「愛をとりもどせ」 (Aiwotorimodose)
“Bring Back Love”

After suffering through a night of thermodynamics testing hell, I find there’s no better way to recuperate than killing a few things. Thankfully, Drifters heard the message and blissfully went all out this week. Shit hit the fan. Literally.

We all knew this episode would be bloody, but I never thought the actual results would be this demonic. Salting the land with feces and corpses, encircling novice militia and burning them alive, using disease as a devastating weapon, and invidiously applying pitfalls and traps for eliminating the remnants—we had it all. Once again the duo of Toyohisa and Nobunaga rules the day for me, where both showcase some amazing and incredibly realistic morals and logical thought. Nobunaga definitely has set himself as the strategist of the group, channelling both Sun Tzu (winning the battle before it begins) and Clausewitz (war as another political tool) in his machinations. It’s this cold, stoic logic that makes Nobunaga for me and gives him a very intriguing, calculating demeanour once the pride and honour are stripped away. Also helps he is basically a grizzled geezer, it would be hard taking Nobunaga so seriously if he was a peace-fuzzed teenager with excessive smarts.

Toyohisa as mentioned nicely complements Nobunaga by providing the charisma Nobunaga lacks (or is unwilling to reveal). I do agree with Nobunaga that Toyohisa is the fittest for the top job, he’s convincing, proud, and caring without sacrificing pragmatism—the perfect field commander. Like Nobunaga, Toyohisa is the definition of morally grey, determined to honour his enemies and respect their actions while understanding morals turn superfluous at certain times. The scene where Toyohisa and Nobunaga deal with the corpses for example is probably one of the best (anime) visualizations I’ve seen succinctly differentiating idealism from realism. Few series ever go so far to show the nihilist approach to life’s meaning, let alone have their character’s coldly discussing it without a shit (heh) given. I dare say Drifter’s philosophical musing keeps getting stronger every week.

And then we get to arguably the true surprise this week: the enemy themselves. Although the Orte oppression was already brutally known to us, I doubt any expected some of things seen here, especially in the latter half with that unctuous prisoner gang rape. Casually discussing eradicating villages for recalcitrance was certainly not unexpected given the tendency for general slaughter already seen in episode two, but full on genocide definitely caught my attention. There is definitely an intelligent, long term planner heading the Orte Empire, few would ever conceive of eradicating an enemy over an entire generation by preventing procreation through female hostage taking. Genocide usually takes the form of immediate killing, so this strategy already deserves interest beyond the two questions it raises: why does this world’s mankind plan genocide on demihumans, and (more intriguingly) who came up with the idea? Given Olminu’s remarks about the Drifters’ views on life and death, I’m guessing a Drifter (or two) may have something to do with the Orte Empire’s grand strategy. Finding that out, however, is going to have to wait—we’ve got some rapists to kill first. Don’t travel too far boys and girls, we’ve only started descending down this maddening rabbit hole.

Random Tidbits

Nobunaga’s spiel on spears is factual. Most armies up to ~1500 bore majority peasant troops wielding spears/pikes/lances because they were cheap, easy to maintain, and very effective. You might have the best warriors who could kill 50 men a piece, but warrior numbers are inherently limited and there’s always another peasant planted safely behind a long pointy stick.

Why does Nobunaga want saltpeter and sulphur? Well you see when papa saltpeter and mama sulphur get together (and get a little help from sulphur’s ex charcoal), baby gunpowder just might be one of the kids.


  1. That feel when you just realized a lot of the Drifters chapters’ titles (same with episodes’) are older anime song titles. Bring Back The Love/Ai wo Torimodose is obviously the theme song for Hokuto no Ken, there are several others for Gintama, Gundam, Full Metal Alchemist and Gunbuster as far as I can tell.

  2. This episode was just really full of sh…nevermind. You all get the pun. But really I don’t think I’ve seen an anime where feces and excrement were mentioned so much in one episode, and used in such manners. And actually I’ve read this chapter in the manga so I was surprised nothing was censored and that final scene with the female elves was shown exactly as it was. Some pointed out added details like bruises on their bodies, giving the imagery more impact. What is actually very scary about it is thinking how long this has been happening, considering the elves only got to fight back when Toyohisa and company entered the picture. Months? Years? Decades? It’s no surprise Toyohisa is angry beyond all reason. On the other hand, that scene where Yoichi felt threatened by the elves getting better with the bow was pretty funny, how he asserted he’s still the best with his little shooting demonstration.

  3. Toyohisa-present Alucard with short hair
    Nobunaga-Alucard when he had a mustache
    Yoichi-Alucard from WW2
    Olminus-Seras Vitoria

    I just can’t stop thinking of this when I see the show, all we are missing now is Integra, and Walter.

  4. Nice tactics in this episode.
    Yoichi sorry you did not know about elf’s and bows before, if you were not the best one can be with one they would surpass you. (hitting a arrow with a arrow or always hitting the center of the bulls eye fantasy only, Olympic Archers with very special bows have trouble hitting anywhere in the center ring let alone dead center.
    Japanese Pesant troops had way higher than most countries peasant troops moral most of the time they expected to be tortured to death like they did not prisoners. China’s peasants at times were down right fatal with massive Tie Chie and Kung Fu training but they were using all sorts of weapons more than spears.
    Over all most peasant troops were only useful in large numbers as there training and moral was horrible and a heavy calvary charge would sweep though them and rout them as they could not maintain a spear wall and the spear is not pike length which using requires training. I recall a medieval battle in a war game where the starting knight on knight charge was the key part the huge peasant levies almost not worth bringing as they could get in the way or disrupt your formation by moving and running away. By themselves spear armed peasant troops are hopeless as there were no successful peasant revolts in over a thousand years even though they occurred roughly four times a year. The peasants lack the well trained leadership people like our Drifters have.
    But Nobunaga and you are right there are always more peasants and the spears give them a chance vs anything so where they are fighting a Empire stretched thin the peasants might be decisive.
    I loved how Nobunaga realized they were up against third rate troops where ten to twenty percent casualties probably would rout them if they did not have success themselves. Taking the commanders head made sure of the rout.

  5. I felt like that joke with Yoichi landed really well. Way better than Nobunaga making fun of the Octobrist for her boobs again.

    After the elves brag that they’re natural archers because they landed a bullseye:
    “Wow, that’s really… I don’t really understand, but please stop. Please, I’m sorry. Sumimasen. You’re wasting arrows-”

    Set to the sound of arrow after arrow being split in half by the one following it. Dozens of them.

  6. Damn, they went full throttle with this episode. I feel like this was the definitive episode where it truly highlights the author’s strengths: exploring morality and differing views of life and death, cunning and cold war tactics, uncensored brutality regarding war violence and rape, this episode had it all. This is what I like to see in Drifters, and I’m genuinely really impressed with this episode. The first four felt like mere prologues compared to what was offered this episode, and I’m glad that it only seems to be getting better as the show progresses!


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