ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘DRIFTERS,’ Volume 6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Drifters Volume 6

From Dark Horse Comics comes DRIFTERS Volume 6 TPB, a manga written and drawn by the legendary Kohta Hirano, (Hellsing). It is translated by, Matthew Johnson and the lettering and retouch was handled by Studio Cutie. This is the 6th iteration in a long-running manga about a war that transcends time between the Drifters and the Ends. The Drifters are the “good guys” in this world as they aim to protect those who live within it, whereas the Ends seek total annihilation.

Dialogue in DRIFTERS Vol. 6 fits the manga really well. It feels authentic to the anime and keeps up with the energy that each character has. The story is a bit farfetched as it does have characters from various times in history meshed together to duel in a massive battle that’s being “controlled” by 2 outside entities.

Some of the main characters in DRIFTERS Vol. 6 are Nobunaga Oda, Yoichi, Toyohisa, and Hannibal who are all members of the Drifters. As for the Ends, the main member is the entity known as “The Black King.” Aside from them, we have Easy, who’s in control of Ends and Murasaki, who’s in control of Drifters. There are other characters that join in such as Olminu from the faction The Octoberists, who are psychic beings. There is also the “Wild Bunch Gang” who are similar to mercenaries.

The plot of DRIFTERS Vol. 6 has the main characters, Nobunaga, Yoichi, and Toyohisa, form a team to defeat the Black King and save the world that they’re in.  The simplicity of the plot works really well, as you can really just go anywhere you’d like and if it’s done correctly like it is in this volume. For example, the story can be very serious and then switch to a more comedic aspect and still be able to follow without issue.

The pacing of the volume is quite smooth. It doesn’t feel like they tried to cram everything into one “Act”. Each act, which in this volume were Acts 60-71, has its main focus on what’s going on in the war. As a watcher of the anime of the same name, I’m able to follow fairly easily what’s going on in the story. However, if you’re new to the series, this isn’t the place where you’d want to jump in, especially since there’s a lot of information omitted from the acts. If you want to get into this series, I would highly recommend either watching the anime or reading the previous volumes to be able to follow along with what’s going on.

One theme that is touched in DRIFTERS Vol. 6 is mortality. The “Drifters” themselves are humans, whereas the Black King is a demonic amalgamation that can create swaths of monsters to fight for it and doesn’t seem to have any understanding of death. There are even other humans that fight for him that can also die in battle.

The artwork in DRIFTERS Vol. 6 is handled by Kohta Hirano. It’s full of strong details and bold lines and a lot of deep saturation. There’s a lot of shadowing in this manga, which helps keep many things dramatic and suspenseful. Though there isn’t much coloring in the manga aside from the covers shown, those are vibrant and richly saturated.

The lettering was handled by Studio Cutie. It took a bit to follow how to read DRIFTERS Vol. 6, as I was reading it top to bottom initially when it is supposed to read from bottom to top. Once I figured that out, I was able to enjoy reading the manga. The pages didn’t feel cluttered at all and it flowed quite nicely.

Overall, DRIFTERS Vol. 6 was a blast to read, especially as a fan of the series since I discovered the anime back in 2016. I can’t wait to read the next volume and see what happened next. I would highly recommend this manga to anyone who’s a fan of the series, as it keeps the action, drama, and comedy intact. I went from yelling in frustration to laughing as I went through the pages. If you’re a fan of high fantasy, action, comedy, and warfare, then I would say pick this up, along with the previous volumes.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of the DRIFTERS manga to get caught up, click here to order them.

DRIFTERS Vol. 6
5

TL;DR

I would highly recommend this manga to anyone who’s a fan of the series, as it keeps the action, drama, and comedy intact.