Meeting Date: 12/27/2016
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, everybody, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club. This week, our panel is made up of Anthony Simpson, L.B. Bryant, and Lydia Rivers.
L.B. Bryant: Hello!
Lydia Rivers: Hiii everyone!
Anthony Simpson: Evening everyone.
Mike Ferreira: And tonight, it’s the end of the season, meaning our discussion on Drifters comes to a close. Next season, we’ll be trying to tackle two shows: Akiba’s Trip and Seiren.
L.B. Bryant: Gods help us all.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed.
Lydia Rivers: I’m looking forward to the diversity, but I’ll really miss Drifters.
Anthony Simpson: I guess we had to graduate from talking about just one show to two shows.
L.B. Bryant: Honestly I have to admit Lydia… I’m not going to miss Drifters too much.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. I think we’ll have to cap it there, though – I’d go nuts if I had to watch every single show every season.
Lydia Rivers: Well, Drifters had a lot going on. Not many shows could spawn so many topics at once.
L.B. Bryant: The final TV episode ended things on a high note and reminded me why I enjoyed the series in the first place but overall… meh. I’m done with this one.
Anthony Simpson: That said it will be interesting to talk about two different shows in two different genres.
Mike Ferreira: Drifters was a show where we kind of needed that focus, I agree. There were just so many subjects layered on each other.
Anthony Simpson: I’m going to miss the adventures of Easy. Speaking of Easy, Japan you better get working on a spinoff with her as the main character.
Mike Ferreira: I’d watch that.
Mike Ferreira: I also have to admit… they really went all the way with their “Season 2 is coming” messaging. Making a freaking “Next Episode” card for a series that might not be coming for several years is pretty ambitious
Lydia Rivers: Maybe some shorts. That’d be nice.
Lydia Rivers: And I loved that. It showed how committed they are to seeing the project through!
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. I’m glad it’s coming. Hell – I’ll be there day one when it starts airing again
Mike Ferreira: I need to see what happens between Mitsuhide and Nobunaga now
L.B. Bryant: Episode 13 might be home video exclusive.
Anthony Simpson: I did enjoy that too, but that wait for S2 is going to be a bitch.
Anthony Simpson: There is a lot we need to see happen.
Mike Ferreira: Agreed.
Mike Ferreira: This episode was equally as frustrating as it was satisfying. So much happened, so many new revelations were dropped in, then “We’re coming back in 20XX!”
Lydia Rivers: Right?! I freaked when I saw Mitsuhide. He was a very intelligent and learned man, so I’m looking forward to see how the story uses him.
Anthony Simpson: In my opinion this was really the only way the show could have ended. Anything else would have been a slap in the face.
Mike Ferreira: The little we saw suggests that he’ll be as deadly a strategist as Nobunaga, at the very least.
Lydia Rivers: I also love seeing new takes on the Shinsengumi members, and I definitely thought emotional Hijikata was interesting.
Lydia Rivers: That little ironic smile he had after Toyohisa screamed samurai at him was so perfect
Mike Ferreira: I loved that.
Mike Ferreira: Also loved the Shinsengumi spirits – how Hijikata travels with his fallen brothers even in death.
Lydia Rivers: There’s nothing like being acknowledged by your worst enemy and denied by your closest allies.
Lydia Rivers: Yeah.
Mike Ferreira: Agreed.
Lydia Rivers: I can’t wait to read the manga, which Dark Horse is continuing to translate this coming year! I hope I find lots of additional tidbits and character quirks that had to be forgotten when it was converted.
Mike Ferreira: Same here. I’m genuinely curious to see how things differ. Meanwhile, I’m hoping Kouta Hirano gets back to work on the series proper. Volumes have been coming out super slowly.
Mike Ferreira: If I remember right, it was about two years between volumes four and five.
Anthony Simpson: If I still read manga I would check it out. Since I don’t anymore I’m going to have to rely on reading up on the internet on what happens.
Mike Ferreira: Back to the show proper, I’m kind of interested in seeing how the Drifters and Ends are pulled in. They seem much more mercenary than I had previously surmised.
Mike Ferreira: Like Mitsuhide just saying “Yep, I’m an End because fuck Nobunaga”
Lydia Rivers: Especially more about the other Drifters and the mysterious supernatural corporate chess masters. Ah, really about Kouta Hirano? It’s OK though, take your time and keep up the quality, Hirano-sensei!
