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Gankutsuou -The Count of Monte Cristo (Chapter 1) (2005)

Johnny Yong Bosch , Jun Fukuyama , Mahiro Maeda  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Yong Bosch, Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Hiragawa, Kikuko Inoue, Jrta Kosugi
  • Directors: Mahiro Maeda
  • Writers: Alexandre Dumas pre, Alfred Bester, Natsuko Takahashi
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009ZE9GM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gankutsuou -The Count of Monte Cristo (Chapter 1)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Storyboard by Director Mahiro Maeda
  • Interview with Director Mahiro Maeda
  • Comments from Voice Actors
  • Promotional Trailer
  • Textless Opening
  • Textless Ending

Editorial Reviews

Gankutsuou, designer-director Mahiro Maeda's adaptation of Alexander Dumas's novel of revenge, shifts the action to a sci-fi future of easy space travel. The series opens with the carnival on the moon (instead of Rome), where Albert de Morcerf and Franz d'Epinay meet the title Count, whom Maeda has reimagined as a cross between a Byronic hero and a Yoshitaka Amano-esque vampire. The designers put elaborate patterns on the characters' hair and clothes, but the patterns don't move with the characters. As a result, Albert, Franz, and the Count often look like disembodied heads floating over a patterned background. The overly detailed settings and cheesy 3-D CG effects add more discordant visual notes. But the overripe imagery can't disguise the limits of the animation or the ineffectual storytelling. The Count of Monte Cristo has been filmed at least five times previously, but Maeda's is the first version to make Dumas's characters uninteresting. (Rated 16 and older: violence, brief nudity, sexual innuendo, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon

From the Back Cover

Born into an aristocratic family in Paris, Albert sets out on a journey with his best friend, Franz, to escape his privileged yet dull life. They travel to Luna, which is on the surface of the moon, and meet a very wealthy man named The Count of Monte Cristo. Becoming completely fascinated with The Count's mysterious charm, Albert welcomes him into Paris high society. But soon Albert will discover the Count's true motive - revenge...

This unique adaptation of the legendary novel by Alexandre Dumas is an intense dramatic and visual experience, featuring direction by Mahiro Maeda (The Animatrix, Blue Submarine N.6), costumes by world-renowned Anna Sui, music by Jean-Jacques Burnel (The Stranglers).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I'm a lover of the Count of Monte Cristo. It still tops my list as one of the world's most important works of fiction, and many I think would agree with me.

So when I found out that Gonzo has remade the Dumas classic, I felt a cringe run up my spine. Never has there been an anime based off of a classical work of literature such as this, or at least I have yet to see one. I felt I was forced as a fan of the original to be skeptical of the anime version.

I was wrong, and I realized this very quickly. Not from actually seeing the anime itself, but from seeing Samurai 7, which is also a remake of a classical work of entertainment (Seven Samurai by Akira Kurisawa). Gonzo spun its own magic with the samurai remake, one that doesn't attempt to mimic Seven Samurai but to add a new vision to the classic. I figured from Samurai 7's example that Gankutsuou would likewise add a new vision to the Dumas classic.

Here, I was right. After watching the first episode, it was clear that Gonzo had in no way attempted to remake The Count of Monte Cristo, but instead went for a different interpretation of it. It turned out magical, in the end. The style of story-telling, while certainly jarring at the beginning, is unique in that it doesn't exactly follow the Count but one of the supporting characters who observes from the outside the Count's quest, and who suffers through his own conflicts. It also starts somewhere near the middle of the Count's journey, after he attains his status. The setting is futuristic, with the first episode based on a Las Vegas-style moon and eventually moving to a futuristic Paris later on (though I haven't yet got there in my viewing). The animation style, which is hard to describe, follows its own rules and fits in well with the setting and story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than you'd expect January 6, 2007
When I first discovered this series, I'd seen it on a shelf in a DVD store and immidiately judged it pretentious and boring, leaving it sit on the shelf to collect dust.

A short time later my younger brother bought the first disc and raved about it. I expected to be let down by bad dialog, poor animation, and and rediculously rehashed story that no one would be surprised by.

The term "Don't judge a book by it's cover" comes to mind.

First off the art style of the series uses a paletting technique rather than traditional paint texturing on things like clothing, hair, and backrounds. Thus the texture will remain in place even as the object moves. While it's visually jarring at first, the eye quickly becomes used to the effect, and it lends itself quite nicely to adding to the detail of the various settings and backdrops of the various environments.

The majority of the characters are supposed to be high society, wealthy individuals so when this effect is used on clothing and hair, I think it helps to give the impression of extravagant wealth and eccentricity.

The soundtrack was very very well thought out. It makes use of theme and variation. Some of the key moments in the story are made that much more tense by a simple chiming tune building to a crashing cresendo. Considering that both the opening and closing themes are in english, one can appreciate the attempt in emulating western musical styles for a western story. All in all the opening and closing themes are not overplayed at all, with the opening theme used only briefly to symbolize a bond between characters.

