The Fire Force manga ending finally came out in February 2022. But what shocked some fans is that Fire Force Chapter 304 was a direct Soul Eater prequel, as it directly says “Next is Soul World”.
If you didn’t already know, Fire Force creator Atsushi Ohkubo also created the Soul Eater manga. It ran from May 2004 through August 2013 and ended in Volume 25. Studio Bones released the 51-episode Soul Eater anime in 2008.
A sequel to Fire Force (or at least another new manga series) also seems possible, as the last page of the manga states that fans should keep an eye out for Ohkubo’s next work. Does this mean that he will not retire as he previously claimed? (See below for more details.)
The shared connection between Fire Force and Soul Eater was always apparent to fans of Ohkubo’s earlier works, but most assumed until the end of the Enen no Shouboutai manga that they were just references (like the creepy comic moon and how Shinra’s face was exactly the same as Soul “Eter” Evans). Instead, the Fire Force sequel is literally Soul Eater, because it’s the exact same world.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers for the Fire Force manga ending†
Everything you’ve seen on Soul Eater, such as Soul Resonance, Lord Death, and the cartoonish moon, is all explained in Fire Force 304 and the previous chapters that preceded it.
To sum up the end of the Fire Force manga, the entire planet became a new sun, and only Shinra, Sho and Arthur survive by being in space. Shinra resurrects the earth and every human being, even those who died long ago. In doing so, the Shinigami took away all fire powers and now they gain power from their souls.
Yes, that means Shinra even creates Lord Death herself. In a weird way, that makes Shinra Death the Kid’s grandfather. In particular, Shinra was part of Company 8. The number 8 is symmetrical and can be divided by two.
Read our exclusive interview with the Fire Force manga creator. He discusses his earlier plans for the end of the series and how Shinra’s name is relevant to the central mystery of the story.
It should be noted that the ending ties into Shina’s own name and the overall mystery of the story. Its name is derived from the Japanese word “shinrabanshō” which can be translated as “all creation” or “all things in nature”. Now that we’ve seen the ending, Shinra’s name makes perfect sense.
The ending also jumped into the future. At one point there is a time jump of 25 years and we get to see 42-year-old Shinra. A chibi, also known as young Death the Kid, is seen talking to Lord Death. There are also brief cameos from Black Star and Soul Evans.
More importantly, the last chapter of Fire Force even revealed Maka Albarn’s mother! The last page is set in the future (the last page doesn’t say how long) and a young girl is reading with her parents about the story of Shinra Kusakabe from a history book. And yes, that young girl appears to be Maka!
While the ending doesn’t spell out exactly how much time passes between Fire Force and Soul Eater, it’s possible to estimate as Excalibur also appears in Fire Force’s ending. According to Soul Eater manga Chapter 72, Excalibur is at least 800 years old during the events of Soul Eater.
Fire Force 304 release date celebrated by its creator
The final chapter of Fire Force was released in Weekly Shonen Issue 13, 2022 on February 22, 2022. Fire Force creator Atsushi Ohkubo, who also created the Soul Eater manga, released art to celebrate this achievement.
“In the magazine released today, the mission to serialize the Fire Force for about 7 years has been successfully completed,” he said tweeted†
The end of the Enen no Shouboutai manga began with the final storyline in October 2021. Weekly Shonen Issue 46, 2021 confirmed that Fire Force Chapter 287 of Volume 33 was the beginning of the final arc.
In Japanese stories, there is a four-company structure known as Kishōtenketsu.
- Ki: Introduction
- Shō: Development
- Ten: Twist (complication)
- Ketsu : Conclusion (reconciliation)
During the Twist phase, the story takes an unexpected turn and contains the yama, or climax, of the story.
Fire Force sequel possible since Atsushi Ohkubo isn’t retiring…maybe?
Some fans have interpreted the phrase “Next is Soul World” to mean that a Fire Force sequel would be based on the 800-year span between the end of Fire Force and the beginning of Soul Eater. It wasn’t originally intended to be, as the Fire Force manga was supposedly Ohkubo’s last before retiring from the manga industry.
