Drifters cover released in Japan
|Genre||Adventure, fantasy, isekai|
|Written by||Kouta Hirano|
|Published by||Shōnen Gahosha|
|Magazine||Young King OURs|
|Original run||April 30, 2009 – present|
|Original video animation|
|Drifters: Special Edition|
|Studio||Hoods Drifters Studio|
|Released||June 6, 2016|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kenichi Suzuki|
|Produced by||Hisato Usui|
|Studio||Hoods Drifters Studio|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, GYT, KBS, MBC, GBS|
|Original run||October 7, 2016 – present|
|Episodes||12 + 3 OVA|
Drifters (ドリフターズ Dorifutazu) 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.
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.
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 (紫 Murasaki)
- Voiced by: Mitsuru Miyamoto (Japanese); David Wald (English)
- 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 (島津 豊久 Shimazu Toyohisa)
- Voiced by: Yūichi Nakamura (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)
- 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 (織田 信長 Oda Nobunaga)
- Voiced by: Naoya Uchida (Japanese); Robert McCollum (English)
- 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 (那須 与一 Nasu Yoichi)
- Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese); Justin Briner (English)
- A very effeminate man of nineteen. His full name is Nasu Suketaka Yoichi (那須資隆与一), 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 (ハンニバル・バルカ Hannibaru Baruka)
- Voiced by: Yutaka Aoyama (Japanese); R. Bruce Elliott (English)
- 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 (スキピオ・アフリカヌス Sukipio Afurikanusu)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (Japanese); Mark Stoddard (English)
- 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 (ブッチ・キャシディ Butchi Kyashidi)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (Japanese); J. Michael Tatum (English)
- 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 (サンダンス・キッド Sandansu Kiddo)
- Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese); Kent Williams (English)
- 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 (菅野直 Kan'no Naoshi)
- Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Japanese); Justin Cook (English)
- 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 (山口 多聞 Yamaguchi Tamon)
- Voiced by: Yutaka Nakano (Japanese); Sonny Strait (English)
- 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.
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 (イーズィー Easy)
- Voiced by: Kanae Itō (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- 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 (黒王 Kokuō)
- Voiced by: Taiten Kusunoki (Japanese); Jeremy Schwartz (English)
- 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 (土方 歳三 Hijikata Toshizō)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
- 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 (ジャンヌ・ダルク Jan'nu Daruku)
- Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (Japanese); Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
- 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 (ジルドレ Jirudore)
- Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Japanese); Christopher R. Sabat (English)
- 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 (アナスタシア・ニコラエヴァ・ロマノヴァ Anasutashia Nikoraevua Romanovua) (Анастасия Николаевна Романова)
- Voiced by: Junko Kitanishi (Japanese); Rachel Robinson (English)
- 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 (グリゴリー・ラスプーチン Gurigorī Rasupūchin) (Григорий Ефимович Распутин)
- Voiced by: Masahiko Tanaka (Japanese); Christopher Bevins (English)
- 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 (明智 光秀 Akechi Mitsuhide)
- Voiced by: Shō Hayami (Japanese); Brandon Potter (English)
- 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 (源 義経 Minamoto Yoshitsune)
- Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)
- 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.
The Orte Empire (オルテ帝国 Orute Teikoku) is a country that was established by Hitler. It expanded through the conquest of neighboring territories and continued to adhere to Hitler's principles, which involves the persecution of demihumans races. Recently, the Empire was sold to Toyohisa and the Drifters by Count Saint-Germi, as Hitler had bankrupted the empire before his death. Its capital is Verlina (ヴェルリナ).
- Adolf Hitler (アドルフ・ヒトラー Adorufu Hitorā)
- The infamous Führer and Chancellor of Nazi Germany. Revealed to be a Drifter by Count Saint-Germi, Hitler ended up in the current world fifty years before the current storyline and inspired the local humans through speeches at a tavern to rise up and form the Orte Empire, creating brutal discrimination laws against all non-human species living there at the time. He mysteriously committed suicide soon after; however, his followers continued to revere him as the "Father" of their country long after his death.
