13 CommentsTwelve Days, Uncategorized / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #10: Jesus Christ Drifters

maxresdefaultRecasting historical figures into future warriors with a variety of super powers is a popular plot point for fantasy stories, but in these sorts of stories there are always a few people you’re not allowed to represent. Hitler is rarely used, mostly because Hitler is so cartoonishly evil it’s kind of boring to make him one of your characters, but mostly it’s religious figures because people are afraid of insulting that religion. Drifters decided to drop in the main man himself: Jesus Christ. I loved it not because I’m someone who loves seeing people get offended like I want to crush the safe space SJWs while I browse 8chan and Breitbart or anything. I enjoyed it because of what a fascinating take it had on his character for this world.

In the world of Drifters you have two kinds of historical warriors: Drifters and Ends. The key difference with Ends is they died after having being betrayed by the people they cared about and the society around them that they fought for. The rules aren’t absolute and I don’t feel Drifters keeps a great tab on how people become Ends or Drifters, but Jesus himself fit the category of what defines an End pretty well by this logic. In the story of Drifters, the Ends are the villains, commanding the armies of uncivilised beastmen as they destroy humanity and the demi-humans.

But it’s not just setting Jesus as a villain to be edgy, because that would be lame. What makes it work for me is how they justify it within the values real life Jesus held. He’s trying to build a world for the underclass, in this case the beastmen. They are building a world for themselves where they start basic agriculture, fighting against the oppression of humans who looked down on them for so long. He cares for his army, healing them and ensuring they’re well fed. The sick and weak are cared for in his force. Yeah sure it’s a warped way of looking at his teachings, but you can kinda see where they’re going with it.

The best villains aren’t the generically evil ones usually. It’s the ones you can totally understand why someone would be on their side. You sympathize with their goals and think they might have a point. Perhaps being atheist means I am insulated from the gross inaccuracies of this depiction and lose the ability to feel insulted by it. But from my admittedly biased perspective, it’s such a cool take on the most well-known historical figure eve whose is usually only used in media as either religious propaganda or a joke.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted December 17, 2016 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    I guess it shows how little attention I’ve been paying attention to Drifters’ overall storyline, as until now I hadn’t considered for a heartbeat that the Black King would be Jeezy. The moment I heard him talking about betrayal I equated him with Julius Caesar and never looked beyond that interpretation. Your take makes more sense though, not only from a thematic point but although that pretty much the only other reveal bigger than Hitler would be Christ…

    …unless Santa’s fallen on some rough times lately

    • Scamp
      Posted December 17, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      The moment when I first thought maybe it was Jesus was when I saw the holes in his hand. It was when he started talking about being betrayed and healing people that it was confirmed for me

      • ANON
        Posted December 18, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Same, the hands sealed it for me, plus they’ve always called him the black king and around here there are many churches called christ the king.

        What I don’t get is the dragonfly staff/pipe. If it was fish then it would’ve been appropriate but I haven’t heard of any dragonfly associated with jesus christ.

  2. Ken
    Posted December 17, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if they are going to do a birthday episode for Jesus the way they did in Saint Young Men.

  3. Buffaloe
    Posted December 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    By beeing so incredibly daring Drifters really manages to turn a premise that could easily end up beeing trite and boring into a cool and refreshing story. I just wish it was faster paced and had less boob jokes and gay panic.

    However, the Ends seem somewhat inconsistent. Jesus, Joan, and to a limited degree Rasputin fit the category of beeing betrayed, but Gille de Rais was, at least allegedly, a serial murderer. And while one could argue that Anastasia was innocent due to her age, the Romanovs certainly had it coming.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Yeah the boobs and gay panic stuff are depressing. I also feel some of the authors weird politics come through at times. I’d love to see a director take his work and dramatically change it in the anime form. Aka that’s why I prefer Hellsing to Hellsing Ultimate =D

    • TheVoid
      Posted December 23, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Actually there is theories Gilles was framed for those crimes.

      I think it’s more they have a problem at least with the three gay guys being weird specifically, since they don’t really hide that Oda had his male servant as a lover and Toyohisa thought Yoichi was him. Or at least that’s how I saw it.

  4. Supaidaman
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t watch the anime but Drifters (the manga) lost me totally because at one point I felt that I was just reading some big Japan Nationalistic Circle Jerk. It’s like 99.9% of the characters that are useful and not evil are from Japan and they’re the best, Japan, Japan JAPAN.

    With a premise so interesting, it would be nice to see more “heroes” from other places.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I feel that’s on the author. He strikes me as a dude with some questionable beliefs

    • bigbigdog
      Posted December 29, 2016 at 2:57 am | Permalink

      Finally someone else sees it. Huge Japanese bias. Japanese characters leading all the ‘idiots’ cause they can’t do anything themselves like with battle tactics or Octobrist or really anything. There’s also the demihumans praising the concept of samurai along with other writing attempts to glorify it. Apparently Hitler couldn’t make a competent army to stand a chance against the amazing Japanese Nobunaga either. It’s also hilarious how many Japanese drifters there are when he has famous figures from the entire rest of the world to work with. It’s no surprise the writing isn’t great considering the creator of Drifters also did Hellsing. Both have interesting concepts and action, but it’s far less enjoyable because of the awful writing. Such a shame, I really wanted to like this one, I can stomach and ignore some bad writing, but this show feels like it’s constantly in my face.

  5. Nagisa33
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait until they reveal who he is and it better be Jesus. Anything else would be a bit of a let down for me. I’m thinking of the insanity of Father Anderson and Hellsing’s use (insane, extreme misuse) of religion and it was superb. I want to see what they do with this character.

  6. Posted December 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    My interest in actually finishing Drifters just went up.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      It’s not an amazing show, but its highs are fantastic. Shame about the low points though…

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