The use of CGI throughout the film was also put to creative use and despite how others may feel, I don't believe it was over used or cheesy at all.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast for the Eyes October 4, 2005
Wow. This anime just blew me away (I was captivated from the very first episode) and now is one of my all-time favorites. This anime really goes all out visually, combining patterned overlays and 3d imagry to create a rich visual atmosphere that is gripping. The 'moving patterns' may be a little much for some people the first episode, but after that it becomes really easy to flow in the wonderful world created here and watch it entirely undistracted. It is really fun to see the way the period style is meshed with a sci-fi environment. Immense detail has gone into every scene to maintain high-quality animation.

Having watched the entire series I can say the storyline is supurb and not at all lacking. It veers dramatically from Dumas' original plot, but not to any detriment. It is the Count of Monte Cristo re-invisioned, told from the point of view of Albert. There is a higher focus on the younger characters, and each of these is treated with care to create a depth and emotion. Director Mahiro Maeda really flushes out characters like Franz and Euginie who don't play such a large roll in the original. I loved the novel; and then the anime made me love the characters all the more.

This is a thrilling drama with lots of romance and scandal thrown in which will leave you eagerly awaiting each new volume.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, mature series September 25, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Gankutsuou should be allowed to stand on its own merits. Comparing it to the classic novel from which it draws its characters and much of its plot robs a viewer of the innovative, unique, and emotionally charged experience this series offers. The Count is no longer the main character in this retelling. Focus shifts to young Albert and his relationship with his best friend Franz, his betrothed Eugenie, his parents, and the Count himself. The Count is not the hero (nor the antihero). Albert is our hero. The Count becomes a sexy, dangerous, sympathetic villain forcing Albert to grow up and fix his father's mistakes.

It is a brilliant, tragic, occasionally melodramatic tale that stands the best chance of pleasing fans of character driven dramas. There is nothing light-hearted about this series. The plot drives on, darkening at each twist, until you stand with Albert near the end, sharing his desolation.

In addition to a lush, operatic soundtrack and the groundbreaking visuals, Gankutsuou has much to offer to yaoi fans. Though much of the main male characters' intimate interactions can be explained away as French foppishness, there is an important subplot involving Franz' romantic feelings for his best friend. This combined with Albert's infatuation with the Count and his intended make for a heartbreaking love quadrangle that may just have you rivetted.

I can't recommend Gankutsuou more to lovers of lush design and dark tragedies. It's a truly unique work of art.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply love the series.
I bought the box set a while back, but discovered the disk was damaged in the printing. Far out of warranty (and not to mention production), I was forced to replace it. Read more
Published on July 27, 2012 by Vulpes Foxnik
5.0 out of 5 stars Why have you not bought it yet?
Wow. First word said after playing the last episode of this series.
It was near flawless of an anime. Usually a heart of stone I have. Read more
Published on November 12, 2011 by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars The Count of Monte Cristo Viewed From Youngsters
After reading voluminous original novel by Alexandre Dumas I was convinced, that if you make the dramatization of Dumas' novel work better particularly for TV drama one successful... Read more
Published on June 17, 2009 by susumu-5
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy crap!
This is a visual feast. You will eat every scene with your eyes. Holy crap! I love the Count Of Monte Cristo story line. This one has a cool science fiction twist though. Read more
Published on September 7, 2008 by Token
5.0 out of 5 stars Dumas Would Be Proud
Gankutsuou is based off of the classic "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. In this beautifully drawn and portrayed version of the timeless classic, we see the exciting... Read more
Published on July 24, 2007 by Midnight Priestess
5.0 out of 5 stars Count of
After having watched all of the episodes I can say that I am very glad I stuck past the first few episodes. Read more
Published on July 3, 2007 by Sarah Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal, Entertaining and a little Bizarre
First, let me say that the unusual style of the series is at first a little off-putting. Once you fall into the story, however, you don't notice that style as much, and that's... Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by DigiMaeve
5.0 out of 5 stars Punk Rock Opera
This has to be the most original, non genre specific anime to date.

Although I wouldn't consider this the best anime of all time, it's certainly in my top 10 list, and... Read more
Published on March 30, 2007 by Pistachio Disguisey
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Count
I am a huge fan of Dumas and The Count of Monte Cristo in particular. I also like many different movie genres. As such, this set worked for me. Read more
Published on March 13, 2007 by BJ Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking the mold
This anime is simply gorgeous. The storyline is no mystery, as it follows the Counte of Monte Cristo, but its amazingly done. Read more
Published on January 26, 2007 by PRiL
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Topic From this Discussion
Box Set for U.S?
Well, as you may know by now, Geneon is no longer in the DVD business. That would make this series out of print and soon to be very hard to find as far as a region 1 US release. It would also mean a big NO on a complete collection box set or thinpack release.
Nov 8, 2007 by R. Davis |  See all 2 posts
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