Capsule Review & Commentary: Promare

Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Animation Production: Trigger

Music: Hiroyuki Sawano

Genres: Action, Mecha

Season: Spring 2019


I will begin by first pointing to Fire Force, a currently airing Shounen anime, and their surface-level thematic similarities of adopting the firefighter as superhero defenders of the regular civilians, as the thin yellow line between society and mysterious happenings where random persons would suddenly burst into flames and wreck havoc. It’s certainly a curiosity how interlinked Promare and Fire Force are on this front, even if we acknowledge that the two titles operate on different narrative planes.

While both titles operate under a central team of main characters who man the duties of a firefighting crew, Promare pushes much of the team into the background, and instead focuses on the gun-ho Kamina-inspired Galo and his…illuminating relationship with Mad Burnish activist/terrorist leader Lio.

I am very certain that chatters of a subversive gay anthem being the central drive of Promare are already on many readers’ minds. And I am here to shut that ridiculous rumour down here once and for all, because the gay anthem present is anything but subversive. Promare is the only kind of overt gay dude anthem that Hiroyuki Imaishi and his buds at Trigger would ever make: loud, boisterous, filled to the brim with cool poses and speeches, and a bold gospel being Moses-d our way that essentially boils down to: the flames of (gay) passion will swallow the world, and that shall be Earth’s salvation. Oh, and giant mechs, cool-looking mechs because Galo broke the 4th wall to complain about the previous lame-looking design.

There is nothing more here that can be said to sway any opinions: viewers are practically guaranteed a cinematic experience that they would expect, if they watched even just one episode of the popular ‘anime gateway’ classic Gurren Lagann. As someone who isn’t QUITE swept up by the kind of ultra-masculine bravado Imaishi evidently relishes in recreating time and time again, I had to admit the film got to me by the end, despite the usual reservations I have with ill-paced ‘explanation’ dialogue and paper-thin world-building.

Recommendations: Alternate Titles

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann





Stylistic ancestor from Gainax’s earlier days.

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