Let's think of the anime world as a huge well, with all the masterpieces and good series at the top of it. Now let's take a look at the lower levels: there are many bad shows in there. Plot is bland, animation looks bad, music and/or voice acting are unremarkable and characters are boringly one-dimensional. Then, there are shows that multiply these traits to the umpteenth and are deemed terrible by nearly everyone. Even more down the well, pretty much at the bottom, we have obscure crap no person would ever recommend to even their worst enemy, and amongst this pile of turds there are special kinds of turds which smell so bad they're funny in a way. But we're not over yet, because in the middle of all the funny shit a single anime oozes such a foul stench you get the feeling of being inside a closed elevator where every single person in the world has just farted. But for some reason you simply let yourself drown into madness and laugh out loud like a maniac.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Gun-dou Musashi.
WE'RE GHOSTA BUSTERZ~
Excuse me for my metaphore not making any sense, but neither does why this thing ever came to be. This anime, or abortion of one, is the single laziest, most nonsensical piece of garbage my trash-seeking eyes have ever had the (mis)fortune to find. It is so terrible you just have to watch it to believe it, and so ridiculous it's hilarious. The ultimate embodiment of the ''So BAD it's GOOD'' trope, which is the reason why the unedited DVDs of this sold like hot cakes in Japan despite being the worst thing ever.
As for myself, I've had my good share of laughs throughout it, as well, and I think most people would also crack up just as much as they would with their favorite, finest comedies. This, however, is unintentional hilarity since Gun-dou Musashi is clearly trying to be serious, and as such I will review it for what it is.
TeH sToRyZ (1/10)
THE FUCK IS THIS I DON'T EVEN
Hmmph... Where to begin...
I guess I should start by saying that this anime didn't even know what it wanted to do. The setting is a historically alternative Japan in which the Toyotomi Shogunate reigns over the country, during an age in which it should be Tokugawa Ieyasu the one to have the power.
Everything starts with our protagonist, Miyamoto Musashi (a radically different portrayal of a well-known historical figure) and his buddy Rounin, both presented as castle topplers/treasure hunters/your average thieves. Then we have princess Kaguya at the Shogunate's headquarters, Osaka Castle, who is acquaintanced with Musashi and is attacked by Ayakashi (spirit-like monsters from other worlds), after which she's nearly abducted but Musashi avoids this in a gloriously choreographied fight against the main antagonist Yasha.
Then Musashi goes to a shrine in order to master the Gun-dou fighting style (as in, plain old marksmanship). I forgot to mention it, but this show has its characters armed with guns, rifles and all kinds of advanced weaponry that shouldn't exist at all in Japan during the XVII century. Don't worry though, for all sorts of sidesplitting plot twists will explain this afterwards (I'll get to them later). Anyhow, in this shrine he meets priest Takuan, the person who mastered the Gun-dou, and after three whole episodes of fighting a retarded spider Ayakashi, Musashi gets from him a special, super powerful gun in which lays a demon that may end up possessing him someday: the Earth's Gun-ki. Not that this demon ever has relevance again or the gun's abilities look like anything other than flashy random shit popping out of the cartridges, BUT FUCK THAT SHIT BECAUSE IT'S GOT SOME COOL-ASS RED ORNAMENTS.
In order to prevent the demon from taking over, Musashi will have to get the gun's twin, the Sky's Gun-ki, and so begins his next super exciting adventure, full of random new characters, random shit happening and above all else random, crappy hilarious fight scenes.
FUCK YOU HORSE HELP ME I'M BEING KIDNAPPED BY THIS CROW
I can't be bothered with this shit.
When you think the show is going to keep on like this without adding anything else to the mix, the producers surprise us with one of the most retarded and unfitting unexpected and interesting plot twists our unworthy minds have ever been blown away by: this place is a parallel world created by a space-time distortion caused by whatever or whoever! BRILLIANT!! Add to this giant mechas, time travel, alternative dimensions, Leonardo da Vinci, thirteen more episodes dedicated to looking for seven seal stones to expel all Ayakashi, Urashima Tarou made a magic user, a fucking obnoxious monkey and more equally random story/character elements, and you've got the most incoherent plot I've ever set eyes upon! Congratulations, Studio ACC!
The thing is, even with 26 episodes available the producers are unable to wrap all this fine mess up and the ending is yet again one of the biggest clusterfucks mankind has had the gall to create. To put it bluntly, Gun-dou Musashi's story makes no fucking sense, somewhere along the way there isn't even a clear enemy and I've been rendered braindead.
It needs to be said that there's also quite a bit of horrendous comedy (not the unintended, but actual attempts at making the viewers laugh). It mostly consists of Tokugawa Ieyasu behaving like a mentally defficient high-school girl, comments on Rounin's verbal tic ''Da na'' (''Right/For sure'') and the whole cast saying Ninjatarou's name wrong. It's just repetitive and painful to watch. And while at this stage I believe it's obvious, let's just add in: the drama sucks just as much.
(I also feel like crying... for all the wrong reasons.)
It's not my intention to offend Lupin III fans with this statement, but if Monkey Punch actually spent 12 years planning this show and all he came up with was THAT, then I'm inclined to think he's downright stupid (to put it gently).
TeH aNiMaShHhUuUnNn (0/10)
We've got to my favorite part!!
This here, folks, is the cause of 99% of the laughs you'll get out of this show (the rest goes for the inane plot). For a long time I thought there couldn't possibly be anything cheaper than School City Valanoir in terms of animation, but I was proven dead wrong when I watched Musashi. In case you watched the first ep and thought ''bah, he's exaggerating, this is merely terrible'', think again, for in retrospective that was the high-budget part, the spotlight of its animation quality. Now you should have a better view on what to expect for following installments, this shit is a downward spiral that never stops.
