The land is covered with black forests, and people are invaded by human pyrophoric pathogens that burn their bodies when they are close to natural fires. The fire in this world is collected by fire hunters, who hunt the black beasts that live in the forest. One day, a fire hunter passed away while saving a girl from the black beast. Now, the girl has to bring back the hunter’s belonging to the capital. But can she survive her journey alone?


Dany Muhammad (The Indonesian Anime Times)

If you feel confused after watching the first and second episodes, I don’t blame you. The Fire Hunter has a unique world, but it doesn’t do its exposition really well. Maybe it’s because to convey information, The Fire Hunter doesn’t really try to explore the space that their characters inhabit. For example, we know that Touko’s villages are able to survive by producing a unique item that’s special to that region. There is even a scene where Touko and her aunt visit the factory that produces that item. However, all I can remember from that scene are the talking parts. There are some shots that show the factory activity but those shots never stand out. All I focused on during that time was the subtitles on the screen, nothing more.

That being said, the fantasy aspect is still unique. The setting is closer to the Japanese’ early Meiji era, when the city started to industrialize but the villages are separated by the thick jungle. The characters’ speaking manner somehow reminds me of the Chinese martial arts story, probably because of the way they use jargon. Those jargons are probably the one that confuses you most. “The natural fire”, “Recycling train”, and “thunder fire”, there are a lot of confusing words. Maybe the quality of the subtitles is also to blame, or maybe the English translation is not able to convey the nuances in those words. Either way, I think the show is easier to grasp if we treat those words like the jargon from the Chinese martial arts story. Just accept them as a part of the character’s daily lives, and move on.

When we talk about setting, it’s important to see what the word “fire” means to the characters. In The Fire Hunter, the word’s meaning has shifted into something more sinister. This is what makes the show feel unique. The word “fire”, what it caused, and how people react to the word become the foundation of worldbuilding. This is unique because the fantasy aspect feels fresh. I just hope The Fire Hunter could make its exposition scene more elegant. This show should be an easy recommendation just because of how it builds its world. However, the show itself never makes it easy.

Facts and Figures

Alternate Title Hikari no Ou
Source material Novel by Rieko Hinata
Casts Maaya Sakamoto as Akira
Misaki Kuno as Tōko
Shōya Ishige as Kōshi
Director Junji Nishimura (Bakuon!!, Ranma ½, True Tears)
Scenario Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Vladlove)
Character Design Takuya Saito (Knights of Ramune & 40, Macross Zero)
Opening Song “Usotsuki” by Leo Ieiri
Ending Song “Mada Tōku ni Iru” by Maaya Sakamoto
Studio Signal.MD
Official Site
Twitter @HikarinoOuAnime
Broadcast Date 14 January 2023 (1530 GMT/2030 WIT/2230 JST)


Screenshots and Trailer

©Rieko Hinata, Holp Publishing/WOWOW
©Rieko Hinata, Holp Publishing/WOWOW
©Rieko Hinata, Holp Publishing/WOWOW
©Rieko Hinata, Holp Publishing/WOWOW

The Indonesian Anime Times

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