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Film Friday- Drifters

Film Friday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Anime

A 150-second anime adaptation of Drifters was packaged with the final volume of the Hellsing Ultimate video series in December 2012. The short, produced under the supervision of Ryoji Nakamori, technical director Kazuya Miura, and animation director Masayori Komine, featured the voices of Yūichi Nakamura as Shimazu Toyohisa and Mitsuru Miyamoto as Murasaki, with music composed by Yasushi Ishii.

In the May 2015 issue of Young King OURs, it was announced that a Drifters anime adaptation was in the works. A production site for the anime has been released. It was announced on September 19, 2015 that the anime will be directed by Kenichi Suzuki, produced by NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan, animated by Hoods Drifters Studio, written by Hideyuki Kurata and Yōsuke Kuroda, and will feature character designs by Ryoji Nakamori. Yasushi Ishii and Hayato Matsuo will both compose the music together. The opening theme, “Gospel Of The Throttle 狂奔REMIX ver.”, is performed by Minutes til Midnight, while the ending theme, “Vermillion”, is performed by Maon Kurosaki.

The 12-episode series began airing on October 7, 2016 on Tokyo MX. A specially edited version of the first and second episodes with a runtime of 36 minutes was bundled with the manga’s fifth volume, and released on June 6, 2016. A special limited-pressing Blu-ray box set was released on December 30, 2016. The box set includes all twelve episodes (with added unaired footage), an exclusive box illustrated by Hirano, a 200-page animation sketch collection by chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a 52-page booklet, a bonus extras disc, and a two-CD original soundtrack. The bonus extras disc will contain an omake titled “Kokuō-sama Go-Ranshin“, promotional videos, and other materials. Customers who pre-ordered the box set from participating retailers before November 6, 2016 will receive an exclusive illustration card set. Additionally, the box set includes a form for advance ticket sales for an event that will be held on April 2, 2017, at Maihama Amphitheater in Chiba.

In Japan, the anime is exclusively streamed on the AbemaTV service simultaneously as the anime aired on Japanese television, starting on October 7 at 11:00 p.m. The series has been licensed by Funimation for streaming in English-speaking countries and home video and on-demand distribution for the U.S. Additionally, Funimation streamed Drifters in English beginning on November 6, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. ET. As part of Funimation’s partnership with Crunchyroll, Crunchyroll also streamed Drifters as it aired in Japan. Drifters was also broadcast on Aniplus Asia. Funimation released a DVD/Blu-ray combo package for Drifters on October 3, 2017. Universal Pictures UK acquired the series for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and will release it on October 8, 2018. Universal Sony classified the series for release in Australia and New Zealand, and will release it on October 17, 2018.

At the end of the anime’s twelfth episode, a second season was announced with the message “See You Again, Tokyo 20XX”. On October 10, 2017, it was announced the thirteenth and fourteenth episodes, the first two episodes of the second season will be released on December 23, 2017 on Blu-ray discs in regular and limited-edition versions. The limited edition includes an outer case illustrated by manga creator Kouta Hirano, a jacket illustrated by character designer and chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a bonus video, a drama CD, a 72-page booklet, and a “mystery disc.” A fifteenth episode was announced to be released with the manga’s 6th volume on November 30.

Ends

Members of the Ends. From left to right: Jeanne d’Arc, Gilles de Rais, Hijikata Toshizō, the Black King, Grigori Rasputin (partially unseen, second from left), Anastasia Romanova (partially unseen, first from left).

The opposing force in the unknown world and primary antagonists of the series, the Ends are, like the Drifters, mainly composed of powerful historical figures who died under unorthodox and often violent circumstances. Unlike the Drifters, however, the Ends are revered humans that have forsaken their humanity, and are thus capable of using supernatural powers. Most of the Ends are driven completely by an intense hate for humanity for the various betrayals each suffered back on Earth. They seem to have been brought into the new world by EASY, who is at odds with Murasaki.

