Drifters – Episode 2 – “Footsteps”

Well, another week has passed by since the first episode of Drifters has aired, and you know what that means! Time to review this week’s episode and see if it gets any better or worse from here. The first episode was able to deliver in the action department, albeit hindered by the painfully unfunny comedy, so let’s see if the second episode can build upon some of the cool ideas that were established in the first episode.

At the beginning of the episode, we see a guy communicating via a glass ball (because bad guy cliches for the win) while spying on two new Drifters as they are fighting. The two Drifters fighting is supposed to be played for laughs, and you already know my stance on the comedy by now, so I’m just gonna stop beating the dead horse. The man is instructed to break up the fight, and we cut to not Part 8 Yoshikage Kira, who is the leader of a group called the Octoberists, which seems to be the antagonistic group of this series. Later on, we see that the two boys from the last episode are being scolded by their father for going to the deserted castle, since it’s dangerous to get involved with the Drifters. We then learn that the elf people and the Drifters are enemies, and we then see Shimazu and the rest of the gang battling the soldiers, while saving the lives of the two bystander boys in the process.

Goodnight everybody!

The Octoberists find out about what the boys did, and in response, they threaten an entire elf village by burning their crops and committing elf genocide, as if it wasn’t clear enough that these guys are the antagonists. And just as the crops are burning burned, Shimazu comes in to kick some Octoberist ass. He then meets one of the knights named Aram, who was the leader of this whole genocidal rampage. The fight doesn’t last long, however, since Shimazu is able to chokehold Aram and proceeds to bash his head in until he’s left disfigured. This causes the elf people to stare in horror, and then proceeds to hand his sword to one of the elves so that they can finish Aram off for him. After that intense moment, the tension is then broken by some more out of place comedy, and the episode ends with the office man from the first episode talking to a girl named Easy, who is plotting to destroy the Drifters he sent to the elf dimension using her army of people. Guess we’re going to have to wait to see what the deal is with her.

Before I talk about anything else, I just want to bring up that this series looks phenomenal, especially this episode. There were so many great action shots in this episode that you’ll probably see used as screencaps in this review, and the studio behind this really knows how to play with the color schemes appropriately. The lighting isn’t half-bad either, considering that even Hellsing Ultimate had its issues with using proper lighting, especially in the first few episodes. I’d also like to bring up that the opening is pretty great as well, since we finally get to see it. I’m a huge fan of the sketchy art style that’s utilized in a lot of anime openings, and this OP does a pretty good job with it, and the song ain’t half bad, either. So presentation wise, this show definitely gets my seal of approval this season.

I’d make a really bad joke here, but it would be too Easy.

As for the contents of the episode itself, with the bad comedy aside, I really enjoyed this episode. Sure, it’s not really the most substance-filled thing ever, but neither was Hellsing Ultimate, which I still enjoyed despite its faults. Considering just how stressful this year has been overall, it’s nice to just enjoy some good ol’ cathartic violence without having to put much thought into the story or themes. The mangaka seems to do a good job at making these really bloody action manga without having it come across as trying too hard to be mature and edgy, and that’s mostly because he doesn’t try to pass his stories off as something you should take super seriously or something that’s more dramatic than it actually is. He knows that he’s writing popcorn material for people who like high-octane bloody action, and he fully embraces it and doesn’t try to pass it off as anything else. This is actually starting to become something I can look forward to watching every Friday after a stressful day of college classes, and I hope that the show continues to deliver on the bloody goodness.

Drifters can be watched every Friday at 10:30AM EST on Crunchyroll.

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