Let's just sum it up:
-The character designs look like shit and are deformed in just about every scene. Hell, in episode 3 they even look like they were cut from a sheet and pasted on the screen. Sometimes it seems they didn't even cut them properly.
-The frame number is way below the minimal amount necessary to make somehing decent, so everything - and most especially the fights - looks like utter crap.
-The video and audio are totally out of synchro 99% of the time. Let that alone, the facial expressions aren't even done according to the character's emotions: you can have a girl crying desperately with a retarded rape-face/grin in her face. There are occasions in which they even got the wrong character (a male) saying the sentence of another (a female). But eh, that's only when they feel like moving the character's mouths at all.
-The backgrounds are uncropped photographies and look seriously BAD with the rest of the poor animation. When they're hand-drawn, they suck just as much.
-I think it goes without saying but the color palette is dull as hell and shading is terribly scarce. They often get the character's colors wrong from scene to scene.
I can keep on going, but that should suffice. So, does the animation have any good points? FUCK NO. That is, besides making you laugh hysterically. I mean, come on guys, one thing is for an anime to just look bad in every way: many anime, especially low-budget ecchi and very old titles do. But this is so terrible, you actually wonder if it's been done this way on purpose. Yet it isn't! It just turned out this way! It's a 2006 anime that looks worse than the first Astroboy series!
As the video above implies, the ''best'' parts are the fights, where the amazing smoothness of the frames makes for the most fluid, beautiful movements you'll find. Because yes, this looks bad enough to be an art in and of itself. Long story short you'll laugh your ass off while seeing these deformed chumps duking it out like drug-crazed lazy dodos.
TeH sOuNdZzZz (1/10)
Of course, this main dish of stinking cheese wouldn't be perfect without the soundtrack raping your eardrums like there's no tomorrow. Among the intro/outro themes, the first opening sticks out as the most hilariously terrible introduction to a show I've listened to as of yet. It sounds like hell broke loose and Lucifer came along with his band (aka Ultra Brain) to offend the crap out of every single sane person's ears. No really, just what were they thinking?
I'll let the video explain itself on my stead. Make sure not to get too close to the speakers, else it'll break your face.
Amazing, huh? Well, that's fine and all, but we have yet to talk about the in-episode music. The OST is comprised of roughly seven or eight boring themes played time and time again ad nauseam, often used poorly and cut abruptly when there's a scene change. There's even a song a couple of characters sing, and while it's decent on its own you end up loathing it for how much they try to shove it down your mouth out of the blue for a supposedly touching plot point.
As for voice-acting, they're Japanese, so you can't really say they do a bad job overall. Or can you? Not all the voices here sound good: Yuu Kobayashi, starring Ninjatarou, is the single most obnoxious thing I've ever heard from her, and trust me she's got many god-awful roles... those fucking shouts, SOMEONE PLEASE SHUT HER UP MY INNER EAR IS BLEEDING. Oh, and DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE MONKEY. Curse that fucker.
Even when the voices are not downright annoying, the ultra-clichéd dialogues and stupid situations make them act in a very contrived way, which does nothing to better the overall product and does all to make it seem all the more campy. Princess Kaguya sounds like she is sedated most of the time, too.
As an extra gift, have yourselves some delicious Engrish.
TeH cHaRaKtUrSsSs (0.5/10)
THE SUCKAGE IS STRONG IN YOU KID. COME INTO MY VAN, I'LL SHOW YOU MY MONA LISA.
What to say? They're all terrible.
Gun-dou's Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most terrible take on the figure of eponymous celebrity of Japanese history. I'm sure without a trace of doubt that he would turn in his grave (same goes for Sasaki Koujiro... pfffttthahahaha...). Musashi is stupid, whiny, clumsy, useless, has an enormous ego and wields a katana he only used in the first episode. He's a failure of a protagonist like many others, except with the inclusion of a rape-face and countless several other deformed creepy faces.
Rounin, his sidekick, has two defining points: he fights with a katana, and is boring as hell. Every other companion of Musashi can be described in a similar way, and most are there just to fill space. Other characters like Sanada Yukimura or the aforementioned Takuan appear once or twice and are never heard of again, that's just how important to the plot they are. Ryogen starts off as the usual dumb antagonist controlled by the true villain and ends up like some sort of comic relief for idiots (like Danjou or Ninjatarou) with zero importance in the excuse of a plot. I don't even want to talk about Yasha, as the main bad guy he leaves the series on a relatively early stage before doing anything, ANYTHING other than saying crap like ''It shall be interesting to see how Musashi will get through this trap... UHUHUHUHUHUH''. Da Vinci also spends the whole series blabbering random stuff and building some shitty-looking artifacts. Last but not least, especially bewildering is Ishikawa Goemon's introduction in the second-to-last episode, only to be swept away by the seawaves minutes later. Now that's time well spent on character development and bonding.
Saying they're one-dimensional is one hell of an overstatement. I'd say something like ''they never develop past their initial personality traits'' but they don't even have actual personalities. They're just random badly drawn scribbles who're given names and put in ugly backgrounds.
This is hands-down the worst TV show I've ever seen. Does that mean it's not entertaining? Not at all, this is pure hilarity fuel, just not because of its quality - but due to the lack of it. From a purely objective way, giving it 0.5 poorly drawn shurikens out of 10 is being very kind, but subjectively this could easily be 8/10 material because the laughs are plentiful and worth the pain of suffering... well, everything else.
·Hilarious fight scenes, extremely funny failed animation in general.
·The first ending and second opening can be listened without losing brain cells in the process.
·The dialogues are so crappy, that even with my small knowledge of Japanese language I could understand everything... Wait, is this a good thing?
·Everything really sucks bollocks.
·The fucking monkey.
·It's not subbed. I mean, who the actual fuck would bother?