Is Burns Death Fire Force? Unraveling the Mystery Behind Leonard Burns

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leonard Burns is one of the most complex and mysterious characters in the popular anime and manga series Fire Force. As the respected Captain of Special Fire Force Company 1, Burns occupies a position of great power and authority. However, events unfold in the series that call his true motivations and allegiances into question. Central among these events is the shocking declaration that Burns has been killed, with fellow pyrokinetic Shinra declared as his murderer. This sparks intense controversy and sees Company 8 branded as criminals. But is Burns really dead? Let’s analyze the limited information available to try and determine the truth.

Who is Leonard Burns in Fire Force?

Before analyzing the ambiguity around his alleged death, it’s important to understand who Leonard Burns is within the context of the Fire Force series.

His Background and Abilities

Burns boasts exceptional combat skills, physical durability, and tactical prowess. As a Third Generation pyrokinetic, he possesses the rare ability to spontaneously generate and manipulate flames and heat. Among even Third Generation pyros, Burns’ powers are considered uncommonly strong. He is regarded as one of the most powerful and dangerous fighters in the entire Special Fire Force.

His Position of Authority

In recognition of his skills, Burns holds the prestigious position of Captain of Special Fire Force Company 1. Company 1 operates directly under the orders of the Holy Sol Temple and is tasked with investigating Human Combustion cases.

As Captain, Burns commands great authority and respect. He leads an elite team that includes Tamaki Kotatsu, Karim Flam, and Foien Li. Together, Company 1 and Burns are considered instrumental in helping maintain order and stability in Tokyo.

His Enigmatic Personality

Despite his high rank and abilities, Burns remains an enigmatic figure. He displays a ruthless willingness to achieve his goals by any means necessary. This earns him fear and resentment from some quarters.

However, Burns also demonstrates compassion at times. He seems to operate based on his own personal code of ethics and justice. This combination of ruthlessness and restraint makes Burns’ true motivations extremely hard to decipher.

His Complex Backstory

Adding further complexity is Burns’ mysterious history. It’s suggested he endured a difficult childhood followed by intense training to master his pyrokinetic skills. Dark rumors swirl of Burns even being involved in underworld crime syndicates as a notorious assassin before joining Special Fire Force.

However, concrete details remain unknown to most. This backstory hints at deep complexities and secrets that drive Burns’ enigmatic personality.

The Sudden Announcement of Burns’ Death

Given his power and shadowy history, Leonard Burns has no shortage of enemies. In Volume 17 of the manga, matters take a shocking turn when the Holy Sol Temple’s Empire division abruptly declares Burns to be dead.

Shinra Labeled as the Murderer

Even more controversially, Burns’ fellow Third Generation pyrokinetic – Shinra Kusakabe – is named as the culprit behind his murder.

Shinra is a member of Special Fire Force Company 8, which operates outside the Temple’s control. With his righteous personality and devotion to becoming a hero, he seems an unlikely murderer. However, the Empire insists evidence proves Shinra killed Burns.

Company 8 Cast as Criminals

On the Empire’s orders, warrants are issued for Shinra’s arrest. A 500 million dollar bounty is placed on his head. Company 8, who attempt to protect Shinra, are also branded as criminals.

The Empire accuses Company 8 of conspiring with the Evangelist – the mysterious figure behind the Human Combustion pandemic. This sparks chaos and sees Company 8 excommunicated and forced to operate as fugitives.

Signs That Contradict Burns Being Deceased

For readers following the story, the announcement of Shinra killing Burns comes as a major shock. However, certain signs indicate all may not be as it seems regarding Burns’ alleged demise.

Suddenness of the Announcement

Firstly, the timing and nature of the announcement is suspicious. Burns’ death is sudden and unexpected, with no build-up within the manga’s plot. No details are provided about when, where or how he died.

The Empire simply declares Burns dead at the exact moment they move to brand Company 8 as criminals. This coincidence casts doubt on the legitimacy of their claims. It seems their motive may be to discredit Company 8, rather than reveal the truth about Burns.

Lack of Solid Evidence Against Shinra

Despite accusing Shinra of murder, the Empire fails to present any conclusive evidence. They claim Shinra’s fingerprints were found on Burns, but provide no further proof.

Given Shinra’s status as a hero who reveres Burns, it seems wildly unlikely he would ever attack or kill the Captain. With Shinra’s righteous personality, accusing him of murder would require incredibly convincing evidence. The Empire fails to provide anything that definitively proves Shinra’s guilt.

