Meeting Date: 10/25/2016
Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!
Mike Ferreira: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club. As always, I’m Mike Ferreira, the benevolent dictator and guy who keeps things on task. I’m joined by our regular crew, Lydia Rivers, Anthony Simpson, and L.B. Bryant
Anthony Simpson: Hiyo!!!!
Lydia Rivers: Hola friends!
L.B. Bryant: Hey all
Mike Ferreira: Tonight, we’re continuing our discussion on Drifters with episode 3: “Army of Ours—Sortie at Dawn” or “That Escalated Quickly!”
Lydia Rivers: I’m so excited to talk about this week’s episode that I’m practically vibrating. There is SO MUCH! I had to make sure my brain didn’t actually melt out.
Anthony Simpson: This episode was such a joy to watch.
Mike Ferreira: I have to admit – I had this big, goofy grin on my face the entire time. They just nailed it
Lydia Rivers: Right?! I felt like I was wasted with friends at a Dungeons and Dragons game, that due to the influence of alcohol became something magnificently more: AIRPLANES VS. DRAGONS!
L.B. Bryant: .. I’m the odd one out this time. I didn’t take much away from this episode.
Anthony Simpson: except for the piss joke, I didn’t like that at all.
Mike Ferreira: I honestly thought that was supposed to be more pathetic than funny.
Anthony Simpson: possibly, the way the music played during that scene made it come off like a joke.
Mike Ferreira: It’s an odd scene… but it was kind of interesting because it let Scipio stand out as a guy who will kick your ass, but he’ll stand up for you if he respects you
Lydia Rivers: Ah, that wasn’t a joke, no. It was slamming into you how these guys are humans. Legends…but human.
Anthony Simpson: Airplanes Vs. Dragons that was awesome.
Anthony Simpson: if you put that I get where you are coming from, but I just didn’t care for it.
Lydia Rivers: Yeah, it was really uncomfortable. I kind of appreciated it though.
Mike Ferreira: That seems to be a running theme, doesn’t it? “They’re capable of all this badassery, but they’re still people” – you saw it in episode 2, when Nobunaga, Shimazu, and Nasu no Yoichi were making cracks about each others’ ages
L.B. Bryant: Airplanes vs. Dragons would’ve been awesome had it happened a few minutes earlier. For me I was so ready for the episode to be over by the time it happened so even that didn’t have as much impact as it should have with me.
Lydia Rivers: Mhm. It’s really good at getting your adrenaline up and then reminding you that you aren’t supposed to admire these people for the wrong reasons.
Lydia Rivers: What made you tired of it, L.B.?
Mike Ferreira: I have to kind of disagree – I thought the “Airplanes vs. Dragons” moment was perfectly placed – it really hit a bit harder after giving a few glimpses of this character, who clearly firebombed innocent people in WWII. Then he just overcame it, and provided that last huge save when the Octobrest crew needed ti most.
Mike Ferreira: Or saw such brutality in the war itself
Mike Ferreira: It was a real cathartic moment
Anthony Simpson: That was the fire bombing on Tokyo is what he was remembering.
L.B. Bryant: The problem I had with this episode was that it was too frantic and quickly paced. For me, it was wall to wall violence featuring people that I didn’t recognize and were mostly unnamed (as far as I recall) so other than the big bits of story development that we got towards the middle and in the closing few minutes I just felt kind of bored for lack of a better word.
L.B. Bryant: I totally understand that I’m the odd one out this time.
Mike Ferreira: Alright… makes sense
Lydia Rivers: Oh! When we get to it I’ll name a few of them so you and our readers can give them a quick lookup on Wikipedia. It’s worth the ten minutes, really.
Anthony Simpson: Understandable. I loved the frantic pacing of the episode.
Mike Ferreira: I can respect that, L.B. – I was kind of shocked that they showed, like, NOTHING of the main trio until after the credits
Anthony Simpson: I got some kicks out of several of the Ends we met this episode.
Lydia Rivers: Oh my goodness Anthony. Did you notice that they appeared to actually have been dead instead of snatched from the brink of death into the world?
Lydia Rivers: And that they all died horrible, terrible deaths IRL?
Mike Ferreira: THAT was interesting
Anthony Simpson: Yes.
Lydia Rivers: Those guys had supernatural abilities whereas the Drifters still are clearly human.
Mike Ferreira: Yeah… There’s no way Joan of Arc would turn into Dilandau by natural causes.
