One of the most action packed adventure/fantasy anime’s of last year is Drifters. This series was an unwrapping of the unexpected from one episode to another. From episode one to the final episode, each was filled with great and not so great twists and turns as the characters had one thing to deal with or face after another. Along with its array of very interesting characters, this series really feels similar to the Fate series without its seriousness.
Drifters is somewhat similar to that of the fate series with a few key differences. First of all, in Drifters the people summoned to the specific point in time are not from legends or tales. Instead those summoned are from our history. Secondly, aside from magic, Drifters setting takes place in a world much like a traditional fantasy world. With many different types of demi-human species like dwarves, elves, pig men? and there’s also the undead plus dragons.
As for the story, its very intriguing to watch unfold as the characters are all from different points in time and from different places. For example, some are from Russia while others are from Rome or France. This brings with itself a bit of history as the characters all want to know what happened after their time passed. Pretty realistic in my opinion because if I were to be teleported to another world with a person from my world that existed 100 years later. Well I would like to know what happened afterwords. Who wouldn’t right?
I had to put the OP for this review because its just badass. The combination of the flow of art, music and lyrics just fit so well I had to include it instead of the PV.
This series is chock full of historical figures and heroes and this is probably what made me enjoy the series the most. So first lets talk about some of the characters and their interactions. I got really excited when I saw Hannibal Barcus and Scipio Africanus together because of their history they shared. For those of you who don’t know, Scipio and Hannibal were mortal enemies. Scipio was a General in the Roman Republic during the second Punic War (Rome vs Carthage) in 218 bc. Meanwhile Hannibal was the leader of the Carthaginians and faced defeat at the hands of Scipio at the Battle of Zama. So after seeing them together and defending each other from people who did not acknowledge them was exactly as it should be because that’s how mortal enemies would react.
On the other hand you have characters that were betrayed like Oda Nobunaga and Joan of Arc. Oda Nobunaga’s interactions with the new world around him are deeply influenced by his past battles and allies. He’s a bit crazy really, but who wouldn’t be after you tried to unify Japan only to be back stabbed. Still, despite his actions, there is a lot of reason for him taking the sidelines this show and becoming a puppet. As for Joan, she was the hero of the 100 year war in France. She fought for her people and despite being a woman she was good at war. This however lead to her betrayal at the hands of her people because she was a woman. So its no wonder she took a different side than Nobunaga. Anyways lets move on.
Drifters is not the best animated series out there. Its rough around the edges and lacks a lot of movement between sequences like the gif above where Oda Nobunaga just jumps in the air with no motion added to his jump. He’s just up there in the air and pointing at the same direction the whole time. Is it something that should deter you from watching? Absolutely not because personally I enjoyed the sub-par animation. It added to the atmosphere because the characters got thrown into a terrible world with war, rape, slavery and murder so seeing the very dark and grim art really sold it to me.
Another aspect of the animation that made it good for me atleast was the action. Yes I said it looks like poop but jesus when Toyohisa goes in and fucks shit up. Well it just looks badass to watch as he slices his enemies with one swing. Kind of reminds me of Guts cutting down giant ass monsters with his big ass sword. The amount of gore as well just gives off that berserk feeling in battle. So if your looking for some serious action with heads, feet or bodies flying then Drifters is a show for you.
Lastly, comedy is something quite prevalent. Not something I enjoyed 100% of the time because of the dark theme suddenly shifting tone. Still at times it can be funny to watch. For example, Scipio and Hannibal’s quarrels are quite funny to watch and that’s mostly because of who they are in history. Seeing two mortal enemies bicker and fight just adds to their character on a level you don’t need words to explain because simply knowing their history is enough reason to know why.
Lets first talk about the dubbed version of Drifters. As you might have already noticed I watched it on Funimation. So lets continue on. For starters, the performance of the voice actors were good. Although their pronunciation of the Japanese names weren’t spot on, the rest of the voices fit really good on each character. For example, the french spoke french fluently and had an accent when they spoke English. Another example is Scipio, for when he spoke Latin it sounded fluent but when he spoke English there was an accent. That’s just my opinion though so take it with a grain of salt.
Another aspect of the dubbed version I enjoyed was the demi-human voice acting and the language the elves and humans of that world spoke. Something which I didn’t see in the subbed version of this show. Actually speaking about the subbed, I think it was worse than the dubbed. Specifically because they didn’t go to the lengths of attempting to establish a language for the current people of the land. Meanwhile the English version did and the same can be said for the use of Latin and French which the subbed version skipped out of entirely while the English did not. So yea, watch the dubbed version because voice acting was much better than the subbed and it just helps create that otherworldly feeling of different cultures clashing.
Really enjoyed this series the majority of the time. While the comedy did somewhat ruin the suspense at time, it wasn’t totally unwanted from my point of view. Anyways, let me talk about the few bits and pieces I really enjoyed. First of all is the war tactics used by Oda Nobunaga. Apparently the writer for this series might have some knowledge of war tactics. Reason being, at a certain point he orders people to throw bodies into the well thus poisoning the well. Since troops are coming to invade a town now they have no clean water when they station there. After that he decides to collect shit, yes actual shit. He then pours that same shit all over the tips of the arrows and orders his archers to shoot the invaders. No clean water and an infected wound, clever.
Lastly, because the characters come form different time periods we get to see how they industrialize the new world. Some brought guns and others brought even bigger guns so of course the characters would industrialize but how? Well thats where some more crazy Oda Nobunaga shit comes in and he creates Saltpeter. Which is also known as gunpowder out of literally shit. God damn I thought this part was hilarious because of how crafty the writer was.
Anyways, I hope that was enough to convince you to watch this. I enjoyed it and I hope you do!