- Count Saint-Germi (サン・ジェルミ伯 San Jerumi Haku)
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese); Vic Mignogna (English)
- A nobleman and Drifter who owns a quarter of the Orte Empire and was Hitler's closest ally in its formation. It is said that the Empire could not have existed without his "betrayal", and as such, he is free to live as he pleases without criticism from any of his peers. Despite this position, however, he is not loyal to the Empire and later betrays the Empire when he realizes its impending demise. He forms an alliance with the Drifters and their allies to take over the Empire. In spite of the fact he is well over fifty years old, Saint-Germi appears as a youthful drag queen with an effeminate personality. He has knowledge of the modern era (due to the fact that he is aware of the existence of firearms and gunpowder), as well as some knowledge of Japanese history.
- Mills (ミルズ Miruzu)
- Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese); Micah Solusod (English)
- A former tax collector of the elvish colonies. He now works for the elves as a servant.
- Aram (アラム Aramu)
- Voiced by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese); Gregory Lush (English)
- A cold-blooded knight of the Orte Empire. After being brutally defeated by Toyohisa, he is killed by the elves out of retribution for massacring their people.
- Alesta (アレスタ Aresuta)
- Voiced by: Kenji Fukuda (Japanese); Joel McDonald (English)
- An aide to Count Saint-Germi.
- Flamé (フラメ Furame)
- Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese); Anthony Bowling (English)
- An aide to Count Saint-Germi.
- Sacred Band of Thebes
- A Greek troop made up entirely of pairs of male lovers. They initially worked for the Orte Empire under Count Saint-Germi, but are handed over to Nobunaga after they arrive in Orte. They are armed with Nobunaga's dwarven muskets and decimate the Black King's troops, cutting a path for Toyohisa and the dwarves to reach Hijikata.
The Octobrist Organization
The Octobrist Organization (十月機関) are a group of human magicians that are native to the world whose duty is to observe and gather the Drifters together to fight the Ends. Unlike many humans in this world, Octobrists do not subjugate the demihumans. It is led by Abe no Seimei, who is also a Drifter. Known as Oct (オクト) in the Dark Horse translation.
- Abe no Seimei (安倍 晴明 Abe no Seimei)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Chris Patton (English)
- Although his real name is Abe no Haruakira, Haruakira is known famously as Abe no Seimei, a legendary Japanese magician who devoted his life to the extermination of the Ends soon after he first appeared in the new world as a Drifter. He now serves as the leader of the Octobrist Organization.
- Olminu (オルミーヌ Orumīnu)
- Voiced by: Shiho Kokido (Japanese); Gwendolyn Lau (English)
- A young magician of the Octobrists, code name "Sem (セム Semu)". She is charged with watching Toyohisa's group of Drifters. She seems to be quite incompetent at reconnaissance, and is terrified of the Drifters she must follow. After she is discovered and kidnapped by Toyohisa's group, she tells them the story of the Drifters and Ends. She is often used as comic relief, shown in a generally incompetent, powerless, and cowardly way, and is a frequent target of sexual harassment by Nobunaga (who calls her names such as "Olminipples"), but can be helpful due to her skills in sorcery, particularly in casting stone walls to assist the Drifters in their plans. Olminu can also serve as an spectator to the story, with the narrative enlightening plot elements through her perception.
- Kafet (カフェト Kafeto)
- Voiced by: Masakazu Nishida (Japanese); Aaron Roberts (English)
- Kafet, code name "Ham (ハム Hamu)", is an assistant to Abe no Seimei. He was first charged with bringing Scipio and Hannibal to Seimei after their arrival to their world.
The elves are a race of demihumans with long, pointed ears. The elves are a community of hunters and gatherers living in small villages across neighboring territories. Elves live five to six times longer than normal humans, and their maturation rate is slower, thus making the elves appearing younger than they actually are. Fifty years prior to the current storyline, they were defeated in the war against the Orte Empire and were forced to live as serfs. Toyohisa liberated the elves to repay his debt to Marsha and Mark for helping him when he first arrived in the new world. They are the first demihuman race to join the Drifters' army in the war against the Orte Empire and the Ends. The elves are natural-born archers, and are led by Yoichi in battles.
- Mark (マルク Maruku)
- Voiced by: Tomoko Tsuzuki (Japanese); Apphia Yu (English)
- The younger brother of Shara and Marsha. Like the rest of his race, Mark appears as young adolescent boy, though he is actually thirty-six years old. He and Marsha first discovered a wounded Toyohisa when he arrived in their world, and helped him by bringing him to Nobunaga and Yoichi to get his injuries treated. Toyohisa repaid his debt to the brothers by saving them from the Orte soldiers that were trying to kill them and liberating their village from the Orte Empire's tyranny.
