Kouta Hirano’s Drifters uses actual historical figures as characters in the story. Some of the characters were some of the most brilliant military strategists, warriors, and fighters in history. For example, the main protagonist, Shimazu Toyohisa, was a warrior who died in the Battle of Sekigahara. Hannibal Barca and Scipio Africanus were opposing military commanders who fought in the Second Punic War. And Joan of Arc is a famous warrior who fought in the Hundred Years War, but was later burned at the stake for heresy.
There is no shortage of historical persons in the show and you could probably spend hours diving into the backgrounds of each of these characters, but the one character who remains unrecognizable, the Black King, seems to be the most intriguing. All signs in the show point to him being none other than the founder of Christianity and the little boy from Bethlehem, Jesus Christ.
The Black King is the leader of the Ends, the rival faction to the Drifters who are trying to take over the Orte Empire and then eventually the world. He wears a cloak over his body, only revealing skinny, bone-like arms. He walks with a wooden staff that he uses to command his troops into battle. He has a dark, booming voice, but appears to be extremely charismatic. His subordinates and allies are unswervingly loyal to him.
But, how can the kind, righteous, and fair king of the Christian faith be the evil Black King who wishes for nothing more than the annihilation of the human race? Easy. The people who make up the Ends are all individuals who died fighting for what they thought was the betterment of people or were killed in violent or weird means. Therefore, they all have an aversion for the human race.
The Black King — or should I say, Jesus — has the biggest hate of them all who states, in the manga, that he once tried to offer salvation to humans, but they denied him. He believes that humans are extremely cruel and oppressive. And if he actually is Jesus, it makes a lot of sense (in a logical in-universe kind of way at least) for him to despise humanity. Although the supreme example of love and forgiveness, any of us other hate-filled human beings would hate the world if we died like Jesus did, sold out by his own follower and crucified for giving hope to the underprivileged.
The show also provides a little hints that he is Jesus. On his palms, the Black King has two dark scars that would obviously be present if the character died by crucifixtion. Secondly, in the fourth episode of the anime, the Black King heals his wounded army following their battle at Carneades. One gift that Jesus was said to have was the ability to heal the sick and the wounded. In the manga, he also has been shown to have duplication and telepathy powers, all Jesus-like gifts and powers.
If the Black King is Jesus, then it is a brave character choice. Once revealed, most devout Christians would swear off the show, as if the blood and gore was not enough. But, if so, it would make the Black King one of the most powerful characters in the show. The man turned water into wine. There is no better power than that.Photos via Wikia, Giphy, Wikimedia