Yes, Irina was right when she wrote how Promare was Fire Force from Studio Trigger’s point of view.
But anyway, Promare. I saw it in dubbed form last Tuesday. That was the only time I could see it because I worked part time during the subbed screening that appeared Thursday. Honestly, not complaining about that anymore. I was honestly stunned by the amount of voice acting veteran fire power in the dub. Let me know if you’ve heard these voice actors before: Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Blum, Crispin Freeman, Kari Wahlgren with her Haruhara Haruko voice, Matt Mercer, and some others that I’ve only heard of a little bit before. Each one of them put in maximum effort into their voices and it only boosted the madness and feeling of the movie completely. I honestly wished more people showed up to this viewing then Millenium Actress, but I bet there is a dub stigma going on here unfortunately. Oh well. But anyway, let’s talk about Promare in a more focused manner.
In the present time period, random human around the world started to spontaneously combust for no particular reason. The end result is that massive fires started killing larges amount of people all over the place. This event was called The Great World Blaze. These combusting people were called the Burnish. All the survivors of these fires recreated the world and actively built systems to fight and capture the Burnish every chance they got. The stigma and racism against the Burnish couldn’t be any stronger then it was.
Thirty years later, the terrorist group called the Mad Burnish started burning down a massive building in the Metropolis city of Promepolis. Called to save the people in the burning building, Burning Rescue, an elite fire fighting force shows up. Fire Force works hard with their mini robots to save the people inside the building while our rookie protagonist by the name of Galo Thymos takes on the Mad Burnish by himself. Galo’s standard robot fire fighting mecha didn’t work, but the experimental unit built by Burning Rescue’s Mad Scientist Lucia was able to allow him to stop two of three of the Mad Burnish from their terrorist crimes. Then Galo eventually beats Lio, the Boss, with the help of the rest of Burning Rescue. Of course Freeze Patrol, a fascist police force, shows up to cause trouble and take Mad Burnish into jail.
So this is where the main plot really kicks off. Galo is given a medal by mayor Kray Forsight whose also big in technology research and Lio is able to escape with the Burnish because he got through the prison’s frozen gear. There is also a bit about the pizza burnish man being taken by the Freeze Patrol, Galo learns about how his racism has lead to not believing that the Burnish are people when meeting Lio once again. This causes Galo to challenge Mayor Kray Forsight’s rules, figures out that the Earth will die in six months due to Burnish activity and he has a plan to escape Earth, and Galo is put into jail himself. Of course Galo gets out, works together with Lio to fight Kray in Super Robot Combat, and then saves the Earth. It’s a trigger show. What do you expect? The plot is predictable, but wonderful in it’s own way because it’s a canvas for Trigger’s wonderful and absolutely beautiful insanity that nobody else can do. Not that it doesn’t have it’s own nuisances too.
So let’s talk about some themes. Regardless of Promare’s super robot insanity and insane logic that works, there is a lot of themes to explore here of importance. For instance, racism against a population of humanity that just wanted to be themselves. Yes, some of it is justified because of the backstory of normal people being burnt alive, but those are still human beings. Using them as the power source for a jump drive is still inhumane regardless of that. Plus, there is inhumane cruelty toward those who don’t wish people harm and just want to live their live in the way they could. There is also the fact that the Mad Burnish don’t hurt people, they are just doing what their insides selves are telling them to do, which is burn. A racial sort of belief that also perpetrates through for the film too. How? Well, not spoiling that one.
Plus there are themes of larger organizations pushing to ruin the Earth faster so they could just go to the another planet with only ten thousand chosen people. Kind of similar to what some or a lot of corporations are doing now with their lack of environmental regulations in the United States. The Burnish already pushed the Earth’s cores temperature and lava to the point where the Lava would overtake the surface and everyone would die in about six months. What does Kraz do? Make the process go faster. I did mention that Promare wasn’t subtle, right? Yeah, I think that should prove it once again. This aspect goes into so many areas of the film because the super robot that Galo and Lio fight in the end was meant for terraforming the new planet everyone was traveling to. That’s what the weapons did at least. I don’t know about the rigidity of the Krazor X itself.
As for characters, they are the kind of main characters that you would expect to be in a movie like Promare. Gallo is the dumb, hot headed protagonist that had some acceptance toward the Burnish in the beginning of the film, but he’s learned to put his hot headedness to save the Burnish and all of humanity toward the end by teaming up with Lio. Lio, on the other hand, didn’t change that much besides being the logical one that just somehow works together with Gallo to save everything. I don’t think he’s ever in the wrong. I do have to mention some of my favorite people in Burning Rescue besides Gallo. I love the police Chief. It helps that he’s voiced by Steve Blum, but he’s just that incredible forward thinking guy that is amazing. Lucia and the others are great background characters too. Including Aina who was framed as being the love interest to Gallo in the beginning, but became the older sister to Lio and Gallo who were the idiots sent out to save the day with Aina’s sister playing a major part in the film too. Promare’s cast is just so likeable. I love them all even the villain.
Promare’s visuals are pretty great. The character designs are simplistic and the mechanical designs are simple and pretty toy like most of the time, but all of that fits the tone of the show so well. Yes, these are trigger character designs with the female character’s in Burning Rescue wearing fanservicey outfits with short skirts and crop tops and such, but none of these characters felt that sexualized to me. It just felt like the kind of clothes that Aina and Lucia wanted to wear and it works. I suppose there is the balance of Gallo almost being shirtless all the time with Lio joining him towards the end, but that worked too. (They have some chemistry together.) That was all of these character’s choices. Then there were all cityscapes and all sorts of science fiction background designs that looked pretty great as well because they all fit the tone of this universe. Trigger just has a way of understanding how their character and art direction should fit the tone of the story.
Also, let’s talk about animation. Promare was an interesting combination of traditional animation and cg which allowed the animators to play around with all sorts of light colors that it’s just beautiful to look at. You can tell it’s some of it is cg, but it never takes away from the experience. Plus the movement of it’s characters and the mecha were pretty solid and innovative in some ways. Yes, every design was simple to allow all the mechanical parts to move and change as much. It’s nice seeing that kind of expressive mechanical movements in a modern anime movie. Not everything today does that these days. Same with the simple character designs allowing the characters to move in their own way their body build would make them move. It’s that sort of simplicity that I love about Trigger’s works.
Oh man, I’ve been thinking about Promare ever since I watched it on Tuesday. The movie itself is the third time that Director Hiroyuki Imaishi and writer Kazuki Nakashima working together for the third time with Hiroyuki Sawano music behind it. The other two works were TTGL and Kill la Kill. This film carries the energy and passion of those two series with it in a two hour blast of awesomeness and love. It seems that the crew has learned a lot from Kill La Kill’s slow pacing by forming all of that chaos into a movie. A movie that is possibly my favorite thing that Trigger has came out recently. Like all Trigger works, it references some of their favorite works in the text and adds some of it’s own lore to it as well. It’s going to be hard to go back to Fire Force after watching this film. I can’t recommend watching this film instead of Fire Force enough at the moment. You already know whether or not you will like this film depending on how you like Imaishi’s and Trigger’s other works. For that audience, I can’t recommend it enough. Especially it’s amazing dub.
Next Week, I will be talking about my final thoughts on Summer 2019 on the same day. I guess there is a small anime take over happening over here. Oh well, right?