- Marsha (マーシャ Māsha)
- Voiced by: Sayori Ishizuka (Japanese); Mikaela Krantz (English)
- The brother of Shara and Mark, and the second oldest child among the three. Like the rest of his race, Marsha appears as young adolescent boy, though he is actually thirty-nine years old. He and Mark first discovered a wounded Toyohisa when he arrived in their world, and helped him by bringing him to Nobunaga and Yoichi to get his injuries treated. Toyohisa repaid his debt to the brothers by saving them from the Orte soldiers that were trying to kill them and liberating their village from the Orte Empire's tyranny.
- Shara (シャラ Shara)
- Voiced by: Junji Majima (Japanese); Jerry Jewell (English)
- The older brother of Mark and Marsha. Like the rest of his race, Shara appears as young man, though he is actually 106 years old. He helps lead the elvish rebellion against the Orte Empire after his father is killed by Aram. He is very loyal to Toyohisa and the other Drifters, and often acts as the representative among the elves.
- Bronze Dragon (青銅竜 Seidōryu)
- Voiced by: Rintarou Nishi (Japanese); Phil Parsons (English)
- One of the six Great Dragons that govern the winged dragons. Although he objects to the employment of his subjects as the personal "pets" of the Black King, he is soon tortured with his powers and made into a living copper mine.
- Doug (ドグ Dogu)
- Voiced by: Riki Kagami
- A spy for the Oct who was later killed by Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
- Banzelmashin Shylock VIII (バンゼルマシン・シャイロック8世 Banzerumashin shairokku Ha-sei)
- Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno
- A noblemen from Gu-Binnen, a merchant guild, who forms an uneasy alliance with Tamon in the war against the Orte Empire. Shylock is the secretary of the Shairock Bank and Trading House, and the admiral of Gu-Binnen's marine fleet. Calculating and astute, Shylock shows interest in obtaining Tamon's Hiryū, but refrains from doing so as not to incur Tamon's wrath.
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.
|No.||Japan release date||Japan ISBN||North America release date||North America ISBN|
|1||July 7, 2010||ISBN 978-4-08-877725-2||August 24, 2011||ISBN 978-1595827692|
|2||October 13, 2011||ISBN 978-4785937140||July 25, 2012||ISBN 978-1595829337|
|3||March 18, 2013||ISBN 978-4785950439||March 12, 2014||ISBN 978-1616553395|
|4||October 27, 2014||ISBN 978-4785954369||August 9, 2017||ISBN 978-1616555740|
|5||June 6, 2016||ISBN 978-4785957902||December 2017||ISBN 978-1506703794|
- Chapters not yet in tankōbon format
- 60. "Stage of the Ground"
- 62. "The Law Of The Flame"
- 63. "Iron Lullaby"
- 64. "After the Fall"
- 65. "Dream Color Chaser"
- 66. "Macho Dragon"
- 67. "Malicious Afterglow"
- 68. "Reason"
- 69. "Reach Out"
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 (黒王様御乱心)", 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.