EASY 
An arrogant and short-tempered young woman with long, black hair, and violet eyes. Apparently at odds with Murasaki, she is responsible for the Ends, an opposing force similar in origin to the Drifters. She primarily uses her laptop to keep tabs on the battles taking place in the other world. In the corridor, she is associated with and accompanied by darkness.
Black King 
The leader of the Ends. He claims that he once tried to “save” humans, but he has since shifted his agenda towards non-humans after humans “denied” his efforts. His identity has yet to be established, but he is shown to possess healing powers and the ability to multiply any life form he wishes, infinitely producing food or wood. He also has puncture scars in both of his palms. His ultimate goal is to eradicate all humans and create a new civilization of non-humans in a perpetual Dark Age, ensuring that they never advance far enough to become as destructive as humans, creating what the Black King believes will be a utopia. In order to achieve this, the Black King has instructed Rasputin to create a simple alphabet and a syncretic religion to allow the different non-human races to find a common ground.
Hijikata Toshizō
The former vice-commander of the Shinsengumi who died fighting in the name of the Tokugawa Bakufu during the Boshin War. Hijikata has the ability to use smoke to manifest ghostly images of members of the Shinsengumi and uses them to cut apart his enemies. He has become Toyohisa’s rival following a battle between the two that ended in a draw.
Jeanne d’Arc
The heroine of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. Jeanne, who was driven insane after being burned at the stake, now desires nothing more than to see the world burn. As an End – with her Christian crosses now upside down – she has manifested the ability to manipulate fire. Surprisingly, she seems to be self-conscious of her (lacking) femininity, though this could be another result of her insanity. After being defeated by Toyohisa, Jeanne is able to flee the scene alive due to Toyohisa’s personal oath to never kill a woman, leading Jeanne to vow revenge.
Gilles de Rais
A French nobleman who was once one of Jeanne’s companions-in-arms, but was later executed for multiple cases of alleged murder, sodomy, and heresy. He possessed incredible strength and durability. He continued to accompany Jeanne to battle as a spearman, remaining loyal to her until his death. He was defeated by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whereafter he disintegrated into salt. An enraged Jeanne swears to avenge Gilles de Rais’s death. He is the first of the Ends to be killed in the series.
Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
The youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. Anastasia and her family were shot by a Bolshevik firing squad when Anastasia was seventeen. She has the supernatural ability to create blizzards. Anastasia is depicted as an emotionless woman with little interest in the war between the Ends and Drifters. She apparently has some attachment to Jeanne, as Rasputin noted that she was angered that Jeanne was hurt during her battle against Toyohisa.
Grigori Rasputin
A famous Russian mystic who once held a great influence over the Russian Imperial Court because of his ability to supposedly heal the Romanov’s hemophiliac heir, Alexei. He now serves the Black King as a spymaster for his army, and is often seen by Anastasia’s side. Similar to the Octobrists, Rasputin uses magic to possess others via the use of talismans, which he also uses for communication among the Black King’s army.
Akechi Mitsuhide
A former general and samurai who served under Nobunaga before his betrayal in 1582, resulting in the latter’s (historical) death during the Honnō-ji incident. He is eager to kill Nobunaga during the war between the Drifters and the Ends.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune
A ruthless general of the Minamoto clan and Nasu no Yoichi’s former commander. During the Genpei War, Yoshitsune resorted to dishonorable tactics to achieve victory, something Yoichi despises about him. Likewise, Yoshitsune mocks Yoichi for trying to follow the code of Bushido once they are transported to the new world to fight. His status as a Drifter or End is unknown, and he often remarks that he will go the side that provides him with the most amusement. Yoshitsune is currently aligned with the Black King’s army.

 

Manga Monday- Drifters

Manga Monday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Drifters is serialized in the Shōnen Gahosha Young King Ours magazine and sold under the same publisher in Japan. It is licensed in North America by Dark Horse Comics, in France by Éditions Tonkam, in Germany by Panini Comics, in Italy by J-POP, in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics and in Poland by Japonica Polonica Fantastica.

Plot

Shimazu Toyohisa, while involved at the Battle of Sekigahara, manages to mortally wound Ii Naomasa, but is critically injured in the process. As he walks from the field wounded and bleeding, Toyohisa finds himself transported to a corridor of doors, where a bespectacled man at a desk waits for him. This man, Murasaki, sends Toyohisa through the nearest door where he wakes up in another world. There, Toyohisa meets other great warriors like him who have been transported as well, to be part of a group known as “Drifters”.

This world contains both native humans and a number of fantastical races, including elves, dwarves, and hobbits. However, the world is at war, with the humans waging a losing conflict against another group of great warriors, the “Ends”, who wish to take over the world and kill all of the Drifters. Under the Ends’ command are many terrible creatures, including giants and dragons, which they use to destroy everything in their path. At the start of the series, the Ends’ army has control of the northern part of the continent, and are trying to invade the south through a pivotal fortress at the northernmost tip of a nation called Carneades. Meanwhile, the “Octobrist Organization”, a group of human magicians native to this world, attempts to bring together the many individual Drifters to save their world from the brutal Ends.

