Fire Force is the latest from the mangaka of Soul Eater. In this latest story, we follow Shinra as he starts his career with the Special Fire Cathedral #8. Shinra is a 3rd generation fire fighter, and that gives him special powers to wield fire through his feet, making him extra fast but deadly to shoes! The Fire Squads are responsible for responding to calls of spontaneous combustion - people being consumed by the fire until they explode into deadly demons. This often results in entire buildings or blocks catching on fire. The Fire Force is also responsible with putting these people to rest, as the consuming fire is irreversible.
The concept of this manga is interesting, but there is a lot of world-building-by-dumping in the first volume, with a lot of facets of the culture left completely unexplained. Why is there a nun? Why are they operating out of a Cathedral? I can only imagine some of this will get explained in further volumes, but the lack of coherent world building in volume one has left me dissatisfied. They work out of a place of worship and have a nun coming for last rites, yet no one else treats the Fire Force with reverence indicative of a religious entity. Additionally, there are certain members of the Fire Force who have special abilities, but other than a bit of showing off, these are not really explored or explained. Lastly, there is some ridiculous crude humor that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot and left me feeling uncomfortable. There is one young lady from another Cathedral whose tactic is to make people accidentally grope her (often underneath clothing) to throw off their concentration. Instead of coming off as humorous, this induces cringes and takes the reader out of the spirit of competitiveness within the story.
Kodansha's rating for this comic is Teen (13+), but I believe it would not do well in a junior high setting because of the crude jokes and groping. As much as your students may want you to buy this one, the holes in storylines and unnecessary sexualization makes this one I would skip.
Sara's Rating: 3/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Tags: Rating: 3/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure
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