|No.||Title[a]||Original air date|
|1||"Fight Song"||October 7, 2016|
|During the Battle of Sekigahara against Ii Naomasa and his army, Shimazu Toyohisa manages to mortally injure Naomasa, but is critically wounded in the process. Naomasa's army is forced to retreat due to Toyohisa's perseverance and resilience. As he walks from the battlefield wounded and bleeding, Toyohisa finds himself transported to a corridor of doors, where a bespectacled man at a desk waits for him. As he is about to attack the bespectacled man, Toyohisa is sucked into one of the doors and dropped into a field, unconscious. Two elven children, speaking in a strange language, find Toyohisa and decide bring him to a castle ruins, the hideout for two other Drifters. Toyohisa's wounds are stitched up and after waking up from a dream, he meets Oda Nobunaga, a daimyō who was killed eighteen years prior to Toyohisa's involvement in the Battle of Sekigahara, and Nasu Suketaka Yoichi, an effeminate archer who died almost four centuries ago. The trio discuss how they met the same bespectacled man who brought them to the unknown world. Outside of their hideout, a female spy monitors the Drifters and is contacted by a man via a magical crystal ball to check on her status. The man in white decides to meet the Drifters and mobilize their men, known as the Octobrist Organization, to prepare for the upcoming war with the Ends, an opposing force advocating for the destruction of the world.|
"Kakato Naru" (踵鳴る)
|October 14, 2016|
|In a desert wasteland, Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus are in the middle of a heated argument while a member from the Octobrist Organization, Ham, observes them from afar. Ham is ordered by the man in white, Abe no Seimei, to bring the Drifters to him in preparations for the war against the Ends. Meanwhile, the elven village located near Toyohisa's group of Drifters is attacked and set on fire by soldiers from the Orte Empire for associating with the Drifters. Alerted by smell of battle, Toyohisa heads to the village to rescue the elves to repay his debt to the young elves, Marsha and Mark, for helping him earlier. Joined by Nobunaga and Yoichi, they easily defeat the elves' human oppressors. Enraged by the carnage and cruelty inflicted upon the elves by the Empire's soldiers, Toyohisa brutally beats Aram, the commander knight charged with massacring the elves, with the sheath of his sword before convincing the elves to kill Aram themselves. In the corridor of doors, the bespectacled man, Murasaki, is visited by his nemesis, EASY, who mocks his efforts to send Drifters to the unknown world to combat her Ends, who have begun invading the southern regions of the world.|
|3||"Army of Ours—Sortie at Dawn"|
"Ore-gun Akatsuki no Shutsugeki" (俺軍 暁の出撃)
|October 21, 2016|
|In the Kingdom of Carneades, Seimei and Ham try to convince the commanders of the defensive troops to let Scipio and Hannibal take charge of their army. However, the leaders refuse to give the two Drifters command over their troops, seeing them as nothing more than useless old men. Unable to reason with the Carneades soldiers, Seimei decides to withdraw the Octobrists and the Drifters from the country as the Ends and their army, consisting of dragons, goblins, and other non-human races, begin their attack. The leader of the Ends, the Black King, sends Hijikata Toshizō, Jeanne d'Arc, and Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova into the battlefield, and questions Minamoto no Yoshitsune if his allegiance is with the Drifters or the Ends. Yoshitsune vaguely states he will go the side that interests him the most. World War II fighter pilot Naoshi Kanno descends into the world via a corridor inside his aircraft. Though bewildered by the circumstances, Naoshi engages the Black King's dragons, thus indicating himself as a Drifter. With the aid of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, Seimei, Ham, Scipio, and Hannibal escape from Carneades to join up with Toyohisa's group. The Black King orders the Ends to find the Drifters and kill them. Meanwhile, the female spy monitoring Toyohisa's group is discovered by him and his companions. The spy, Olminu, informs the Drifters that they have been brought to the new world to fight against the Ends, though the trio quickly reject the idea, much to her shock.|
"Akutibu Hāto" (アクティブハート)
|October 28, 2016|
