English: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 6, 2004 to Mar 30, 2005
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.371 (scored by 22989 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
artistic drama mystery romance sci-fi
SynopsisGankutsuou is an anime loosely based on the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It tells the story of Albert Morcerf, a young aristocrat who happens to befriend a wealthy nobleman, The Count of Monte Cristo, through a series of bizarre events. Fascinated by the Count's charm, Albert invites him to meet his friends and family, all of whom happen to be part of the upper class society of Paris, France. Unfortunately, little does Albert realize that the Count has ulterior motives in mind.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Related AnimeAdaptation: Gankutsuou, Gankutsuou
Characters & Voice Actors
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard, Original Character Design, Key Animation
Episode Director, Storyboard, Animation Director, Layout, Key Animation, Character Design, Assistant Animation Director
Episode Director, Storyboard
A nineteenth century classic French novel, in the future, in space with aliens, space ships, giant robots and evil spirits? Surprisingly, it works! I am not sure what Monsieur Dumas would think of his classic 'The Count of Monte Christo' being turned into a galactic drama, but I like many other anime fans certainly enjoyed it!
Those familiar with the novel will know the basics of who the characters are and what the general outcome of the story will be, much like how anyone who knew the basic plot of Romeo and Juliet could easily predict what fate would befall the title characters in the anime Romeo X Juliet. To keep things fresh and interesting, the story gets an extreme makeover by catapulting the plot three thousand years into the future and onto the moon. The story is also told through Albert Morcef's perspective, rather than the Count's, allowing for a new take on the story and minor characters in the novel, such as Franz D'Epiney become more developed and are given a larger role.
The story follows the main themes of the novel though; love, betrayl, revenge and redemption. It is an intricately woven story throughout the 24 episodes, each one ending in a cliff hanger making the viewer want to jump right into the next episode. Elements of mystery and suspense are used so effectively, I was compelled to watch the whole anime in one sitting, something I have never done with any other anime before.
The visuals are beautiful and innovative, using textures rather than solid colours. While this can be disorienting at first, especially with layers of brightly coloured textures flashing across the screen, it does make for some of the most beautiful and creative scenery I have seen in any film media. The style is something unique to this anime and the CG components are excellent. Music is a mix of orchestral piano pieces, brooding techno, waltzes and the beautiful ballad 'We Were Lovers' for the opening theme. These combine the classical roots of the story with the futuristic elements wonderfully.
Characters in Gankutsuou are given little grey area. While some characters, such as The Count, motives and morals remain in the grey, most are clearly good or bad, making it heart wrenching when the good, and often innocent characters are pulled into the anti-hero's deadly revenge plot. The audience wants to see the bad guys punished by the man they betrayed, but at the same time want the innocent bystanders who are pulled into the plot have a happily ever after ending. Albert, the main character, is an idealistic and often rash, privilleged young fifteen year old. His angsting, naivite and rashness might grate some viewers, but at the same time his actions are believable for an average fifteen year old, unlike many shonen series. It also makes him more vulnerable to the more wily characters, as a child his age might be. Many of the characters are not all powerful, having both strengths and weaknesses, making them much more human and believable.
One aspect that won me over though was the portrayl of a character who is very strongly hinted at being homosexual. The Seiyu of this particular character confirmed his belief that the character he portrayed was indeed a homosexual. Rather than being slotted into a stereotype or cliche, this character is shown to be very capable, loyal and above all arguably the most rational individual in the series. He is not shown to be flamboyant, perverted, or visually offputing like many gay characters added in for laughs. This character was fleshed out, and in my opinion a very positive representation of a gay character. In fact he takes on many of the Japanese ideals of a homosexual lover, including beauty, brains, strength, sensitivity and above all loyalty. Bravo for this!
I would reccomend this anime for fans of drama, mystery, and suspense. Fans of the original novel; beware of deviations and creative liscense. This is not a completely accurate retelling of Alexandre Dumas' work, if you couldn't tell from the giant robots and space ships. The series contains alcohol and hints of drug usage, incest, hints of sex (both consensual and nonconsensual), human trafficing, violence, nudity, frightening imagery and character death. If any of this offends or upsets you, you may not want to watch this one (though you're really missing out on an awesome series).
