Drifters – 11
「ピストル大名の冒険 〜火縄丸数え歌〜」 (Pisutoru daimyou no bouken 〜hinawa maru kazoeuta〜)
“The Adventure of the Pistol Daimyou ~Bullet Counting Song~”
Sometimes it’s hard remembering there’s only one episode remaining when Drifters throws us the next big battle of the season. Wasting little time following the dwarven liberation, Nobunaga and crew now find themselves in Orte’s capital Verlina (because calling it Berlin is too easy), ready to instigate the Count’s selling out strategy. I got to admit, the political intrigue (while barely delved into) was pretty damn captivating given not one, but two coups transpired near-simultaneously, and both coups made use of the same argument for legitimization. Both the Drifters (through the Count) and
Jesus the Black King planned on using Orte’s senescence to excuse their seizure of power, each in their own way promising a restoration of the empire’s glory. Particularly amusing was the showdown between Nobunaga and Rasputin, with Rasputin surprisingly naïve towards the Drifters’ plans and shocked at how Toyohisa casually brushed him off to beat his puppet’s face in. This was a nice bit of homage to the real Rasputin, especially Rasputin’s known obliviousness towards potential risks and a total belief in his own opinions. It’s interesting too how during all of this Nobunaga realized Toyohisa’s best strength (sole focus on fighting) is also his gravest weakness. It’s hard sometimes imagining how killing your problems could be a weakness, but in delicate political maneuvering, pissing off the crowd can have the nasty habit of turning both friend and foe against you (as Nobunaga knows all too well). I’m really curious seeing how Nobunaga now changes up his teaching methods to account for this.
The big event though of is the setup for the upcoming battle of Verlina. As expected, the new muskets won’t have (too) much sway over the final result given only 100 exist (alongside one mean looking blunderbuss), but it’s sure fascinating seeing the initial impact of these firearms. Nobunaga in his fire command role was demonically awesome, the eager grin barely able to contain his excitement at watching body parts fly and the enemy flee in fear. The whole thing becomes hilarious too when noting the Count’s personal army—the Sacred Band of Thebes—was wielding the weapons, and somehow in the course of being annihilated at Chaeronea and arriving here managed to pick up 200 additional men (the actual band only had 300). The Count for me is surprisingly turning into one of Drifters’ most interesting characters, a total drag queen (or twinkie, love that one) with a wicked memory and one of the better sources of jokes of late—the military expertise banter was especially good. I’m really starting to think he’s not queer/bisexual either, and just puts on the JoJo act to utterly confuse people like poor Toyohisa. Nobunaga may be right that the Count will betray them at the drop of a hat should his interests deviate, but I’d imagine it shouldn’t be a problem for our self-professed state builder.
Although next week may be it for Drifters, at least we are guaranteed to go out with a bang. It looks like Hijikata will be the final boss battle here, likely against Toyohisa, while Nobunaga continues showing off his musket prowess. I’m expecting lots of blood and body parts for the finale, with even more wicked grinning faces for the grinning face god. While the Drifters will almost certainly prevail in this showdown (after all, they have the guns), I’m expecting/hoping it won’t be so easy this time around. After all, with less than a thousand men against the full might of one of the Black King’s armies, it’s hard imagining how even the collective strength of Nobunaga and Toyohisa extricate our heroic band from this mess. Well, unless Hannibal has something up his sleeve.
Got to adore translators ignoring things. This sign reads “I served Orte as a soldier for 10 years.”
Nobunaga isn’t the only one aware of the implications from near-instantaneous communications it seems. Rasputin apparently uses talismans for the same purpose.
Love the homage to Hitler’s grandiose architectural plans for Berlin with massive black arcs randomly scattered throughout Verlina. Also the Count’s subordinate’s comment about being sent to the front lines? Another homage to the common WW2 German fear about being sent to the Eastern Front