The summer season may not properly kick into gear for another week yet (or two if Shingeki no Kyojin is topping your list), but a few offerings like Senjuushi are here to help tide impatient minds over. When researching this one for the RandomC PreviewI had an inkling it would prove “unique”, and to no surprise its opener proved exactly that. Love it or hate it everyone is going to have an opinion on this one. A strong opinion.
At face value Senjuushi’s story is simple: nuclear war happened, the world suffered, and some valiant force named the World Government turned up to save the day. Well, in their own beat on democracy and crush the proletariat way. Barring the muffled comedy that is Captain America’s Hydra going full Stormtrooper somewhere in the Balkans (best timeline I tell you) it’s standard fare post-apocalypse with an overbearing Evil EmpireTM, but does come with a twist—an anthropomorphized twist. Taking its cue from the likes the Upotte!!, Kancolle, and last season’s Uma Musume Pretty Derby, Senjuushi’s main cast of freedom fighters is comprised of a surprisingly vast array of muskets in human form, including, among others, guns from Prussia, Austria, France, Portugal, Great Britain, Russia, America, and Japan. Not even aforementioned Upotte!! can come close to the sheer quantity of firearms already on “display” here, and the show hasn’t even begun yet (see: modern gun antagonists). How antique muskets were converted into humans is anyone’s guess right now (besides an unknown master or two being involved), but given the repeated mention of the process and focus on what are assuredly charms for the purpose, this aspect and the “noble” power up will become important before too long.
The sticking point for Senjuushi though is not so much its gun lover’s buffet as much as its presentation. Cute girls shooting cute guns? Not in this show, it’s only the most manly of men operating these firearms here. What you think she’s a girl? Her too? Get that trap radar to a repair shop son, because you’re looking at men. That’s right, Senjuushi’s cast is all male, and no, I’m not kidding. They’re male. All of them. While arguably a strange choice considering the sex demographic breakdown of gun hobbyists (especially those devoted to historical firearms), Senjuushi does deserve some credit for breaking with anthropomorphic tradition and running full bishounen over classic moe—and you just know the BL doujin writers are not going to waste the opportunity. It’s enough of a change to help attract viewers who otherwise would ignore such historical-based material, and with some pretty decent personalities behind the guns to boot (see Napoleon’s (Namikawa Daisuke) romanticism and Kentucky’s (Kaji Yuki) grade A American patriotism for a good taste of what’s in store), offers plenty of meat to keep its converts hooked.
Whether Senjuushi can succeed with this setup in the end remains to be seen, but bishounen aesthetics or not, the show has set itself off on the right foot. It definitely won’t be for everyone, but for gun and/or pretty boy lovers alike, this show has you covered.
OP: 「antique memory」by Brown Bess, Charleville, Springfield, and Kentucky