wrath and in the last few pages…well, I was super stoked about the direction Wrath was going (and Tsurugi too).
Okay, this one’s been out for a while but I’ve just gotten around to reading it. In just the first few pages I got a very Gun X Sword/Trigun kind of vibe…and I mean that in the best of ways. The beginning was a bit more slapstick and light-hearted than I anticipated, considering the setup. However, “To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts” delves into serious territory soon enough.
Volume one was an interesting combination of silly and serious, violent and thoughtful. Several times I found myself thinking, “I like this way more than I should.” Much of it felt very predictable but I didn’t care; I still enjoyed the story. I do think the two main characters are mostly responsible for that–our girl has the desirable trait of being not-annoying and our guy is a badass, which is hard for me to pass up.
Can these two characters carry the series and make a predictable plot interesting or will the series ultimately collapse in on itself? I’ll report back after a couple more volumes…
For the first two-thirds of this book, I kept asking myself, “Why did I buy this?” (The answer, as always: it seemed like a good idea at the time.)
In the author’s introduction about mid-book she says, “After finishing my last series, I decided to write a classic shojo manga this time.” This line was interesting to me because while a few panels had the parody “shojo face” going on, and that was understandable, much of the art also had that “classic” (read: old) feel to it. The wolfboy on the cover has a way more modern look than his in-story equivalent. I’m going to get hate for saying this but flipping through once again, I’m kind of reminded of “Sailor Moon” artistically.
The plot was a bit more boring and contrived than I expected and so far the characters come off as very tropey. If I had read this at fourteen or somewhat shojo-age instead of [ahem] the age I am now, I probably would have liked it well enough.
I will say that Dario appeared at the perfect time for me; just when I was thinking the story might be irredeemable, we were saved by a queen. And I actually really liked the final scene and it gave me at least some hope for the likability of our protagonist. Those last couple pages made me think this series might have at least a little potential to be something different.
I probably won’t buy the second volume. The premise is okay, the art is okay, the characters are barely okay…but nothing is “great” about this. Then again, I am kind of a manga masochist so keep your eyes peeled for Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 2)