Anime / The Three Musketeers

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The Three Musketeers (アニメ三銃士 Anime Sanjūshi) is a 1987 Japanese animated television series based on the d'Artagnan's adventures written by Alexandre Dumas.

A feature film sequel, Anime Sanjūshi: Aramis no Bōken, was released in 1989.

The show follows the main plot of the book, however, several changes have been made.Notably, Constance is Bonacieux's daughter, not wife, this is a kid show after all.The action occurs in the matter of months instead of years, exemplified with the Man in the Iron Mask storyline taking place much earlier than in Dumas' timeline.

Obviously, most of the tropes applicable to the first book can apply to this series.


This show contains examples of:

  • Ascended Fanboy: d'Artagnan becomes an actual musketeers after having dreamt of it.
  • The Alleged Steed: d'Artagnan's yellow horse, which he keeps for a big part of the story.
  • Badass Creed: "All for one and one for all!"
  • Barefoot Poverty: Jean.
  • Beard of Evil: Subverted; Richelieu and Rochefort have a goatee, but other characters too, notably Tréville, as it was common at the time.
    • Played straight with Manson.
  • Beauty Mark: Milday has one under her right eye.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After capturing D'Artagnan, you think Iron Mask and his cronies will kill him right away, since the lad has been a thorn to their plans so many times? No! Let's tie him up and watch him burn on stake! Predictably, D'Artagnan escape from his bonds, which were loose thanks to the fire, and proceed to wreck havoc on the fort.
  • Cannon Fodder: When the French Navy gain a foothold on Iron Mask's fort, the villain tells his men to defend the keep fiercely and they will prevail. Little they know Iron Mask is using them as decoys while he and Milady quietly make their escape.
  • Co-Dragons: Iron Mask has Milady and Manson.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When D'Artagnan disarmed the Iron Mask he demand that he removes his mask. Iron Mask obliged, only to trigger a mechanism on his mask that shoot darts from his mouth, catching D'Artagnan off guard.
  • Disney Villain Death: How Manson meet his end while fighting Aramis.
  • The Dragon: Richelieu has two, Milady and Rochefort.
  • Dying Alone: Milady is all alone when she's about to meet her end. She prays to God for forgiveness while waiting.
  • Elite Army: The King's Musketeers.
  • Enemy Mine: Richelieu and Rochefort get stuck in jail during the Iron Mask arc and Athos helps them break out in order to prevent King Louis XIII from being beheaded. Richelieu even Took a Level in Badass by bashing the guards with a book, commenting that he's upset that they are bungling fools. Later, the Musketeers and the Cardinal Guards join forces to defeat Iron Mask.
  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys: Milady's pet monkey.
  • Evil Chancellor: Richelieu, the Prime Minister.
  • Faking the Dead: Milady after d'Artagnan "executes" her for murdering the Duke of Buckingham by cutting her hair and declaring her legally dead since the show is supposed to be more kid-friendly than the book.
  • A Father to His Men: Monsieur de Tréville.
  • Five-Man Band: Just like in the novel:
  • Gender Flip: Aramis is a woman in this adaptation.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Iron Mask has a Robin Hood-like reputation among the poor in France, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. However, he doesn't really care about the poor. This is merely a ploy to gain popular support in order to overthrow the King.
  • Killed Off for Real: Buckingham, because Milady tricked him into letting his guard down.
  • Latex Perfection: Milady uses a flawless mask to disguise herself as an old woman so she can kidnap Constance.
  • Mooks: All of Iron Man's goons wear the same uniform and mask. Interestingly, a flashback showed Manson starting as a mook before becoming one of the Co-Dragons.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Who else? The Iron Mask of course.
  • Mugged for Disguise / Dressing as the Enemy: D'Artagnan and Porthos infiltrate Iron Mask's fort by taking the uniforms of two mooks they just beat up. The uniforms fit them perfectly. Later, they deliver a meal to Prince Philippe and are unmasked. Somehow, none of the guards notice that two of the King's most famous Musketeers are right under their noses. It's only when the real guard in charge of meal deliveries start asking questions that their cover are blown.
  • Missing Mom: Jean is looking for his mother throughout the series. He'll reunite with her in the movie.
  • Never Found the Body: At the end of the series, Iron Mask is presumed dead as his mask is found on the shoreline of the ruined fort. His body was never found.
  • Redemption Equals Death: At the end of the series, Milady stays behinds with barrels of explosives ready to blow-up rather than running away with Iron Mask. She urges D'Artagnan to escapes and warn everyone of the danger. Milady explained she's tired of all the constant scheming and evil. No doubt D'Artagnan sparing her life earlier in the series caused her change of heart.
  • Reverse Mole: Aramis becomes this once she realize Manson is her fiancéís murderer. She joins the enemy to gather intelligence and serve her friends secretly. Only Athos suspects she hasn't betrayed them.
  • Running Gag: In a convent, a unnamed nun keeps running into men (usually D'Artagnan and one time M. Bonacieux). After freaking out, she hysterically calls the head nun to investigate only for the men to disappear. Finding no men, the head nun berate the nun for daydreaming.
  • Samus Is a Girl: It's revealed at some point that in actuality, Aramis is a girl in disguise.
  • Schizo Tech: A submarine made out of wood and running on Bamboo Technology definitely qualifies.
  • Separated at Birth: Unbeknownst to King Louis XIII, he has a twin brother named Prince Philippe. The Prince has been sequestered in a miserable cell and forced to wear an iron mask all his life. Milady and Iron Mask freed him and convinced him to get revenge on his brother by taking his place. Philippe will essentially be the Puppet King of France for the Big Bad. However, when Milady urges Philippe to execute his brother before the subterfuge could be discovered, he refuses to do so. At the end of the series, the two brothers have reconciled.
  • Sinister Minister: Richelieu, again.
  • Spoiler Title: All over the place.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: When Milady kidnaps Constance, she grabs her by the wrist in order to douse her with some knockout spray. Constance doesn't try to pull away or even attack with her free hand, and instead just stands there whimpering with a scared expression until she's knocked out.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Aramis does this in order to be able to be in the musketeers
  • Whip Sword: Manson carries this as his Weapon of Choice.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Milady has dark blue-green hair.
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