I WAS RIGHT! This episode of Drifters truly was exclusively a narrative driven episode and had some of the series now awkward humour.
Meanwhile, back at the castle in Drifters…
In the north, the Black King (Who has holes in his hands… so yeah, Jesus) is dealing with the consequences of his assault on the North wall, many troops are dead. However, he shows himself to be generous to those who serve him by healing their wounds when in pain.
Meanwhile Toyohisa and co. are learning more and more about the world around them through a captured Octobrist magician Olminu. The episode often delves into its crude humour and art style too much for comfort for one episode, almost completely taking away any seriousness the scene should have. In a scene detailing how an apocalyptic force is coming to destroy the world, the scene should be devoid of humour.
I suppose this is to Drifters credit. It never takes itself too seriously, and even becomes surprisingly self-aware at one point. They claim Toyohisa is their leader because he sat in the middle of the group during their dramatic pose at the end of episode 2.
As this is a narrative driven and far more comical episode the previous ultraviolet spiel is long gone here. Instead, the art shifts between its sharp, serious style and the super deformed style, each part telling how serious the scene is. I found this shift a welcome change, as previous episodes have been nearly solely focused on action.
Except for once scene…
There’s nothing majorly wrong with CG in animation if it’s done right, but here it was just awkward and something I hope is not repeated in later episodes.
Despite being a comedic episode of Drifters, the music was great. In between some traditional Japanese music for some of the more slapstick moments, we have a Lord of the Rings inspired track for the Black Kings army and some jazzy beats as Toyohisa gives a rallying speech.
Other than they’re going somewhere, we learn little about the other Drifters who just escaped the Black Kings assault. This episode cements a thought I had last episode: Naoshi Kanno is my favourite character. While most people dealt with waking in a new world with a kind of scared confusion, Kanno deals with it with frustration. After he crashes his plane and finds himself glowing eyes, he simply cracks his knuckles and smiles, ready to take on what the world has for him.
Taking it Easy in Drifters
What hit me the most this episode was the scale of this universe, both how large and small it is. In the original episode: We saw a seemingly infinite white hallway with doors on each side. Toyohisa’s sucked into one and that was the end of that. While initially, the scale of the battle seemed grand this episode sought to remind us of all the doors. In the cosmological battle of Murasaki’s Drifters and Easy’s Ends, it almost seems like a game of competitive chess.
Murasaki spends most of his time sitting at his desk, smoking and reading a magic newspaper. Easy carries an identification badge around her neck. Suddenly this battle’s reduced to two people playing chess over the mail, a series of blows exchanged back and forth, but with no real cost to the players other than their time.
The Black King returns
This episode of Drifters gave is a rather key scene as to identifying just who the Black King is under that hood of his. He has a number of wounds on his arms and holes in his hands. He is kind to those who serve him heals their wounds. The obvious thing the series is pointing to is that the Black King is Jesus. Which makes sense, and why it hasn’t been before.
Jesus could heal people, turn water into wine, and way pious to his followers. Jesus is a complete Mary Sue, which makes sense given his lineage. But I like that Hirano is deconstructing historical characters in the same way he deconstructed Dracula in Hellsing. After all, wouldn’t you be a bit angry at humanity after your single purpose was to save them, and you ended up nailed to a cross and stabbed with a spear.
It’s interesting to see what a more human Jesus would do in his situation. Hopefully Hirano pulls him off as it could make him one of the series more interesting characters.
While I am still enjoying this series, some of Kouta Hirano’s tendencies are starting to grate on me. Nobunaga continuously gropes the breasts of the captured Octobrist magician, and the scenes are constantly set at night. Other than a brief moment of sunset this episode, the series has been constantly had a red or blue tint.
While these scenes frustrate me, Drifters has so far been a series I am enjoying, especially for some mindless bloody release before exam time.