Yes, that’s right, the real shocking news is that the creator of Fire Force has previously announced that this story will be his last manga series!
In the author’s notes of Fire Force Volume 23, Ohkubo hinted in May 2020 that the manga’s story is in its “final stage”, but he also claimed that he planned to end his manga career after he released the Fire. Force manga had completed. He asks his fans to join him “until the end” of the story.
“At the end of Soul Eater, I already had a Fire Force news story in the magazine, so I didn’t feel like I was done with the last chapter. But this time I don’t have any plans to draw a new story so I really don’t feel like I have a job,” he tweeted. this day everything will be finished exactly as I planned I never let anything cool happen like the story that goes in an unexpected direction and messes up my schedule My family background is in finance and legal work so i guess i wasn’t the type of person to be a manga artist after i tried it but outside of work things rarely go as planned! like the ps5 thing lol”
But the last page of Fire Force 304 may have completely changed things. An editor’s note states that manga fans should “look forward to Atsushi Ohkubo’s next work”, contrary to what Ohkubo said earlier.
Keep in mind that this is a standard phrase used when a manga ends its story. Ohkubo has only talked about his retirement on Twitter, but maybe something has made him change his mind in the past month after he finished drawing the final chapter.
Or it’s possible the magazine just leaves an open door for the manga creator in case he ever chooses to return.
Anyway, the magazine issue also stated that there will be a “major announcement” about the Fire Force series soon. It’s possible that this announcement is manga-related, but it could also be the Fire Force season 3 anime TV series or some other spin-off.
It wasn’t always the plan for the Enen no Shouboutai manga to end in 2022
The Fire Force manga has been serialized weekly in Weekly Shonen Magazine since 2015 and will run until Volume 32 starting December 17, 2021. Fire Force Volume 33 is set to be released at the end of winter 2022.
The final story arc(s) for a manga series can sometimes be lengthy. For example, the ending story arc of the Demon Slayer manga was more than a third the number of chapters.
By contrast, Fire Force’s final storyline will be relatively short. But the overall manga series is still longer than Ohkubo planned.
In the July 2019 Fire Force interview with Monsters and Critics, Ohkubo said he was originally aiming for Volume 30 which contains the end of the entire story. At the same time, this stopping point was flexible and “it could change”, but there will be “no more than 50” volumes.
“I had an ending in mind from the beginning of the creative process, but it wasn’t something too fixed,” explains Ohkubo. “While I’m creating, I’ll come up with different ideas to make the series interesting and fun. It’s flexible, but my older manga stories also lead to the ending I had in mind from the beginning.”
Considering that the Soul Eater manga ended with Volume 25, Fire Force ending with more than 30 volumes isn’t too short. At the time of giving the exclusive interview, Ohkubo considered Volume 16 to be “beyond the center” of the story.
On December 31, 2021, Ohkubo revealed during a Dark Souls live stream that he planned to wrap up the manga series in a few chapters. At the time, he only had two chapters left to draw and he expected the final chapter to be shot in about two parts, which should be Volume 34.
On January 12, 2022, Ohkubo announced on his Twitter account that he would be signing the final chapter of Fire Force next week. On January 25, 2022, he has tweeted, “The last chapter has just been handed in. I still have a lot of work to do.”
As mentioned before, the Fire Force manga ending came out on February 22, 2022.
How Enen no Shouboutai Season 3 coped with the ending
Anime fans may be wondering what the end of the Enen no Shouboutai manga means for the anime TV series Fire Force Season 3.
The first season adapted the first 90 chapters, while the second season ended in Volume 20: Chapter 174.
Given that the anime has 130 chapters to adapt, it seems unlikely that Enen no Shouboutai season 3 will include the ending. Even if the third season has 24 episodes again, there’s still too much ground to cover in just two courses without already condensing the story.
The only question is whether Fire Force Season 4 will feature the ending or if the anime production committee decides to end the series with a Fire Force movie.
Let’s be glad Ohkubo did the end of the Fire Force manga justice by reviving Soul Eater fans. Stay tuned!