Anthony Simpson: I found it ironic that Joan of Arc burns her enemies considering she burned at the stake herself.
Mike Ferreira: (Look it up – Dilandau: Vision of Escaflowne – totes pyro)
Lydia Rivers: We have Hijikata Toshizou, Joan of Arc, Anastasia Nikolaevna…am I missing any? Oh my goodness, I got CHILLS when she said it feels like her body is on fire.
Anthony Simpson: There are still a few more Ends who show up.
Mike Ferreira: Those are the three I remember… plus the one who’s kind of an enigma
Lydia Rivers: Oh! Yeah that was Yoshistune right?
Mike Ferreira: I think so
Mike Ferreira: “Whose side are you on?” “whoever’s interests me the most :3”
Lydia Rivers: He seemed the most sane of all those guys.
Anthony Simpson: Then we have the Black King who I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say is Jesus himself.
Mike Ferreira: Yoshitsune could be fun, yanno
Lydia Rivers: What’s with the dragonfly staff though?
Mike Ferreira: Plot device?
Anthony Simpson: I don’t know. Could be some religious thing but when I was never huge into religious studies even when I was still a Christian.
Mike Ferreira: Joking, I would say it’s not too far of a stretch to say the Black King’s Jesus
Mike Ferreira: If only because the imagery is just so there
Lydia Rivers: He died a really terrible death too…
Lydia Rivers: They definitely have that all in common, the Ends
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. Forsaken by humanity
Anthony Simpson: I know the manga never straight out says it is him, but it is heavily implied that its him.
Mike Ferreira: I was thinking similar when I saw the hole-shaped scars on his hands
Mike Ferreira: Like “dude was crucified – that’s Jesus”
Lydia Rivers: Lets talk about the fact that the humans in that world, the ones who aren’t Drifters, call themselves Carneades! I was like “Huh..?” They’re named after the father of academic skepticism.
Mike Ferreira: That was pretty fascinating.
Lydia Rivers: They acted pretty arrogant for skeptics when they were suppressing the elves…unless that was a different faction?
Anthony Simpson: I think that was a different faction.
Mike Ferreira: That’s what I’m thinking. They were talking about “the capital” in the village.
Lydia Rivers: Or maybe the hypocrisy is the point. I dunno! The leader guy that Toyohisa beat up mentioned Octobrist, but didn’t identify as anything yeah.
Mike Ferreira: Hrm.. that’s true. I forgot about that
Mike Ferreira: Could just be a corrupt individual
Mike Ferreira: (well group of individuals)
Lydia Rivers: We were also introduced this week to the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy~~!
Mike Ferreira: Who had a FREAKING GATLING GUN
Lydia Rivers: LMAO
Anthony Simpson: That was amazing.
Lydia Rivers: Where’d you get that, Butch?!
Mike Ferreira: Internet?
Lydia Rivers: Obviously. Amazon sells everything.
Anthony Simpson: Amazon or Ebay.
Lydia Rivers: He must have staged a semi robbery.
Mike Ferreira: I’m hoping he gets more absurd stuff going forward.
Lydia Rivers: We should get more background now that Toyohisa and company captured the token big-boobs character! Her name is Olminu?
Anthony Simpson: If he doesn’t use a rail gun or thermonuclear weapon but the series end I’m not going to be happy.
Mike Ferreira: Could you imagine? Ending the series with a freakin’ railgun shootout?
Anthony Simpson: That would be amazing.
Mike Ferreira: I’m thinking Olminu might be series original – she doesn’t exactly fit the mold of “this seems like it could be a historical figure in any sense of the term”
Lydia Rivers: Yeah. Her superior who escaped with the other group of Drifters was original too right?
Mike Ferreira: I’m not sure who the leader was, but I’m guessing he’s really some hugely important historical figure like Abe no Seimei or something
Anthony Simpson: I don’t think she is an original character.
Anthony Simpson: Abe no Seimei is the leader.
Mike Ferreira: OK – so I wasn’t off on that one… good to know
Lydia Rivers: OH OH MY GOD the onmyouji?
Mike Ferreira: The one and the same.
Lydia Rivers: This is like a drunken tabletop RPG among fantasy and history nerds. I am so thrilled by how vividly dark and ridiculous it is!
Mike Ferreira: Sooooo… gotta ask: How long til we see Hitler? Kouta Hirano LOVES putting Nazis into his work
Lydia Rivers: Who knows. If he’s in, I expect him to be a Drifter, but I really do hope someone beats the crap out of him at least once. This anime is really good about walking the line between uncomfortable and “hell yeah,” so…
Anthony Simpson: Next episode or the one after. On a spoiler note: he does show up. Won’t say where through.
