Gankutsuou -The Count of Monte Cristo (Chapter 1)
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From the Back Cover
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).
- Storyboard by Director Mahiro Maeda
- Interview with Director Mahiro Maeda
- Comments from Voice Actors
- Promotional Trailer
- Textless Opening
- Textless Ending
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
The series is told from Albert's point of view. It's set in the future. It begins in the middle of the book. And, it does have some homoerotic overtones (Albert and his best friend, Franz d'Epinay). That said, I thought the adaptation stuck fairly close to the actual plot of Dumas' work...more in keeping with the Depardieu French version of the film than the Chamberlain version of the early 70s or the remake with Caveziel (both great in their own right.)
The only thing that was jarring for me was the depiction of the Count. He's drawn as a vampire (in anime, this means blue skin). He has vampiric teeth and is a very remote and cold figure (readers of the book will recall that Dumas' description is almost vampiric...perhaps influenced by Stoker.) So, while the depiction was on point with the original work, it was odd to see. This, because I have been conditioned to expect handsome men in the title role, not "vampiric" actors!
I think fans of the book should try this version if they are adventurous and open to different artistic forms and visions. Start, however, with the first DVD/VHS tape and see how you feel before continuing.
Anime fans w/an interest in classic literature (although some argue the point when it comes to Dumas) may well be pleased and find themselves interested in returning to the source material.
If the novel is taught to students over the age of 15 or 16, I think this version could be shown (along with the Caveziel or Chamberlain versions), in order to provide the students with an opportunity to compare/contrast the material.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very glad i was able to buy the 1st volume. I do not think i will be able to finish this anime. But i love the illustration of it.Published 8 months ago by arica walker
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 morePublished on July 27, 2012 by Vulpes Foxnik
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
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 morePublished on June 17, 2009 by susumu-5
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 morePublished on September 7, 2008 by Token
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 morePublished on July 24, 2007 by Midnight Priestess
After having watched all of the episodes I can say that I am very glad I stuck past the first few episodes. Read morePublished on July 3, 2007 by Auxabois
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 morePublished on June 4, 2007 by DigiMaeve
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