The Thousand Musketeers (千銃士) is a seinen, action-military anime series that is based off a smartphone game that was developed by Line Games and Marvellous Entertainment, and it has been adapted into an anime for the Summer 2018 season. It is being produced by TMS Entertainment animation studio and directed by Ken’ichi Kasai. After watching the pilot episode, I believe that this show is going to be a severe disappointment and, potentially, a big waste of time.
The Thousand Musketeers takes place in an atmospherically historical setting where guns have been anthropomorphised. In this world, due to nuclear war, the use and ownership of guns have been completely banned, and, in addition, the people are oppressed by the Empire. However, there is small resistance of ancient guns that are working diligently to fight this evil Empire, risking their very lives to do so.
I am not even sure where to begin with this series. If I am to be completely honest, I checked out of watching about ten minutes into it due to how terribly bored I became. We have a brief introduction by a narrator of what the realm entails, and then we are introduced to one character after another, all of whom are anthropomorphised versions of historically significant guns from around the globe. There are SO many characters that it became a bit difficult to distinguish one from another, mostly due to the fact that they are also rather forgettable. There are a couple of people who caught my eye, however, that was mostly due to the unusual appearance or mannerisms that they entailed.
There characters are a very lively bunch who are always jesting with one another or behaving quite jovially. While it does create a more kick-back atmosphere, it felt wholly out-of-place in a situation where there is war and mayhem. Even when the Guns were called upon to prepare for a difficult and important mission, they all prepped for it and behaved as if they were getting ready to attend some sort of social function instead of risking their lives. It widened the disconnect that I was already feeling.
There was also a nice chunk of ambiguity in the episode. I understand that it’s a first episode, so a level of vagueness is to be expected, nonetheless, it seemed to be a running trend in these 24-minutes. We learn the briefest possible history of what the situation is (a post nuclear war land); the fact that the guns were changed into humans for a purpose was hinted at, but otherwise completely brushed over; information about the conflicts were missing, creating a sense of disorientation; and a unique, convenient power was exhibited by one of the musketeers (gun dudes), which then promptly leads to a cliff-hanger finale.
What was the point of this being 24-minutes? Because all of that couldn’t been done in about 12-minutes. Seriously. I really like something concrete to be given to me when I watch the first episode for anything, be it anime, TV serials, etc., but The Thousand Musketeers fell horridly short in that regard.
The animation is not much better as it’s about as average as you can possibly get, with even a few sloppily constructed scenes. The best designed parts where the close-ups on the weapons, as they had nice details and a cleaner animated look to them than everything else. I don’t mind subpar animation quality, but there has to at least be a decent story to go with it. Unfortunately, this had neither.
As it stands and based entirely off the pilot, I do not recommend The Thousand Musketeers. I will probably watch the second episode just to see if there is any bit of development at all when compared to the mess that was episode one before I decide to drop it, which I most likely will end up doing.
You can watch The Thousand Musketeers on Tuesdays over at HIDIVE.