Mike Ferreira: God that’d be the ultimate mindfuck – “Yeah, so Hitler’s gonna be helping us.” -everyone from the 20th century and beyond just STAAAAAAAAAAAARES-
Lydia Rivers: Spoilers earn the death by tribble sentence!
Lydia Rivers: Right Mike?
Mike Ferreira: Right
Lydia Rivers: The pilot is the only guy we know so far who’d recognize him. I’ve forgotten his name already, cuz I’m terrible with recent history. Durrr
Mike Ferreira: True.
Anthony Simpson: Did the show say his name in this episode?
L.B. Bryant: He was introduced but I don’t remember his name.
Lydia Rivers: Yeah, but I didn’t recognize it at all.
Mike Ferreira: They showed it on one of the documents and he screamed it at one point.
L.B. Bryant: I remember he was with the Shinsengumi squadron though.
Anthony Simpson: Naoshi Kanno
Anthony Simpson: I remember it now
Mike Ferreira: Yeah… he was one of the most decorated WWII pilots in Japan’s forces
Mike Ferreira: Called “Kanno the Destroyer”
Lydia Rivers: I see. He was shot down by escorting some enemy fighters off Yakushima. His remains were never found.
Mike Ferreira: Yeah… he was deemed missing, presumed dead
Anthony Simpson: I hate to admit but my WWII history isn’t all that great.
Mike Ferreira: Now we know he’s in a magical place shooting down freakin’ dragons while screaming like a madman. He’s doing alright
Lydia Rivers: He’s better looking IRL than he is in the anime…
Lydia Rivers: Weird
Mike Ferreira: Agreed
Anthony Simpson: Usually it is the other way around.
Anthony Simpson: Like Time Travel Girl last season did with the Western inventors.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed
Lydia Rivers: Look these people up on wiki, everyone! Just a bit of the stuff listed there will help you appreciate this anime. It’s really quite brilliant!
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. A little research really does bring this series to a whole new level
Mike Ferreira: Except for Evil Jesus
Mike Ferreira: That’s just well… Kouta Hirano
Lydia Rivers: I’ll probably have to swallow my shame and look up the Vietnam War guy too when he shows up.
Anthony Simpson: I also have to recommend looking these people up.
Mike Ferreira: That said, it looks like we’re out of time for the week :) Any final thoughts on the episode?
Anthony Simpson: I loved every minute of it.
L.B. Bryant: Nothing from me. Hoping the series slows down a bit next week but that’s my personal problem heh
Mike Ferreira: From the looks of it, we’ll at least get more Easy and Murasaki
Lydia Rivers: Episode 3 was a great plunge into the insanity this series will have to offer us. I’m looking forward to getting more base plot in the next episode, now that Olminu has been snatched out of hiding by Toyohisa and company.
Anthony Simpson: I want to see more of Easy. Easily best girl.
Mike Ferreira: I have to say that I enjoyed Episode 3 because it was just 100% world building. Stuff happens when the main cast isn’t around, and they’re not the most important people in the world. I appreciate seeing that, seeing how miniscule the trio is compared to what they’re up against in the future.
Lydia Rivers: Easy peasy. Give me more MiGs vs. dragons. Precisely Mike! Everyone, no matter who they are, is being dwarfed by their own humanity and the fact that the universe is even larger than what they imagined. I mean some of them thought the earth was the center of it, so.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed… to see these literal human monsters arising was just amazing for me. It just made everything kind of “click” – like “that explains a LOT about how this world works”
Mike Ferreira: Aniwho, thanks for joining, as always, everyone. And really – do look some of these characters up, they’re just as cool in real life!
Lydia Rivers: And pitiable. Brave the intense discomfort and try to empathize for a moment. It’s intense and, despite whether they lived for better or worse, a learning moment.
Lydia Rivers: That’s what I will be thinking about when the Ends set everything on fire.
L.B. Bryant: Night everyone!
Mike Ferreira: Poor Joan of Arc… she learned too late: You build a man on fire, he’s warm for a day. You light a man on fire, he’s warm for the rest of his life.
Mike Ferreira: Anyway, ‘night, everyone! :)
Anthony Simpson: goodnight.
Lydia Rivers: Until next week! Stay shiny!