12 Shows You Should Watch If You Love Fire Force – Looper

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Everyone knows the classic saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” but what happens when you want to feel more of the burn? That’s what fans of “Fire Force” are asking themselves, as they look for another anime that can deliver heat as strong as their favorite series. “Fire Force,” of course, is a supernatural action series by Atsushi Ohkubo, the manga artist behind “Soul Eater” and “Soul Eater Not!” It takes place in a world that has suffered a great cataclysmic event.
For reasons unknown, a subset of humans began to spontaneously combust into violent, flaming creatures known as “Infernals.” Infernals make up the first generation of the mysterious plague, while the second and third generations are known as pyrokinetics, who are users that can control and manipulate flames, while still holding on to their humanity. Third-generation pyrokinetic, Shinra Kusakabe, has enlisted in the Special Fire Force Company 8, an organization dedicated to resolving the outbreak of Infernals that have plagued humanity for years. He was given the nickname, “Devil’s Footprints,” for his ability to ignite his feet at will. Shinra joins the Fire Force in the hopes of becoming a hero that can save everyone, as well as to make amends for the fire accident he caused as a child that took the life of his mother and younger brother. However, the life of a Fire Force officer is far more chaotic than anything Shinra could ever imagine.
“Fire Force” was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from September 2015 to February 2022. While the manga has come to an end, a third season of the anime was announced in May of 2022 (via Twitter). Those eager to see their favorite moments from the manga get animated will have to be patient, as a release date for “Fire Force” Season 3 has yet to be announced. In the meantime, here are 12 anime series that share the same fiery passion of “Fire Force” that fans will love.

If “Fire Force” is your first exposure to Atsushi Ohkubo’s work, then you owe it to yourself to check out his previous anime series, “Soul Eater.” “Soul Eater” takes place in an imaginary supernatural world known as Death City, where the grim reaper himself, “Lord Death” Shinigami, trains future generations of demon weapons and their wielders at Death Weapon Meister Academy. Soul Eater Evans is a human hybrid who can go from a too-cool-for-school teenage boy to a Demon Scythe. Maka Albarn is Soul Eater Evans’ wielder, or meister, who acts as the brains to Evans’ brawn. While far more level-headed than her drooling partner, Maka has been known to let her anger get the better of her. Despite being polar opposites, Maka and Soul work together to obtain the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, so Soul can finally become a death scythe. Not only is the out-there premise of “Soul Eater” reminiscent of “Fire Force,” but the demented smile of Soul Eater Evans can also be seen on Shinra Kusakabe’s face. The two series may also be connected.

The heroic attitude of Shinra Kusakabe from “Fire Force” is similar to the courageous spirit of Izuku “Deku” Midoriya from “My Hero Academia.” “My Hero Academia” is set in a world populated by superheroes and supervillains, born with powers called “Quirks.” Deku, a meek teenage boy, has always dreamed of being a superhero like his childhood idol, All Might. However, Deku was one of the unlucky few who were born without a Quirk. Despite this sad twist of fate, Deku ends up proving himself a hero on the inside when faced with danger, leading All Might to pick him as his successor. Infused with the unfathomable powers of his mentor, Deku must learn to control his newfound Quirk while getting along with his fellow would-be superheroes of U.A. High School. There are five seasons of “My Hero Academia” with Season 6 on the way, as well as three animated movies.

The otherworldly situation that befell the universe of “Fire Force” is reminiscent of the supernatural setting of “Blue Exorcist.” In “Blue Exorcist,” 15-year-old Rin Okumura discovers he and his twin brother, Yukio Okumura, are the sons of Satan. After Satan kills his guardian, Father Shirou Fujimoto, Rin decides he wants to follow in the footsteps of his adoptive father and become an exorcist to defeat Satan and protect the human world. To do so, Rin enrolls in True Cross Academy to learn the ways of an exorcist. Rin not only has the exorcist teachings to aid him on his quest, but the demonic powers he inherited from his satanic father as well. As daunting as the journey ahead may be, Rin is not alone, as he has his brother Yukio by his side. He also has the students of True Cross Academy, who are just as powerful and quirky as himself. There are two seasons of the “Blue Exorcist” anime — with the second season called “Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga” — and an animated movie that was released in 2012.

