Drifters has for the longest time been a review that baffled me week by week. For the longest time it baffled me that one of my favorite manga-ka would make a humorous series out of what can so easily become a ferociously interesting story. Why did every important dialogue become a joke soon after, why did important growth get scaled down into one of these jokes? I was angry so much of the show seemed to be build up and only hoped that the payoff would be satisfying. Well, Drifters 11 and 12 are a two part of the end of the first season and they are the final judge of what this shows payoff might be. The question is: Has it all been worth it?
Saint Germi has officially made his offer to sell the Kingdom of Orte to the other Drifters and they take him up on the offer to essentially take over the capital in one fell sweep. Saint Germi says he thinks it’s time to reclaim the country after letting them borrow it for so long only for a few members to agree but to say they object to Drifters owning it. At the same time, we see Rasputin is controlling their minds. The plan was to originally take over Orte for the Ends as well- and the Drifters have now beaten them to it. The Black King demands that if they cannot take Orte peacefully then they should raze the city.
What follows this declaration is the most satisfying and momentous battle in all of Drifters that begins in the end of 11 and culminates in 12. The fight is the result of 10 episodes of content that taunted us: the real fight is coming: No battle lasted more than half an episode, no final result came until now: Now we finally see the momentous implication of each step and each character’s importance. And the result? Is flippin’ sweet. Everything that made the series slow and dull has rewarded the patience of everyone who has stuck with it.
The dwarves and elves are finally accompanied by the human men. Luckily for them Saint Germi only recruited attractive buff. . . gay men? So they don’t have to deal with the hard feelings of comparing the rapists and murderers they dealt with before. While at the time it seemed unnecessary and just a joke, the idea of gay men being the only human allies gives it a special tone. Afterall it was the rapist and murderers of the humans who were enemies of the elves and dwarves. . . .but the humans on their side are gay, essentially removing the extra level of torture that was done to at least the elves. Their humorous nature probably makes it easier for the dwarves and elves to forgive that they were working with people who were previously their enemies.
Toyohisa also finally has a true enemy in Hijikata, the fallen leader of the Shinsengumi. He has a special hatred of the Shimazu clan given fun history things: such as their compliance in the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. . .and the Shinsengumi. Toyohisa’s clan would go on to take their eventual vengeance and Hijikata and his fellows fell due to it. So essentially. . . this is the most fantastical Japanese history nerd moment you can possibly imagine. And then what else? Nobunaga utilizes his amazing musketeer beefcake lineup to absolutely destroy, all while Yoichi proves his competence at scouting and of course, being archery lad.
The fight is so great I can’t ruin it all for you, but what is important is what happens near the end. Something that both horrifies me and tips me off to the nature of the Black King. . . during a conversation the Black King, Rasputin, and Hijikata converse. When they take the orders they repeat the phrase ‘Thy Will Be Done’. Now, as someone who spent a lot of time in a Church in my youth I know of something called the Lord’s Prayer. In it there is a phrase that goes as follows: “Our Father, who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, On Earth as it is in heaven.” Over the course of the series there have been many hints as to the nature of the Black King. He heals all of his followers, he can seemingly cast blights. . . he tried to save humanity? I thought at first he might be Moses, using the powers of the plagues God had given him in order to smite humanity. But Moses didn’t die betrayed, he died of old age as his people searched for the promised land.
But Jesus is God personified, and the Lord’s prayer is what his Followers repeat to confirm his will. I hate to suggest, nay almost confirm, but it is seldom that the Lord’s Prayer is so directly referenced lest it be for a good reason. I mean, who knows, my direct Japanese but. . . Rasputin knows who Jesus is and he repeats the Lord’s Prayer to him in affirmation. Rasputin was Russian Orthodox which means he’d have no reason to repeat this to someone unless it was say. . . holy? Seriously.
So. . . Drifters Season 2. Let’s hope with all the build up we now have mostly action to look forward to. I will be there. . .waiting for this crazy shit to continue.
Final Impression: You might be waiting for the best fights, but it will be a wait well worth it.