Previously on Drifters, “Act 7: Chaos Diver”
Drifters slows it down this week for all the dialogue lovers out there. Aside from one scene, the whole episode is essentially one long conversation between a few characters. Sounds exciting, no? Hold onto your butts as the Grand Master and Drifters dish out exposition, explanations, and ponderings while making a plan before finally getting off their asses.
The Slow Burners
As usual, Nobunaga does most of the heavy lifting this week, but Mystery CALL ME brings the Grand Master along to help carry the load. Picking up right after Gilles de Rais’s death, we’re stuck with our crew of Drifters, minus the admiral. Before the fun starts, Kurou Yoshitune taunts Yoichi, unseen from the trees, until Yoichi swears to never follow him again. Whatever Kurou ordered Yoichi to do on Earth still haunts him to this day, but we’re on a slow burn, so after a quick glimpse, this plot thread is put back on the shelf.
Our only other break comes from the one Drifter missing from the Drifter wagon, Scipio. Since we last saw the Grand Master’s crew, they had been constantly under attack from the Black King’s forces. Scipio fell off during one of the attacks, leaving him to wander to Naoshi Kanno’s plane in the forest. The thing is, Naoshi has been a busy little beaver since he crashed, defeating (and enslaving?) a race of wolf dog men, who fear Naoshi more than death itself as a sky god. A spear armed force swarms Scipio, allowing Naoshi to make an entrance on a dog men carried throne. Worse than the language barrier, Scipio didn’t even know Asian people existed, but his power of privilege correctly assumes Naoshi would know “Rome.” With Italy being an Axis Power during WWII, they quickly bond except for one problem: in Naoshi’s time, Italy has already surrendered. The ensuing fight is a lighthearted one, but the dog men don’t dare intervene.
The Hitler Standard
Last week, the Grand Master declared himself Haruakira No Abe, which means nothing because he is actually Seimei No Abe, the legendary emperor’s monk. The Japanese equivalent of Merlin lived in a time of peace, also met Murasaki, and had wandered the land before realizing his mission. After Hitler formed Orte, declaring war on all other races, he’s been wary of all Drifters. Hitler had only been trying to help his starving and poor race, the problem is the only tools in his toolbox are war, racism, and genocide. Drifters can’t help themselves, it’s what got them there in the first place. However, Toyohisa seems to be the key to putting him at ease despite a rough start. Haruakira is none too pleased when they realize Joan of Arc has escaped. Whether they be woman or child, all Ends must be destroyed. Toyohisa, on the other hand, refuses. His warrior code won’t let him under penalty of shame, and he’s no one’s pawn anyway. This code and attitude makes the paper, and giving Murasaki a smile, but the Grand Master isn’t feeling it. He may not fully understand Murasaki’s plans, but he still has a leg up on the others considering he knows Murasaki by name.
Who’s The Man With The Master Plan?
Now that we’ve got all that talking out of the way, let’s talk about some of the other talking that went down. First off, our two mystery cowboys turn out to be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They get the honor of explaining the basic science between bullets and guns to Nobunaga, whose underwear must’ve got super tight learning about this new technology.
Despite the gatling gun being out of ammo, and them hitting a dead end researching how to make more ammo and guns, Nobu is ahead of them. Haruakira died long before gunpowder’s invention, and the factories made it in the cowboys’ time, but Nobunaga is in the sweet spot of doing it yourself. To their amazement, he is already ahead of them, with the sulfur arriving that night. They only need a chemist or alchemist, like the defecting Count Saint Germi, to figure out the primer.
The plan is to free the dwarves next, amass a firearm equipped army, ally with Orte’s other enemies, destroy Orte, and replace it with a multiracial federation where each race self governs, but military power stays with the Drifters led by Toyohisa. Yet Haruakira is much wiser than his physical appearance let’s on. Without military power, the true power would belong to the Drifters. To which, in elfish, Nobu explains it’s better than Orte or the Black Knight. Nobunaga’s cunning worries the Grand Master, but him conceding power to Toyohisa is a major step in trust. As Toyohisa had said before, Nobu only worries about money and intimidation. Between that, and how his life turned out, he is mature enough to realize he is better served as an aide, not a ruler.
In an episode that puttered around in a holding pattern, it took good ole Toyo to get us moving forward. Before a meeting with the elves, he takes it upon himself to test Hannibal, whose senility has only gotten worse without Scipio. His presence seemed to be Hannibal’s anchor through their bitter rivalry and mutual respect. Deep in delusions, he still has the wherewithal to counter Toyo’s charge with a well placed stick, earning him a spot on Toyohisa’s team.
The last hitch in the plan is the elves. When Toyo breaks the news about saving the dwarves, a race elves have feuded with since the beginning of time, his support plummets. Undeterred, Toyohisa marches out to fight alone if need be before Shara, the leader of his elves, gets the others onboard. Past mistakes got them where they were, together with other races they could have won. As they walk up on Toyohisa, he’s winning over Haruakira’s trust and support since he’s only thinking about taking down Orte. Now that everyone’s onboard, the Grand Master’s crew leaves Hannibal, the gatling gun, and a handgun (for Nobunaga) to head for headquarters while the rest set out for the dwarves.
Holy hell; this was brutal. Once again, this was an episode that could’ve been cut in half and served the same purpose. There was a lot information doled out, but half of it we already knew. The longer this series goes, taking two steps back to make three forward is going to sting worse and worse. Without Nobunaga, “Mystery CALL ME” would’ve been drier than week old bread, and even with him this episode dragged. This won’t be an episode I come back to.