Burns’ Overall Importance to the Plot

As a prominent figure in the series, Leonard Burns still has an important role to play in events to come. Killing him off suddenly without resolution or explanation seems narrative unwise. It denies his character a fitting end to his arc.

For the story to progress smoothly, it seems Burns needs to reappear at some point. Removing him from the plot now leaves too many loose ends regarding his history and motivations. For satisfying plot development, he likely remains alive.

Foreshadowing of Further Twists

Prior to Volume 17, the story provides subtle hints that Burns may eventually fake his own death. Brief exchanges with Company 1 members Karim and Tamaki foreshadow them being forced to pretend to fight Burns to the death at some point.

This implies plans for Burns to stage his demise to accomplish some unknown goal. While these exchanges are vague, they suggest Burns’ death may be deliberately fabricated rather than genuine.

Theories on Why Burns’ Death is Faked

If Burns did indeed fake his own murder, why would he do so? Several convincing theories propose potential reasons.

To Infiltrate the Evangelist’s Forces

One possibility is that Burns goes undercover to infiltrate the Evangelist’s Company to learn their plans. With his ruthlessness and willingness to use extreme methods, faking his death provides the perfect cover to join the Evangelist undetected. Burns may be playing the long game, trying to undermine the Evangelist from within.

To Gain Company 8’s Trust

Alternatively, Burns could be trying to earn Company 8’s trust by making himself appear a fellow target of the Empire. Once believed dead, he can better monitor Company 8’s actions and learn more about their motivations. Gaining their trust could allow Burns to eventually manipulate Company 8 for his own ends.

To Spark Conflict Between Companies

Other theories suggest Burns wants to stoke conflict between Company 1 and Company 8. By faking his murder by Shinra’s hand, Burns intentionally triggers chaos between the rival Companies and tests their reactions. Observing how events unfold could let Burns assess the Companies’ weak points for some grander purpose.

To Send Shinra on a Personal Journey

Some suggest Burns fakes his death specifically to impact Shinra’s development. Becoming a accused murderer forces Shinra to go on the run alone. Having to prove his innocence, understand his powers, and survive solo could help Shinra mature significantly. In this theory, Burns’ main aim is accelerating Shinra’s growth as a pyrokinetic hero.

The truth likely combines elements of several of these theories. But it’s clear Burns’ supposed death serves some calculated purpose. He seems to have willingly removed himself from the board as part of a risky but cunning long-term strategy.

Is Leonard Burns Really Dead? The Facts Point to No

Sifting through the limited information available, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests Leonard Burns’ sudden alleged murder by Shinra is not what it seems. While his fate is designed to appear sealed, a closer look points to Burns faking his demise for some secret plan.

The Empire’s Claims Seem Flawed

The questionable timing, lack of proof, and overall narrative implausibility of the Empire declaring Burns dead all undermine their accusations. Every sign indicates their claims are likely untrue and simply a tactic against Company 8.

Burns’ Story Remains Unresolved

For satisfying plot development, it makes little sense to kill off Burns when his history and arc lack proper resolution. His enigmatic personality and motives have been built up over the story. Removing him now seems counterproductive to coherent storytelling.

Hints of a Fake Death Align

Subtle pieces of foreshadowing sprinkled earlier in the manga indicate plans were likely in motion for Burns to eventually stage his own murder. This strongly suggests his death is fabricated rather than genuine.

Faking His Demise Has Clear Benefits

Several compelling motivations exist for why Burns would willingly fake his own death. Deceiving his enemies and going undercover, provoking conflicts between rivals, or spurring Shinra’s growth all represent potential goals behind the subterfuge.

Burns is Too Important to Remove

Overall, as a pivotal character, Leonard Burns still has more to contribute to the Fire Force story. His persona and powers are too significant to discard prematurely. While the exact nature of his schemes remains a mystery for now, the truth will inevitably be revealed in future manga installments. Burns is likely very much alive and operating behind the scenes to further his undetermined ends.

So in summary: while Burns’ fate appears definitively sealed, a thoughtful analysis indicates this is almost certainly a carefully orchestrated ruse. Burns remains a master manipulator even in faked death, artfully utilizing deceit to advance some hidden but important purpose. One way or another, this powerful and enigmatic pyrokinetic still has a critical role left to play in Fire Force’s fascinating ongoing narrative.

About The Author

Scroll to Top