|Olminu explains to Toyohisa, Nobunaga, and Yoichi that their purpose as Drifters is to save the world from being annihilated by the Ends. To accomplish this, she informs them that the Octobrists are tasked with gathering the Drifters together and appealing to the kings and feudal lords of the various states and countries to give command over their armies to the Drifters. However, Nobunaga is skeptical that the lords would allow outsiders to take charge of their armies. Instead, he proposes that the Drifters, led by Toyohisa, take over the Orte Empire, much to Olminu's initial horror. Meanwhile, following his success at Carneades, the Black King tends to his wounded troops and orders Grigori Rasputin to spread the news of Carneades's defeat to recruit more soldiers in their army. Back in the elven village, Toyohisa's group offer to assist the elves with their fight against Orte to reclaim their state, though Toyohisa and Nobunaga fight over the leadership arrangements. Shara, the eldest son of the murdered village's chief, interrupts them and pleads for their help. Toyohisa agrees to take the role of the commander, and begins to set a trap for the Orte punitive forces set to arrive in three days. On the third day, a force of 200 Orte troops march into the village, only to find it uninhabited. Encamped in the trees outside of the village, the Drifters and elves prepare to strike the Orte soldiers at nightfall.|
|5||"Bring Back Love"|
"Ai o Torimodose" (愛をとりもどせ)
|November 4, 2016|
|Prior to the ambush planned by the Drifters, Nobunaga uses corpses and various human wastes to create a saltpeter pit after Toyohisa buries the heads of the deceased as a sign of respect. Meanwhile, Yoichi begins to train the elves in archery, and is surprised to learn that they have an innate aptitude for it. As night sinks in, the Orte troops notice that the village's water well was dumped with excrement. At nightfall, Toyohisa and the elves launch their attack on the Orte soldiers as Nobunaga forms an enclosure to trap the Orte troops and continuously bombards them with waste-laden arrows. Toyohisa beheads the commander of the troops, prompting the remaining soldiers to flee. In the forest, Yoichi kills the fleeing soldiers, who fall victim to excrement-infested traps. After their successful battle, Toyohisa urges the elves to rescue the female elves. Disguised as Orte troops, the Drifters and elves make their way to the local magistrate's fort and locate the women. Much to his horror and disgust, Toyohisa discovers that the women have been used as sex slaves by the Orte soldiers and vows to slaughter them all in retribution.|
|6||"Men of Destiny"||November 11, 2016|
|After successfully taking over the fortress, Nobunaga rummages through the magistrate's office for vital documents. At his inquiry, Olminu reveals to Nobunaga that the founder of the Orte Empire was Adolf Hitler, who committed suicide shortly after establishing the country fifty years ago. Receiving word that Toyohisa plans to execute the Orte soldiers for raping the female elves, Nobunaga stops him and gives the execution order himself, not wanting the latter to dirty his hands with blood. Toyohisa punches Nobunaga for his interference, and the two reach an agreement to let Toyohisa do whatever he feels is right in the future. The Drifters return the women back to their respective villages with a proclamation, which contains information about the heavy losses Orte is suffering from waging wars with numerous states. As a result, elven villages across the land begin to revolt and join the Drifters. In Orte's capital city, the city's council discusses the losing wars in neighboring states, particularly their war against the merchant guild of Gu-Binnen. Count Saint-Germi, a powerful nobleman and former ally to Hitler, realizes Orte's impending downfall and chooses to seek an alliance with the Drifters. At nightfall, Jeanne d'Arc, Gilles de Rais, and several soldiers of the Black King's army approach the Drifters' hideout.|
"Kaosu Daibā" (カオスダイバー)
|November 18, 2016|
|Jeanne d'Arc, Gilles de Rais, and a cavalry of the Black King's army attack the Drifters' camp. After evacuating the elven women and children, Toyohisa confronts Jeanne, who he mistakes for a man, while Yoichi faces off against Gilles. In the forest, Nobunaga and the elves take care of the cavalry. With Olminu's assistance, Toyohisa is able to defeat Jeanne, but refuses to kill her when he realizes that she is a woman. Meanwhile, Yoichi struggles in his battle against Gilles due to the latter's inhuman strength and durability. Before Yoichi is nearly killed, Butch and the Sundance Kid arrive at the scene, using their Gatling gun to destroy Gilles's body and save Yoichi. Gilles barely survives the brutal onslaught, much to the Drifters' shock. Seeing Jeanne being rescued by the dragon riders in the Back King's army, Gilles dies with a smile, and promises to wait for Jeanne to join him in the afterlife as he disintegrates into salt. After reuniting with Olminu, Seimei introduces himself to the Drifters as the leader of the Octobrist Organization.|
|8||"Mystery - Call Me"|
"Fushigi CALL ME" (不思議CALL ME)
|November 25, 2016|