Much like how the trauma of losing his mother and younger brother haunts and drives Shinra Kusakabe in “Fire Force,” the tragic backstory of Tanjirou Kamado in “Demon Slayer” motivates him as well. Tanjirou, who became head of the family after the passing of his father, had his life turned upside down after his family was slaughtered by a demon, and his younger sister, Nezuko Kamado, mysteriously transformed into one. Driven by anger and grief, Tanjirou joins the Demon Slayer Corps in the hopes of finding the demon responsible for the loss of his family so that he can avenge their deaths. He also hopes to find a cure for Nezuko’s condition before she loses the remaining shreds of humanity and becomes a full-fledged demon. Similarly to “Fire Force,” “Demon Slayer” revolves around an organization created to deal with the supernatural threat against their world. “Demon Slayer” taking place in the Taishō-era of Japan, however, sets the show apart from “Fire Force.”

“Promare” and “Fire Force” are pretty similar. Suspiciously similar, if you ask “Fire Force” creator Atsushi Ohkubo. In a 2019 comment made in Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Ohkubo alluded to his work being stolen and said he will refrain from talking about his ideas in public — even to his closest friends (via Anime News Network). While Ohkubo didn’t name any names, there’s strong evidence to suggest Ohkubo was talking about the 2019 anime film, “Promare,” as the two share the same premise of a world dominated by super-powered beings that can manipulate fire after an earth-shattering event. Further, both also feature a team of firefighter-like individuals being sent out to save the day. While the eerie similarities may put off “Fire Force” fans, “Promare” is anything but a carbon copy. For followers of the anime studio Trigger, “Promare” is a wonderful, over-the-top blockbuster that pays homage to the creative team’s past work, like “Gurren Lagann” and “Kill la Kill.” The intense rivalry between Galo Thymos, a rookie member of the Burning Rescue team, and Lio Fotia, the leader of the alleged terrorist group Mad Burnish, and the eventual relationship that blooms thereafter, is the heart and soul of the film. “Promare” is a hidden gem that’s filled with crazy action and stunning animation throughout.

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” sends its two young heroes to the military as State Alchemists, similarly to Shinra Kusakabe and friends signing up for the Fire Force organization to combat the threat of Infernals. And just like how “Fire Force” shows the crookedness of the higher-up companies, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” depicts the corruption that has infested the military. For Edward and Alphonse Elric, being dogs of the military is a small price to pay if it means getting a lead on the whereabouts of the Philosopher’s Stone. Ever since they were kids, the Elric brothers have had to live with the mistake they made one horrifying night of trying to resurrect their dead mother through forbidden alchemy. For Ed, he lost an arm and a leg. For Al, he lost his entire body and now resides spiritually in a suit of armor. The only hope of getting their original bodies back is the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, which is said to hold tremendous powers that go beyond the limits of alchemy. “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” is a 2009 anime series that closely follows the manga by Hiromu Arakawa. The “Fullmetal Alchemist” (2003) anime that came before is also worth watching, even as it deviates from the source material.

For “Fire Force” fans looking for something a little more older-skewing, “Attack on Titan” is the anime for you. Similar to the childhood trauma that Shinra Kusakabe endured, Eren Yeager has also suffered from a devastating loss in “Attack on Titan.” His mother was eaten alive by a Titan, a gigantic, humanoid monster that eats not for hunger, but for pleasure. The Titans appeared out of nowhere and nearly drove humanity into extinction, if not for the giant walls that surrounded the last bastion of civilization. However, after 100 years of peace, the Titans breached through the gigantic barriers and reignited their assault against humanity, resulting in devastating losses like the death of Eren’s mother. Following the surprise attack by the Titans, Eren has dedicated his life to the Survey Corps, an elite military unit formed to take the Titans down once and for all. Eren is not alone, as he is joined by his adopted sister, Mikasa Ackerman, his childhood friend, Armin Arlert, and others alike. However, there are those in the Survey Corps that have their own ulterior motives for joining the fight against the Titans.

