「不思議CALL ME」 (Fushigi CALL ME)
“Mystery – Call Me”
The Drifters formula of following up action with transition returns this week as another buildup episode graces our presence. This one though was certainly one of the more entertaining, particularly in terms of humour. Drifters’ comedy was never the series’ strong suit, but there were good moments amidst the mediocracy. Here we definitely saw some of that. The feud between Kanno and Scipio was hilarious, particularly how Kanno ended up a sky god and how both kept talking past one another with barbarian remarks and claims of national superiority. The Axis joke especially ended me, probably the first time I’ve ever seen that relationship used as a source of comedy, and by a Japanese writer no less (did I mention that Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere allusion?). Then we had Toyohisa’s ignorance regarding Seimei, which even if you don’t know who Seimei actually is, was pretty damn funny given the voice acting of both Toyohisa and Nobunaga. Arguably it’s the voice acting which makes most of the comedy work as well as it does here, and that’s saying something considering some of the jokes we have been subjected to up until now. If the rest of Drifters’ comedy matched the good jokes from this episode, there would be little to complain about regarding this series.
On a more serious note we also received some musings upon both the morality of leadership. I already mentioned why Nobunaga considers Toyohisa for king previously, so it’s a pleasant surprise when the man himself confirms all those same points. As highlighted before, Nobunaga simply lacks Toyohisa’s charisma, he may have an intelligent mind (i.e. understanding the Gatling gun impact) and wickedly insidious strategy (that multiracial federation aspiration under
his Toyohisa’s gentle guidance), but he cannot convince men the way Toyohisa does (i.e. speak to their heart). The ability to recognize this fault is something few glory seekers ever possess, and even fewer act on—most would rather vaingloriously perish than yield the top spot to another more fitting, even when they could wield more power from an advisory position. I’m really intrigued Drifters has dug into such leadership dynamics this much, usually we just get the overpowered, perfect leader and call it a day. Having both leadership styles represented between Nobunaga and Toyohisa (and to a degree Scipio and Hannibal) is alone enough to get me itching to see happens next.
Of course we all can guess what’s next, given that the dwarves and guns just became the new major story arc. Personally I’m quite surprised how important guns are becoming in Drifters’ main story. Typically such a plot device would be brushed over in general terms (mostly to avoid technical jargon), but here we are getting information on bullet casings, primers, and Gatling gun metallurgy. For me this is some fantastic exploration as we rarely see how modern weapons start out impacting fantasy worlds—usually it’s the aftermath we are left to digest (GATE is a good example of this). I’m really hoping Drifters follows this plot line all the way to the end because there are a lot of potentially interesting tangents to follow and showcase, such as what firearm variant Nobunaga ends up developing, and how that aircraft carrier factors into things. If the show can pull it off, I’m seriously willing to overlook any bad joke it wants to throw at me. Bring it, I’m ready.
Guaranteed Hannibal doesn’t actually have dementia, the poor geezer just feels lost without Scipio to perpetually berate.
Who wants to bet our Count is also a closet chemist with a thing for primer formulae?
Interesting how Seimei knows Murasaki by name. For me this implies his meeting with the bespectacled bureaucrat wasn’t as short or simple as he makes out.
Nobunaga almost drooling at the idea of having gatling guns at his disposal…
The Count? Historically he is supposed to be, yes.
The Axis joke cracked me up too, first time I see that pulled off.
Heh the more you know, for some reason the Count liking chemistry never popped up when I researched him a while ago.
Pilot dude needs to die or stop saying “idiot” after every word, i know he’s suppose to be country pumpkin stereotype and all but damn, he’s coming on part with a hillbilly saying fuck after every word
Hearing Scipio’s thoughts makes it sort of sad that the poor relic didn’t know that it may be considered that Rome, at least during his time, would be considered primitive compared to a 20th century Japan. Notably it sort of reminded me of GATE jieitai kanochi nite kaku tatakaeri for some reason.
(Sarcastic tone in use) Gee, to hear Hilter doing something “positive for humanity” sounds negative for some reason, I wonder why. Oh wait, Hitler’s fantasy empire had enslaved poor elves and dwarves, driving them into extinction, and the poor female elves were used as s*x slaves for who knows how many years. I also can’t see why did Hilter made a rule where his fantasy soldiers show animosity towards Drifters when Hilter was a Drifter himself.
On the side note, funny how Alchemist was mentioned, I wonder if Edward Elric would show up.
Anyway, I wonder where, in mythology, does it say elves and dwarves hate each other. That seems to be a common theme in almost all fantasy settings.
Dwarves vs Elves enemity goes down to Tolkien who basically created the archetypes for both races and is to various extent showcased in Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion.
Ah I see, thank you sir. Mystery solved
Agree that Nobunaga realizing and accepting that he has leadership flaws is a plus for his character (though in essence he’s going to be pulling the strings anyway). Wonder if he’s fallible in this story. So far he seems to have an answer for everything.
Definitely following the LOTR script with the dwarves vs. elves rivalry though this isn’t the first fictional story to do that. Doesn’t hurt the story per se either, but still couldn’t ignore another LOTR similarity/reference.
The guns/gunpowder issue has been discussed in previous episode comments. I’m a little surprised that it now seems we might go beyond black powder matchlock muskets. Curious to see how far they will take it. Primers require some manufacturing tech along with the right chemicals. I guess they can re-use brass casings, but even bullets for modern guns are made to pretty tight tolerances. Dwarves up for that? Also, black powder doesn’t work well in guns designed for modern smokeless powder (and vice-versa). Different burn rates for one thing. There’s grain size as well, but maybe getting too technical. At any rate, I agree with Pancakes that there’s a lot of gray area where this could go.
I do have a small complaint. There’s an awful lot of emphasis – dramatic emphasis, about how the drifters are “their own people”/”go by their own set of rules”, etc. Well, yeah. What did you expect? You’re cherry picking people that were in some form or fashion elite, had strong personalities (or even large egos), independent and in many cases leaders in their own right. So why would you think they would suddenly be sheep-like and just go along with everything or become different people? Nobunaga out to conquer – this is a surprise? Frankly, I’m surprised that outlaws like Butch & Sundance are (so far) willing to go with the flow.
I think the Drifters are emphasized so heavily in order to try and make the story a grey one rather than a typical “black” Ends versus “white” Drifters plot. The problem of course is that we keep getting told how “bad” the Drifters are when we already expect them serving good so a lot of the effect is lost.
Hell just letting Toyohisa silently chop of heads and showcasing Nobunaga nefariously strategize probably would work as well as the current approach. Furthermore it would still let us dig into this information without needing to be told to focus on it. Yoichi ironically shows this best IMO because none of the Octobrists have seriously mentioned his insanity when fighting.
With aircraft carriers in play, I’m expecting dwarven gyrocopters (Warcraft-style) to make their appearance.
Also, I wonder if elves and guns go well together…