Lydia Rivers: It seems that Murasaki just tosses them in and sets them free in the environment to find their own bearings and loyalties.
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. Meanwhile, Easy actively recruits for her side
Anthony Simpson: This brings me back to what I mentioned the other week about deism.
Lydia Rivers: From dead people, instead of dying people? I wonder if that’s the case or if Dark Jesus grants them their powers somehow.
Mike Ferreira: That’s what I wonder.
Mike Ferreira: But indeed, Anthony. Murasaki’s the watchmaker, Easy’s closer to what many Judeo Christian followers see – more activist in nature
Anthony Simpson: I see Murasaki as how a god would be if you follow deism.
Mike Ferreira: Exactly
Anthony Simpson: He could probably go into that world and deal with himself and same with Easy, but they put others in there instead and watch from the sidelines.
Lydia Rivers: I was also pleased to see that the series remained firmly grey in nature. It’s difficult to not sway it, even unintentionally, just by giving some characters more screen time than others.
Lydia Rivers: I think the writing and editing was just masterful! I mean, aside from some strange humor choices, it was truly well done.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. They were clear to the end – these are two groups of awful people that we’re watching. We’re just rooting for the ones we like more
Anthony Simpson: I did want to see certain people more often.
Mike Ferreira: Honestly, the one thing that got to me was Nobunaga’s homophobia.
Mike Ferreira: There’s a point where we say “OK, enough. We get it. Now you’re just being a dick.”
L.B. Bryant: For me it was the elf rape scene which almost did me in.
Lydia Rivers: You mean Toyohisa?
Mike Ferreira: Nope – Nobunaga – last episode, he pretty much went off on the whole “Twinkie” thing, plus the freakouts over Saint-Germi’s troops
Lydia Rivers: Ah, that was a little strange because they alluded to his bi-ness in the first episode. Once more with the strange humor choices
Mike Ferreira: Yeah, exactly
Mike Ferreira: Hannibal was just… sad though. Not sure if that was intentional, but it really did show how age comes for us all
Anthony Simpson: I’m generally not bothered by rape scenes anymore but one in the tower got to me. For I saw Orte before that scene as just an oppressive state run by assholes, then that scene happened, then I was like well Orte run by some awful people.
Anthony Simpson: The one I never liked was the comedy.
Anthony Simpson: I always felt it came at the worst time and ruined some of the atmosphere.
Mike Ferreira: The tower one was awful, but it was amazing at the same time. It cemented the brutality of the Orte empire
Anthony Simpson: For example all the raspberry jokes with Hannibal.
Lydia Rivers: With Hannibal, I looked at it from two angles. One is the angle that age comes for us all, and the other is that genius is immortal and shines through even if there are issues communicating it. I felt both messages pretty clearly thanks to the difference in treatment from Toyohisa and Nobunaga. Nobunaga kept referring to him as a batty old man, whereas Toyohisa was like “What, you’re still with us.” and respected him.
Anthony Simpson: Then again with Orte, when your founder is the Fuhrer the placed is a going to be shit hole for anyo0ne who isn’t human.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. Toyohisa saw wisdom in his expeirence, while Nobunaga just dismissed him outright
Mike Ferreira: Drifters really was a fascinating study of people –
Mike Ferreira: On another note, thoughts on the big final battle?
L.B. Bryant: I enjoyed it quite a bit. I liked all the action in this episode.
Anthony Simpson: I enjoyed the battle had a much larger scope that what we have seen so far.
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. There were real stakes with the innocent people.
Lydia Rivers: I wanted to see more actual swordplay from Hijikata vs. Toyohisa, but I agree with the decision to not give it to be honest. I also enjoyed the not-so-veiled commentary on how technology also makes killing people easier, along with everything else. It’s something to keep in mind, along with other studies of history.
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. The social commentary was strong here.
Anthony Simpson: Not that the other battles weren’t important. They were, but this was the kind of battle the show needed to end on.
Mike Ferreira: But I love how it turned into a fist fight between Toyohisa and Hijikata, where even the Shinsengumi ghosts were cringing and making awkward small talk with the dwarves
Lydia Rivers: I agree, I was satisfied with how they concluded it. They didn’t force anything, and didn’t risk cheapening further seasons by making anything feel artificial to the story in this one.
Lydia Rivers: Yessss! Oh my god! “Uh, we can’t get in the middle of that. It’s literally a brawl now.”
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. I respect that they didn’t try to go all “Slayers TRY” and make their own story with blackjack and cocaine
Mike Ferreira: And yes! Even the dwarves were just sitting there all “hey there.”
