|Voice Actor(s)||Taiten Kusunoki (Japanese)|
Phil Parsons (English)
|Birth Date||August 10th (Leo)|
|Height||186 cm (6' 1")|
|Weight||91 kg (201 lbs)|
|Affiliation||Special Fire Force Company 1|
|Manga||The Rookie Fire Soldier Games|
|Anime||The Rookie Fire Soldier Games|
Leonard Burns (レオナルド・バーンズ, Reonarudo Bānzu) was a Third Generation pyrokinetic, and the captain of Special Fire Force Company 1. As a citizen and a priest, it was a sense of duty that had Leonard work for the church, but ever since encountering the Evangelist, his faith in The Holy Sol Temple started to waver.
Leonard was a tall and muscular man with wavy grey hair, with some of it being styled into a ponytail in the back. He had a bearded chin-strap and green-colored eyes, one of which is covered by a black eye-patch. This eye-patch became enveloped in flames whenever Leonard uses his Ignition Ability. It is revealed that hidden right eye is severely burned and seemingly non-functional. Leonard's outfit consisted of the protective outer jacket, which he wears over his shoulders, a white collared shirt, dark-colored trousers and boots and a light-colored belt. His protective outer jacket was coated with blue lines and the buttons on it are in shape of cross-like symbols. Leonard's outfit contained patches with "1" on them, to signify his affiliation to Special Fire Force Company 1.
Leonard is a somewhat intimidating, but nice person. He is respected by his team-mates and values his recruits, rushing in to save them from jeopardy, personally thanking those who help them and checking on them if they are wounded. He has known a tendency to have his arms folded until a situation force his hand. When it comes to fighting, Leonard has shown to have a very serious attitude, overwhelming his opponents with ruthless might, even when they are dramatically weaker than he is. Leonard has a secretive and stoic presence, abandoning pleasantries in order to avoid difficult discussions and people he wishes to remain distance from. This behaviour leads Shinra and Akitaru to believe that Burns is hiding crucial information to further his own ends. This was proven true as he hides his past experience with the Adolla and secretly investigates the Adolla to find out the truth on his personal time. When he chooses to reveal his secrets, Burns is very direct and blunt due to his belief that emotions should not factor into a Fire Solider's role to protect the greater good. He instead places great value on strength and certainty, feeling that being strong enough to act on information is needed in order to learn it.
Though generally calm, even in the most dire situations, Onyango sees Leonard as a hot-headed and stubborn man despite outward appearances. Once he has decided on his course of action, Burns will not stop until he has succeeded. Shinra feels that Burns acts without explaining himself to anyone because he thinks all of his actions are justified. Causing him to ignore opposing viewpoints and the consequences of his actions to get his way. Burns himself admits that he is a stubborn old veteran incapable of changing. In private, Burns expresses frustration with the Cardinals of the Holy Sol Temple restricting his freedom to act and admits to having a no real faith in the Church's teachings after his experiences. Despite seemingly looking down on those who lack a singular drive in life for wandering through life: Burns is a very independent thinker and actor, exploring The Netherworld, an unholy place in the eyes of society, without fear or guilt. In spite of these issues and his attitude, Burns not only sees the Holy Sol as important to the Empire's stability but he maintains his faith in a god. Even after encountering the Evangelist, he continued to pray. Praying out of respect and habit as opposed to doing so out of any desire to protect himself or others. Burns states that he will always be a priest and will always believe, even if there is nothing to believe in. Despite his frustrations with the organisation, he will defend the church from attack and work within it for the sake of social order. Because of his lifetime spent protecting the Tokyo Empire and his dogmatic commitment to his station, he is unwilling to change the world or challenge the nature of things.
