Totally jumped the shark there, MangaHermit.
Idle talk wastes time, readers! Because in Drifters if you don’t keep moving, don’t keep fighting, don’t keep winning, you will most certainly be dead. If you don’t utterly crush your enemy and move onto the next one, you better hope that the only thing that happens to you is that you get left behind. Drifters is another bloody saga from the crimson-soaked mind of Hirano Kouta. If Hellsing popped into your mind at that moment, congratulations! You already have a good idea of what madness is going on in Drifters and probably like it to boot. If not, then read on:
Drifters tells a tale of another world. Rich in nature, abundant in vitality and continuously scorched by the flames of war and destruction. This world has seen so much conflict that I’m pretty damn sure it’s a vacationing spot for the Grim Reaper or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In this world, there is an overwhelming force that is marching from the north. This nearly insurmountable force of non-humans is lead by a group of famous humans who, frankly, are all batshit insane and are devoted to destroying everything in sight. This “Black Army” is systematically conquering and consuming all in its path. The other beings of this world try to fight back, but fall before the onslaught because they are not united. Their hope lies in a group of magicians who monitor and support the Drifters – beings brought into this realm from another world.
And in this world of war, three curious individuals are enjoined through their peculiar arrivals in this realm: Shimazu Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga and Nasu no Yoichi. Each of them are fierce warriors from varying periods of Japan’s history. Each of them are supposedly dead. Each of them are Drifters. Yet, they are here, and they have no clue as towhy they are here, who brought them here and what to do. When a nearby slave village gets attacked, our three heroes get involved and liberate the town from its oppressors. Yay! But what to do from there?
Well, what else do you do in a world where every place is an armed conflict? Eat chimichangas?
If any of you enjoyed Hellsing, you should find no problem with Drifters. Kouta takes a bunch of historical figures, makes them crazy awesome and eccentric to heck, vaguely connects them together in a world on the brink, liberally dashes the concoction with humor and then pours in blood drawn straight from Zoro’s body till it’s overflowing…and keeps going. It is a formula that works because it is setting itself up for more mind-blowing action just like Hellsing. It is Hirano Kouta in the element we've come to love him for – bloodsplatter and all. The characters he brings to focus are as quirky and twice as bloodthirsty. Kouta has this knack for maximizing the humor when drawing in his “doodle” style (as I’m calling) it. Personally, I like seeing the relationship between Nobunaga and Toyohisa as the story progress – like watching a double-edged blade at work. Both men just know how to wage war, and both know how to play the script. Nobunaga is a master manipulator who knows the power plays and the ways his opponents will react. Toyohisa knows how to rile up a crowd. He knows what to say, how to say it, and the way he says it will get even the pacifists up in arms under his banner. And this is only in the first two volumes!
Dark Horse Comics has picked up Drifters, just like Hellsing, and volumes one and two can be found in bookstores now. Go, and get your bloodsplatter on!