[Honey’s Crush Wednesday] 5 Shimazu Toyohisa Highlights - Drifters

The Satsuma Samurai.

  • Episodes : 7 (as of Nov 2016)
  • Genre : Action, Comedy, History
  • Airing Date : Oct 2016 – Present (as of Nov 2016)
  • Producers : Hoods Entertainment

Drifters Preview (No Spoilers)

For those that are spiritual or religious, when one dies, their soul goes to either Heaven or Hell. But for a number of famous figures from all around the world and varying points in history, they are transported to a mysterious world where elves, dragons, and other mystical creatures live, and a war is brewing between two groups of people who are transported into that world. The forces of good are called “Drifters,” while the forces of evil are called “Ends.”

The main forces of the Drifters faction consist of a trio of famous Japanese feudal figures, Oda Nobunaga, Nasu no Yoichi, and Shimazu Toyohisa. With their combined abilities, they look to help the natives of the world they are stuck in and kick ass along the way. In addition to these famous Japanese historical figures, other featured people from history are Joan of Arc, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and even Adolf Hitler are shown have been transported to this world upon their deaths.

Shimazu Toyohisa Bio

Voice Actor: Nakamura Yuuichi

Toyohisa serves as the main protagonist of drifters. Like the real life Shimazu Toyohisa, he was a samurai for his clan and was one of his uncle’s greatest warriors. Believed to have perished in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, the world of manga and anime instead transports him to a world where he meets other historical figures in Japanese history such as Nasu no Yoichi (who actually died in 1232) and the controversial unifier, Oda Nobunaga (who died in 1582).

Upon coming to terms with his situation, he chooses to fight with his fellow Japanese warriors and with the elves in order to free them and to understand what is going on. Thanks to his contributions, all Hell is about to break loose on the Ends and open up the gates of Heaven for his new allies.

Shimazu Toyohisa Highlights

1. He Is Based on a Real-Life Character

As stated in the character bio, Shimazu is based on a real-life samurai who was from the Satsuma province, which is now the modern-day Kagoshima prefecture. For those of you who are not familiar with Japanese geography, it is located in the deep south of Japan’s southern island, Kyushu. As a matter of fact, Oda Nobunaga likes to make fun of Shimazu coming from a region which he assumes has no significant name and value, but the irony is, it would rise to power centuries later.

Just like the real life Shimazu Toyohisa, the anime Shimazu would fight in the Battle of Sekigahara in rebellion against the then Tokugawa regime and would die in an ambush at the age of 30. And thanks to being technically the oldest of his crew, he looks to use his knowledge of what happened to Oda Nobunaga as a means to antagonize him from time to time.

2. He Is a Vicious Warrior

If anything defines Toyohisa, even in (his assumed) death, he still fights the fight. Though he doesn’t have the same strategic mind as Oda, he still has the ultimate combination of brawn and balls. Send him to the battlefield, it’s kill or be killed and that’s what he does best. He exhibits virtually little to no mercy and he refuses to take crap from anybody.

Due to the nature of his fighting style, he doesn’t frighten his enemies, but even the people he’s trying to help see him as a vicious monster with how he shows he is devoid of emotion whenever he kills. Though he doesn’t know exactly why he is fighting upon publication of this HCW, he still knows he is fighting for what he believes in.

3. He Is a Selfless Man of Justice

As stated, he is a samurai who fights to win and to survive to the point that he can frighten friend and foe alike, but thanks to his sense of justice, he can win allies. When he helped raid on the knights pillaging the elves, he could have killed the commanding knight himself but realized it was the responsibility of the elves themselves to reclaim their pride and take their vengeance. He offers his sword to the elves and after much hesitation, they take his offer and kill them.

After raiding a castle and seeing how the kidnapped female elves were violated, he then gave the male elves the right to execute the remaining castle attendants (though Oda spoiled the moment when he was about to give the order). Shimazu may be a soldier, but in the end, he doesn’t believe in bullying the weak and forcing them into slavery. If anything, his selflessness is probably inspired by the upbringing of his uncle who saved his life on numerous occasions, and in the end, returned the favor in Sekigahara by sacrificing himself so he could escape.

4. He Is a Natural Leader

In addition to his sense of justice, his inspiration to the elves makes him a natural leader. Actions may speak louder than words, but sometimes you need words to justify your actions, and Shimazu does a great job of that when he tells the elves to take back what’s rightfully theirs.

When Shimazu, Oda, and Nasu posed together after saving the elves, Shimazu sits down on a box looking bad ass saying its time to fight back, Oda would later explain that sitting down the way he did signifies him as a leader. So if you find yourself in a situation with two people and need to pose to look cool to inspire a group of people, sit down on a box with a sword and people are going to think you’re the leader! Though he may be the inspirational leader, the true brains has to go to Oda who is a master of strategy and Nasu is an amazing instructor to the elves, who are natural archers.

5. His Relationship with Oda Nobunaga

Another factor that drives the character and this series as a whole is Shimazu’s buddy relationship with Oda Nobunaga. A majority of their comedic bickering relationship revolves around their knowledge of their respective backgrounds. Oda tends to make fun of Shimazu for coming from a land that has little to no value and in turn, Shimazu makes fun of Oda that he cannot win loyalty due to his betrayals through his lifetime.

However, with their combined experiences and knowledge of battle, they are an unstoppable force. In their first significant battle and victory, they help reclaim the village for the elves and assisted the elves in freeing their captured women. Thanks to Oda’s strategy of depleting the enemy’s water and using their corpses and soil to weaken them, it was an easy victory for team Drifters. But in Oda’s own twisted way, he also cares about Shimazu.

Shortly before Shimazu orders the elves to kill the knights at the castle for violating the female elves, Oda knocks him out because he feels that Shimazu is “too innocent” to give such orders and that only he should be the one to carry them out. Regardless, they get the job done.

Final Thoughts

With this series barely starting, we have yet to see the true potential of this series. Can Toyohisa and his gang save the world they ended up in? Can they return back to their normal lives? Who else are they going to recruit to their ongoing war? All we can do is stay tuned.

So if any of you find yourself dead, maybe the next stage is not Heaven or Hell, maybe a world of a bizarre kind of imagination. Maybe you will have to fight to live in that world either as a defender or as a conqueror. Either way, some people don’t believe that death is an end, but only a beginning. When we get there, we may have to face off against a team of evil, or we become evil itself.

If those of us choose to fight for the greater good, then there is no better man to fight along with than Shimazu Toyohisa. He may be strike hard, strike first, no mercy kind of fighter, but if you find yourself in a fight, this is the man you want to have your back.

drifters-dvd-1 [Honey’s Crush Wednesday] 5 Shimazu Toyohisa Highlights - Drifters


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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