As a child Leonard showed an uncanny devotion and focus on his prayers compared to the other boys at the Holy Sol Temple, remaining in deep prayer wherever he went. As reward for his devotion, he was eventually given his name and the title 'The Lion That Banishes All Evil' by Raffles III, swearing to protect the Tokyo Empire from danger. As a young adult he acted as the liaison between the Holy Sol Temple's public and secret organizations. In that time he would always look after Five-Two in the Netherworld and even tolerated the boy's questions about the world and his faith. After an Infernal outbreak inside the Amaterasu, he and Five-Two worked with others to destroy them. Upon encountering the last Infernal it established an Adolla Link with the pair. The Link caused Burn's right eye to set ablaze, while Five-Two's left eye suffered the same damage. Witnessing the Evangelist and falling to his knees, the pair are returned to their world where Burns quickly killed the Infernal. Leonard assumes it was an illusion, only for an ignited stone in Five-Two's possession to prove they where taken to another plane of existence. Burns took this stone and stored it in a bottle.
Seeing Adolla destroyed Leonard's faith in the Holy Sol, leading to him investigating the church to discover a history incompatible with its teachings. Despite this and the harsh words of Five-Two, the man continued to pray from the bottom of his heart. He claims he will continue to believe regardless of Sun God's existence or benevolence, something Five-Two sees as a painful life. Using his eventual position of the Captain of Company 1 for all kinds of research, Leonard found no evidence of deliberate falsehood in the Sol Temple. While researching the long forgotten Netherworld, Leonard discovered the diary of Raffles I's wife and learnt something strange happened to Raffles before he founded the Church.
In Year 186, when Mari Kusakabe's house caught fire, a 38 year old Leonard attended the scene fifteen minutes after it started with Onyango. As he entered and searched for the house's occupants, Burns encountered a Demon Infernal holding Shō and felt the fire in his left eye burn out of control due to the Evangelist's involvement. When the Infernal left the house, it began to collapse, forcing the brigade to evacuating outside. Afterwards, Leonard lied to Shinra about his family perishing in the fire, in an attempt to make the boy fear the flames to ultimately avoid him using his Ignition Ability and joining the Special Fire Force.
Leonard is a veteran who has made a name for himself through his abilities. He is an extremely skilled and powerful hand-to-hand combatant, using it as his primary fighting style that consists of very powerful strikes and punches. His hand-to-hand prowess allows him to match a trained assassin decades younger than himself blow for blow.
Leonard's Ignition Ability is called Voltage Nova and he is known as "Fire Incarnate". Using it, he can burn the flames inside his body like a furnace to increase his physical abilities with thermal energy. Doing so, he was able to push away the plasma on Arthur Boyle's Excalibur back at him and redirect the flames of Shinra's kicks by intercepting the kicks with his palms. He also can create a barrier of heat that can stop Shinra from using Rapid. His sturdy body allows him to land from extraordinary heights without repercussions, withstand critical attacks without flinching, continue fighting despite being in crippling pain and his speed grants him the ability to react to and deflect enemy attacks with ease.
Leonard attends the Rookie Fire Soldier Games to support his brigade's new officer, where he is stumbled upon by Shinra. When the boy introduces himself, Leonard realizes that he knows who the boy is, and tells him that he has no time for idle chit-chat. Shinra attempts to catch up to him, asking if he remembers an incident twelve years prior, but Leonard replies that he doesn't and advises him to go get prepared for the tournament, which leads Shinra to believe that the man is hiding something from him. When the building, the tournament was held in, catches fire, Leonard rescues his recruits and later thanks Shinra for helping her out. Afterwards, he asks for an explanation on what happened inside the building, as the tournament gets halted.
