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Fire Force Season 2 release date: Enen no Shouboutai ‘2nd chapter’ confirmed for 2020 – Manga’s ending discussed by creator Atsushi Okubo [Spoilers]

Update: A new story provides the latest news on the Fire Force Season 2 release date, which is scheduled for summer 2020. Please see the new article for more details. The remainder of this article remains as published since the December 2019 update.

Fire Force Season 2 will be generating a lot more heat as the story of Shinra Kusakabe begins to grow in fiery. Anime fans should consider themselves lucky since Enen no Shouboutai Season 2 will be coming out relatively soon in summer 2020!

The only question is whether or not the announced continuation is the “true” second season or the “2nd chapter” of a split-cour first season. A “split-cour” is when a single anime season takes a TV broadcasting break for several months before resuming.

After all, seasons 2 and 3 of the Overlord anime series both came out in 2018 yet were considered separate seasons (see our article about Overlord Season 4). On the other hand, the third seasons of both Attack On Titan and Food Wars! were considered split-cour anime seasons (see our articles on Attack On Titan Season 4 and Food Wars! Season 4).

Animation studio David Production, which is best known for creating JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Cells at Work! is producing the Fire Force anime. The primary production staff at David Production has been confirmed to be returning for Fire Force Season 2. It’s also safe to say that when David Production set up this team, they got SHAFTed… but in the best possible way.

Studio SHAFT is probably best known for the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime and the Kizumonogatari vampire movie series. Recently, many talented creators at SHAFT jumped ship. David Production hired many of them to fill in permanent positions (anime creators are usually freelance).

Characters from the Fire Force anime
Fire Force Season 2 (or Enen no Shouboutai Part 2) is coming out in 2020 according to multiple sources. Pic credit: David Production

Director Yuki Yase (Mekaku City Actors, Hidamari Sketch × Honeycomb) left SHAFT to direct the Enen no Shouboutai anime at David Production. It appears that a bunch of ex-SHAFT creators has joined him in this endeavor as part of the key staff.

Character designer Hideyuki Morioka and Chief Animation Director Yoshio Kozakai both worked together at SHAFT on Kizumonogatari. Animators Kazuhiro Miwa (Tokyo Ghoul, Noragami, Attack On Titan), Hiroyuki Ookaji, and Riki Matsuura were all involved with SHAFT projects in recent years.

But it’s not like everyone is from SHAFT. Writer Yamato Haishima is handling the scripts and series composition. Katsumi Terahigashi (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Psycho-Pass, Noragami, Cardcaptor Sakura, Samurai Flamenco) is providing storyboards. Composer Kenichiro Suehiro (Goblin Slayer, Golden Kamuy, Re:ZERO) provides the music.

(On a related side note, the primary staff is entirely different for David Production’s adaptation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The JoJo Part 6: Stone Ocean anime should not be unnecessarily delayed by the Fire Force anime.)

For the anime’s first cour, Mrs. Green Apple performed Fire Force’s opening theme song “Inferno.” Keina Suda performed the anime TV show’s ending theme song, “Veil.”

Starting with Fire Force Episode 15, the anime’s opening changed to “Mayday” as performed by coldrain. The song features Ryo Kinoshita of band Crystal Lake. The second cour’s ending was “Inside The Brain” as performed by Lenny Code Fiction.

The Fire Force Season 2 opening and ending theme songs have not yet been announced.

The first 24 episodes of the Fire Force anime will arrive in seven Blu-ray/DVD volumes. The following is the release dates and number of episodes per volume.

Fire Force Volume 1 – Episodes 1 and 2: September 27, 2019

  • Fire Force Volume 2 – Episodes 3, 4, 5, and 6: October 25, 2019
  • Fire Force Volume 3 – Episodes 7, 8, 9, and 10: November 29, 2019
  • Fire Force Volume 4 – Episodes 11, 12, 13, and 14: December 27, 2019
  • Fire Force Volume 5 – Episodes 15, 16, and 17: January 31, 2020
  • Fire Force Volume 6 – Episodes 18, 19, and 20: February 28, 2020
  • Fire Force Volume 7 – Episodes 21, 22, 23, and 24: March 27, 2020

For those still watching the anime, the anime went on hiatus after Episode 11. Fire Force Episode 12 aired on October 11, 2019. Due to all the delays, the ending of the first part, Fire Force Episode 23 and 24, aired back-to-back on December 27, 2019.

