‘Drifters’ is described as a Japanese anime that has based its roots in the fantasy genre. Kouta Hirano writes the manga, and the author himself does the illustrations. The manga began its serialization in a local magazine. An anime adaptation of the series under the same name aired between October 7, 2016, and December 23, 2016. The second season of ‘Drifters’ was announced back in 2016, but no other information about the show moving forward with the second season has been announced as of now. Hence, let’s have a look back at all the information we have on our hands.
Everything We Know About Drifters So Far
Recent years have seen an influx of “Isekai” meaning “another world” genre. One such is ‘Drifters’ that created massive waves with its release by Hirano Kouta.
In an interview, he hinted that he was going to publish his new work after he finished with Hellsing in October of 2008. And much to everyone’s excitement, he presented the world with ‘Drifters’ in 2009.
An anime short adaptation of the manga was also packaged with the final volume of Hellsing Ultimate video Series in 2012 to give the audiences a whiff of what was to come.
Three years later, YKO in their May issue of 2015 announced that an anime series was in the talks for Drifters.
And, much to the fan’s excitement, the creators announced that Suzuki Ken`ichi would direct the series and produced by the giants NBC Universal Entertainment Japan.
The animation studio, Hoods Drifters Studios confirmed and they got Kurata Hideyuki and Yosuke Kuroda as the writers. Nakamori Ryouji was the character designs and chief animation director. He was also the Animation Supervisor of the 150 seconds short back in 2012.
The anime roped great voice actors such as Nakamura Yuichi of Fairy Tail, One Punch Man fame for Shimazu Toyohisa, Naoya Uchida of One Piece, and many more.
A 12-part episodic began airing on 7th October 2016 with ended in December 2016 with the exasperating end slate.
The plot is of a warlord warrior, Toyohisa Shimazu, who was involved in the bloody Battle of Sekigahara against the insurgent Tokugawa clan. During the battle, Toyohisa succumbs to mortal injuries after killing Ii Naomasa of the Tokugawa clan.
In a maimed state, he finds himself transported to a white hallway with a bespectacled man sitting on a desk. the man, Murasaki, sends him through to another realm from the nearest corridor and waits for the next one to arrive.
In a completely different world, Toyohisa encounters other warriors like him who called themselves ‘Drifters’. Toyohisa must now bludgeon ‘The Black King’ of the Ends who are waging a war on the humans of this realm.
United with experiences and skills from the past, the Drifters must fight the evil forces of the Ends.
What is fascinating about the storyline of Drifters is how well Hirano has managed to blend real-life individuals and events packaging it into one fantastical storyline that is exciting to watch.
From the get-go itself, the anime series’ first season is comprised of the manga chapters until 45 and sticks to the manga storyline.
Toyohisa’s initial meeting with Murasaki, the Octobrist Organization bringing in more Drifters from the human world with the terror of the Black King and other factions mounting. The characters of Drifters are all inspired by real-life individuals.
Adolf Hitler makes an appearance by initiating the formation of the Orte Empire. We also learn of Easy’s true intentions with Akechi Mitsuhide joining the Black King to kill Nobunaga after which the episode teased an end card of ‘See you 20XX’.
Official Announcements And Release Date Of Drifters Season 2
The first season ran from October 2016 to December 2016 with 12 episodes of 24 minutes of runtime to its name. Episodes 13 and 14 were released as OVA’s on Blu Ray Discs & DVD in regular and limited versions in December of 2017.
Many regard them as the first two episodes of the second season. But there is no official statement on the same from the creators and production house. The episodes saw some grim visuals of the aftermath of the war with the Ortes.
The Black King’s plans for the dawn of the Dark Age given the advancements by the humans due to the Drifters’ involvements. Nobunaga’s critical thinking help neutralizes General Jigmente’s and General Lemek’s armies as General Saint Germi meets Shylock to discuss peaceful terms.
Fans of the show waited with bated breath for the next set of events to happen but it took an entire year to get Episode no. 15 which came along with the manga’s sixth volume.
The Ends head to war with Akechi Mitsuhide as their leader and obliterate the kingdoms nearby. The whole aspect of watching leaders and generals from different eras of our history fight and interact with each other was a treat to watch!
But sadly the whole internet seems to be mum about any update. Creators, their Twitter accounts, and studios all are silent so we need to look for other factors to satisfy ourselves for the time being.
We will start with source material information and progress through many legitimate factors to see if season 2 is possible or not.
More Source Material Information For Drifters Season 2
As any anime fan who loves to dig their nails deep into finding out how their favorite anime came to be, the best place to look for is manga or a light novel of the same.
Animes get adapted from mangas for eons now and such is the case with Hirano’s Drifters as well. Hirano Kouta is the writer and illustrator for the series.
Its serialization began in Japan’s Shonen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours on 30th April 2009. A total of SIX volumes spanning over 71 chapters with 9 chapters not yet in Tankobon format have currently been released in Japan and worldwide.
Kouta is famous for delaying content or leaving them unfinished, at least in the eyes of his fans! Such was the case with the latest chapter of the manga.
After a 7 month break, the September 2020 issue of YKO published the much-awaited Chapter 80 of the manga series. Chapter 81 has been recently in the August issue of the monthly Young King Ours!
|Volumes||English Release Date|
|Volume 1||August 24, 2011|
|Volume 2||July 25, 2012|
|Volume 3||March 12, 2014|
|Volume 4||August 9, 2017|
|Volume 5||December 20, 2017|
|Volume 6||December 18, 2019|
|Volume 7||ch 72-ch 81[not in tankobon]|
Given that Hirano has been taking the story forward in the manga series means that there’s more content coming for a possible season 2 of the Drifters anime series.