VS. 1st Special Fire Brigade arc
After the scuffle between Special Fire Force Companies 5 and 8, Karim Flam, Rekka Hoshimiya and Foien Li are approached by Leonard and together they discuss the event. When trainees from the 2nd, 5th and 8th Brigades arrive at the 1st Special Fire Fighting Cathedral, Leonard directs their training regiment, dictating the fights. Later, Leonard fights Arthur and makes quick work of him, putting out his Excalibur's plasma by bending it back at him. Shinra then jumps in to fight him, attempting to kick him with his Ignition Ability, but Leonard manages to intercept all of the Fire Soldier's kicks with his palms. When Shinra manages to hit Leonard's stomach, the Battalion Commander, without flinching, uses it as an opportunity to inflict a heavy blow to Shinra without touching him, which ends the fight in his favour and finishes the combat training of the trainees. Leonard and his brigade later confront and defeat giant Infernal in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo.
Preacher Pursuit arc
Leonard and Karim, alongside the seven Battalion Commanders and Fire Soldiers of the Special Fire Forces, attends a meeting with Raffles III, where Adolla Burst and the issues involving Spontaneous Human Combustion are brought up.
Leonard apologises to Onyango for interrupting his retirement after the Hoshimiya incident. Onyango dismisses his concerns and instead asks Burns if his right eye was feeling given the frequency of the small earthquakes recently, Burns simply replies he didn't want Shinra to come to Company 1. As Company 8 seeks medical treatment for Shinra at the Special Fire Fighting Defence Clinic 6, Leonard approaches him as he recovering from his surgery. Intending to tell Shinra the truth behind the fire incident involving his family, the two move to the courtyard, where Leonard answered all of Shinra's questions and informed Shinra he knew Shō was abducted by the White-Clad.
When Shinra grabs him in anger, Burns knocks him away and states he will only explain further if Shinra shows he is strong enough. Beginning to fight, he admires Shinra's newfound speed and recognises the concept of 'grace'. After sparring briefly, Burns begins to unleash a mass amounts of heat powerful enough to blow Shinra away and preventing him through getting within striking distance. Eventually, Shinra's kick finally connects with Leonard and he feels the impact. As a reward and acknowledging Shinra's commitment to the truth and power, and recounting what happen 12 years ago. As Burns turns to leave, Shinra asks him about his knowledge of the Adolla, leading to Leonard admiting to seeing it before and revealing the damage done to his eye.
Fifth Pillar arc
Within Company 1's church, Leonard and Onyango discuss Company 8 moving against the Evangelist. The priest asks if their Company will cooperate with them, which Leonard replies with telling him there's not much more Company 1 can do as their superiors are holding them back. So they can only hope that Karim's secret actions and Tamaki's 'punishment' are enough to support Company 8.
VS. Holy Sol Temple arc
Appearing before Joker in the Netherworld after he has defeated the Shadow of the Holy Sun, he asks why his old ally has caused such trouble after being quiet for so long before the pair get ready to fight. Although Burns changes his mind after realising that Benimaru is working with Joker and wants to take part in the fight, much to Joker's irritation and Benimaru's disappointment. Leonard hands them an old diary as a clue for their mission to uncover the secret of the church. When Joker asks about the True Scriptures, Burns claims they do not exist and that the church isn't deliberately hiding anything. However, the diary implies that Raffles I underwent an extreme personality shift before founding the Church, The trio discuss the possibility that somebody with the power to change faces could have replaced the emperor. Burns plans on covering up Joker and Benimaru's attack and the death of the Shadow Captain. With none of the three seeing any point in investigating the church, Burns directs Joker towards Haijima Industries to uncover their deep ties to the Empire's history.
Ōbi's Rescue arc
While praying, Li and Flam approach him claiming that Hague was killed for his tie to the Adolla and it would be wise for Burns to consider bodyguards. Burns refuses and says that Company 1 will destroy this evil. After the Tokyo empire sends a summon for Burns'. he has Li, Flam and Onyango escort him to the The Holy Sol Temple – Holy See. Meeting with Raffles III, he tells Burns' the empire must unite with the White-Clad for the sake of the empire and Sun God, during which Haumea and other White Clads joined them. Angrily telling them to leave, Haumea talks Burns into joining their cause. While at Fuchū Prison after Akitaru Ōbi was imprisoned, Burns talks to Haumea about his faith and why he decided on following the Evangelist. Deciding on giving Akitaru's life to the Sun God, Burns says to use a Bug on the captain, during which an Adolla Link is established, leading to Shinra learning of Burns' intentions. Noticing Joker and Shinra arrive at the area, he tells Haumea that he will handle the Fourth Pillar.
