The Three Brides
Episode 2 of Fire Hunter begins with Touko waking up and meeting several women named Hotaru, Benio, and Kaho. Hotaru explains that she and Benio are heading to other villages to get married. Touko shares her name, age, and situation with the girls. Sakuroku enters the room and asks Touko and Kanata to follow him.
Meanwhile, the narrator explains how collection trucks served as people’s lifelines. They ferry goods and news to the people between villages and link isolated humans within protective wards. Sakuroku asks his worker Shouzou to put Touko to work in the engine room. Shouzou discusses with Touko about her situation. He says if he was in her shoes, he’d sell the fire hunter’s sickle to a passing hunter and keep Kanata as a guard dog.
He orders Touko to scrub the toilet, and she proceeds. After cleaning the toilets, Shouzou tells Touko she can stop working. Touko and Kanata return to their room as Hotaru tells her that her food’s arrived. Kaho gives Touko her food even though Hotaru says she shouldn’t starve herself. Benio argues that she, Hotaru, and Kaho are destined to become brides to remove curses. Hotaru, Kaho, and Benio come from villages where their resources have become rotten and worn out.
The old folks argue having them marry men from different villages will uplift the curses. Benio argues that working for your meal makes the food taste better. She orders Kanata to have some food and not show any aggression toward others. Kanata complies, impressing everyone in the room. Kanata stops eating–to Touko’s astonishment. Hotaru explains Kanata probably heard a dog whistle because there’s a fire hunter aboard the other truck.
At night, Kaho gives Touko a stone that she dropped. She begs Touko to get some better sleep because she keeps making groaning noises at night. Touko examines the rock, and it says the word ” rin” on it, reminding her of the folks she left at the village. Meanwhile, Koushi visits the Okibi Family mansion because of the letter he received in the previous episode. He informs the family of the letter he received from them and says they once hosted his fire hunter father–Haijuu.
He enters the mansion, and the butler tells him to wait for his master Yuoshichi to arrive. Yuoshichi meets Koushi and shares his condolences about Koushi’s mothers passing. Koushi asks him if he can give him a job opportunity so he can take care of his younger sister. Yuoshichi tells Koushi he’d like to put them to work and allow them to reside here as part of his family. Although Koushi refuses his offer, Yuoshichi persuades Koushi by offering him luxurious treatment and hospitality.
He also promises to let Koushi utilize his father’s “skyfire” that he left behind. He stored it in his home, but rulers of divine clans, like Yuoshichi, seek the material. Yuoshichi says Koushi’s father left the capital because he sensed that times were changing. He explains that skyfire comes from fallbeasts (fiends based in the air). It’s more potent than fiend fire because it explodes and provides excellent fuel. Only specific fire hunters can harvest fallbeasts.
Although using skyfire is out of Yuoshichi’s factory’s control, he believes Koushi can reinvent this “bottled lightening” for a new purpose. Yuoshichi argues that the nation will fall soon and wishes Koushi the best. Koushi’s hesitant because he feels it’d be better to have a more experienced fire hunter tackle this experiment. He tells Yuoshichi that if he could help his sister, he’d be happy to give him his father’s skyfire. Yuoshichi argues Koushi’s suited for the role after admitting he dug up information on him.
At the same time, we examine Touko and her friends resting in their room as the collection truck stops. The fire hunter from the other train arrives and gets confronted by Kanata. The fire hunter asks Touko and Kanata to join him and his canine pal, Izumo–for a hunting session. As Benio and Touko watch the fire hunter speak with Sakuroku, Hotaru informs them that Kaho’s departed. Touko senses Kanata trailing Kaho down and heads after them. Touko spots Kaho in a monkey flame fiend’s arms.
Thankfully, Kanata, Izumo, and the fire hunter defeat the monkey flame fiend. The fire hunter grabs Touko and throws her to the ground, angering Kanata. The fire hunter tells Kanata not to snarl at him because Touko’s not her master. Sakuroku approaches Touko and tells her he can’t take her to the capital because of her risky actions. He informs Touko that she’ll get off at the next village with one of the brides. The episode concludes with Touko looking worried about it.
The Episode Review
This was a great follow-up to last week’s episode. It gives us more world-building and slight development for Kanata’s attitude toward strangers. The animation in this tanks drastically, though.
While the still shots are delightful to look at, they’ll ruin some folk’s immersion in the piece. The fight with the ape-like flame fiend was underwhelming.
Character animation looked jagged and jarring during this sequence, taking away any intensity it hoped to generate from the battle. Its visuals and animation aside, the episode threw in some curve balls.
It was pleasant having a ruler that wasn’t a total dingus toward one of our protagonists. Although Koushi denies wanting anything from Yuoshichi, it was a nice change of pace to have a malevolent ruler.
The cliffhanger opens the door to many possibilities. We know Koushi and Touko will meet up, but it’ll be exciting to see how and when. Knowing Touko has no convenient way of reaching the capital. It makes her situation feel upsetting and intruiging. However, it’s safe to expect that Touko will meet another person who can take her to her destination.
However, the journey may be a lot more challenging than folks anticipated. Overall, this was a nice episode of The Fire Hunter. It features a lot of exposition dumping and jagged visuals, which may not appeal to most audiences. However, it provides viewers with great world-building, drama, and mysteries worth speculating about. Hopefully, Touko can locate another means of transportation that’ll help her reach the capital.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|