OP: 「Gospel Of The Throttle 狂奔REMIX ver.」 by Minutes Til Midnight
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.
Laughed hard at the katana cutting through a sword. That is one meme I didn’t expect to see here.
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.