Episode 4 of The Fire Hunter begins with Benio and Touko checking on Kaho to see if she’s safe. They discover her doctor died due to the white dragon’s attack on the collection truck. Touko, Benio, Kaho, and another gentleman escapes. Meanwhile, Kanata, Izumo, and Izumo’s fire hunter confront the dragon.
Kaho reveals that the dragon is her village’s guardian deity, and Touko wonders why it would attack them. As they’re running away, the dragon grabs Benio and murders her in front of Touko. At the same time, Koushi, Kira, and Hinako are relaxing inside the mansion. Kira asks Koushi why he likes visiting her father’s study room. Koushi says he reads books there and wants to catch up on his studies. Later, Koushi meets Yuoshichi in the study room. He requests access to the central archive to help with his construction process.
Yuoshichi tells Koushi not to tell his tutor about his work for him. Yuoshichi promises to get him everything else on his list soon. Koushi asks Yuoshichi what would happen if the Spiders invaded the capital. Yuoshichi says they would head straight for the divine palace since striking the clans’ stronghold would be in their best interest. Koushi asks Yuoshichi to get him a map of the factory district and the area around the palace. Yuoshichi says it’ll be difficult, but he’ll try his best.
Youshichi leaves to attend an event, and Koushi’s stuck with his tutor. Suddenly, a man lectures him on what life was like at the time. They could spread out to different countries and inhabit lands incapable of human life. However, now that natural flame has been hard to manage, they don’t know what has become of other nations. He states they send a ship out yearly to attain information from these lands. It visits a small island with people who can speak their language for news.
Every trip ends with failure, but the capital celebrates each voyage with a Boat Festival. The man says the small island is as far as modern humans can go and return. The man vanishes, and a fire hunter appears and discusses his confusion with flame fiends. The fire hunter wonders if the flame fiends are a gift from people who lived in ancient times, considering they drop golden fire when they die. The fire hunter fades away as Koushi works on his bottled lightning concoction.
Meanwhile, Shouzou tells Touko that everyone possibly died back there. He lets Kaho know it’s not her fault as they meet with the tree folk. The tree folk tells Touko and her friends that they can seek refuge with them since the fiends won’t attack them. The tree folk tells Kaho that her village was doomed as soon as the white dragon fled. The tree folk provides Touko and the others with some medicine to help them out. They inform Kaho the Spiders caused her village’s deity to go mad. They promise to take Touko and her friends to the nearest village and go their separate ways afterward.
At the mansion, Koushi plans to depart to the library, but Hibana, Kira’s mother, stops him. She tells him that he picked out some clothes for Hinako so she can attend the Boat Festival. When she passes him by, Koushi takes a whiff of Hibana, and relates it to something named Asafuyou. At the library, Koushi runs into his old academy teacher Mr. Hitoo. He’s the same man that was lecturing him about natural fire.
Mr. Hitoo tells Koushi to head for the third floor to look for texts about the fire. Koushi learns that environmental changes turned existing animals into fiends. However, there is no data on how the fallbeast came to be, but people can distinguish it from others due to the potency of its fire. Koushi reads up on the Patron Goddess Tokohanahime. She’s known for being the goddess of the clan of fire and a patron for fire hunters.
Tokohanahime’s younger sister, Tayurahime, is said to sustain the nation as its immortal guardian. Tokohanahime used the natural flame to forge a sickle while her body was engulfed in flames. On her deathbed, she said, with the Millenial Comet’s fire, civilians no longer need to fear the dark forest. The Millenial Comet is a man-made star that once launched from the earth. After the final war, it drifted into the void, and the people deemed it the Flickering Flame. You’ll be the Lord of the Fire Hunters if you obtain this flame.
Koushi leaves the library with Mr. Hitoo. Mr. Hitoo says a young fire hunter with red hair asked him to let him into the archive. Kira and Hinako greet Koushi, and the three walk home together. The episode concludes with the narrator discussing flame fiends as the camera zooms in on an abandoned sickle.
The Episode Review
The Fire Hunter is a slow-burn series that loves dropping large piles of lore on viewers’ shoulders. This episode was extremely dialogue-driven and gave fans a slight insight into the world our characters inhabit and the goddesses who rule it. That said, it can be a challenging chapter to sit through. While the pacing is fine, it can be challenging to digest all the exposition we’re given.
The Fire Hunter’s world-building is strong. However, many may agree that it would have been preferable if the anime spread its significant details across different episodes instead of putting everything in one basket. Lore dumping aside, the art quality is starting to digress. It’s jarring seeing our characters interact and move in this world. While some shots look beautiful, others aren’t on par.
That said, this episode contained some unexpected developments. Many may feel saddened by Benio’s passing as she was a nice motherly figure to Touko in the past few episodes. At the same time, it shows how dangerous Touko’s world is and that no one is safe, regardless if their kind-hearted or not.
Overall, this was a decent chapter of The Fire Hunter. Hopefully, the future episodes look smoother and continue to build upon the show’s lore in better ways.
You can read our full season review for The Fire Hunter here!