OP Sequence

OP: 「Gospel Of The Throttle 狂奔REMIX ver.」 by Minutes Til Midnight

「踵鳴る」 (Kakatonaru)

Lots of blood and fighting with just a touch of moral teachings. Now this is how you do a second episode

There be a Story Here

As expected last week we didn’t have to wait long to get the gist on Drifters’ central story. Our bespectacled bureaucrat Murasaki (he does have a name!) is apparently abducting recruiting Drifters to fight on his side in a grand game of sorts against woman named Easy. Although the game itself remains ambiguous currently, considering the colour dichotomy between our “players” it’s pretty obvious Murasaki represents good/salvation, whereas and Easy is going for evil/destruction. It really feels like a twist on NGNL’s basic theme, except the focus is now on the pawns (i.e. the Drifters) in place of the commanding players. No hilarious Sora/Shiro shenanigans this time around.

The world our protagonists find themselves in likewise has received some detail. Interestingly demihumans will be a thing here, with the elves supposedly only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Tolkien-esque creatures. Really curious, however, is the political situation with these species. The indication is that a major war was fought in the past which the demihumans lost, resigning them to a fate of serfdom and indentured servitude. For the elves especially this is fascinating, as we typically associate them with secluded forest living and adept archery, not agriculture. Although little is known over who won this war country-wise, it’s clear it was humanity, the peace is enforced by a magistrate, and that a related agency called the Octobrists watches over the unknown Drifters. Expect this aspect to be detailed very soon considering the true baddies have yet to be revealed.

Morals amid the Action

The plot might be interesting, but by far the star of this episode was the constant bloodshed from start to finish. Decapitations were plentiful, bodily harm common, and fire serving to highlight the sheer chaos of it all. I would lie if I didn’t say I had a grin on my face from start to finish—this is what made Hellsing fantastic after all. Toyohisa, Nobunaga, and Yoichi of course personify the chaos, showcasing through bloodthirst just how terrible war can be. Toyohisa retains the thing for mantle trophies, while Nobunaga finds pleasure in the more abstract ruination of his opponent’s morale and will to live. Then there’s Yoichi, who without much fanfare takes care of the dirty work in the background (the perfect role for a trap). It’s like a typical RPG party of tank, mage, and thief, except these boys thoroughly enjoy slaughtering things while teasing each other amid exceptionally poorly timed jokes. Admit it, you loved every second.

What really struck me, however, was the morality playing behind the scenes. Toyohisa is the most obvious example, who retains a surprising sense of samurai honour underneath that crazed appearance. The beating of the knight with the sheath showcases this perfectly, as more than a simple fighting style, it indicates Toyohisa considered the knight unworthy of a warrior’s death. This is a captivating juxtaposition of honour with the usual reality of battle, transforming Toyohisa from simple brute into an intriguingly complex character. His encouragement for the elves to kill the man especially highlights this, showing Toyohisa believes in vendetta (an eye for an eye) and the need for one to take their own justice. Nobunaga likewise features some incredible realism (the political science variety mind you), showing the importance of collecting hearts and minds and how hunger can transform a man from staunch opponent into supplicating slave. For a pulp action slaughter fest this is some amazing development. If Drifters can keep this up I might get addicted.

Next Time: The End(s)

With the basic plot now revealed, all that’s left for Drifters is to reveal the big baddies of the season and get this show rolling. Looks like we won’t have long to wait either given the teases. If some of the symbols casually dropped indicate anything (that fleur de lis for one) I can also guess who might be making an appearance soon. Oh yes, my body is most certainly ready.

Random Tidbits

Laughed hard at the katana cutting through a sword. That is one meme I didn’t expect to see here.

Nobunaga’s talk of dignity and hunger is based off the Ikkou Ikki. In particular the whole thing likely references Nobunaga’s three sieges of Ise Nagashima.

If the battle names did not give it away, those two Drifters seen at the beginning are Scipio Africanus and Hannibal himself from the Second Punic War. Interesting choices those.


  1. Dat OP. And full, uncensored decapitations and dismemberment. Awesome.

    I haven’t read the manga but I wonder who will be on the Ends side. The relationship between Murasaki and Easy and the summoning of warriors from other worlds remind me of Chaos and Cosmos from the Final Fantasy series.

    Na na na na na na nanananana~

    1. It could, a katana is better mada than your avarage european broadsword but it would left the katana dull. But the Laws of Physics are just eating popcorn right now and so should we.

      1. All it would happen is: It would have left the katana bend and thus broken.

        Well, it’s your standart anime katana. A real one would have bend the wrong way.

        Remember, a katana was made for cutting power against japanese armor and the flesh beneath, it never was able (nor made) to slice steel.

        And no, a katana never was “better made than your avarage european broadsword”. Both are pretty much the same craftmanship wise.

        People really have to learn the katana isn’t some mystical superweapon and the european swords weren’t some slightly sharpend heavy metal bars.
        Both were just normal swords. Both were sharp, had thier martial combat schools attacht to it and did thier job in killing people.

      2. I’m not sure about that; even if we consider that a katana is well-made, I’ve read that metal is Japan is not as good, hence the reason why they needed to come up with better designs for weapons.

