Warning Might contain spoilers.

I was a bit wary when I started watching Promare, because all I knew about it was that it came highly recommended. From the sentence or two I had read, I formed the impression of a sombre, dystopian tale. I could not have been further off the mark.

This is an incredible film. Just incredible. It oozes style, with its constant motion and ever-changing æsthetic, in complete opposition to typical, static anime fare. I loved the pervading theme of the warm purple Burnish against the cold blue firefighters—again, refusing to hew to derivative red & blue or orange & teal motifs. The colour scheme was used to beautiful effect in Galo’s monochrome blue prison cell with purple light streaming in from the outside.

Promare continually reminded me of (Tengen Toppa) Gurenn Lagann (2007) , one of the greatest anime shows ever created: vibrant, inspiring, bold, unafraid, endlessly escalating, epic, and operating entirely on the Rule of Cool . It made perfect sense when I discovered they had the same director (Hiroyuki Imaishi) and screenwriter (Kazuki Nakashima) . Promare’s logic is just that little bit more hilarious (‘the fire needs to burn but we won’t let it hurt anybody’).

Another similarity to TTGL is its amazing music, especially the excellent opening, ‘BangBangBUR!…n?’ . Indeed, music plays a key role in establishing the tone of the film, which is why the score is rarely absent. It infuses every scene with a propulsive upward energy.

I enjoyed how straightforward the characters were. When Lio reminds Galo in the cave that the Burnish must eat too, Galo never tries to change the subject or bluster on; he immediately understands the situation and apologizes. When Galo questions Kray about his experiments, Kray never dissimilates. When Kray brands Galo an evil criminal, the firefighters never believe it for a moment. Despite the role of politics in the story, there’s a refreshing directness, confidence, and clarity in its world.