First Look: Drifters

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Alternative titles: Drifters: Battle in a Brand New World War
Manga Adaptation by Hoods Drifters Studio
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Shimazu Toyohisa is mortally wounded at the Battle of Sekigahara. Instead of dying, he finds himself transported to an alternate world where other historical figures like him have been transported to as well. These warriors of different time and place are known as the “Drifters.”

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Gee’s verdict: Bloody Bland

Going to be honest, when I was a teenager, I was totally that guy who would share Hellsing as an example of how “cool” and “badass” anime was. In many ways, Hellsing is still a guilty pleasure of mine, as something that revels in its gratuitous violence. Drifters, which is also by Hellsing author Kouta Hirano, seems to tread similar ground, but as I’ve gotten older, these kind of shows don’t really grab my attention anymore. As Fate/Stay Night shows, there’s some potentially interesting things you can do with the conceit of bringing together various historical figures, but so far the most interesting thing Drifters has done with it so far are the admittedly pretty good gags between Nobunaga and Toyohisa. As a history buff, the idea of someone who died earlier in the Sengoku Period talking to someone later in the same era is pretty funny. As someone who’s familiar with some of the manga’s story beats, I might check in when crazy bitch pyromaniac Joan of Arc shows up, but otherwise, can’t see myself sticking with this one until the end. That said, the show itself looks alright and the action seems to be pretty competent (and bloody) so far. If nothing else, Hirano’s distinctive character style still distinguishes itself, even a decade later. If you’re in the market for something like that, I can’t imagine Drifters will lead you astray.

Iro’s verdict: Driftwood

I enjoy Fate/Stay Night and Nobunagun, so you can easily put me down as the type of guy who likes this sort of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny historical crossover bullshit, but damned if Drifters wasn’t boring as hell. Seeing as how it’s no longer the 90s and I’m no longer 12 years old, gratuitous violence doesn’t really do it for me anymore. And, I mean, I know this show isn’t meant as a deep commentary on human conflict or anything, but having characters from different points in the Sengoku Period talk about how futile their efforts were is the type of thing that I’d probably find more interesting than FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT BLOOD GUTS. It’s too bad it was kind of just an off-hand joke.

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