        Still, this is an anime, so let’s just enjoy the show.

      3. Japanese steel is well known the world over at being very high grade steel. It’s hard to work with and extremely brittle initially but as it’s worked it becomes extraordinarily strong do to both it’s layered structure and high carbon nature.

        As far as a katana cutting though a typical European style broadsword – it’s possible in the right conditions but not without damage to both swords. The weapons that most militia/infantrymen would have would be bottom of the barrel stuff made out of whatever iron or low-grade steel was available, farmed out to whatever blacksmith was available. Most of them were crap as far as quality goes but good enough to do their jobs. Katana’s were on the other hand a weapon made for warriors, not low class soldiers. They could take upwards of a month or more to complete and were worth more than property, especially from named swordsmiths. Katana’s made 600+ years ago are still as sharp as when they were made.

      4. The objective superiority of the katana is a ubiquitous urban myth. Both the katana and broadsword were designed for different functions, the katana fast, flowing combat, the broadsword for slugfests against well-armoured foes. Place each sword in each other’s intended role and they would be mediocre. In particular the katana would struggle against heavy plated knights because the sword cannot deal much damage through the armour. Likewise in quick combat the broadsword fails because its greater mass impedes rapid shifts in momentum, something the katana never experienced due to its design and lighter mass.


        Need to be careful with quality claims. The common foot soldier may have had poorly forged swords (if they had any at all, pikes and lances were the common weapon of choice), but the average knight would have received decent quality swords similar to your typical samurai. Japanese smithing at this time was no more complex or inherently better than European smithing.

      5. @Pancakes
        Yeah, I was primarily referencing the lowly foot soldiers what would have mass produced swords if at all. Knights (traditionally nobleman) would of have top picked weapons and armor with the best blacksmiths money could buy.

        A katana is for slicing and dicing and the broadsword/short sword is for stabbing and pummeling. One reason I like that they included the tactic of using the scabbard to pummel the commander into submission and mentioning that he couldn’t be cut with his armor.

    2. Then again, from the looks of it, it seems that Toyohisa-chan here happens to be carrying around a noudachi. Don’t know if that would be a factor, but perhaps it’s plausible- maybe, I dunno, let zhe technical experts solve this one out.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  2. Those three are the heroes, right? I´m not complaining but that trio could scare a demon to death. Toyohisa kind of reminds me of Alucrad, they´re both ax crazy blood knights but they have a very strict code of honor.

      1. Not so sure about it, they have a strange sense of honor no matter how much they like the battle and Toyohisa was enrage at the sight innocent people slaughter like animals, at best they are ant-heroes but it all depends of what they do to the elves after this. Besides, being a combat pragmatist is perfectly fine as long as it keeps you alive, in the battlefield there aren´t many rules, just don´t kill innocent people and you are safe.

      2. If they didn’t burn the wheat, the elves would have just gone back to farming and being oppressed, or probably have stay obedient slaves ready to be slaughtered. Oda simply made it so it would be impossible to go back to business as usual, they would have to fight or starve.

    1. It’s how it’s always been for millennia my fellow homo sapien. Homo kill, homo survive. At times, killing can be fun, but one must develop a strange sense for it to even emerge in the first place.

      In a sense, living in modernized society is a very peaceful one, but it also makes people forget about the histories that make up the species.

      Indeed, the story of all organisms is truly a violent one.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. Hannibal can be argued to be the #1 strategist of the ancient era, at the very least one of the best. If there’s anyone who’s going to be the dark horse, it has to be him I feel.

    Carthago delenda est!

    1. Can’t wait to see his and Scipio’s relationship. Historically, it is said, despite being enemies, Scipio did his best to try to prevent Rome from harrying Hannibal, especially after the latter went into exile. They both died around the same time.

  4. There is also that little segment with the seat at the end. From that it looks like after Nobunaga saw Toyohisa at work he decided to make him a figurehead instead of running everything out in the open himself.

  5. I am hoping to see more of other drifters around (Hannibal and Scipio showing up for a moment at the start). But for now the trio is good enough to have some no-holds-barred beatdowns on clowns who have been too long doing a slavemasters duty…

  6. Animation is simply marvelous here, that’s what I wanted to start with. It was bloody, it was intense, and it was really brutal. It looks like the second episode ends the prologue part and we’re going to dive into real plot now. I’ve been really enjoying it so far and having this and Haikyuu on the same day makes Friday just really good.

  7. I think it’s safe to assume when a character in any Kouta Hirano work smiles, the normal reaction is to be afraid, very afraid. Awesome second episode and opening music. Gospel of the Throttle is going to be stuck in my head for a while.

  8. I love how unforgiving bloody this is, it’s nice to watch all hell break loose and just enjoy some carnage and violence, but I’m glad the three drifters so far have their own unique sense of morals or way of thinking, makes this more compelling when they aren’t just simple minded warriors. I love how excited Toyohisa looked when he was charging at the soldiers, something about that sheer joy makes it so fun to watch. This season is turning out to be really good so far.

    1. Violence, be it real or simulated can be fun… But once you throw in all the other things, then it becomes not so fun.

      This one though, war is most definitely enjoyable.

      Nishizawa Mihashi

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