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).