|In a secluded area, Yoichi reflects on his battle with Gilles de Rais when he is approached by Yoshitsune, who mocks his former subordinate for following Bushido despite committing dishonorable acts during the Genpei War while under his command. A distressed Yoichi tells Yoshitsune he will never take orders from him again, but Yoshitsune merely laughs at him before he departs. Meanwhile, Seimei tells Nobunaga he was brought to the new world to help combat the Ends. Toyohisa returns and informs the group that he knocked Jeanne unconscious in a nearby well. Seimei reprimands Toyohisa for allowing Jeanne to escape due to her gender, but Toyohisa is determined to uphold his principles and not become Murasaki's pawn. The next day, Scipio, who was separated from Seimei's group during the ride to rendezvous with Toyohisa's group, encounters Naoshi, who has been appointed the "sky god" to a tribe of anthropomorphic dogs. Back at the Drifters' camp, Butch and Sundance Kid explain the mechanics behind their firearms to Nobunaga, who becomes ecstatic at the notion of producing more modern firearms. Nobunaga reveals to a concerned Seimei that he wish to create a multiracial federation with Toyohisa as their leader. At nightfall, Toyohisa leads his group to free the dwarves from Orte while Seimei, Butch, and Sundance Kid leave to search for Scipio and continue their investigation on the Ends.|
"Honki Bonbā" (本気ボンバー)
|December 2, 2016|
|While Count Saint-Germi and his aides journey to the elven village to meet with the Drifters, Toyohisa's group attacks the Orte Empire's largest armory in Gadolka to save the dwarves. Utilizing the gunpowder that Nobunaga has concocted with the elves' assistance, Toyohisa leads the charge against the troops stationed there. However, they are unable to enter the walled town after the Orte soldiers closed the entrance gate. Hannibal gives Nobunaga the idea to use Yoichi's arrows and Olminu's stone wall spells to cast a staircase alongside the gate, enabling Toyohisa's group to invade the town and free the dwarves. Since the dwarves have been suffering from starvation during their captivity, Toyohisa orders meals to be prepared for them instead of taking down the castle defenders. Toyohisa negotiates with the remaining Orte troops to surrender peacefully and allows them to escape, though he slays the commander. When Yoichi prepares to pursue the fleeing troops, a habit he developed when serving Yoshitsune in the past, Toyohisa stops him and tells him that he does not have to follow dishonorable orders anymore since this is their war, much to Yoichi's delight. Meanwhile, a member of the Octobrist Organization and his partner, Doug, spy on the Ends at Carneades. They are horrified to learn that the Black King taught primitive agriculture to the monsters that will some day replace the humans once the Ends have eliminated mankind.|
|10||"Baba Yetu"||December 9, 2016|
|The Black King attempts to recruit one of the six Great Dragons, the Bronze Dragon, into joining his army, but is met with contempt and refusal by the latter for subjugating his dragon brethren as "pets" in his army. Using his ability to replicate the cells of any life form, the Black King tortures the Bronze Dragon by causing his body to suffer from cancerous growth to gain his compliance. Afterwards, Rasputin presents the completion of a simple alphabet and a syncretic religion for the demihumans to learn to help establish a unified, multiracial community, as per the Black King's wishes. Meanwhile, Jeanne awakens from her coma after her fight with Toyohisa and is informed by Anastasia that Gilles de Rais is dead. An enraged Jeanne vows to avenge her fallen comrade by killing Toyohisa, to which Anastasia promises to assist her with when the time comes. In Gadolka, Nobunaga requests that the dwarves begin forging muskets for their army to use in future battles. The next day, Count Saint-Germi and his companions arrive in Gadolka to meet with the Drifters, sending his aides to test Toyohisa to see if they are worthy to form an alliance with. Saint-Germi reveals to Olminu that he is a Drifter, and that he wants to sell the Orte Empire to the Drifters before Orte is destroyed by other warring countries. In order to accomplish this, Saint-Germi recommends that the Drifters plan a coup d'état to seize Orte as their territory.|
|11||"The Adventure of the Pistol Daimyō ~Bullet Counting Song~"|
"Pisutoru Daimyō no Bōken 〜Hinawa Maru Kazoeuta〜" (ピストル大名の冒険 〜火縄丸数え歌〜)
|December 16, 2016|
|While Saint-Germi's aides sneak the Drifters and their army into the Orte Empire's capital city, Saint-Germi holds an emergency council meeting with the lords charged with overseeing Orte and informs them that he is selling the country to the Drifters. His attempt to coerce the noblemen to surrender peacefully, however, is disrupted by Rasputin, who possesses two of the nobles to reveal that the Black King is also planning to seize the Orte Empire for his campaign. After being humiliated by Toyohisa and Nobunaga, Rasputin retreats, and the Black King sends Hijikata and his troops to combat the Drifters in the capital, shifting their focus from seizing Orte to destroying it to prevent the Drifters from obtaining it. To assist with the ensuing battle, Saint-Germi gives his personal army, the Sacred Band of Thebes, over to Nobunaga to act as the army's gunner squad while Toyohisa and Yoichi lead the dwarves and elves, respectively, into the fray. After the Drifters successfully take out the Ends' vanguard, an angered Hijikata heads onto the battlefield.|