Overall: This is the best anime I have seen in a very long time. It is the first anime that has compelled me to watch the whole thing in one sitting. The art is innovative, the story is intricately woven, the characters are believable, and the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting more. This one is a must for your 'completed' list. read more
When I first browsed through my friends shelf of anime I didn’t pay Gankutsuou much mind, he had told me how good it was and that I would like it but I thought I had better things to do than watch it. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. I eventually picked it up and began watching it and at the end of the first episode I was hooked on it. It was like a drug that I needed to continue pumping into my system, and even now that it is over I crave for more. So now I shall take an in depth look at the anime; Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
In most reviews I’d start with perhaps the characters or the story, but now I must truly start with the art. The art itself was disorientating to me at first, I looked at it and found it hard to concentrate too long on the screen, things blended together so well that at times I found it hard to believe the entire scenery wasn’t part of the character I was watching. But after the first few episodes the art was something else altogether, it seemed to take a new life. I watched it and was captivated by it, at times I even had to rewind because I had missed several lines of text because I couldn’t tear myself away from it all. The art simply leaps off the screen and at first it may seem a little jarring but eventually you’ll ever wonder why you questioned the design of it all. While the art itself is beautiful there are some places it lacks, although the rest more than makes up for it. Some of the characters I found to be too plain in certain situations, however it was a miniscule thought, it did not detract from the visual experience of the show in the least.
Now for the proverbial meat of it all, story. The anime is a loose adaptation of, what is called by some, the greatest story of revenge ever told. Coming in to that there are many expectations that must be lived up to in order for this story to truly hold it’s own and it lives up to them beautifully.
As I stated the drive of the story is revenge, everything else within it are simply unfortunate souls that get caught up in the bloody, sadistic revenge of the man known as the Count of Monte Cristo. But although The Count is what the story revolves around it is told from the perspective of the naïve, and often downright foolish, Albert Morcerf. The story begins with a meeting of destiny between our protagonist Albert and someone I can’t quite call an antagonist, The Count. With his charming words, devilish smile and warm eyes he quickly wins his way into our naïve Albert’s heart and becomes an important figure in the boys life. He continues to pursue his friendship with The Count despite the nagging of the, obviously smarter, Franz Epinay, Albert’s best friend. As the story continues the happiness of our hero is bombarded by the darkness and despair brought about by circumstances that might have been prevented.
Story is everything for an anime such as this, if you lack it you’ll produce a piss-poor adaptation of a great piece of literature. Being able to make your heart break one moment and your blood boil the next, able to leave you breathless in your seat with your heart pounding in your chest, these are proof that you’re watching something amazing. It is clear that Gankutsuou, if not at least meeting your expectations, it will blow them away and leave you speechless.
This will perhaps be the shortest section of the review, simply because the sound played no part in my heightened or lessened enjoyment of the show. Do not mistake my words, the music within the show is very fitting and very well done, however it does not simply jump out and grab you. It does not make you stop and go “I have to listen to that once more.” However that is within the show itself, the opening and ending themes are a different matter. It was almost strange to see them both, it honestly seemed as if someone had goofed and mistaken the ending for the opening. However after two episodes I was humming along with the tune to both and even downloaded them to put on my mp3. The songs themselves are so good I’ve almost started singing along with them out in public. There really is nothing more to say than, the music worked well, it was subtle, let you know it there but didn’t make any bold statements.
I’m tempted to simply write “flawless” and call it a day here but that would be an insult to the greatness of each. I will not list them all here, of course, but I shall list those that I think play an important role and need to be looked at in the spotlight. But let me state that although I do not talk about all the characters, I believe none are truly “secondary” for they all have their own role that drives the story, they all have their own flaws and a depth you wouldn’t expect from characters you rarely see. Now, onto the spotlight
The Count: Was everything that he needed to be and then some. He could be the hero of the piece or the villain, whichever role he was playing at the time all eyes were glued to him. Charming, subtle, seductive and kind he played them all so well and then there were times where we all saw the darkness he brought with him. He was a strange maze of understanding, never knowing what he was going to do next simply because he didn’t know what role he’d slip into. The Count is truly one of the most dark and captivating characters I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Albert: I have a desire to scream idiot here and be done with it, but again that is not true. He is not an idiot, he is simply naïve and often childish in his decisions. He refuses to see the bad in people, which can be good but not all the time. He’s hard headed and stubborn, but he’s a character that you feel for, he bears the most humanity of them all and when his heart breaks, so does yours.
Franz: The best friend that everyone wants, loyal, caring and willing to do whatever necessary to keep his friend safe. He’s stubborn as well but he is the voice of reason in Albert’s and his relationship. He is the first to be skeptical of The Count and one of the first to pursue information about the mysterious man.
While there are other characters that perhaps deserved the spotlight I felt that, mostly, these three characters were the most important simply because they were around for almost every single event that drove the plot. The others characters, however, are not to be dismissed, they each have good character designs as well as wonderful personalities and even flaws. Some even evolve throughout the show, which can be rare for a character deemed “secondary.” But they all fit together and play off each other so well it would take too long to praise them all.
