Drifters – 09
「本気ボンバー」 (Honki bonbaa)
It pleases me greatly knowing Drifters is never one to leave us wanting. Burning villages to the ground? Besieging great walls with million man armies? Heh those are nothing boys and girls, after all they’re missing explosions. Thankfully that gaping hole was more than patched over this episode.
Although I’m surprised the dwarf liberation took place so fast (personally expected some more buildup first), I frankly never noticed while the events played themselves out. It truly is a compliment to Drifters that an arguably rushed moment worked so well given the focus was not so much on the story itself, but (as is rapidly becoming common) on how our characters come to adapt to this new world. Gunpowder of course was the star this week, where we got everything from powder bombs to arrow pseudo-rockets. Nobunaga’s intelligence particularly shows well here, given he not only thought of gunpowder initially, but devised turning it into bombs and rockets. Especially fascinating was Nobunaga’s comment regarding gunpowder’s true impact being its perception more than its destruction. This actually is a hypothesis for explaining gunpowder’s early usage during the Song dynasty. Since early gunpowder was not particularly effective at mass slaughter, some believe it was primarily used to sow fear. Given some military enthusiasts can overlook this point, having Nobunaga bring it up is incredibly interesting.
Also striking is how communications (of all things!) also factored into things this week. Much like the Gatling gun previously, Nobunaga was again quick to identify the possibilities, particularly for large, complex manoeuvres. Combined with Toyohisa’s (and Hannibal’s) ingenious use of Olminu’s stone walls, this week all but checked off the boxes for material never touched by typical war stories. Considering how strongly Drifters is digging into the nuts and bolts of tactical and technological development, I really am starting to think Nobunaga’s argument concerning what defines a Drifter is the correct one. We have already been inundated repeatedly by what separates Drifter from End, but this new argument definitely looks to be the correct form: Ends possess one unified objective in destroying humanity, whereas Drifters each have their own personal desire. It’s not mindset but endgame which separates a Drifter from an End. Toyohisa after all but lives for lopping off heads while Nobunaga enjoys building a state around himself, and
Jesus the Black King literally seeks one (nonhuman) kingdom under god. It’s a dichotomy which sticks better than some of the more tentative ideas broached earlier while still allowing both Drifters and Ends to be “evil” at heart (i.e. Hitler’s Orte Empire). It will be interesting seeing if this idea is fleshed out further in later episodes.
Given that the dwarves are now successfully liberated though, where we go from here story-wise is anyone’s guess. With monsters now engaging in agriculture, dragons joining with the Black King, and one powerful drag queen count already eyeing possible defection, Drifters could certainly go in several directions. With the show’s love for everything Lord of the Rings, however, I can only think of one thing: liberation of the hobbits. Next week will certainly provide the answer.
Kakyoin apparently has a student in rero-ing.
This sign (left strangely untranslated) is actually a reference to Auschwitz’s infamous “Arbeit macht Frei” (work makes you free) placard.
Toyohisa really gives Nobunaga a run for his money sometimes. That bit with the cooking was one hell of an ingenious surrender timer, plus I never expected that demand of seppuku from the Orte commander. Toyohisa might be a tougher challenge than Nobunaga gives him credit for.