The Expected Plot Of Drifters Season 2
As explained, the anime series broke off through Chapter 45 of the manga series. The 13th and 14th Episodes covered half of Chapter 45 through 52 and the 15th Episode continues with Chapter 53 through the first half of 56.
With a total of 79 chapters, around 20 of those were adapted into the anime series. If one episode covers 4 chapters’ worth of storyline and we get the manga series bi-annually or whenever Hirano wishes.
There isn’t enough of a storyline for the second season to go into production for the anime. The latest chapter of the manga series got mixed reviews again.
There was no battle and a massive build-up to Yoichi’s trauma. the terror of Yoshitsune and him being a double agent was established. But there was no battle, quite unusual for the Hirano story to conclude this way, isn’t it?
So, it’s a massive waiting game for Season 2.
Sales And Profit Information For Drifters Season 2
Any anime should be profitable so that producers can invest money for its next season. Sales data can be crucial to determine profitability despite box office collection.
In its lifetime, the ‘Drifters’ manga has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. From the period, 19th Nov 2018 to 19th May 2019 sold approximately 466, 631 copies in Japan alone.
The manga was even in the Top 10 list of Kono Manga ga Sugoi! at number 7 in 2017. It has also been nominated for the annual Manga Taisho Awards, in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
DVD & Blu Ray Discs Sales
In 2016, an edited version of the first and second episodes with a runtime of 36 minutes was bundled with Volume Five of the manga series.
In December of 2016, a special box set was released. It had the entire first season, some unaired footage, a 200-pager animation sketch collection by Nakamori, a bonus extras disc, and a double CD OST.
In 2017, Drifters (episodes 13 & 14) sold a total of 5,120 copies in Japan, making it the 7th most popular Blu-ray disc ranking in Dec 2017. The Drifters Blu Ray box set sold a whopping 10,818 copies. The limited-edition versions had an outer case illustration by
Hirano and a jacket illustration by Nakamori. A bonus video along with a drama CD, a 72-pager booklet, and a “mystery disc” was a part of it too.
The anime’s 15th episode which was an OVA was shipped on DVD as a special version with the manga’s sixth volume. It was released in November 2018 featuring the episode “The Outlandish Knight” which has the march of the “Black King Army”.
On the Drifters official website, one can scroll through an array of Drifters merchandise and collectibles. It has watches, sneakers, key chains, t-shirts, and 2 movable figures of Toyohisa Shimazu and Oda Nobunaga.
The website’s merch section is not updated signaling merch has either diminished or has no demand.
Being a high production value anime and considering the funding from a television station or sponsors and advertising agencies; given the ongoing manga sales, one can determine the production cost and investments made for the anime series.
The production company, for Drifters, is NBC Universal Entertainment Japan. A big company meaning a good amount of cash influx is not going to be a big issue.
One could a**ume that it could take around 500 million yen to create a new season of Drifters.
Recent news is that Funimation has acquired the home video, video on demand, broadcast, distribution, and streaming rights for NBC Universal Japan.
It removed the title in May of 2020, and we do not know if this has affected the sales of the manga and DVD/Blu Ray Discs. Crunchyroll too has removed the title from its roster.
Yet, Hulu is still streaming both the subbed and dubbed versions.
Famous Characters We Expect To See In Drifters Season 2
Toyohisa is a great swordsman and an excellent tactician. He’s an integral part of the Drifters storyline. He comes across as this brash and hot-headed character but he is intelligent and does not yearn for power, unlike the people whose heads he collects.
Nasu Suketaka Yoichi
He is the archer helping Toyohisa and the Elves. Yoichi has some minor self-image issues and also suffers from PTSD after the Genpei War.
He is warm and has immense medical knowledge but he shuts down once the memories of Yoshitsune come back to him. Like Toyohisa, Yoichi is an integral character as well.
Nobunaga is a manipulative and smart character. He doesn’t think twice before using his manipulative skills on others to achieve his goals. He was once a great leader but now in the new realm, he doubts his skills and actions at times.
Another intelligent strategist, Hannibal comes as senile at first. But later we learn that through his nonsensical mannerisms, he can get still get work done. He helps Nobunaga in creating a solid plan.
The Black King
The Black King’s identity is still a mystery in the storyline. He serves as the leader of the Ends. His ability to duplicate himself into any living cell (plant or animal) and, heal himself.
He is also a brilliant strategist, knowing colonization, economy, culture, and military. He is one of the most powerful characters in Drifters.
Other Decisive Factors For Drifters Season 2
Apart from the above-discussed factors, two important factors might help us understand why and when we can expect season 2. Let see what they have to say?
Ending Of Season 1
The final episode of drifters ends with “To be continued. The Second Season. Tokyo 20XX. Sayonara”. So following this statement, we can say that the makers of the series were clear about season 2. They might be waiting for more source material so that they can proceed forward with enough of the story.
There is still no official statement of an exact date of release for the second season. The fans expected to see a sliver of information in 2020 but were only greeted with Chapter 80 of the manga series.
But, some reports suggest that the anime is in its screenwriting process and Season Two is set to release in 2022. BUT! The production chiefs are keeping a tight lip about when the next installment of the series will be released.
Drifters is a great concept by Hirano Kouta. The characters are eccentric, oppressed races at war. There’s a thin line of distinction between the good and the evil (on both the Drifters and the Ends sides).
The ulterior motives of Murasaki and EASY and are the Drifters and the Ends pawns to a much bigger plot by the two who want to play Gods. Whatever the case, the series was definitely left mid-way and the fans are wanting more.
But one has to consider that there isn’t a lot of written material by Hirano to go by. Given the delayed pattern, fans of the show can only speculate about the release of a new manga in 2021. Hopefully, wait for the anime series in 2022 like ngnl season 2, but it’s all guesswork.