First Impressions – Drifters


Fighting for the world no matter when and where

Welcome readers! This has been one of my most anticipated title for Fall because of the previous attachment to Hellsing and the art style of Koura Hirano. It was a thing of beauty in the Hellsing Dawn specials so you can call me hyped for this on.


Is this one of the most anticipated anime of this season? It probably is, remembering that the mangaka of Drifters is the same with Hellsing. Everybody loved Hellsing, and we expect the same awesomeness from Drifters. The downside is how people might end up comparing this with Hellsing and other anime with similar plot with Drifters. Will this live up to people’s expectations? We’ll see.


Welcome to the Velvet Room

As hinted in the previous special, we are dealing with a fantasy setting, where heroes from different timelines are transported at a specific point for participating in an impending war. Hey, is it me or this is somewhat fate/stay night? Well, this concept is quite inspired and has already been used in many stories. I can imagine why the writer would amalgamate warrior brains from different timelines to one; to win a war of course.


The most menacing way of pulling feathers

For the first episode, we have the protagonist Shimazu Toyohisa (voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura – he voiced Archer quite nicely in Fate/prototype, mind! I’ve been hyped for him too), fighting his way through a very difficult situation. Though, martyrdom is not what he gets even after being impaled by multiple spears. Looking at the brighter side, at least he gets treatment for his wounds in a new timeline. Win-win for everyone, right? Not to mention, some unprecedented fellows.

We have an interesting array of characters and I presume, Nobunaga and Yochi are not the only warriors transported into this timeline but some more would follow, including the glimpsed commander-type dude. In theory, kidnapping heroes from their timelines would immortalise them but where is this place? An alternate reality, having nothing to do with their earth timeline or it’s in a distant future to have any paradoxical effects to their respective timelines? There is a magical element involved with elves and divination ball being used for communication. Where the heck are they? Well, I would like to find out and not from a wiki but next episode.

Continuing Kyokai’s theories about the characters, I have realized that, so far, the characters we have seen are characters who were in big wars such as Battle of Sekigahara (Toyohisa), Battle of Yashima (Yoichi), and Honno-ji Temple (Nobunaga). After Toyohisa’s departure to the other world, a soldier from the modern era is seen, implying that he was in some sort of war before being summoned to the Velvet Room white room. I was going to say that the megane dude summons warriors from the losing side, but then I read that Yoichi’s side did win the battle of Yashima, so I have to cancel out that theory. However, it should be noted that the sides of summoned warriors always end up perishing from history/do not have significant roles in the modern world today. I wonder if this repeating pattern plays a role in the plot? Or maybe I’m thinking too hard? Maybe I was affected with the terrible humor in the first episode? I totally laughed so hard during the “funny scenes.” Ha… Ha… Ha… Hhhhh.


Pick your route, sad oyaji or character awkwardly posing for the camera?

Speaking about characters, I was pretty surprised with the portrayal of Nobunaga in the first episode. Until now, he was portrayed either as a ruthless character or as a compassionate character. Nobunaga portrayed in Drifters gives the impression that he stands in the line between ruthless and compassionate. At one moment, he is seen as a wicked person with horrible personality. After 5 seconds, he becomes the joke (the only funny moment in the episode) of the episode. Next, the audience is presented with a sad Nobunaga who mourns at the loss of his son. Moreover, Nobunaga mumbled that his son should have run away, something that is against the principle of honor that existed during warrior era. Something that is definitely against Toyohisa’s principle as a warrior. So we can see here how Toyohisa and Nobunaga ara the opposite of each other, but Toyohisa can definitely relate with Nobunaga the most. Toyohisa definitely sees his father in Nobunaga. This might create some good development between Toyohisa and Nobunaga. I can smell the yaoi doujins character development already. But of course, we have to deal with some fighting nonsense before seeing character development.

Overall, the first episode was quite entertaining and decent in setting up the scene for Drifters. The full picture is not clear yet on how many drifters but one thing is for sure, the mysterious leader type person, spying over drifters knows a lot and has already planned a game plan to make good use of them.

We are in for some beautiful spray of blood, amazing action (unnghhh the artistic animation style!), deadly one-eyed silhouette poses (Hirano’s signature move just like the head-tilt for Shaft), and dark humour. This is not for the squeamish as there will be bloody action of without any blackie-kun or white beam-chan. This one is for real action fans and I’m definitely tuning in for more! It was an entertaining episode.

I have nothing to complain regarding the animation whatsoever. The animation was smooth during the battles, there were lots of blood, and the vintage-ish tone of the color gives a classic and ancient impression of something that happened long ago in the past. It definitely sets the dark tone of the anime too. So far, the quality of the episode is OK. Well, this is just the first episode after all…

It has been a while since I was presented with the dark version of Sengoku Era. Last time I watched Sengoku-related anime, the one-eyed main character speaks broken English and rides his horse like a Harley Davidson. I have caught glimpses of the newer Sengoku-related anime, but most of them are harem anime, so they don’t really count for me. Basically, lots of anime that uses Sengoku Era for its plot does not delve into the depth of Sengoku Era at all. But Drifters is different. Half of the episode shows the Battle of Sekigahara only, but it speaks more than what it presents. In mere 10 minutes, the audience is able to understand the dark side of Sengoku Era despite of the greatness of it. Behind the applauded honor, loyalty, and strength the soldiers show, people still end up dying. Drifters managed to make itself looks different from other Sengoku Era anime, something that hasn’t happened in a while. Let’s see if Drifters can keep it up until the end.