Drifters

The titular Drifters are heroes, leaders, and great warriors from different eras and cultures that have been brought to an unknown world by Murasaki, where they are meant to fight the Ends. A common element to the Drifters is that, although they are driven by violence, victory, and conquest, most of them are not cruel and do not tolerate the hurting of innocents. Unlike the Ends, the Drifters have no magic abilities unless they were born with them, and therefore must largely rely on their technology and tenacity to survive.
Murasaki 
A mysterious and calm bespectacled man who is responsible for the appearance of the Drifters, using them as a means to right the wrong of the Ends’ conquest of the unknown world. He is seen sitting in the middle of the door corridor, smoking, and reading a newspaper that gives news of the events relating to the Drifters. In the corridor, he is associated with and accompanied by light.
Shimazu Toyohisa
The leader of the Drifters. Historically, he died in 1600 during the Battle of Sekigahara. When he first arrived in the new world, he was critically injured, only to be brought to Nobunaga and Yoichi’s hideout by the young elves, Marsha and Mark. Although impulsive and reckless, Toyohisa possesses a fearless, determined, and chivalrous spirit, assisting the elves and dwarves by liberating them from the Orte Empire. Born and raised in a war-torn era, Toyohisa has a keen sense for battle and tactics, though he remains unaware of these talents himself. Toyohisa primarily uses a nodachi in battle, though he is seen carrying a wakizashi. He also carries a Tanegashima on the back of his waist, which he only uses when his swords are infeasible to use against his enemies.
Oda Nobunaga
A famous warlord who conquered most of Japan during Sengoku period. He is known for being the daimyō who took the first step of unification of the Japan, and the first Japanese military commander to utilize arquebuses in battles, using one as his main weapon in battle as a Drifter. Historically, he died during the Honnō-ji incident, the mutiny conducted by Akechi Mitsuhide. As a Drifter, he has only aged six months since arriving in the new world. Nobunaga is highly ambitious and cunning, desiring to establish a multiracial federation in the new world with Toyohisa as their leader. Nobunaga acts as the group’s military strategist.
Nasu no Yoichi
A very effeminate man of nineteen. His full name is Nasu Suketaka Yoichi, though he is simply known as Nasu no Yoichi. Although he lived hundreds of years before Nobunaga and Toyohisa, Yoichi is the youngest in the group. Born as the youngest of eleven siblings, Yoichi is a powerful warrior and military commander who served Minamoto no Yoshitsune during the Genpei War. Yoichi’s exploits were recorded throughout Japanese history, including in The Tale of the Heike, though Nobunaga notes that Yoichi acts very differently from these historical accounts. During the Genpei War, he was forced to commit several dishonorable acts by Yoshitsune, despite having a strong belief of Bushido. Now as a Drifter, Yoichi resolves to maintain his honorable nature, and he is the most level-headed of the trio. Yoichi acts as the group’s archer, killing fleeing enemies.
Hannibal Barca
A famous Carthiginian military commander. Now a Drifter and elderly, he is first seen arguing with Scipio Africanus over the latter’s “plagiarism” of Cannae at the Battle of Zama. Despite nearly being killed by the Black King’s army, Hannibal still insists that victory is still possible. After being separated from Scipio, Hannibal becomes depressed and senile, but he is still able to articulate battle tactics to his fellow Drifters via indirect means. He acts as Nobunaga’s military advisor since being left in Toyohisa’s group’s care.
Scipio Africanus
Hannibal’s Roman adversary during the Second Punic War. As a Drifter, he is as old as Hannibal, who he is seen constantly arguing with, claiming that “a winner takes all” since he won at Zama. Nevertheless, Scipio respects Hannibal greatly. Originally traveling with Hannibal and the Wild Bunch gang, he was accidentally separated from them and is currently in the company of Naoshi Kanno and Tamon Yamaguchi.
Butch Cassidy
Leader of the Wild Bunch gang. He, along with Sundance Kid, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his partner, Butch has a hot-blooded and wild personality. He favors the use of firearms, particularly a pair of pistols, in battle.
Sundance Kid
A member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. He, along with Butch, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his leader, Kid possesses a calm and collected personality. Kid favors the use of firearms in battle, such as shotguns and a Gatling gun.
Naoshi Kanno
During a battle with the Black King, with the Drifters’ side under attack by dragons, Japanese World War II fighter pilot Naoshi Kanno is transported into the world in his plane. When the dragons’ attacks trigger memories of the bombing of Tokyo, he attacks the dragons in anger. His plane later crashed and he soon found himself worshiped as a god by a tribe of anthropomorphic dogs, only to be found by Scipio, who decides to use his status to unite the various anthropomorphic animal tribes under him to bolster the Drifters’ army. He does not initially trust Butch or Sundance Kid, as they are American, but Butch manages to convince him that they are Bolivian instead. He is addressed as Sugano Nao in the Dark Horse translation, an alternate reading of his name.
Tamon Yamaguchi
An admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Tamon arrived in the new world along with the aircraft carrier Hiryū, and has since formed an uneasy alliance with the leaders of Gu-Binnen, a merchant guild, assisting them against the war with the Orte Empire by leading the guild’s griffin naval forces.