Anthony Simpson: We never got to see the hobbits, I wanted to see how they pulled that off.
Lydia Rivers: I bet they get stuck as cooks and chefs, since they’re following race tropes.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed.
Mike Ferreira: At least we got a glimpse of the kobolds with Naoshi Kanno
Mike Ferreira: CONQUEROR OF MAN
Anthony Simpson: probably, but I did want to see them.
Mike Ferreira: I’m kind of sad we didn’t see more of Butch, Sundance, and Tamon Yamaguchi. So much potential, just left offscreen
Lydia Rivers: Booo! Maybe we’ll get specials here and there to tide us over until the next season. It seems like the sort of thing that might make for good OVAs.
Anthony Simpson: That’s one of the issues that I had is that we had a large cast of characters and a bunch got pushed to the side.
Anthony Simpson: Mind you not everyone can have the spotlight all the time.
Mike Ferreira: Definitely.
Mike Ferreira: But we shouldn’t forget they exist
Lydia Rivers: Right, it was chaotic enough, buuut!
Mike Ferreira: Like… Tamon Yamaguchi appeared in two cuts. One in the middle of the series, one in the final credits
Anthony Simpson: I mean we did get those tidbits during the credits.
Lydia Rivers: I wanna know what happened to the Vietnam war guy who was in the first episode.
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. He just disappeared entirely
Lydia Rivers: I think he was Vietnam?
Lydia Rivers: Yeah
Anthony Simpson: Tamon Yamaguchi is an important historical figure. Mind you his part was limited because he came with his carrier but still I wanted to see more of him.
Mike Ferreira: True enough
Lydia Rivers: Is Murasaki playing with other worlds or what?!
Mike Ferreira: I wonder that, myself
Mike Ferreira: He’s a social worker
Mike Ferreira: so maybe he’s placing people where they’d do the most good?
Anthony Simpson: Thinking about the US solider. I wonder if there are other worlds that exist.
Lydia Rivers: Well, we know they do because of all those doors. :)
Anthony Simpson: I also wondered about how time moves in the world. I wonder if Murasaki and Easy travel through time to get these people.
Mike Ferreira: We know Easy does
Mike Ferreira: We saw that with Joan
Lydia Rivers: I had more the impression that they both just snatch them from the subject’s time.
Lydia Rivers: They’re about to die, and/or do die, and then yoink
Mike Ferreira: Yeah. Sometimes you get war vets, others, you get lovable psychopaths who chop off peoples’ ehads
Mike Ferreira: *heads
Anthony Simpson: Murasaki I’m sure does since we have people from so many different time periods. We had Hitler from the modern era then people like Hannibal from ancient times.
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. And they all came at different times
Mike Ferreira: It looks like we’re reaching our time for the week. Any closing thoughts?
L.B. Bryant: I’m glad that this experiment turned out so successfully.
Mike Ferreira: Likewise. I had a lot of fun this season.
Mike Ferreira: Glad you guys joined the fun
Lydia Rivers: I loved it! I can’t wait to start in on next season with everyone. I hope our readers enjoyed it a little too
Anthony Simpson: I had a lot of fun talking about the show week to week. It’s made me think more critically about the show I am watching since I have to discuss it week to week. Plus I liked having to learn about things I didn’t know before.
Lydia Rivers: Hehe. Well, I’m looking forward to the opportunities for sarcasm Seiren will bring.
Anthony Simpson: Like learning that there is a real place called Orte which is in Italy and that the Octobrist were a real group.
Mike Ferreira: Definitely. It makes you step back and really think about the a show from week to week. Or, if you don’t like a show, think of ways to throw subtle shade.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. Or taking the time to really research the Drifters and Ends.
Mike Ferreira: Anyway… thanks for taking part, guys, and thanks for joining us, readers. We’re going away for a week, but I hope you’ll join us for Seiren and Akiba’s Trip!
Lydia Rivers: Stay shiny everyone!
Anthony Simpson: Stay safe, and remember Easy is best girl.
Lydia Rivers: Those are fighting words, Anthony! Warden is best girl!
Mike Ferreira: Now, now. Warden is best girl in my heart, but Easy is amazing too – both are valid.
Anthony Simpson: Both are best girl.
Lydia Rivers: Nope. We have to deny Easy the best girl spot so she can keep resenting and being herself.
Mike Ferreira: Good night, everybody!