「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.

Random Tidbits

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 😛

23 Comments

  1. So justice is finally served and it was worth the week long wait unless you already read this chapter of the manga. Even in the face of execution some of those Orte soldiers were pretty defiant, saying killing them will not be taken lightly by the Empire so it was a little hard to pity them even if they were already begging. This was possibly decades of female elf abuse so it’s really hard to feel sorry for them. Nobunaga continues to be a magnificent bastard in this episode though I don’t really get his logic of wanting to give the command to kill instead of Toyohisa, like how is that going to preserve Toyohisa’s image to the elves when he’s already clearly seen as a warrior ruthless to his enemies? Basically he just wanted to be the one to command because it made him look good I think. That and you gotta give props to Toyohisa for still paying his respects to these soldiers he previously called a blight. It was also interesting how Nobunaga had the returning female elves carry invitations to join the war. Nobunaga wasn’t exactly being nice. The returning females were just the right motivation for the male elves to join the Drifter army, which he clearly exploited. And to think these are all valid tactics since this is a war.

    Zhinvu
    1. The key is that Toyohisa is ruthless to enemies on the battlefield, but not after they surrender (i.e. the end of last episode with the guy who threw down his sword). If Toyohisa gave the order, the elves would know he is capable of cold blooded murder. Nobunaga wants to prevent the Elves from ever thinking that Toyohisa could be ruthless to them in the future if they get on his bad side.

      It seems like a minor thing, but this principle can often determine whether a political fight is resolved peacefully or breaks down into open war. If you know your enemy is honourable, you’re more likely to consider negotiating, but if the enemy is capricious, you likely would rather fight than put your trust in the enemy.

      1. Nobunaga might be a little late for that since when Toyohisa opened the door, I had the impression the elves with him clearly heard him say everyone in the castle is a blight that needs to be eradicated and he did order those men to be lined up there to be executed. And the elves were already asking for the order which he was about to give. I just thought from there the elves would already know he was capable of such. But if you mean hearing the words directly from Toyohisa is what will have the most impact, then yeah your explanation makes sense. Thanks!

        Zhinvu
  2. Man this episode went by way too fast. I need more Drifters in my life ( ; _ ; )

    At this rate, I might just have to re-watch episodes to satiate my excitement! Ge-guhihihihi!

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. Not as expected was the Drifter being Hitler himself

    Come on, the moment you see a totalitarian superpower trying to wipe out a race they consider inferior, especially with actual plans for genocide, the Nazi comparisons start coming up. Hitler could only be unexpected because we are used to authors using Hitler-like villains instead of Hitler himself.

    Mistic
  4. Another series I’ve finally caught up on. Liked Hellsing OVA/manga (Hellsing TV does not exist in my world), and the Hellsing “lineage” (same creator) is incredibly apparent. That’s both good and bad, with the bad for me being the YMMV “comedy”. TBH, while Hellsing comedy was very hit & miss for me, here it’s been almost all miss. :/ Comedy is subjective so YMMV on that.

    But the other parts are good (if you like this sort of thing), and while not as good/charismatic (IMO) as Hellsing’s cast, the cast so far along with the general story is good enough to maintain interest. Nobunaga is certainly the schemer – a self proclaimed manipulator behind the scenes. I like that Toyohisa isn’t just sheepishly going along. Though doubtful, I do wonder if at some point the two really go head to head, with Toyohisa finally having enough of Nobunaga trying make him follow Nobunaga’s script. Toyohisa might be able to become a king, but I do question whether he would want to be one. Seems much more happy on the battlefield. Reminds me of a commander who would rather remain at the division level or below and be closer to (if not in the thick of) the action vs. say army level and above or in HC back at HQ.

    Admr. Yamaguchi Tamon was a surprise though we did have one WWII IJN pilot drifter so maybe it shouldn’t have been. Regardless, bringing Hiryuu (and it’s got to be Hiryuu given the date/Battle of Midway reference) along with him wasn’t something I would have expected. Whole lot bigger than a fighter aircraft. Wonder if there are any IJN planes left on Hiryuu along with WWII weaponry in general. Cigarette supply seems fine at least. IDK. Just a bit odd to have Hiryuu and… giant eagles (which I presume were “launched” from Hiryuu).

    Then again, eagles really do solve every problem! (at 3:15 minute mark, or first 30 second of this if you prefer. :P)

    daikama
    1. Just to clarify the above comment about Nobunaga and Toyohisa “going head to head”, I mean to the degree where it’s so bad they split up and go separate ways. Obviously they already have disagreements at times.

      daikama
    2. I did expect admiral Yamaguchi since opening spoiled it for us… Hiryu is stranded and whatever planes could have survived are probably unusable due to lack of pilots? though he quicly recruitted some local fantasy-style flyers, so he is a force of his own now. The pilot who shot up Black
      Kings dragons few episodes back might be able to find himself a new Zero on Hiryu if he runs into Yamaguchi.
      The gay noble is probably using his gayness as a smokescreen to hide political acumen almost rivalling that of Nobunaga, I cant wait to see them meeting face to face…

      ewok40k

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