Fractions of the World
Episode 3 of The Fire Hunter begins with master Yuoshichi showing Koushi his and his sister’s (Hinako) rooms. Yuoshichi leaves to complete some work. His daughter Kira walks into the room to inform Koushi the Okibi family’s principal physician Takimi would like to update him on Hinako’s diagnosis.
Takimi tells Koushi that she’s suffering from fetal contamination. It’s unlikely they can cure her of it, but proper nutrition and hygiene should help her regain her strength. He promises to treat her symptoms once she’s recovered her strength. After hearing the news, Koushi reunites with Kira, whose happy to know that he and Hinako are living at the mansion. Koushi breaks down his name’s origins to Kira. Kira shares an alternative breakdown of his name, translating to “a great blaze” and “safety and perfection.”
She says it’s something she learned from her tutor, Mr. Kouhachi. Despite wanting to attend school at a young age, her parents had her home-schooled. One day, she’ll inherit her parent’s factory, or so she believes, according to her mother, who makes her acquaintance. Kira’s mother (Hibana) says she shouldn’t get comfortable since she may not be the only heir to the factory now. Hibana departs as Kira explains that she lived a terrible youth with Koushi, explaining why she can look or feel ill.
At dinner, Koushi, Hinako, and the Okibi family enjoy their meal. Meanwhile, Kaho’s friends, Touko, and a doctor, monitor Kaho. He reminds Touko that she will get off at Weaver Village because of her reckless behavior. Hotaru explains Touko’s situation in greater detail to Benio, who finds it ridiculous. Benio discusses Touko’s dilemma with Shouzou, but he says there’s nothing he can do. Shouzou explains Sakuroku’s mad that Touko asked Benio and Hotaru to leave the doorway open for her and Kaho.
This left a way for flame fiends to enter the collection truck and murder everyone onboard. Shouzou says he’ll try to convince Sakuroku to allow Touko to continue riding with them. They arrive at Weaver Village, and one of the workers gives Hotaru a fashionable and expensive farewell gift. She asks Hotaru not to tell the others she stole this for her. The worker reassures them that Kaho will make a healthy recovery.
Before the worker leaves, she informs Benio that Sakuroku will allow Touko and Kanata to ride with them to the capital. Hotaru says her goodbyes to Benio and Touko and departs the truck to get married to her new spouse. The collection truck continues going. Meanwhile, Yuoshichi takes Koushi to a secret room where he stored his father’s skyfire. He says this is where he wants Koushi to make the bottled lightning. Koushi asks Yuoshichi what will be responsible for destroying the divine clans’ rulership of the world.
Yuoshichi brings up spiders, and Koushi confirms his father told him they’re more formidable than flame fiends. Yuoshichi says these spiders lurk in the forest and plot to overthrow the capital’s rule. Yuoshichi confirms the divine clans have a strange power over elements like wood and wind. Yuoshichi shares a tale about a great fire that once laid waste to the capital and a new factory. It wasn’t fiend fire but natural flames. Many people lost their lives.
Yuoshichi argues the divine clans chose to delay the water goddess’s rainstorm and let the fire consume innocent lives that night. Yuoshichi confirms he sent trustworthy fire hunters to investigate the spiders secretly, but they reported nothing valuable. Yuoshichi argues it’s foolish to rely on gods to save them, so making powerful weapons and taking action themselves is the best way to protect people. Yuoshichi asks Koushi to keep this conversation between them a secret.
He confirms he’s registered Koushi with the central archive to help him gain access to it. At the same time, the collection truck stops, and Kanata flee the truck to attend a hunting trip with Izumo’s fire hunter. Shouzou meets Touko and tells her that Sakuroku’s impressed by her hard work on the truck. An alarm goes off, startling everyone. Benio and Touko look out the window. The episode concludes with them realizing they’re being attacked by a dragon flame fiend.
The Episode Review
The Fire Hunter’s looking to be a hidden and underappreciated work this season. While the art quality and stills can feel slightly irritating, the show’s building up an intriguing narrative. Some will get chills after watching Yuoshichi’s conversation with Koushi and become captivated by this anime’s world-building.
It is possible that spiders will play a big role in The Fire Hunter’s climax, and I cannot wait to meet them. As for Touko, it’s great that she didn’t get exiled from the truck. While her decision to save one life over others may not look heroic to many people, she’s shown to be a sympathetic, hard-working individual in the series.
It’s a shame to say goodbye to Hotaru’s character, but it was nice to see her develop a change of heart about her situation. The art and animation remained consistent in this chapter than the last. However, the small snippet with the dragon looked jarring and unpolished. It doesn’t capture as threatening of a presence as the artistic still photo we receive of it before the ending theme song hits.
It’s unfortunate given how beautiful everything else looks in the anime. Overall, this was a great episode with heavy exposition scenes and fun character moments. It looks like we’ll be getting into more action due to the dragon’s interference. I’m looking forward to seeing Kanata, Izumo, and the fire hunter fight it.
You can read our full season review for The Fire Hunter here!