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: 8.361 (scored by 24961 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
Every so often I re-evaluate the scores that I give to certain anime. This usually happens when I start to feel like there are too many 10/10s on my list, or when I encounter an anime that is just so above the others that I have to re-define what I would consider to be that great. Naturally, the 10s that are now 9s must be compared with the old batch of 9s, and I usually end up bumping those down too and so on until I'm completely satisfied with the placement on my list. However, Gankutsuou is the one exception to this rule. The one thought that was stuck in my mind as I watched through Gankutsuou was "respect." This is a show that every anime fan should experience, not because of how "good" it is, but because it's just so different from how I would say a majority of anime are made, and I think that it deserves our utmost respect for succeeding at being different.
Gankutsuou, based on the classic french novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas, is a classic story of love, betrayal, and bitter revenge. I've never read the original novel, but from what I've heard, Gankutsuou is a pretty accurate retelling of the story, albeit with space travel and aliens and robots thrown in. This is good news for anyone that is a fan of the novel, but that's not what interests me about the story in this anime. It's only natural that the story itself is quite good, considering the wide critical acclaim of its source material. What I find deeply interesting is the way that this anime handles storytelling, namely the fact that storytelling truly comes first and foremost in every single episode. This is one of the few story-driven anime that I've ever encountered, and that fact changes the feel of the show to a point where it could almost start its own genre of anime. I would say that most anime that I've watched are more character-driven than Gankutsuou, and the "story" aspect is really more of a setting in which the characters can interact and grow. Gankutsuou is the exact opposite of this though, as the characters are heavily influenced by the narrative as the story leads the way.
As brilliant as the story is, I think that my favorite part about the storytelling is the fact that you have to think, really use your own mind, in order to understand what's happening all the time. This is something that is very dangerous in this world of fast consumption and immediate gratification, as many anime viewers would prefer to power through an anime, enjoy it at surface value, and move on to the next one on their list. Anime creators know this, and I really respect their decision to make an anime with a deep, complex plot that prioritizes things totally different than most otaku are used to, because they must have known that their audience would be trimmed quite a bit by doing so. However, the result was a beautiful retelling of a classic story, and an anime that trusts its audience's patience and observation enough to not force-feed them exposition at every turn.
Before I get too ahead of myself though, I guess I should mention the one thing that can be 100% enjoyed at surface value... The art. Oh goodness, the art. I won't try to describe it, you either already know what it's like, or you probably haven't even heard of this anime before reading this, because the art is what draws everyone in. You can literally get lost in the art, I found myself having to rewind scenes every so often because I was too engrossed in the art to pay full attention to what was going on. Not that that's a bad thing though. The art is just stunningly good in this anime, and it also perfectly fits the mood and setting of the story, I'd say it's just great all around. It's really just something you should experience, provided you aren't prone to seizures...
I watched the English dub of Gankutsuou, and it was very pleasant. The voice actors were perfectly able to capture what each character should be, from the intense charm of the Count to the intensely shallow, unthinking, frustrating personality of Albert. I don't think that anyone can watch Gankutsuou and actually "like" Albert, even though he's the main character of the anime (apparently in the original novel, the focus was on the Count himself, and Albert was more of a side character). But I don't think that it's always necessary to have a likable main character, and I don't think that Albert was at all badly-written. In fact, all of the characters were extremely well-written from a storytelling standpoint. I didn't feel like they were all entirely "human" though. Believable, but not alive. Maybe it had something to do with the source material being from over 150 years ago, and maybe it could have been partially because I've never been very exposed to high-class society, but some of the mood changes, actions, and dialogue seemed a little bit awkward or forced at times. The characters were developed and interesting, but I felt like I was watching actual actors on a stage the whole time, just playing a role. Maybe that's how the characters themselves would have felt too, though. The sense of awkwardness in some of their reactions could be a reflection of how trapped they felt by their own society, and how helpless they were in the face of the Count and other such forces that were out of their control.
Despite how well-done this anime is, I can't honestly say that I enjoyed it on any spectacular level. Crazy, right? The story and art are incredible, the characters diverse and well-developed, everything was astoundingly interesting to watch, but I didn't really "like" this anime as much as I "like" any other anime that I give a 9/10. This is actually my least favorite anime that I've rated above a 7, and there are even some 7s that I enjoyed more than Gankutsuou. I just felt a profound sense of respect for this. It's truly a masterpiece, and objectively, it's just good. It's really a difference of priorities, style vs substance. There are plenty of anime with both, and I guess you could say that Gankutsuou does have quite a bit of style. I mean, just look at the art, and how captivating the Count is in every scene. But like I said before, this anime is story-driven, and even the interesting characters are used more as tools to advance the story, rather than being the main attraction. There is far, far more substance in this anime than style, and honestly, I *enjoy* style-driven anime a lot.
However, it's this fact that keeps Gankutsuou solidly at 9/10 for me. It's so well-done that I can't deny it the respect that it deserves, and just the fact that it dared to be what it is makes me absolutely adore it. I would call it a must-watch, if only because it'll give you a different perspective on storytelling if you're mostly used to character-driven stories rather than story-driven characters.
Overall: 9/10 read more
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
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.
Both revolve around a mysterious character. Both series explore dark themes like corruption, pure evil, etc...
They have completely different plots but if you liked one you will like the other.
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.
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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