Written by Bananaowns
Images courtesy of Hood Drifters Studio
I am an avid fan of history which is one of the reasons why the Fate series interests me. Some of the characters in Fate are mythical, but there are a significant amount based on actual historical figures. When I heard of Drifters, I was excited to see a show that solely focused on the historical figures. Drifters was the best action show of the season. I’m Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.
Story and Characters
The series opens with a battle in ancient Japan. Shimazu Toyohisa is critically wounded, but is suddenly transported into a mysterious corridor. A man wearing glasses waits at a desk and sends Toyohisa through a door into another world. Toyohisa soon meets other warriors called Drifters from various eras that have also been sent to this world. The Drifters soon hatch a plan to conquer a nearby kingdom, but are quickly drawn into a fight with another group of mysterious beings known as the Ends. Led by the Black King, the Ends seek to annihilate the entire world.
Drifters features a wide cast of historical characters ranging from Hannibal Barca to Nobunaga. Each one of these characters is interesting in their own way and each brings with them the mindset of the era in which they lived in. For instance, Toyohisa was born in a rather war-torn period which means that his mind is almost entirely focused on winning wars. The interaction between these historical figures is the driving force behind the show. It is inherently interesting to see the skills and training each warrior can bring from their respective era. Hannibal Barca brings his renowned tactical mind, while other characters like Butch Cassidy bring knowledge of the technology of their era.
Nobunaga is my favorite character of the bunch due to his devious nature. He is responsible for a large portion of the comedy in this series. Drifters at times can be very schizophrenic with its tone. Certain scenes are very serious, but quickly lead into more hysterical moments. Anyways, Nobunaga perfectly encapsulates what it would mean for a historical figure to have access to better technology. Out of all the characters, he is the quickest to adapt to the changing situation and the only one to really appreciate the tactical advantages of this new situation. It is thrilling to see Nobunaga use new technology to his advantage and this makes the larger action scenes a joy to watch. The story is still ongoing at the end of the season, but with its mixture of comedy and action, the story of Drifters is highly entertaining.
Animation and Sound Design
Drifters features an impressive display of animation. The more comedic scenes have a stylized look about them that is rather plain, but really works with the lighter tone. Of course, the main draw is the action. The choreography of this show is nothing short of amazing. Each character has their own fighting style and the fights are highly entertaining because of this. One character fights exclusively with a bow, while another keeps solely to firearms. My personal favorite is any scene involving Toyohisa. His fight scenes are so impressive with his character’s almost crazy tenacity for battle. Toyohisa jumps all over the place and actually manages to be quite cunning despite his rather straightforward plan of attack at times. The animation for this series is its strongest point.
As for the sound design, Drifters also excels. The voice acting is a bit over the top at points, but given the tone of the series, this level of acting works very well. The music is also solid, especially during the action scenes. My personal favorite piece of music is the catchy opening. The opening is just filled with so much energy that it is the perfect way to being each episode of the series. Overall, the presentation and sound design of Drifters is great.
Drifters was one of the best shows of the season. The show captured the perfect mix of action and comedy. It will be a long time before the next season, but the manga is still ongoing. I give Drifters my Bananaowns’ stamp of approval. I cannot wait for the next season. Thanks for checking this piece out and I’ll be back next week for another review.