|12||"Staring at Shinsengumi ~The Song of the Fervid Kyūshū Man~"|
"Mitsumete Shinsengumi 〜 Nekketsu Kyūshū Danji no Uta 〜" (みつめて新選組 〜熱血九州男児の唄〜)
|December 23, 2016|
|As the Drifters and their army decimate the Ends' troops, Hijikata gives orders for his soldiers to break into smaller units and disperse into the streets setting the city ablaze while heading to Orte's capitol buildings. Hijikata and Toyohisa meet in the street and engage one another in a deadly duel, with Hijikata using the ghostly images of dead Shinsengumi to attack Toyohisa. Meanwhile, Nobunaga and Hannibal decide that instead of chasing the Ends' troops, they will trap their enemies in the capitol buildings when they arrive and kill them with Yoichi's squad and Olminu's reluctant assistance. With their army destroyed, the Black King orders Hijikata to withdraw from his fight against Toyohisa, who is left badly injured. Back in Carneades, Rasputin apologizes to the Black King for their failure for seizing Orte, though the Black King is pleased that they were able to cripple the capital city and gauge the Drifters' strength. Akechi Mitsuhide thinks back to hearing Nobunaga's voice during his encounter with Rasputin and decides to join the Ends in the hope of killing Nobunaga in the next battle.|
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|13||"Rewrite"||December 23, 2017(DVD/Blu-ray)|
|Following the battle of Orte, Yoichi stitches up the badly injured Toyohisa. Nobunaga and Count Saint-Germi discuss their next move, while Abe no Haruakira and Doug observe the events in Orte's north. They sneak in disguised as scouts and observe trade being carried out by orcs and goblins, using smelted metal from the Bronze Dragon. They also see humans being sold as slaves or as livestock for food, and are surprised at the fast advancement in building a society and an economy. However, they are discovered by Yoshitsune, who kills Doug and then shows Seimei the advancing Ends army. The Black King appears and tells Seimei that he plans to destroy all humans, because of their continued development of ever more powerful weapons, planning for a new Dark Age. Back in Orte, Nobunaga demands more money from the nobles to fund his war. He considers that winning over the Third and Fourth Armies of the west will be a challenge, but it appears that Second Army in the north has been overrun by beasts commanded by Naoshi. Nobunaga addresses the nobles, with some smoke effects for emphasis, but interrupted by the recovering Toyohisa desperately looking for food.|
|14||"Bring On a War"||December 23, 2017(DVD/Blu-ray)|
|500 miles east of Orte lies Gu-Binnen, a nation ruled by seven guilds and led by the secretary of the Shairock Bank & Trading House, Banzelmashin Shylock VIII. The United Gu-Binnen's marine fleet, with the aid of the Admiral of Japan's Imperial Navy, Drifter Tamon Yamaguchi, has defeated the Orte fifth fleet and now controls the sea trading routes. With the Second Army in the north occupied with Naoshi, and the Orte navy to the east defeated, Nobunaga's only concerns are the Third and Fourth Orte Armies in the west. Nobunaga sends a message to General Jigmente of the Third Army and General Lemek of the Fourth Army, offering the long vacant position of the Nation's Father, to the first to arrive in Berlina. Taking the bait, Jigmente's troops ambush and kill Lemek, while Yoichi ambushes Jigmente and kills him, leaving the two leaderless armies effectively neutralized. Meanwhile, Count Saint-Germi meets Shylock, whose navy has control of the sea. They discuss peace terms, and Saint-Germi offers him rifles and trade in exchange for a truce, which he accepts.|
|15||"The Outlandish Knight"||November 30, 2018(only DVD)|
- All English titles are taken from Crunchyroll.
The manga has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide in five different languages. Drifters has been nominated twice for the annual Manga Taishō Awards, once in the year 2011 and again in the year 2012. The manga was also received well by BAMFAS, saying that the "action paces itself throughout the volume, making sure to include only enough to keep readers moving quickly through the event until the next transition hits." Writers for Crunchyroll note that "Drifters has all but jumped the shark by belligerently knocking over all the narrative pillars of the genre." The Inquisitr agrees with this assessment, writing that "anime fans have been treated to a steady stream of the Isekai subgenre…but Drifters pretty much turns our expectations on its head."
In a survey by Anime!Anime!, Drifters won fifth place among top 10 manga properties to have an animated adaptation.
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- Riverworld, a book series with a similar concept.