「アクティブハート」 (Akutibuhaato)
“Active Heart”

After two episodes of chaotic bloodletting, Drifters finally slows down for a bit of foreshadowing and development. Although arguably a more “boring” week, there were some interesting bits amid the half-baked comedy. The problem with languages was actually answered, with magic crests/talismans serving as universal translators (interesting to note that one exists for every language the Drifters use), while the idea that Ends are differentiated only from Drifters by their opinion on humanity was verified. Seems Ends loathe the world (i.e. our world) and wish annihilation on mankind. This culminates with yet more hints dropped about the Black King, probably the biggest elephant in the room. It’s like Drifters wasn’t content with the blatant symbolism previously, because the King’s personal aspects were even more in our face this time around. Beyond the additional focus on those distinctive hand wounds, the King is shown possessing potent healing abilities and a grudge against mankind for refusing his salvation. When that attempt fell through (probably the point where he was brought to this world), the Black King decided demihumans needed saving more than a hypocritical mankind. All we are really missing now is the ubiquitous water to wine magic and then you can stick a fork in this one and call it done: the guy is Jesus without a doubt, born anew with some seriously twisted objectives.

Probably the more intriguing bit though has to be politics where we finally receive some welcome information. The Black King functions like some twisted aberration of Orc and Nightwalker, bringing the demihumans together up north to destroy mankind (complete with Eye of Sauron reference). Humanity, however, seems fractured among different powers (i.e. those Carneades wall watchers), with the largest being the xenophobic, imperialist Orte Empire. Elves apparently weren’t the only victims of Orte expansion, with Dwarves and Hobbits (we really are going full Tolkien) also sources of plentiful slave labour. Even without the Drifters spicing things up, the battle lines here are fairly obvious, with man and beast literally fighting for their very existence. Interesting to note furthermore that the Ends apparently have been around a long time, and only under the Black King have united into a true danger. Really begs the question who else has yet to be revealed.

The Drifters of course throw a hefty wrench into this simplistic story, especially Nobunaga’s state building. This scene put a good grin on my face, more so than the village brawl or even the Northern Wall attack. There’s just something about naked political ambition and a true understanding of it that really grabs my attention. Although sticking Toyohisa in the leader spot was hilarious (and succinctly foreshadowed mind you), Nobunaga’s claim to command from the behind the scenes was the crowning highlight, especially his allusion to the position’s power over the public leader. This is how I always pictured Nobunaga, not the headstrong fighter from, say, Nobunaga the Fool, but the crafty, devious statesman willing to convince, coerce, and outright kill to get what he wanted. No better example than that speech (through Toyohisa once again) to the Elves, where Elven pride and honour were easily manipulated into rage and rebellion. The whole thing becomes particularly great (and funny) when noting how the old geezer makes no bones about casually dropping all of these factual nuggets in the open for all to see. Move over Toyohisa, Nobunaga’s the star of this show. Well, at least until we return to the bloodletting next week.

Random Tidbits

Drifters’ humour is definitely subjective, but parts of it here worked for me. Laughed especially hard at Yoichi’s language learning pains and Nobunaga’s labelling of Olminu as the Boob Goddess. Perverted old men and big breasted women, it’s two tropes for the price of one.

The Octobrist job description screams medieval UN to me, complete with begging for cash and scrounging for troops from states that could care less. Pretty much how the modern version works 😛

As expected, this guy is Rasputin. If he isn’t exceptionally skilled in magic as well I’ll be quite surprised.

9 Comments

  1. They’re doing a good job with the adaption. The comedy style isn’t for everyone, but it’s done much better than Hellsing. If they keep the pace, then next week shit will literally go down.

    anon234
  2. I was watching this episode and it was hit after hit – he has these hand wounds, ok, now he starts healing people, alright… and for the love of god (oh wait), he started his speech about people rejecting him, goddamn. Whether it’s Jesus or not, this is just brilliant.

    Anyways, really enjoying the pacing, the plot is intriguing, and I feel like with this episode I finally got into this show.

    Also, where is my catchy, oldschoolish opening, I missed it so much…

    Pyon
  3. Nobunaga’s statement on what you have to do when you concur a state is exactly the same observation as Machiavelli’s I wonder if it a independent observation of what works in history which is where Machiavelli came up with his or is it just borrowed from Machiavelli.
    As Nobunaga says either you totally obliterate a enemy or you hand over everything as you would to pacify a crying princess. With Machiavelli it was obliterate or make the new area full citizens treated the same as all your citizens. Bringing the captured area up to your standards is pacify a princess. Machiavelli’s example was the Turks as the Ottoman Empire capture of Turkey(not their traditional homeland) where the Ottoman Emperor actually moved the capital from Damascus to the renamed Istanbul to truly make the new area home land. In Turkey like the better Moslem permanent conquests the inhabitants were made citizens of the conquering power.

    Love the nope you did not recruit nice guys we taking over.

    Love the UN comparison, poor guys and boob grabbed girl. Interesting that similar magic items existed in the Japan they left.

    I’m thinking of the Enders now a negative copies of the original taking their negative thoughts on death and empowering them. Most of the enders had no magical powers. Jesus’s execution was the intended result so that man could be forgiven of sins so Jesus the son of god would not resent that but Jesus was also a man who did not want to be excused and had doubts. But Jesus’s powers were god given not magic if he wanted man destroyed man would be destroyed instantly and Jesus restored withered hands leaving a scar in this story was a interesting choice Jesus’s healing always portrayed as total. This is from my belief system if you are using Jesus as a non powered cult leader then this is the first time he has powers. But all the Enders except a non god related Jesus figure would not hate humanity as a whole only hating those who killed them so I think a negative copy is best for the story. Like to know where the dragon fly staff comes from and Jesus was not known as a fighter, general or statesman so where that is that from.

    In Shinto Jesus is recognized as an avatar of the same being that is in the Shinto Pantheon’s trinity, Christian god is a avatar of the same being as the chief Shinto goddess Amaterasu. Shinto’s answer to all the worlds gods and belief systems is basically they are all right and this is how the gods appear here in Japan.

    Side note for the possibility that other Ah My goddess fans still exist. Ah My Goddess secret steadily reviled is that the three sisters are the Norns the most powerful beings in Norns mythology maybe before they reach full power as gods who control everything including time they don’t have to start existing at any particular part of the time line all the goddess of the story are shown to always existing. Und near end is revealed as being capable of being the most power being in the universe basically god and that would make Beldandy the second Norn sister by the rules of Shinto is basically Jesus. This makes the story a gender switched Catholic school girl fantasy of marrying Jesus. This is my conclusion from the evidence.

    RedRocket
  4. Questionable, somewhat forced comedy skits are pretty much the only thing really holding back the show (although I’ll admit some are kind of funny, and having a few funny bits does ease up the tension a little bit, can’t be full throttle in serious mode all the time). Really liking how crafty Nobunaga is and how balanced the trio are, and it’s always fun to see the “underdogs” fight against a larger army, in this case the elves. Interesting premise throughout, and can’t wait to see the personal fights between Ends and Drifters and how their ideologies might crash.

    ChromeNova

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