Preview: Octobrist making their move, and the white room becomes black? Are they invaded or something?


Or are they running out of budget for a nicer color already?


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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13 Responses to “First Impressions – Drifters”

  1. ProtoSovereign says:

    I’m surprised no one pointed out how feminine Yoichi looks… I went into Drifters thinking he was a lady but will I becomes pretty clear he’s a dude when you actually get to watching it.


      Well, the mangá is pretty advanced, but I don’t know how far Hirano wants to take it, so not sure if we’ll see a repetition of what happened with Helping. Hope not, as I’m enjoying the story very much.

    • Kyokai says:

      It’s a traaap! Well, not really. I brushed past the character due to being used to Mitsuki Saiga. She ends up voicing lot of male roles, somewhat like Romi Park. Pretty sure Yoichi’s feminine looks stem from being too young. You know all those samurais with long hair and such?

      Knowing Hirano, we would get few nice, strong females, who would not for show alone.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I don’t think there was a need to point it out because it’s become commonplace in anime to have a male character who looks slightly feminine. Often enough that it’s no longer raising flags like in its early days. About 1 in every 5 animes has such a stereotype. The character Haku from Naruto/Naruto Shippuuden is such an example.

      PS: Like Kyokai mentioned, Toyohisa is voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura (Seraph of the End’s Guren Ichinose) but if you’re guessing Nobunaga’s voice actor, it’s Naoya Uchida (Naruto Shippuuden’s Madara Uchiha).

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        Speaking of Yuuichi Nakamura I couldn’t believe it was him voicing Toyohisa. He’s putting on somekind of accent/dialect and it sounds kinda weird. XD

        • BlackBriar says:

          I knew it was him right away. Whether he chooses to deepen his voice (91 Days’ Ronaldo), go natural (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei’s Tatsuya Shiba) or go a little high pitched to sound younger (Shinmai Maou no Testament’s Basara Toujou), for me, it’s easy to tell. There’s just no way can that kind of voice hide.

        • Kyokai says:

          Yuuichi is a seasonal seiyuu and dialects are nothing for them. This would be quite interesting.

  2. Overcooled says:

    I liked the animation style they had going on – it was pretty neat. We’ll definitely get lots of good battles out of this one. With lots more blood.

    …The comedy was SOOOO BAAAAD THOUGH. I wanted to bang my head against the wall, it was that embarrassing. =A=

  3. BlackBriar says:

    It’s hopeless. I can’t see the character designs and not think of Hellsing. Not to mention the unrelenting violence and gore. This is definitely from the same author. Nonetheless, this was a decent opening episode. Censors of any kind for this show is blasphemous.

    Toyohisa appears to be quite the badass on the battlefield but my first worry of his character so far is that he may be all brawn. Hopefully it will show he has a good head on his shoulders.

    The comedy needs some work done. It was odd, more so from Nobunaga. Especially when I know his seiyuu is the same one who voiced the badass antagonist Madara Uchiha from Naruto Shippuuden.

  4. akagami says:

    A good start! I didn’t know much about this and was going to skip it at the beginning until I was told it was by the same author as Hellsing.

    My only complaint is that the first two episodes are pretty much the OVA, screen-for-screen.

    I don’t know much about modern history (I only studied mythology) so I had thought Yoichi was a girl… only to be confused why the subs were referring to him as a guy. Took me a little while to actually clue in that Yoichi was a guy.

    • BlackBriar says:

      A good start! I didn’t know much about this and was going to skip it at the beginning until I was told it was by the same author as Hellsing.

      Looks like we did you a solid. Glad to help out.

      My only complaint is that the first two episodes are pretty much the OVA, screen-for-screen.

      Then it’s probably a good thing I never got around to watching the OVa myself. Had difficulties deciding whether to watch it before or after the series.

      I don’t know much about modern history (I only studied mythology) so I had thought Yoichi was a girl… only to be confused why the subs were referring to him as a guy. Took me a little while to actually clue in that Yoichi was a guy.

      That’s why in anime, the saying “appearances can be deceiving” carries a lot of weight. Some characters you have to analyze thoroughly before coming to the conclusion whether it’s a boy or girl.

      Now that I think about it, this is rather coincidental. Remember Seraph of the End/Owari no Seraph’s Yoichi Saotome? Same first name and they’re both archers.

      • akagami says:

        Indeed, thanks for the call-out! For now this is one of the few shows I’m going to maintain for the season.

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