Drifters returns to form as Toyohisa leads the elves in a revolution against the humans who have been subjugating them. This episode stopped a lot of pointless narrative and instead set up brilliant military tactics, uplifting reclamation of a people, and a desire for me to smack all fucking humans in the face. We see the Black King last episode actively trying to save demihumans and this episode we watch how awfully the humans have set out to destroy the non humans. Let me just say the literal shit fest of punishment isn’t enough for how awful the humans are revealed to have been.
This episode Toyohisa trains the elves to fight back, and with Yoichi and Oda helping they formulate a drastic plan in order to recapture the city and their freedom. It seems it’s going to be simple as we watch a training montage and feel good, but oh no. These are motherfucking professionals and the first thing that happens when the soldiers arrive to town is to find it empty and the well, the only source of water in the town, is filled with shit. A lot of this episode revolves around the concept of biological warfare which in terms of these ancient folks is using a lot of poop to screw people over.
What happens next is fucking awesome: Toyohisa and his elves cut down their forces as Nobunaga sets up barricades (all while encouraging them to hurry up or everyone will die, including them, with a nonchalant grin) and then has the elves shoot arrows of fire into their village to rid themselves of the town where they were impressed. They follow this up with shooting shit covered arrows into the soldiers. So if you don’t know when you get shit into an open wound this can cause serious infections. What would you do? Well if you had water you’d wash it out but these chumps don’t so they’re screwed! They win the day as Toyohisa charges into battle with a crazed monkey cry and claims the generals head. Many escape only to be caught by Yoichi. So it’s over, right?
Except the elves reveal all their women were taken by the man in charge, so Toyohisa thinks they need to go ASAP to rescue them. Nobunaga invents a trojan horse scenario and they manage to make their way into the compound. What follows reminds you that on top of being an amazing fighter Toyohisa is a samurai. He stops one of the elves from killing an unarmed man and declares it has no honor. . .then he wins all my fucking respect. They find the women in the midst of being raped and beaten, even showing open wounds on their wrists from tight improper bondage, and Toyohisa loses it. “I changed my mind,” he says in regards to the man he spared as he then declares he is going to tear them apart and slaughter them all.
This fucking guy. Rape and torture of women in anime is seldom ever handled with care and often ends up being just to promote an idea (gang raped and pregnant? Don’t kill your baby that’s wrong! gang raped in front of the person you love? he’ll kill them and you’ll join a death game! Saiyuki had a pretty realistic take as Hokkai’s beloved killed herself after she was raped and impregnated, but all in all it’s usually a tactic.) or to invoke emotion. Well here, we need that emotion. We needed to see this is happening to explain just how awful and disgusting these humans were and how subjugated the elves were. Samurai. . . don’t exactly consider this honor. You don’t fight those who lay down their swords, and this? Well, I hope you all enjoy your gratuitous deaths because the few scenes I saw of what happened to these elven women literally disturbed me.
So all in all, Drifters is back to being good again, and having to see that awful scene of rape makes me kind of miss the perpetual arguing of the previous episodes. Fucking humans, ruining everything.