Two mutant firefighting hero anime at once apparently isn't a coincidence
It's not uncommon to find more than one of the same sort of show in a year, or even in a season. But when you get two very similar titles near each other, it gets a little suspicious... and Fire Force creator Atsushi Ohkubo has apparently confirmed these suspicions.
While Ohkubo didn't name names in a recent Weekly Shonen Magazine comment, he did allude to recent work being "stolen," as well as not wanting to talk about upcoming projects to anyone, even friends. Readers were ahead of the curve, however, noting major similarities between his manga series and Trigger and XFLAG's film Promare.
Both titles center on a squad using their special powers to rescue the world from fire-centric horrors. Both also feature a new addition to their squad with an exceptional and surprising power. As seen above, the two titles share certain stylistic and design elements, too. The Promare film went into planning a bit before the Fire Force manga kicked off, theoretically placing the early planning stages for both projects relatively near each other.
Okhubo's statement was admittedly vague, and it's not impossible for two strikingly similar projects to spring up near each other without one being a deliberate ripoff of another. However, the timing of Ohkubo's statement and the reference to losing trust in people does seem to be pretty straightforward.
Promare hit Japanese theaters on May 24. Fire Force begins on July 5, and the manga is distributed in English by Kodansha USA.
Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and interviewer with bylines at VRV, We Are Cult, Fanbyte, and many more. She is also the co-founder of Altrix Books and co-creator of the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. Kara blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.