“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.
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.