One of the more fascinating aspects that Fire Force uses to draw in its audience is its ability to utilize real life religious parallels in order to portray a much more engaging plot. That being said, in order to fully grasp the significance of the Latom Prayer, we must first learn what Infernals are in the universe of Fire Force.
What is the Fire Force Prayer?
“The flame is the soul’s breath
The black smoke is the soul’s release
Ashes thou wert and art
May thy soul return to the great flame of fire
Why Do They Say “Latom” in Fire Force?
In the universe of Fire Force, Infernals are perceived as beings in constant suffering or people who require guidance towards their salvation. Whenever these suffering beings are saved or purified, the term “Latom” is used during the prayer.
The verbiage “Latom” is a term used to close off any prayer made for the Infernals – much akin to how Chritians use the term “Amen” in their prayers.
The word “Latom” is actually a word in Hungarian that roughly translates to “I see” or “I understand” in English. Fans of the anime speculate that the meaning of “Latom” when used in the prayer translates to “I see your light”.
What are Infernals?
In the universe of Fire Force, Infernals are also commonly known as the First Generation who are ultimately, the first victims of Spontaneous Human Combustion.
In this world, the phenomenon Spontaneous Human Combustion, abbreviated as SPH, causes the bodies of humans to ignite and transform into a monster with a charcoal-like appearance and an aura of fire surrounding them.
It is believed that since the bodies of humans afflicted with SPH perpetually burn, the victims are in constant pain. In turn this pain then causes them to act berserk and violent towards anyone and anything around them.
The roots of SPH can be traced to Adolla which is an alternate universe where everything is connected by the collective unconscious of man.
Within this alternate plane of existence are also alternate versions of humans which are dubbed as Doppelgangers. These Doppelgangers are basically how other people perceive their counterparts from the human realm. Furthermore, it is believed that SPH is the phenomenon that takes place when a Doppelganger invades their human alternates.
In light of the danger they pose, Infernals are basically considered to be a threat to humanity. Because of this, a special unit called the Fire Force has been tasked with extinguishing the fires from the burning bodies and purifying the souls of the hosts.
If these Infernals are not put to rest, these infected go on rampages until their lives eventually die off; a period that can span centuries as the flaming bodies of Infernals age slowly.
The only surefire method of killing or purifying an Infernal is to impale or destroy their core that is typically located somewhere in their chest. This is believed to be the most painless and humane method to relieve the infected of their suffering.
In the universe of Fire Force, humans hailing from the Tokyo Empire have a Priest or Sister recite a prayer dedicated to the souls of the purified Infernals. Be that as it may, we know this is not a universal practice as natives from Asakusa and China do not seem to follow this custom.
Is Fire Force Religious?
The underlying religious and biblical connotation that Fire Force tackles is arguably one of the most notable aspects about the anime.
To start off, Infernals aren’t necessarily antagonized in the anime. In fact, these monsters are viewed with pity and victimhood. These beings suffer a fate very similar to a doctrine within Chritianity about Eternal Suffering.
The Special Fire Force is in charge of fighting off and purifying the Infernals and helping the inflicted to attain salvation with the help of the Prayer of Latom. Additionally, the Special Fire Force works hand-in-hand with the Holy Sol Temple in an effort to “save” the infernals.
It is believed that by having a Priest or a Sister offer a prayer when an Infernal is purified, the soul of the infected would then be able to receive the blessing to enter Heaven and finally have peace.
In the first season of the anime, the Captain of the Special Fire Force discusses how their uniforms are fitted with bright lines. This feature not only has practical uses when they are in an environment with low visibility but it is also symbolic of their roles as guides for the soul of the purified Infernals.
We see the significance of the Prayer of Latom to be recited on site at one point in the second season of the anime. Since a Sister needs to be present at the scene in order to bless the soul of the Infernal to be purified, our cast was discussing whether to wait for the Sister to arrive or just recite the prayer themselves.