Fire Force 2nd Cour Anime Key Visual
The key visual for the Fire Force anime’s 2nd cour. Pic credit: David Production
  • Updated December 27, 2019: Fire Force S2 aka 2nd chapter confirmed! Added trailer, key visual, and revised analysis.
  • Updated December 21, 2019: Added release dates for Fire Force Episode 23 and 24.
  • Updated October 11, 2019: Added Fire Force 2nd cour video for ending (ED) music theme song.
  • Updated October 4, 2019: Added Fire Force 2nd cour trailer, which includes new opening (OP) song by coldrain.
  • Updated September 28, 2019: Added Fire Force producer’s comments about 2nd cour.
  • Updated September 27, 2019: Added Fire Force 2nd cour key visual.
  • Updated September 21, 2019: Added Fire Force anime hiatus info. Updated timing of new coldrain opening song.

This article provides everything known about Fire Force Season 2 (Enen no Shouboutai Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Fire Force manga compared to the anime

The story for the Fire Force anime is based on the Enen no Shouboutai manga by writer and illustrator Atsushi Okubo. He is the creator of the popular Soul Eater manga series, which also received an anime adaptation in the past.

“The real heroes closest to us are the firefighters all around us. They’re the closest thing we have to a hero, so I really wanted to create a manga that gives them the spotlight,” Okubo said. “I think even if you’re in the fantasy world, you’re still going to have fires, right, so who puts those out? That’s why we need firefighters in this fantasy world, and they have to fight fires with fantasy powers.”

Note: Please read our exclusive interview with the Fire Force manga creator. He discusses the series’ ending and how Shinra’s name is relevant to the central mystery of the story.

Serialized weekly since 2015 in Weekly Shonen Magazine, the Fire Force manga chapters include 21 volumes as of December 17, 2019. Volume 12 is scheduled to come out in 2020.

The official English translation of the Fire Force manga series is being released in North America by Kodansha USA. As of November 26, 2019, the English manga was up to Volume 17. Fire Force Volume 18 is scheduled to hit on April 21, 2020, and Volume 19 on June 16.

Fire Force anime Enen no Shouboutai Shinra And Arthur Boyle Small
Shinra Kusakabe and Arthur Boyle. Pic credit: Atsushi Okubo

Everyone agrees that the Fire Force anime’s first two episodes are an absolute blast. Following the manga pretty closely, this new world is revealed with artistic flair while giving emotional depth to the characters. In later episodes, the story gives way to ecchi excesses, but that change in tone can’t be blamed on David Production.

The manga creator loves his ecchi jokes (never mind the sexy nun fetish). It wasn’t too surprising when cat girl Tamaki Kotatsu and her “Lucky Lecher Lure” introduced a fan service gimmick in the anime. The problem is that such gimmicks are quite a tonal shift from poignant emotional scenes and development of the story’s overarching mystery.

Hopefully, the anime tones down these moments from the manga a bit.

Episode 3 opened up by reordering the presentation of events for a dramatic impact. The opening scene initially took place after the Rookie Games ended.

The episode increased the pacing significantly by adapting about 5.5 chapters. Considering that Shinra’s battle with Joker took place, this isn’t too surprising. The anime also skipped the introduction of Company 2’s Juggernaut character and his corresponding rescue by Captain Honda.

The episode also skipped Tamaki grabbing Shinra in an awkward spot when they rocketed up through the roof of the Rookie Games training area. It was good to see the anime dropping that moment of lewdness since adolescent urges are out of place in an otherwise tense scene.

This fast pacing continued into Episode 4, which reordered things slightly by yanking from an earlier chapter the scene where Princess Hibana walks on her lackey’s backs. The most significant storytelling change by the anime was how the courtroom crowd oddly stood stock still (shouldn’t they be animated fleeing?).

In the manga, when firefighter-turned-murderer Setsuo Miyamoto started turning into an Infernal, people began laughing and declared that the great sun god was punishing the murderer. He then went on a killing spree, murdering bystanders, but the anime cut the horror of the moment down significantly.

Again, the anime cut back on the lewdness slightly when Shinra was on his face before Princess Hibana. In the anime, it was made evident by Shinra’s facial expression that he accidentally looked up Hibana’s skirt, but the manga graphically depicted the upskirt peek.

Episode 5 reordered and skimmed events slightly but kept up the fast pacing, but Episode 6 slowed down a bit by adapting a little under four chapters. Based on these first six episodes, the overall picture is that David Production’s writers intend on condensing story events from the manga while staying true to the heart of the story.