In the distant future of 2012 (don’t laugh), humanity is on the brink of extinction due to a man-made virus that has ravaged the global population (sans children under the age of 13). Taking advantage of the devastating situation, vampires have emerged from the shadows to offer protection for those that survived the pandemic, as long as they surrender their blood. Two young boys, Yuichiro Hyakuya and Mikaela Hyakuya, stage a revolt against their vampiric captors, but are ultimately thwarted. Thanks to Mikaela’s sacrifice, Yuichiro is the only one to come out alive from the failed escape plan and is later rescued by the Moon Demon Company, a military unit dedicated to eliminating the vampire menace in Japan. Four years later, an older Yuichiro devotes himself to destroying the vampires that took his “family” away, unaware that Mikaela is alive and searching for him. “Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign” is currently available on Hulu.

While the early episodes of “Bleach” pertain to Rukia Kuchiki teaching her unexpected apprentice, 15-year-old rebel Ichigo Kurosaki, the ropes of being a Soul Reaper, the “Soul Society” story arc is where the anime kicks off and the comparisons between it and “Fire Force” are apparent. In the “Soul Society” arc, no good deed goes unpunished as Rukia is ordered to return to the Soul Society for the crime of giving away her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo, so he could save his young sisters from danger. Upon hearing of Rukia’s arrest and scheduled execution, Ichigo marches off to the spirit world to save his newfound friend, while accompanied by those who have recently awakened their spiritual powers. The rash rescue mission ends up becoming much more, as it’s revealed that Rukia’s execution is tied to a plot to overthrow the Soul Society by those operating inside the system. The “Bleach” anime ran from 2004 to 2012, but ended before the final storyline could be adapted from the manga. However, “Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War” has finally been animated and will air on October 10, 2022 (via Twitter).

Unlike Shinra Kusakabe, who joined the Fire Force company to save those in danger of Infernals, Gon Freecss from “Hunter x Hunter” wants to be a licensed hunter for more personal reasons: He wants to meet his father, Ging Freecss, a legendary hunter who apparently abandoned his son for his profession. Gon hopes that, by becoming a hunter, he will have a better understanding of why his father left him, and potentially be able to find his father as well. Becoming a hunter is no easy task, as passing the Hunter Examination means putting your life on the line. Even with Gon’s extraordinary abilities at the young age of 12, the world is still filled with cold and dangerous people who will push Gon’s abilities and morale to their limits. Thankfully, Gon is not alone in taking the Hunter Examination, as he befriends Killua Zoldyck, a cool and collected 12-year-old who possesses the skills of an assassin. There are two anime series — one released in 1999, and another in 2011. The manga story is still ongoing and has unfortunately been the victim of constant delays, due to the troubling health updates of series creator Yoshihiro Togashi (via Anime News Network).

If there’s one anime that can match the heartwarming message of a dysfunctional, yet loving, family of friends from “Fire Force,” it’s “Fairy Tail.” “Fairy Tail” follows the adventure of Lucy Heartfilia, an amateur mage looking to join the Fairy Tail guild, one of many magical guilds that inhabit the enchanted Kingdom of Fiore. Thanks to a chance encounter with Natsu Dragneel, a dragon slayer mage, Lucy gets her wish and is quickly welcomed in by the band of peculiar brothers (and sisters). No matter the danger and hardships that Natsu and Lucy encounter on their journey, the strong bond among the members of the Fairy Tail guild always guides them towards victory. “Fairy Tail” has nine seasons worth of episodes with more on the way, as an anime adaptation of “Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest” has been announced (via Anime News Network). If you enjoyed the “Fairy Tail” anime, make sure to check out “Edens Zero,” as both shows share the same creator, Hiro Mashima, and reference each other in fun and unbelievable ways.

Taking place in an alternative 19th-century world, “D.Gray-man” follows Allen Walker, a newly recruited member of the Black Order, an organization of exorcists that fight against the evil Millennium Earl. Millennium Earl is an ancient sorcerer who tricks those with vulnerable hearts to surrender the souls of dead friends and relatives to power up his mechanical weapons known as “Akuma.” To fight the Akuma, the Black Order uses weapons of their own called “Innocence,” which can take the form of everyday items like a grandfather clock or a sword. Allen’s Innocence is his arm and he possesses a cursed eye that can see the souls that suffer inside Millennium Earl’s cruel devices of war. There are 109 Innocence hidden and scattered throughout the world, with one “master” Innocence possessing such absolute power that whichever side claims it as their own first, will ultimately win the war. Given Millennium Earl’s plan for the destruction of the world, let’s hope the Black Order gets to the master Innocence first.

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