|Original Story||The Count of Monte Cristo|
|Episode Length||24 minutes|
|# of Episodes||24|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A futuristic retelling of Dumas's tale of greed, betrayal and revenge with craaaaazzzy art effects.
While on holiday in the city of Luna, young aristocrats Albert de Morcef and Franz d'Epinay are introduced to the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, an extremely wealthy traveler from a far corner of the galaxy, and a aristocrat of his own making. The Count's strange appearance and questionable ethics alarm Franz, but intrigue the sheltered Albert. After coming to the rescue of Albert, who had the bad luck to be abducted by bandits, The Count agrees to visit Albert after he returns to Paris.
After a short stay at the de Morcef estate, The Count takes up residence in a surreal compound beneath the Champs-Élysées of interminable luxury, and insinuates himself into the lives of powerful families in Paris (the de Morcefs, the Danglars, and the Villeforts). But something is not quite right, as strange coincidences with the dark pasts of these aristocratic families begin to surface after The Count's arrival. The fortunes of the families take a turn for the worse as a result of The Count's actions, and a story of betrayal and revenge unfolds as mysteries are revealed.
Differences from the original novel by Alexandre Dumas
Instead of being based in the political climate of Post-Napoleonic France and the Mediterranean, Gankutsuou uses a sci-fi setting that stretches across the galaxy. In the opening setting, the characters are at Festival in Luna (a city on the moon, obviously), instead of Rome.
The original novel focuses on The Count as a sympathetic protagonist in his quest for vengance, but Gankutsuou uses Albert as the main protagonist, and The Count is portrayed as a much darker antagonist. Many major story events are changed as the focus is changed to the effects on Albert of The Count's thirst for revenge, whatever the cost.
Beyond the most basic elements of the original novel, Gankutsuou diverges widely into it's own narrative.
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I thought this was an excellent show. Storytelling and character development is excellent. Maeda's productions for Gonzo are among the best. This aims at to tell a grand story and actually completes it, which is unfortunately rare from Gonzo.
Artistically, Gankutsuou is pretty adventurous and makes most of it work. Settings are very colorful and detailed. There is ornate detail on almost everything. The music is fantastic, both the classical selections as well as the original music. Appreciation of the texture effects used for clothing and hair may be a matter of taste, but I thought they added to the visual style of the show where regularly colored clothes would have seemed out of place in a world that goes out of its way to have ridiculous detail on everything.
Gankutsuou is one of Gonzo's most original works and this definitely shows right from the beginning. A unique art style that amuses almost as much as it overwhelms, a very good cast of characters, lots of political intrigue and even a little bit of action all combine to create a tale of revenge that departs from the storytelling perspective and many of the finer details from the original source material but somehow manages to remain true to its spirit in a way. Highly recommended.
An anime take of the Count of Monte Cristo! I didn't know what to expect at all and surprisingly, despite the weird futuristic space elements the show presented, it wasn't all entirely too off from the book. There were some major major differences but I think it kept the spirit of it alright. Definitely a different take on it and it sort of fell apart near the ending but I still found it an entertaining watch. 4/5