The Great Cataclysm (大災害, Daisaigai) is an event that happened two hundred and fifty years before Year 198. The incident involved flames exploding around the world, devastating it and leaving most parts of the planet uninhabitable. Continents were torn apart and some nations were utterly obliterated. As a result, survivors fled to the Tokyo Empire, which remained mostly stable during the period.
The flames that brought this destruction upon the planet was the Adolla Burst. Along with Raffles I guidance, The Holy Sol Temple, Haijima Industries and Vulcan's ancestors collaborated to create the Amaterasu generator, enabling sustainable and nation-wide power for Tokyo to utilise. This power let the Empire develop further and allowed for more migration from the outside world. This lead to cultural changes within the Empire, such as it becoming customary to refer to others by the first names as opposed to their family names.
It was revealed by Sumire that the Great Cataclysm had actually failed due to lack of Pillars as well as the lack of strength of them. Each of the Pillars embodies a different negative human emotion; madness, passivity, apathy, rage, destruction, fear, disgust, and despair. These emotions, born from humanity themselves, are what fuel the fires of the Great Cataclysm. As such, the progress of the flames can be countered by positivity and hope.
The Evangelist chose Japan as the source of the Great Cataclysm because it had a large number of atheistic people and thus no spiritual root. This made it easy for the collective unconscious to develop and flow through people.
- Chapter 51, page 6
- Chapter 51, page 8
- Fire Force Manga: Chapter 253