Original Run: July 3, 2018 - September 25, 2018 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Fantasy, Military Based on the Video Game: Senjuushi
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for The Thousand Noble Musketeers. Reader discretion is advised.***
The world was almost brought to ruin after the outbreak of nuclear war. To maintain peace, a global empire rose, and it confiscated every conceivable firearm. The only weapons the Empire overlooked were the ones of the 18th and 19th century; the building blocks for the nations of old.
With its unchecked power, the Empire quickly became a brutal regime that began exploiting and oppressing the citizenry. To combat this evil, and in the name of the people, the Resistance was born.
In order to challenge the unbridled strength of the Empire, the Resistance uses the forgotten guns of the past and transforms them into mighty warriors known as Musketeers.
The Musketeers are the pinnacle of nobility. Their dedication to justice and to those in need is unrivaled. That burning passion will hopefully free humanity from the iron grip of its harsh rulers once and for all.
However, the Empire did not become the monster it is by ignoring threats to its authority. Thus, the ultimate battle for the future begins now.
The Thousand Noble Musketeers was spectacularly atrocious. It really is rare to see a series land so low.
Just how bad are we talking? Bottom of the barrel?
Although I have not seen every anime from 2018, and, as of the writing of this review, I have watched nothing of the Fall season, my answer is still: Maybe. If there is worse from this year, let me know. I’m, apparently, a glutton for punishment.
Fortunately — if you can call it that — The Thousand Noble Musketeers was, on occasion, the unique kind of trash which can be somewhat entertaining thanks to how awful it is. These moments weren’t prevalent, and they were by no means justification for sitting through this show’s nonsense. Nevertheless, these instances did exist.
Take your wins when and where you can.
As I watched this series, and after looking a little deeper into how this show came to be, I found myself continually asking, “What happened?” There’s quite a bit to unpack when answering that question, so I’ll let it stand, for now.
In the meantime, know that whatever the story was behind The Thousand Noble Musketeers’ production, the result was a train wreck marred with horrible animation, a wholly uninteresting story, and a plethora of instantly forgettable characters.
In case you were wondering: No, I didn’t much care for The Thousand Noble Musketeers, nor do I have many things to say in its favor. However, to give credit where it’s due (even if it’s not much), there were two areas where I can hand this series some praise.
That said, please be aware that of these two areas, only one was something this show actually did well. The other was more of a personal fancy of mine. Therefore, take it as you will.
Concerning the former, the voice acting in The Thousand Noble Musketeers wasn’t terrible. On the contrary, the cast did the best they could with what they had to work with, and most everyone successfully delivered a decent performance.
That was super impressive since there were so many goddamn characters in this show, and it really was a shame that all the “personalities” who appeared in this story were not worth remembering. At least when people were speaking, though, I didn’t want to rip my ears off.
Whoop-de-freakin’-doo — I suppose.
Then again, solid performances were somewhat of a given. After all, it wasn’t as if this series employed nobodies. To my utter astonishment, a handful of talented names worked on The Thousand Noble Musketeers.
This leads me back to my question: What happened?
Of all the points The Thousand Noble Musketeers completely s@&$ the bed with, the voicing acting was not one of them.
As for that second aspect I liked, I assure you, it was nothing spectacular.
I have a small interest in flintlock and other single-shot firearms. For that reason alone, I was slightly interested in seeing which character represented which old-timey gun. I must say, the variety of weapons in this series was pretty decent.
But like before: Take your wins when and where you can.
Where do I even start?
I knew The Thousand Noble Musketeers was in trouble about halfway through the first episode and this story had already introduced about twenty characters, and I remembered none of them.
On top of trying to recall everyone’s names, there was also, supposedly, plot going on. You could have fooled me. In fact, I’m pretty sure this show did. It wasn’t until episode two when I realized that the Musketeers were anthropomorphic guns.
I will concede that it is possible that last point could have been thoroughly explained before it clicked in my head. But can you really blame me for not noticing? My mind was attempting to make sense of what this series was passing off as its story.
From what I could understand, the world had nearly ended due to nuclear war. To prevent total annihilation, a global empire (whatever that entails) took control and confiscated every firearm on the planet. The only guns left were old antique muskets.
The Empire was a cruel dictatorship — the kind of cruel dictatorship that DIDN’T shoot dissenters on sight, for some reason — and such villainy brought rise to the Resistance.
Since there were no contemporary weapons to fight with, the Resistance relied on a Master(?) who could bring out the human spirit in a musket(?). Whatever, I’ll accept that.
