A fun but shallow start to the new season.
Fire Force season 1 set up an interesting anime world, but it barley scratched the surface of it's potential. The first episode of season 2 "A Fire Soldiers Fight" does very little to build on previous plots nor does it do much in terms of world building. All of that being said it is still a very entertaining episode with some great action and some genuinely laugh out loud moments.
The episode starts in the middle of an anime shopping scene. I rolled my eyes at first but they quickly use it to show that Shinra is having trouble going back to normal after the events of the season 1 finale. There are some meh shopping scenes as Shinra and the women of company 8 decide to shop for Lieutenant Hinawa. They hate the way he dresses. There is a great payoff as this ends up leading to one of the funniest moments of the episode later...
Of course their day of shopping is ruined by the appearance of an infernal. We find out that the infernals have leveled up. I loved the design of the of the infernal in this episode, it was definitely refreshing. This thing was big and it was formidable. The fight let's us get reacquainted with company 8 and what they can do in battle. The animation here was pretty great, I am always amazed how the show does so much with color considering everyone has fire based powers.
After the fight (about 14 minutes in) the new opening hits. Maybe this opening will grow on me, anime openings often do, but my first impression is that it sucks. One of my favorite things about anime openings is the break downs, this song didn't even seem to have one. For now I'm going to go ahead and say its butt. I'll let you know if that changes. I did like the end credits from an animation stand point. It looks like a side scroller with Shinra and Arthur.
The rest of the episode revolves around a comical nude calendar plot. First, I thought having the male characters dealing with posing nude was kind of refreshing for anime. Usually fan service is just corny moments designed to show off some body part of a female character. There were also some really funny jokes in this scene, Captain Akitaru Ōbi yelling "We go hard." while talking about the nude photo shoot gave me a chuckle. It was also fun to see the other fire companies pictures.
Episodes are rated based on a scale of 1000 - 10,000
This episode has some great action and a ton of jokes that land. That being said, starting a season without establishing a new status quo is kind of an odd choice. After months of waiting for a new season it would be useful to let viewers know where the season is heading.