The upcoming Fire Force anime TV show (Enen no Shouboutai in Japanese, which literally translates as Blazing Firefighting Corps) is getting anime fans excited based on the video trailer. What’s more, the number of episodes may be higher than expected.
Earlier in June 2019, French streaming service ADN (Anime Digital Network) announced that Fire Force’s number of episodes would cap out at 24 episodes for the first season. That would make Fire Force a two-cour anime season. (A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons and animes usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour.)
What’s more, this information was reinforced when the official website showed seven Blu-Ray/DVD volumes. Volume 7 (which releasees in March 2020) will include up through Episode 24.
A two-cour anime season made sense since the story for the Fire Force anime is based on the Enen no Shouboutai manga by writer and illustrator Atsushi Okubo (the creator of the popular Soul Eater manga series). Serialized since 2015 in Weekly Shonen Magazine, the 178 Fire Force manga chapters have been collected into 16 volumes so far.
Note: Please read our exclusive interview with the Fire Force manga creator where he discusses the series’ ending and how Shinra’s name is relevant to the main mystery of the story.
Assuming that animation studio David Production (which is best known for producing the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime) maintains a comfortable pacing when adapting the manga series, 24 episodes could adapt up through Chapter 51. That would be a good stopping point since it’s the end of a major story arc that happens to be a fan-favorite.
However, back in June 2019 anime news leaker SPY claimed that “Fire Force TV anime will have 4 cours.” If that’s the case, the finale would be Fire Force Episode 48.
Fire Force TV anime will have 4 cours. pic.twitter.com/bWPeh568jU
— SPY (@Spytrue) June 20, 2019
A four-cour anime season also makes sense since a major story arc happens to finish off with Chapter 99. That would mean a future Fire Force Season 2 could pick up with Chapter 100.
Considering that producing quality animation requires good production scheduling it’s possible that the Fire Force anime’s 48 episodes will be a split-cour season. A “split-cour” is when a single anime season takes a TV broadcasting break for several months before resuming. So, in this case, Fire Force could be split into two 2-cour parts.
This would be similar to the Sword Art Online: Alicization break, which went on hiatus after airing 24 episodes and then will resume with Part 2 near the end of 2019. (For more information about the “real” Sword Art Online Season 4 aka SAO: Unital Ring please see our related articles.)
Kazuhiro Miwa [三輪和宏] being the main action animator of Fire Force means he will most likely animate the most climatic fights throughout the show's run. We can already see some of his animation in the pv and damn, we're in for a treat. pic.twitter.com/pxys3OrHkm
— Blou (@Bloodyredstar) June 18, 2019
For those interested in learning more about the Fire Force anime, the short version is that it’s about supernatural firefighters fighting people that have spontaneously combusted into fire demons called Infernals. Here’s the official plot summary:
“Year 198 of the Solar Era in Tokyo, special fire brigades are fighting against a phenomenon called spontaneous human combustion where humans beings are turned into living infernos called ‘Infernals’. While the Infernals are first generation cases of spontaneous human combustion, later generations possess the ability to manipulate flames while retaining human form. Shinra Kusakabe, a youth who gained the nickname Devil’s Footprints for his ability to ignite his feet at will, joins the Special Fire Force Company 8 which composes of other flames users as they work to extinguish any Infernals they encounter. As a faction that is creating Infernals appears, Shira begins to uncover the truth behind a mysterious fire that caused the death of his family twelve years ago.”
Keep in mind that none of this information about Fire Force’s number of episodes has been officially confirmed. But the rumor certainly has caught the attention of the anime community.
“Fire Force is most definitely not 2 cours. The French streaming site spoke too soon on that and it’s actually 4 cours,” claimed Yonkou Productions in mid-June 2019. “As a result, I’m slightly worried if the production can maintain the level of quality we see from the trailer but time will tell.”
On July 1, 2019, Yonkou also claimed, “It’s likely Fire Force will be split cour so 24 + 24 [episodes].”
We do know that the Fire Force release date for seven of the Blu-Ray volumes has been announced, but the reported number of episodes (and therefore the analysis of the cours) is based on leaked info. It’s possible that the official website is only showing half of the planned episodes. Stay tuned!