Drifters Season 2 has seemingly been confirmed to be in the works, although the anime release date for 2018 has yet to be announced. The Drifters anime (or Dorifutazu in Japanese) was fairly popular on Crunchyroll and other video streaming services during the winter anime release time frame.
The good news is that Drifters director Kenichi Suzuki confirmed in October of 2017 that a sequel called Drifters Specials is in the works and they’re going to be releasing more episodes starting in 2017. The bad news is that these OVA episodes came out on Blu-Ray and DVD only.
Also, Dark Horse Comics has finally officially announced that they plan on continuing the English Drifters manga series, giving further credence to the idea that the Drifters anime will be continued. Let’s just hope the full vision of Hellsing creator Kouta Hirano will be brought to life!
In recent years, anime fans have been treated to a steady stream of the Isekai sub-genre, which means “another world.” Re:ZERO provided a twist on the genre by focusing on the character development of a flawed hero but Drifters pretty much turns our expectations on its head. The Drifters characters are so crazy that it’s hard to be certain who we should be rooting for in the long run.
After all, the Black King and his Ends are supporting oppressed races while the Drifters have thrown in their lot behind the Elves and Dwarves mainly so they can exploit them for their own desires. The main protagonist Shimazu Toyohisa may have some ethical guidelines for his behavior, but largely he just wants to rush into combat for the sake of waging war. The Drifters’ moral footing may be slightly better than the Ends, who desire destruction because of the way they were treated on Earth, but in the end, there’s no clear line between good and evil (but what would you expect out of the creator of Hellsing?).
You also have to question the end goals of Murasaki (the desk dweller of the U.B.J. in the eternal hallway of doors) and EASY (the female Alucard whose name is an acronym for Eternal Ambassador of S- Y-). Do they represent God and the Devil, Yin and Yang, or perhaps order and chaos? To a certain extent, the main characters are simply chess pieces on the board being moved by Murasaki and EASY. But you can’t say that Murasaki represents good in this fantasy world since he allowed Adolf Hitler to establish the Orte empire and subjugate non-human races.
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The war between the Ends and the Drifters is only starting to warm up by the ending of the first season and we’re left with more questions than answers for the motivations behind this eternal conflict. Hopefully, Drifters Season 2 may provide a clear vision of what these god-like characters are and what the Black King will do.
Drifters Season 2 Release Date: Is A 2018 Announcement Possible?
As of this publishing, anime production company Hoods Drifters Studio has not announced anything official about the Drifters Season 2 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel’s premiere is confirmed. However, the series did continue with two Drifters Specials episodes and there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Drifters Season 2 premiere date may occur.
The Drifters anime has everything going right for it. Kenichi Suzuki, director of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, is directing the Drifters anime. Writer Yousuke Kuroda has experience with Hellsing Ultimate, and he’s working with Hideyuki Kurata on the scripts. Chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori also has a background working on Hellsing Ultimate.
Unfortunately, Drifters Episode 12 pretty much left anime fans hanging. Yes, it was a satisfactory conclusion in the war to take over Hitler’s failed kingdom of Orte, and we learned a great deal about the personal history of Drifters characters like Shimazu Toyohisa and Oda Nobunaga, but English anime fans were left with a simple teaser about Drifters Episode 13: Rewrite. The finale included an image which simply states, “To be continued second season. See you again. Tokyo 20XX. Sayonara.”
After the first season finished airing, the official Drifters Twitter account teased fans about the Drifters Season 2 release date by tweeting out this message.
— アニメDRIFTERS（ドリフターズ） (@DriftersAnime) January 1, 2017
As you can see, the focus of the tweet is on the release of the Drifters Blu-Ray box set for Season 1, but they also cryptically announced that “we will hold an event on April 2, 2017 and continue with Drifters!” Fast forward to October of 2017 and the director gave an interview with Young King Ours magazine.
According to Anime News Network, it’s once again a good news/bad news situation. Suzuki stated, “The sequel for the anime series will start with a release of episodes 13 and 14 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.” These two Drifters OVA episodes will “feature a dispute between Saint-Germi and Nobunaga” and they’re also planning on releasing a revised version of episodes 10 through 12.
The Drifters Special episodes 13 and 14 were released for Blu-Ray/DVD on December 23, 2017. Voice actor Tomoaki Maeno played a new character named Bunzelmachine Shylock VIII. He’s a banker for an emerging maritime merchant guild federation.
Drifters Manga: Dark Horse Comics Promises New English Volumes In 2017
The Drifters anime may have jumpstarted interest in the Drifters manga series. Kouta Hirano has been working on the story since 2009, but there’s been a huge time gap in the releases for the Drifters English translations. For example, Drifters Volume 3 was released by Dark Horse Comics in 2014 and in January of 2016 Dark Horse’s Twitter account told fans, “At this point we don’t have any plans for more of either.”
— Dark Horse Comics (@DarkHorseComics) October 28, 2016
How a year can change plans! By October, Dark Horse Comics reversed course since they noticed Drifters was the most popular winter 2016 anime throughout much of the United States. Dark Horse Comics promised they’d “have manga volumes 4 and 5 for you in 2017” and sure enough Amazon released Drifters Volume 4 on August 22, 2017 (the Japanese version originally came out in 2014). Drifters Volume 5 was released on January 9, 2018, and Volume 6 is still forthcoming even in Japan.
[Update March 20, 2018] Added new information and preview video for episodes 13 and 14. Removed out-of-date information.
[Update October 24, 2017] Added more info about the OVA episodes.
[Featured Image by Kouta Hirano]