Written and drawn by Kawano Tanishi, this manga’s full title is Fire in His Fingertips: A Flirty Fireman Ravishes Me with His Smoldering Gaze. As the highly descriptive subtitle implies, this is a sexy romance series targeted at adult women, with extra emphasis on the sexy part.
Ryo has been friends with Souma, an attractive fireman, since they were kids, but in recent years she’s become increasingly frustrated with his playboy antics. No matter how many times she tries to set him up with a nice girl, he always refuses to date anyone seriously. Even if he’s too much of a player to settle down, Souma proves himself to be a reliable friend to Ryo when a fire breaks out in her apartment building while she’s trapped inside. Not only does he heroically rescue her from the blaze, he also invites Ryo to live with him until she can find a new home. Ryo is relieved to have a place to crash until she can get her life sorted out, but immediately becomes worried that Souma will try to seduce her while she’s staying with him. Her concerns soon prove to be well founded, as Souma makes a move on her the very first night she stays with him. What’s worse, Ryo finds that she’s unable to resist his charms! What will this do to their friendship?!
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat, Fire in his Fingertips employs some tropes of the romance genre that are problematic. Souma is a pushy horndog who frequently doesn’t listen to Ryo and Ryo always starts out their sexual encounters by making some kind of a token protest, only to quickly give in to Souma’s advances when he persists. This is, sadly, not an uncommon setup in romance fiction and, while the intent may be to show that the characters are experiencing intense passion, it’s a troubling way to write a sex scene, to say the least, and it’s frustrating to see it crop up so frequently.
In addition to these problematic elements, the plot of Fire in His Fingertips also makes use of the tired narrative cliché of having the plot hinge on the fact that the characters avoid talking to each other about their feelings, even when it would be natural for them to do so. Ryo isn’t interested in casual sex and is hesitant to have a sexual relationship with Souma because she assumes that he just wants to have a bit of fun, not realizing that Souma has only avoided serious relationships up until now because he’s secretly been in love with her. Likewise, we can assume that Souma hasn’t confessed his feeling to Ryo yet because he’s confused her hesitation for a lack of romantic interest on her part. This is a classic scenario where both parties have misunderstood the other’s motivations and it’s not a bad setup for romantic drama, in and of itself. The problem is that the characters remain in this holding pattern well after it stops making sense for them to still be confused, at least on Souma’s end. Ryo straight up tells Souma at around the midpoint of the book that she’s not interested in being another notch on his bedpost, giving him the perfect opening to clear up all of the misunderstandings and tell her how he truly feels… and he just doesn’t… because reasons.
Of course, I didn’t buy a book titled Fire in His Fingertips: A Flirty Fireman Ravishes Me with His Smoldering Gaze because I was looking for a manga with complex characters and a carefully crafted narrative. I bought this book for pictures of muscly firemen and hot sex scenes, and that’s exactly what I got! Souma’s studly physique is drawn in loving detail whenever he takes off his shirt (which is often) and the sex scenes in this manga are plentiful and plenty explicit. The story might be formulaic and the characters may be a bit on the dumb side, but nonetheless this manga features some very fine smut and sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in a book. I would’ve preferred it if the consent had been enthusiastic rather than questionable during said sex scenes, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this manga regardless.
I’ll also say that, to its credit, the manga did avoid using some other harmful tropes that seem to crop up frequently in the romance genre. Souma is never cold to Ryo and is instead pretty affectionate with her. Ryo also isn’t a total pushover, she gets angry and tells Souma off on several occasions when he says or does something particularly stupid. I also found most of Ryo and Souma’s regular interactions with each other to be pretty fun; they seem comfortable with each other and do genuinely feel like people who’ve known each other for a long time. Hopefully they’ll be able to sort out their feelings for each other soon and start dating properly, because I think they’ll make a very cute couple.
If you’re looking for a manga that allows you to just turn off your brain for a little while and enjoy some hot and steamy romance, then Fire in His Fingertips is definitely worth picking up. While I had a few complaints, overall, it’s a fun read and I plan to pick up the next volume and see if Ryo and Souma can manage to stop getting busy long enough to actually have a real conversation about their relationship.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website: https://sevenseasentertainment.com/books/fire-in-his-fingertips-a-flirty-fireman-ravishes-me-with-his-smoldering-gaze-vol-1/
What did you think of this manga? Let me know in the comments.