David Production maintained the same comfortable pacing when adapting the manga series. Episode 24 adapted up through Chapter 90 of Volume 11, the ending of the Netherworld arc. Finishing at least Chapter 90 was necessary since it’s the ending of the longest story arc in the manga series thus far.

Note: This article’s analysis was updated when Fire Force Episode 24 aired in Japan.

The good news is that by the beginning of 2020 the manga series provided plenty of source material for producing Fire Force Season 2 quickly. Better yet, English-speaking manga readers can read ahead of the anime. The official translation has already released chapters that will be adapted by Enen no Shouboutai Season 2.

The only bad news is that producing Fire Force Season 3 may need to wait until the ending of the Enen no Shouboutai manga series.

Fire Force Manga Characters Company 8
The fire soldiers of Company 8. Pic credit: Atsushi Okubo

Fire Force manga ending around Volume 30

In a July 2019 Fire Force interview with Monsters and Critics, creator Atsushi Okubo said he’s aiming for Volume 30 being the ending of the entire story. At the same time, this stopping point is flexible and “it could change” but there will be “no more than 50” volumes.

“I did have an ending in mind from the very beginning of the creative process, but it was not anything too set in stone,” Okubo explained. “As I’m creating I’ll come up with different ideas to make the series interesting and fun. It is flexible, but my older manga stories also lead to the ending I had in mind from the beginning.”

Considering that the Soul Eater manga ended with Volume 25, Fire Force ending with 30 volumes isn’t too short. Okubo considers Volume 16 to be “past the midpoint” of the story and by late August 2019 the manga artist had already created 186 chapters, which is enough for up through Volume 22.

If Okubo sticks to his plan, then Volume 30 will end somewhere around Chapter 270. Assuming the weekly manga doesn’t go on a significant hiatus, the ending of the manga should come out either at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

Enen no Shouboutai Season 2 release date: Episode 25 is considered Fire Force’s ‘2nd chapter’

As of the last update, Kodansha, Funimation, David Production, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the exact Fire Force Season 2 release date. However, the production of Enen no Shouboutai Season 2 has been announced.

The time frame for the Enen no Shouboutai Season 2 premiere date is scheduled for July 2020, the summer 2020 anime season.

Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information.

Fire Force Season 2 Anime Key Visual
The key visual for the Fire Force Season 2 anime. Pic credit: David Production

Unofficially, it’s been known since mid-2019 that the Fire Force anime was going to be only two cours composed of 24 episodes for the first 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. Fire Force Episode 25 was apparently planned out early on to come out later in 2020.

Back in June 2019, anime news leaker SPY claimed that “Fire Force TV anime will have 4 cours.” This info contradicted the French streaming service ADN (Anime Digital Network) which had previously listed Fire Force with only 24 episodes, but other sources for anime news claimed ADN was wrong.

“Fire Force is most definitely not two cours,” wrote Yonkou Productions in mid-June 2019. “The French streaming site spoke too soon on that and it’s actually four cours.”

Fast forward to July 2019 and kVin of the respected Sakuga Blog was telling anime fans that we should be expecting to watch 24 episodes followed by a three to six-month hiatus before the next set of 24 episodes release in 2020. As predicted, the time frame for the Fire Force Season 2 release date is July 2020.

This release schedule would be similar to the Sword Art Online: Alicization break. The third season of SAO 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 based on the SAO: Unital Ring light novels please see our related articles.)

The real question was whether the next set of 24 episodes would be considered Enen no Shouboutai Season 2 or just a single split-cour season. It’s possible the episodes planned for 2020 release won’t be officially considered Fire Force Season 2. Both Funimation and Crunchyroll News have already called the continuation “Season 2” but the official Twitter account for the anime series and the teaser trailer both call the next part the “2nd chapter” of the anime series.

That might mean the manga’s ending will be adapted by the “real” Fire Force Season 2. Hopefully, future announcements will clear up what the summer 2020 anime episodes should be called. (This article will be updated once this issue is clarified.)

Fire Force anime Enen no Shouboutai Manga Volume 12
Fire Force Season 2 (or Fire Force Part 2) will pick up with the story events contained in Enen no Shouboutai Volume 12. Pic credit: Atsushi Okubo

Fire Force Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

Note: This article was initially published before Fire Force Episode 24 aired in Japan. Spoilers for Fire Force Episode 25 and beyond will be added after it’s confirmed that the “2nd chapter” is considered Season 2 rather than the third and fourth cour of the first season.

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.”

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Fire Force Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more


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