Presenting a chained Obi to his enemies causes Shinra to lash out at Burns only to be knocked aside and saved by Joker. Burns battles against the pair, crushing stone underfoot with sheer heat. Shinra is able to briefly overpower and hurt Burns using his Superfire blades but Burns blasts him away using Voltage Nova. When pushed about why he has sided with the Evangelist, Burns simply states that he is a disciple of God and having found 'a conclusion beyond his prayers' knows what to do. If the Evangalist is his god then he must follow her orders. And with that he orders that Obi be stung by a Bug. Like everyone else, Burns is shocked when Obi bursts from his chains and his hardened body disinterests the bugs and tells Shinra Obi will have to relax his body soon. Shinra and Joker attack with renewed desperation, blasting Burns back with explosions and eventually slamming him through the rooftop to the ground floor. Refusing to avoid any attack Burns' firepower inceases again, telling Shinra that if he wants to be a hero and change the world then he'll have to destroy the system Burns has represented his whole life. As the fight continues Shinra focuses on constantly raising his speed to overcome Burns' raw power. While clashing the confused recruit is shocked by the single minded veteran's respect for someone who can choose a different path and active encouragement of his opponent. Finally achieving an Adolla Link, Shinra collides with Burns for the final time vowing that heroism and his desire to save the world means he will fight the whole world and defeat God to save it. He finally knocks Burns off his feet and wins their fight, although noticing that Burns has not broken a sweat. Burns commends Shinra for his strength and asks him to defy the world. Something a dogmatic veteran could never achieve.
Burns is suddenly impaled his own doppelgänger's horn as it emerges from the shadows and his body is lifted by the creature as it begins to stand. He orders Shinra to stay back and for Five-Two to make an escape while he hold the demon back. Grappling with the devil's horns, Burns clasps his hands in prayer as his doppelgänger takes him away through a portal, praying to God for support for the first time in his life and asking for their help. Burns is declared dead by the Empire with Shinra being declared his murderer. Company 8 is excommunicated and branded as criminals by the church. An empty casket is buried as his body remains missing. Other members of the Fire Force secretly ally with Obi's team and ignore their Empire's orders. Those who knew Burns believing that the stubborn and indirect old man was incapable of changing his ways trying to put them on the right path. Claiming that his betrayal while hoping for the destruction of the system he spent his life protecting made him the martyr to unite them against the upcoming danger, possibly from within the empire itself.
- There are several characters in Fire Force whose names are allusions to or directly taken from both monotheistic and patheistic religions and notable religious figures.
- Captain Burns's given name, Leonard, is the name of a Frankish saint from the Middle Ages who was the patron saint of prisoners, women in labor, and horses.
- Given his lion-like appearance and his strong affiliation with fire, being often refered to as the embodiment of flames, his design is likely influenced by the Zodiac Sign, Leo.
- Initially in the manga, Leonard's hair was white instead of grey.
- Leonard ranked 24th place in the first popularity poll.
|Butchers||Assault (Former) • Dragon • Gold • Stream|
|Great Cataclysm Execution Specialist Force||Faerie|
|Knights of the Ashen Flame||Shō Kusakabe (Commander) • Arrow • Flail • Haran • Lisa (Former) • Mirage • Yona|
|Knights of the Purple Smoke||Ritsu (Commander) • Orochi • Iron • Sasori|
|Other Members||Charon • Giovanni • Haumea • Inca Kasugatani • Leonard Burns • Rekka Hoshimiya • Yona's Servant|