Previously on Drifters, “Act 6: Men of Destiny”
Chaos Diver is either a make good for what we’ve had to trudge through to get this far, or it’s a promise of what’s to come. This easily could have been a straight forward action episode yet it actually led this show to meander back to a question posed back in the beginning, while giving us some character development. It’s Joan of Arc, Gilles de Rais, and their cavalry vs Team Toyo and their not so merry elves.
We Must Protect This House!
Back when the Grand Master was all ambiguous about the Drifters and questioning everything, he alluded to the Drifters being no different from the Ends. Both groups are savages, but if the Drifters win, you never know if they’ll shut it down or just keep going. Semu, gets a front row seat to the unsettling answer. When Joan and her forces attack, Nobunaga gathers the elves for a counter attack. While Yoichi and Toyohisa end up going one-on-one in their fights, he is a strategist first and foremost. He’s most comfortable as the head of the snake. In the woods, he preaches his philosophy while ordering the elves to take out the cavalry. Using their own overconfidence against them, the elves shoot them down the goblins from above as they pass by. Nobunaga is the oldest of the three, giving him the most experience, especially with him being a ruler for so long.
When A Woman’s Fed Up
I look at our three Drifters on a spectrum: Yoichi is the young, skilled, and clever soldier on one end, Nobunaga being the wise old warrior strategist on the other end, leaving Toyohisa kicking it in the middle. Both ends are intelligent in certain ways, but Toyohisa has a mixture of both, along with his fighting ability, when he decides to use it. In contrast, he faces the hateful, impulsive, and firepowered Joan of Arc whose highlights include shading Yoichi for being a “girly boy” (hilarious coming from a woman posing as a man) and referring to Toyohisa as a “yellow monkey.” I guess there weren’t any allies in the past either. With Olminu Semu’s help, Toyohisa is able to survive Joanie’s first volleys and get them out of there. After a quick chat that stuck out to us and her too because most of Olminu’s scenes always have her getting sexually harassed by Nobunaga, they set up a battle plan with her last two charms that quickly erect stone walls.
Toyohisa senses Joan a rookie since she spent most of her time babbling on about her power. The more experienced warrior would be focused on the task at hand. Joan takes the bait and Toyohisa doesn’t use the charms for defense. He uses the walls to launch himself into a super missile kick through Joan’s fire walls (giggity). Somehow, he manages to land them in a well, where her powers are neutralized, but we get a look behind those homicidal eyes. Burning on the stake, times stops (minus the flames) and the crowd in front of her opens like a door with Easy offering refuge from all she believed in abandoning her.
Even so, when Toyo realizes she’s a woman and suggests she leave and act like one, she’s quick to tout the honor of fighting for what abandoned her: her people, country, and religion. As twisted as she has become, there’s still some of the saint floating in there, deep down in there. Regardless, she eats a face slam that explodes the water out of the well. Meanwhile, it finally dons on Olminu that’s it’s a thin line between Ends and Drifters. They both fight brutally with only victory in mind, only their goals are different. After witnessing Toyo in action up close, she has developed a healthy fear of what they’re capable of.
Not A Fan Of The fries?
Armed with his bow and arrow, Yoichi might be the better fighter of the big three, but it’s not enough against Gilles de Rais, a man who refuses to die. While dodging his spear, Yoichi gleefully fills him with arrows, yet he won’t go down. Even with an arrow under one eye and an arrow in the other, he keeps coming, changing souring Yoichi’s tone yet delighting Kurou, who watches unseen from a safe distance.
It’s not long before Yoichi is unarmed gripped up, leading to Nobu’s elves feverishly firing arrows into Gilles’s back, and he still won’t back down. Not until the Grand Master and his Drifters arrive and gatling gun Gilles in half does he finally go down, sort of. Only a one-armed torso, he still crawls. He has to protect Joan. When they met, she was his little maiden, and even though she has become a twisted sith on HGH, he still feels a duty to her. Then again, if you become a child molesting / raping murder in order to join her in hell, there’s really no turning back after that one. I see where they tried to put a noble spin on ole Gilley, but I can’t give him that gold star. She was burned at the stake as a witch, so she was doomed to hell on a technicality thanks to some assholes, on the other hand, de Rais had a reign of terror numbering in the hundreds. Nah, son. Nevertheless, in this world, the Roman Catholic saint, martyr and French hero is a sadistic psycho, and the disgraced, occult dabbling, murdering pedophile is the noble good guy. What did you do France?
The Drifters are too in shock to finish Gilles off, however he does the job for him. A few scoot in to finding Joan, he sees one of their dragon troops already rescued her from the well. Once he dies and turns into a pillar of salt, Nobunaga starts questioning the Grand Master, who admits he’s a Drifter named Haruakira Abe No, a name that means nothing at this point.
As much as I loved this episode, it’s a double edged sword. The pacing, action, and animation confirm the half-assing I thought was going on. We’ve had flashes of a great show itching to come out, but too often we get bogged down in needless comedy bits and unnecessary build up. Chaos Diver’s biggest feat was making me care about Gilles de Rais. Silent until this episode, his tragic story was the perfect uppercut to Joan’s part of the one-two punch. My hope is that this is a promise of things to come, but next episode is an even number and after a big battle, and if this routine has taught me anything, we’re not close enough to the finale for them to stay on the gas for too long.