Fire Force Season 1’s problem is its “self-insert” fantasy

Fire Force’s Shinra Kusakube is a strong protagonist, but the poorly written female characters mar the series.

Fire Force presents a unique anime storyline where humanity lives in fear of spontaneous combustion, with the Special Fire Force fighting the resulting Infernals. While the series boasts powerful flame-related abilities and an intriguing premise, it falls short due to its use of the self-insert trope.

Self-insert characters are common in stories, often representing an idealized version of the author or enabling the audience to imagine themselves in the narrative. They typically find themselves in enviable situations or possess extraordinary abilities that set them apart from the rest of the cast.

Shinra Kusakube, the protagonist of Fire Force, fits the mold of a typical shonen hero. He is a dedicated fire soldier determined to solve the spontaneous combustion problem and uncover the truth behind his family’s demise. While his role as a self-insert character isn’t inherently problematic, the show’s frequent indulgence in cheap fan service compromises its integrity.

A recurring issue in Fire Force is the sexualization of its female characters, which feels unnecessary and out of place. Shinra often finds himself in situations that belong more in a harem anime than in an action-adventure series. His encounters with Tamaki Kotatsu’s Lucky Lecher result in inappropriate groping, dismissed as mere accidents. These instances detract from the story, especially when they occur during pivotal fight scenes.

Tamaki may be the most blatant example, but the sexualization extends to all of Fire Force’s female characters. Even Princess Hibana, a powerful and accomplished leader, becomes infatuated with Shinra without any explanation or character development. This narrative choice undermines her potential growth and adds no substance to the overall story.

Hopefully, future seasons of Fire Force address these issues and provide better-written female characters that contribute meaningfully to the narrative.

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