「Men of Destiny」
I swear Drifters enjoys being a tease sometimes. After another fantastic bit of ultraviolence previously, we once again shift gears this week back into slower paced development and foreshadowing. Although slightly disappointing, it’s not necessarily a bad thing given quite a few things were learned and some tasty upcoming fights teased. For me the fun part definitely was the Orte Empire’s origins. As expected, a Drifter/End was responsible for the Empire, founding it some sixty years prior to the series. Not as expected was the Drifter being Hitler himself. While I was spoiled on this for a long time (curse my curiosity), seeing Hitler’s portrait was still pretty damn funny, especially the remarks how Hitler still managed to kill himself even when given victory on a silver platter. The whole thing is basically Er ist wieder da without the satire, complete with Borat-esque gullible fools, I love it. Particularly intriguing, however, is the powerbase succeeding Hitler, especially Count Saint-Germi. The Count is like a strange mix of Hisoka (a la Hunter x Hunter) and Re:Zero’s Roswaal, an eccentric noble possessing one incredibly sharp mind underneath that party attire. Beyond the obvious gay jokes (some of which were pretty damn funny), seeing how Germi manages switching allegiances (again) with Nobunaga and company will be interesting.
The other bit catching me this week was the noticeable division between Nobunaga and Toyohisa. Nobunaga always wanting to set Toyohisa up as ruler has been obvious, but Toyohisa’s opinion of that remained vague. Well, until now. Toyohisa remains glued to his honour, convinced that he cannot lead given the Elves would eventually turn on him, while Nobunaga sees power as something perpetually maintained through manipulation and coercion. It’s the ubiquitous hearts versus minds struggle, the oldest fight of them all. You’d imagine there’s only one victor in this battle, but both Nobunaga and Toyohisa are technically correct. Rulers are typically made through conquest (whether be that war or politics), but fall from power when they forget/ignore the wants of the people (see the latest American presidential election for a good example). What makes this debate work so well in Drifters though is how both Nobunaga and Toyohisa recognize their strategy’s faults. Nobunaga acknowledges his inability to read hearts (i.e. relate to the people), while Toyohisa admits he could seize control whenever he desires (i.e. the inertia of power). It’s a consistent tug of war between philosophical perceptives that indicates the Drifters’ true fight likely lies not with the Ends (who really are Drifters), but in determining how each chooses to approach their new world and each other. Just treating Drifters as a simple action story would be missing out on this philosophy pulsing underneath the surface.
Although this might have been a slow week action-wise, next time looks like we’re getting back to the killing as the Ends finally run headfirst into the Drifters (while Nobunaga continues the quest for gunpowder). It was only a matter of time until our Japanese trio encountered a serious challenge, but I cannot say the wait wasn’t worth it. Pyrotechnics versus beheading, with some Nobunaga shenanigans for flavour? Oh yes please, give me some of that.
For the unfamiliar, Yamaguchi Tamon was the Japanese admiral who both participated in the attack on Pearl Harbour (think Tora! Tora! Tora!) and perished in the Battle of Midway. Very likely the teased aircraft carrier is his flagship Hiryuu.
This guy has to be a reference to Team Fortress’ Medic, the appearance is too uncanny.
Hitler being venerated as Orte’s Father is hilarious due to the title’s Christian allusions and Hitler’s ambivalence towards Christianity. Especially loved Nobunaga’s remarks regarding the mustache
The Lord of the Rings references just don’t stop. Eye of Sauron, Hobbits, and now
pirates merchants riding giant eagles. I don’t care if they’re supposedly griffons, they sure as hell look like Gandalf’s giant eagles to me 😛