First Look: The Thousand Musketeers

Alternative title(s): Senjuushi
Game Adaptation by TMS Entertainment
Streaming on HIDIVE

Premise

In the wake of a devastating nuclear war, Earth is ruled by an evil empire that has confiscated all modern weaponry. A group of resistance fighters bearing the noble spirits of historic rifles rises up to fight for freedom.

 

Jel’s verdict: Single Shot

My main problem with this episode is that it followed the template of just about every other game adaptation with a large cast: lots of infodumping to justify the weird premise, then introduce WAY too many characters than you should be introducing in episode 1. The bulk of the episode is just talking, and not good, interesting dialogue but practical explanations of every detail of their current situation. Not only is this boring, it also leaves us with no mystery to look forward to, no hook to pull is in and make us want to watch more. I have no reason to believe this will not continue on for the rest of the series.

That said, the premise of this particular show is so ridiculous and they take the overarching plot so seriously that I couldn’t help but be amused. I mean, pretty anime boys fighting a fascist empire with old fashioned guns sounds pretty fun, right? They also clearly did their homework in crafting the characters and jokes around the history of the muskets themselves. Even the final battle in which Brown Bess goes super saiyan and mows down a squadron armed with modern combat gear was a wild enough spectacle to be entertaining. Ultimately I don’t think there’s enough here to overcome the issues I mentioned, but for at least one episode I had fun. If you’re really into these cute boy shows it’s probably a solid a choice.

 

Gee’s verdict: Misfire

Honestly I think the problem with The Thousand Musketeers is that it’s just kind of boring. It introduces this gigantic cast of weird characters, most of which are cardboard cutouts of popular otome archetypes at best, which leads to a lot of exposition and pointless establishing dialogue that doesn’t do a great job of getting you invested in the story. Speaking of, maybe in better hands this could work, but the narrative is just too self-serious for the kind of property we’re talking about here. It leads to a show that at least on first impression, isn’t either particularly amusing nor compelling. Worse than something that’s just plain bad, it’s not even bad enough to properly laugh at.

Then of course there are my own personal quibbles with its base premise as a firearms enthusiast. I feel like if you’re going to do the Upotte thing of personifying guns as people, you have to lean into it. Don’t be ashamed of your premise and drown in the esoteric nature of your chosen niche subject. The Thousand Musketeers does so little with the old world firearms aspect that it might as well not be there. Especially since apparently these musket boy scan go super saiyan and somehow rapid fire their single shot weapons so at some point, you lose the entire purpose of the conceit. Without the guns part, all you have left is the pretty boys part, and if that’s all you’re here for, surely there must be better examples of it in the genre? I admit I’m not well versed in the pretty boys doing pretty things genre, but surely there must be better examples of it than The Thousand Musketeers. All said and done, it’s not bad enough to condemn, but also isn’t interesting enough to continue watching.

(Also what the hell is with the timescale of this property. You have everything from musket rifles to flintlock pistols to early bolt action rifles showing up. I get it, to anyone who doesn’t care, they’re all just old ass guns. If you’re talking about the general venue of wars these weapons were used in, it technically fits. But come on, it’d be like having a show with Thompson-tan hanging out with P90-tan and acting as if because they’re both technically SMGs, it’s fine.)

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