Toyohisa is injured in a battle and as he starts to die finds himself in a mysterious corridor facing a man in a suit reading a newspaper. A door opens and Toyohisa finds himself in a new world where he is called a Drifter. Uniting with other Drifters, they begin to fight, well, everyone.
This obviously came out last year but due to lack of access, it was only very recently I was finally able to watch it (thanks AnimeLab for brining it to Australia). So after reading all the reviews as it aired and series reviews of people who finished it after that, I had a fair idea of what I was getting into. So the questions is, was it worth waiting for?
Drifters is one of those stories where it could be really cool, but at the moment we’re very much feeling like we’ve read the prologue to a much grander story and we still don’t really know what is going on. The obvious is the confrontation between Drifters and Ends except that the Ends don’t seem to be exactly what we’ve been told and the Drifters aren’t overly concerned with fighting them unless they happen to directly be in the path of what the Drifters are currently trying to do.
Also, the Drifters aren’t all exactly united. It is clear some have been in the world for a long time and have their own plans and ideas and the three Japanese Drifters that are freeing elves and dwarves and generally going on a mission of conquest are really just out for their own ideals and don’t really seem to care much for the grander scheme (or anyone else’s plans). This makes it really hard to know what the actual end game for this whole story would be particularly as we don’t know the deal with the guy and the girl in the tunnel (other than a clear binary opposition though why we don’t know).
Despite a lack of answers or real sense of urgency in any of the actions, Drifters manages to be pretty entertaining as we lurch from conflict to conflict. The time periods the various characters come from shape their fighting styles and philosophies and this allows for the action sequences to not get dull. The humour is at times crude but it actually works quite well and adds to the overall entertainment of the show.
Visually Drifters is interesting. I’m not going to say I particularly like the character designs but it is striking and the characters are distinct and memorable. The art style very much suits the story being told and contributes to the overall tone so it is successful in that respect. Okay, I found it ugly, but that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of this series and it definitely stood out from a lot of other shows.
The opening song is also quite distinct and again the visuals work. They aren’t what I would call pretty, but the opening very much gets you ready for the feel of the show and that is what it is supposed to be doing.
All and all, unless you don’t like the subject matter, which is pretty much various characters thinking of ways to more effectively kill and conquer other characters, with quite a bit of crude humour thrown in, Drifters is quite a nice action anime. I wouldn’t outright recommend it due to the narrative feeling like it barely got started but there is certainly some fun to be had in watching it. Basically, don’t think too hard, enjoy the gore, don’t even begin to try to figure out whether a character is actually supposed to be a good guy or a bad guy because that’s a lost cause.
Thanks for reading.
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17 thoughts on “Drifters Series Review: Was This Worth The Wait?”
From the screenshots, I kind of like the ugly designs of everything. It definitely reminds me of Hellsing and the mangaka’s unique style. Sounds like the narrative thing is just that… a narrative issue, and one that isn’t fixed or made better in the anime. But given how violent it is, I may prefer to watch it versus reading it. Excellent review!
I had enough fun with it, though it desperately needs a second season given it feels like the story has barely started by the time this ends.
I think a second season has been announced, but not sure about specific dates.
this an anime i need to get back to because i watched the first episode and i liked it. good review.
Hopefully you enjoy the rest of it.
I really enjoyed it and am pretty much hooked in, but I agree…a lot of mindless, gratuitous killing. Interested to see what your take will be once season 2 comes out! 🙂
I need to get around to this one too… eventually :p
Sounds neat! The visuals look impressive too.
Certainly memorable. This show went for a very dramatic look.
I appreciate that to be honest. Obviously, too much drama runs the risk of making everything feel “cheesy”. But drama, when it’s done right, can really add to the show.
I obviously would recommend Drifters and do so to strangers on the street regularly but I have to admit this was a fair take on it.
Great post, thanks for sharing.
Haven’t seen this one, but then again it is not available here at the moment, but I will keep my eyes out for it. It sounds like a series I usually enjoy watching 😀 Great post!
I keep seeing this one advertised I think. It sounds interesting enough from the review.
I just feel that without actually having more of this out, it isn’t something you can really recommend. It’s like a fun intro to a story that may or may not end up being good.
Drifter is a great history anime with same author with Hellsing. The character is awesome, based on the real history with a background and the story is great. I though how many time I rewatch this anime. Season 2 also coming soon…