I truly doubt there is a single thing I did not enjoy throughout my entire watching of this show. There are a few minor things but they’re so miniscule when compared to the good things that they’re just overlooked and swept under the rug, still there but completely forgotten. I found myself completely captivated by this show, every emotional twist made me feel what it was supposed to, every mystery kept me guessing and theorizing and wondering. I ranted and raved about things that had happened when I wasn’t watching, I sometimes found myself balling my hands into white knuckled fists at the more infuriating scenes and crying like a child at others, I truly believe I went through almost the entire emotional spectrum while watching this show. And that is truly a mark of my enjoyment of it.
In the end this can only be summed up as something that you need to watch, that is said a lot in reviews but it is truly something that will be appreciated (even if you haven’t read the novel). It’s compelling story, beautiful artwork and in depth characters will drag you into the world and never let you go, even after you’ve finished the final episode The Count of Monte Cristo will still have you under his spell.
-To those who vote "Not Helpful" if you could message me to tell me what you disliked I could improve on this and future reviews, thank you.- read more
Both of these shows come from the same studio, and they have a similar format as well - reimagining classic literature in a different setting. Gankutsuou, for instance, is adapted to involve space travel. If you're a stickler for exact details, these probably aren't for you. They adjust the plot and such freely, but they try to remain true to the spirit of the original works and reinvent them in a new and interesting way. Some might hold that as a griping point, but I think reimagining rather than just regurgitating is an admirable goal.
For many fans, Romeo and Juliet does not match the greatness of Gankutsuou, but it's still fair to call it Gankutsuou's spiritual successor. Made by the same studio, both are loose adaptations of classic literature that feature more futuristic, sci-fi-esque settings.
Gonzo's masterpieces which are loose adaptations of 2 literature's classics, with a new, sci-fi, futuristic setting.
Both have drama, romance, and some action, a good cast of characters with their intricated relationships, and amazing animation.
In both RxJ and Gankutsuou revenge is a focal point, and so is the psychology of the characters.
Also, both have a romantic relationship which is obstructed by other people.
Last but not least, both are about aristocrats.
A well known story you all know and love , retold with ACTION
O yes, if you're looking for something unique and entertaining to watch, then look no further. Gankutsuou and Romeo x Juliet are there for you and more ways than one. As such, these two series shares a variety of similarities:
Same studio and therefore similar artwork.
Both are based off famous literature works.
Explores the psychologies of the human mind.
Both series has supernatural elements and good drama.
Additionally, both series has a strong set of characters in a well defined story
Both of these series are classics and a entertaining watch.
They are both anime adaptation of European classics. Gankutsuou stays more faithful to the original novel by Dumas, while Romeo x Juliet is more of a romance anime.
They both come from the same studio and are loosely based animes from classical novels that have a more futuristic, science fiction feeling. They both have very good art and follow the main consepts of the story with its own added uniqueness.
Both have a highly character-driven story and keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Both involve an antagonist who at first seems kind but has evil intentions and manipulates others. Each one contains great character development and characters who you feel and care for. If you want an anime that strays from the norm and delivers an interesting story with realistic portrayals of human emotion then this is for you.
Both go very deep into the characters themselves, who are not as clean-cut as they appear on the outside.
Both very character driven stories, however Gankutsuou has much prettier animation and a sci fi feel.
Given that Gankutsuou is a retelling of The Count of Monte Christo the story may not feel as unique as Monster, but it still retains excellent character development.
A cat and mouse game. A very in depth psychological mystery. Excellent characters and plot.
In both series, the setting has a similar feeling along with its serious tone of telling the story.
Betrayal and cruelty are themes from both series that involves the characters. There is strong character insight and development involved from both series that deals with how humans cope with their actions and the consequences. Other themes involved in both series include pain, terror, hatred, and strong emotions.
Both series are dramatic and highly recommended for viewers into psychological thriller with a sinister ploy.
I ended up watching Monster thanks to a recommendation On Gankutsuou, both of which now rank amongst my favourite anime, and I have to echo the sentiment. Gankutsuou and Monster are both top tier anime featuring an intense plot driven by the diabolical schemes of a brilliant and devastatingly charismatic antagonist. The writing and characters for both is top quality, and although the both have very different pacing and artistic styles, they are both the best at what they set out to do and will have you gripped from start to finish.
Both feature an antagonist with a sinister plot by which they are driven.
They both are able to manipulate others around them using their charm and intelligence,
although the antagonist in Gankutsuou relies more on himself, so if you are wondering how one might go about their plan with a different take on it watch Monster and
vice-versa. Monster is longer while Gankutsuou is more intense, but once you grasp the mystery surrounding the antagonist both will keep you hooked to the very end which both do exceptionally well.
Opening Theme"We Were Lovers" by Jean-Jacques Burnel (eps 1-22, 24)
Ending Theme#01: "You Won't see me coming" by Jean-Jacques Burnel (eps 1-23)
#02: "We Were Lovers" by Jean-Jacques Burnel (ep 24)
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