Genre: Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction
Series Completion: Finished
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.
Before you even read this review let me warn you that if you are looking for an anime with a lot of action and pointless fighting this anime is not for you. If on the other hand you are looking for an anime with a brilliant storyline and amazing animation, Gankatsuou is a must see for you.
Firstly let me just mention I usually donít watch Gonzo anime as Iíve had bad experiences and huge disappointments with their anime in the past, but let me tell you that Gonzo has made up for all of there previous disappointments and useless anime titles with Gankutsuou because Gankutsuou is just plain brilliant.
As most of you will know Gankutsuou is an adaption of the book "The Count of Monte Cristo" which I have now read and can personally say is brilliant.
Anyways Gankutsuou unlike the book which is set in the 1800's century is set far in the future in the 5050's, but like the book it is set in Paris where the Danglar's, who control the financial world, the Morcerf's, who control military affairs, and the Villefort's, who preside over the courts basically rule the country.
The anime mainly follows Albert the son of General de Morceft, and his best friend, Franz (who isnít really rich or anything but is going to marry into the Villefort family). Gankutsuou starts of with Albert and Franz taking a trip to Luna to get away and have a vacation and that is where they meet the Count of Monte Cristo and Gankutsuou begins.
The storyline progresses and you find out more and more about the Count, his past and the pasts of the Danglar's, Morcerf's, and the Villefort's. What is so amazing about Gankutsuous storyline is that it is so much like the book but at the same time is totally different. For instance the book and the anime are set in different millenniums and the book is from the point of view of The Count of Monte Cristo and the anime is from the point of view of Albert Morceft but amazingly you learn just about everything you learn in the book from Albertís point of view in the anime.
The story also goes into Albert and Franzís love lives a lot as the characters learn that loving the person you marry is more important than if there rich or not or if they come from a good house etcetera (the typical emotional thing you can expect from Gonzo). Anyways you eventually find out about the Count, the Danglar's, Morcerf's, and the Villefort's pasts and how they intertwine. Thatís when the storyline really gets interesting.
On a bad note the main character Albert is your typical kind hearted main character who thinks everyone is good and that the world is a happy place where nothing bad happens (but thankfully he learns differently latter in the anime).
The animation was in my opinion breathe taking. Gonzo used color/shape patterns to shade the characters' clothing and to make the environment look fantastic. The backgrounds in this anime are fantastically detailed and this anime literally shows you an amazing side of Paris with many of Parisís historical monuments such as the Arc De Triumph (I hope I spelled that right) and the Eiffel Tower.
Also this anime uses allot of CG and 3D animation to add depth to the environment and to make the few battle scenes in Gankutsuou look amazing. Some scenes in Gankutsuou are virtually all 3D generated such as a duel that happens half way through the anime.
Now when it comes to the music in Gankatsuou I have to admit that when I first started watching it I didnít like it at all and skipped through the song at the beginning of each episode and didnít bother watching the ending song but in the end of the series you understand how well the songs truly fit into this anime and really come to appreciate them, or at least I did (especially the beginning song).
Well I though they where very good as well. For instance when you watch the piano being played for each note that is hit you hear the same note that you would hear if you played on a real piano.
I loved Gankatsuou and think that it was brilliant in just about every aspect. Though it lacks action it makes up for it any every other aspect. I definitely recommend Gankatsuou to anyone looking for a good anime.
On a side note, if you watched the 2002 The Count of Mote Cristo movie with James Caviezel it will not totally ruin this anime for you as that movie left out so many details from the original storyline I donít know where to begin. So if you have seen the movie donít fret, and if you havenít it will only add to the suspense.
Also just so you know this is one of those series that you watch once and will not really be able to watch it again (for awhile anyways) so I donít know if buying the DVD is the best investment (so rent or download it). Lastly I watched this anime subbed and it sounded to me that the voice acting was very good and was timed well but I havenít seen it dubbed so I canít say how it is in English though.
Review by: nb194 (also known as Cyn1c)
Grouchy Old Anime Otaku
Would you recommend the product? Yes
Price you paid? None indicated
One series that I just finished viewing (with this weeks release of DVD #6) is 'Gankutsuou', the Sci-Fi remake of 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. This series was awarded a 'Best Anime TV series) for the year 2004 at the Tokyo Anime Festival, and after finishing this series, I can say that it is fully worthy of this Award... 'Gankutsuou' is one of the more adult themed series, with the story (based on classic, The Count of Monte Cristo) about one man's quest for revenge, and how he goes about obtaining it, and it's after effects on everyone around him... With most of the episodes occuring in a Sci-Fi Paris of the future, everything about this series makes it easily one of the most stylistic since 'Serial Experiment Lain'
It's a little early to start talking about best Anime releases for this year, but the way it looks right now, of the series that will complete their Region 1 release for this year, the two most outstanding releases are 'Full Metal Alchemist' (who's movie took this year's grand prize at the Tokyo Anime Fair) and the GONZO Studio series 'Gankutsuou'... For those looking for a more serious adult themed series, 'Gankutsuou' has my highest recommendation...
GANKUTSUOU--THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO: GENEON USA Website
FAVOURITE THREADS EXPLAIN why, or risk an infraction.
Rantings of a Grouchy Old Anime Otaku