On the other hand, what I refuse to accept is how the Resistance not only thought musket balls stood any chance at beating modern armor and rifles, they actually managed to do just that.
I saw someone with a Kentucky Rifle (not a musket, but nevertheless outdated) take out a tank with a single shot. While that was beyond stupid, the idiocy didn’t end there.
The Resistance and the Musketeers only had single-shot weapons that took a long time to reload. In a musket to musket battle — at best — a trained soldier could get a shot off every two minutes. Call me out on my timing, I dare you. No matter how fast you can reload such a gun, it’s way slower than a fully automatic rifle.
Then again, I guess you can take as long as you like when your opponents, with their top-of-the-line, meticulously sighted, high-tech weapons, couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat.
There was a scene in this series when a Musketeer stood perfectly still in an open field with no cover and a stone’s throw away from a SQUAD of Empire troops, and he walked away without a scratch.
If you want to defend this show (and I would love to meet you if you do), you could argue that the Resistance didn’t just have nineteenth-century guns to fight with. Musketeers had the extraordinary ability to trigger Supreme Nobility — a.k.a., magic — to become unstoppable warriors.
This was true. The Musketeers could use this overpowering ability. Why then did the Resistance usually use Musketeers who COULDN’T do this? Why risk losing and getting your guys killed when you had fighters who could turn on God-mode and take care of any problem?
From a story standpoint, I don’t know why The Thousand Noble Musketeers could ignore such a hole. From a visual perspective, though, I have a pretty big suspicion as to why this was the case.
The animation in this series was hysterically bad. How did anyone look at this show and say, “That seems fine, release it like this.” I’m unconvinced The Thousand Noble Musketeers was even finished.
Seriously, what happened?
Early on in this series — episode one — I had a theory. Maybe The Thousand Noble Musketeers was really some kind of huge joke. Too bad the proof to the contrary was staring me in the face. Therefore, I was determined to discover where things went wrong.
First, I thought it was the studio. Based on what I was seeing, my gut was telling me that The Thousand Noble Musketeers had to be from some unknown, small-time, untested company. Nope.
The Thousand Noble Musketeers was produced by TMS Entertainment. This is a studio that has not only been around since the 1960s, it has also released show such as Lupin the Third and Detective Conan, with some of their more recent projects including Kamisama Hajimemashita and Sweetness and Lightning.
Adding to this and going back to this series’ lack-of-effort animation, literally the review prior to this one was Megalo Box; another TMS Entertainment anime that is also one of the best animated shows of 2018.
After the studio, I thought, “Maybe The Thousand Noble Musketeers’ director didn’t have much experience.” That was wrong, too.
This show was directed by Mr. Kenichi Kasai who also did the first season of Amanchu and Aoi Hana. Not only that, Mr. Kasai has many other credits for many other behind the scenes roles for many other series. He’s no newbie.
It was while researching the director that I noticed the voice cast attached to The Thousand Noble Musketeers. What poor souls got signed to this piece of garbage? Once again, I was quite floored by what I learned. Here is but a taste:
- Charleville was voiced by Shinnosuke Tachibana; Tomoe from Kamisama Hajimemashita.
- Rapp was voiced by Wataru Hatano; Gajeel Redfox from Fairy Tail.
- Chassepot was voiced by Takuya Eguchi; Takeo Gouda from Ore Monogatari.
- Napoleon was voiced by Daisuke Namikawa; Rock from Black Lagoon.
- Kentucky was voiced by Yuki Kaji; EREN F@$%ING JEAGER was in this trash! WHY!?
I would be lying if I said The Thousand Noble Musketeers didn’t have the tools and talent. It clearly did. Hence why I keep asking: What happened?
By the way: Yes, I am aware this series was based off a mobile game. I also don’t see how such a connection would result in this mistake of a show. Earlier this year there was Uma Musume Pretty Derby, which was a goddamn full-length anime advertisement for its game. Granted, Uma Musume may not have been the best thing in the world, but it was leagues better than this.
The only explanation I can give is a lack of budget. Seeing who was behind The Thousand Noble Musketeers, maybe everyone did the best they could with absolutely nothing to work with. That or everyone saw this series as one thing: a simple paycheck.
How low can 2018 go? Unfortunately, the answer might still be: very. Nevertheless, this was pretty bad on its own.
The only elements that were in this show’s favor were the names of the people who made it happen. However, it’s clear that was nowhere near enough.
The story was nonexistent. The characters were too numerous and too forgettable. The animation could barely be called as such. This was not good.
Even as something to make fun of, The Thousand Noble Musketeers is not worth your time.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning The Thousand Noble Musketeers? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
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