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Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo


The Count of Monte Cristo

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2004 anime television show, spanning 24 episodes. It is based the classic epic tale by Alexandre Dumas, which recounts the story of the sailor Edmond Dantes who, under the alias of the Count of Monte Cristo, has revenge of those who wronged him. It is directed by Mahiro Maeda. According to an interview with him, he had wanted to do an anime adaptation of Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, itself a story based on The Count of Monte Cristo, but when he couldn’t due to copyright issues, he turned to making an anime adaptation of Monte Cristo itself.

For those who are expecting an adaptation faithful to the story, there is a surprise: whilst this anime is based on The Count of Monte Cristo , it is only loosely adapted. The story is simplified to a narrow line following the Count’s revenge and those who become involved and or manipulated by the Count’s actions. While the original story is told in the Count’s perspective, the anime is seen through the eyes of Albert de Morcerf, the son of Mercedes, who was the Count’s love interest, and Fernard Morcerf(Mondego). It is also important to note that some of the characters’ fates are altered or changed.

Gankutsuou is set in the far future, during the year 5053, with blends of science fiction and fantasy and yet it retains 18th century French customs, especially class and wealth; as well, the introduction of each episode is spoken in French.

The art itself is spectacularly, creatively artistic and eye-catching. It appears to incorporate traditionally hand-drawn art, computer animation, and the backgrounds are rendered in 3D. The patterns in the clothing that the characters wear move when the characters move and the clothing itself is artistic and beautiful, having been designed by renowned fashion designer Anna Sui. The sceneries are breathtaking and beautiful.

Gankutsuou title

Summary

The Baron Franz d’Epinay and his long-time childhood friend the Viscount Albert de Morcerf are amusing themselves with the festivities of Carnival in Luna, a city on the Moon. It is while attending an opera, that the Count makes his first appearance and intrigues Albert to learn more about him.

Shortly afterwards, Albert and Franz become acquainted with the Count. But while Albert eagerly befriends the Count and looks up to him as a mentor, Franz is more wary and understands that the Count is kind, but also possesses a darker, ruthless side to him as well.

After Albert is rescued from bandits by Franz and the Count, he pays the Count by introducing him into Parisian society. Albert eagerly agrees to do so and everyone who becomes acquainted with him is full of awe, wonder, and admiration; but like Franz some are suspicious of the Count, despite his wealth and other attributes, to be a fake, con artist, alien, and possibly even a vampire.

Now introduced into society, the Count sets the stage for his dramatic revenge upon those who wronged him, one by one. While Albert admires him, he comes to realize his naivety and that the Count is more than what he seems.

Characters (in order of appearance)

Baron Franz d’Epinay Franz d'Epinay

Franz d’Epinay is the childhood friend of Albert de Morcerf and is engaged to Valentine Villefort. He appears to be the more mature of the two friends and is concerned and protective of Albert’s well being. He is wary of the Count of Monte Cristo and doesn’t take as easily to him as does Albert. [Spoiler – if you wish to view the spoiler, highlight the space following these brackets.] Franz is killed by the Count when he takes Albert’s place in a duel.

Viscount Albert de Morcerf

Albert de MorcerfAlbert de Morcerf is the childhood friend of Franz d’Epinay and is the son of Fernard and Mercedes Morcerf and is engaged to Eugenie Danglars. He is naive, sometimes immature, and is, most of all, used by the Count to gain access into Paris’s aristocratic society. He looks up to the Count as a mentor and is easily impressed by him. As the series continues, he begins to see the darkness of the Count’s revenge.

Peppo

gankutsuou_01_1.jpg Yeah, thats a dude image by iceblink_Peppo was originally a member of Luigi Vampa’s bandit gang and seduced Albert as per Vampa’s instructions so that Albert could be kidnapped. While appearing to be a young woman, in actuality Peppo is a boy. Note: Peppo’s name varies throughout sources: some spell it as Peppe or even Peppi.

Marquise

MarquiseMarquise is a woman that Franz knows well and the two are apparently on good terms. Marquise could be her first name but it could also be her title. She is a frequent character throughout the series.

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo is the alias and transformation of the sailor Edmond Dantes. While imprisoned in the Chateau D’If, he encountered a demon known as “Gankutsuou” and allowed it to possess him in means of revenge and strength. Due to his appearance and nature, he is rumoured to be, among other things, a vampire (this assumption is the most popular among fans): as he evidently has fangs, pointed ears, extremely pale (more like a pale blue); long, black nails, long wavy hair, mismatched eye colour (red and green) and his hands are cold – like a corpse, according to Albert. Despite his appearance and mystique, all wish to be his friend.

Haidee

HaydeeHaidee is one of the members of the Count’s estate and often accompanies him in social events. She is described as a beauty beyond compare and is delicate as well as being a skilled harpist. She is from the planet Janina, a former princess, and her father was betrayed and killed by Fernard Mondego, a political ally. Subsequently, she was sold into slavery, and was rescued by the Count. Haidee seeks to heal the Count from the revenge that is consuming him and develops feelings for the Count. Click here for the pronunciation and origin of her name.

Burtuccio

Burtuccio

Burtuccio is one of the Count’s bodyguards as well as servant. Years ago, he almost killed the crown prosecutor Villefort due to a vendetta, but failed. He raised the illegitimate child that resulted in Villefort and Madame Danglars’ affair.

Baptistin

Baptistin, with Andrea Cavalcanti in the backgroundBaptistin is another bodyguard of the Count’s and he is defined as fierce and intimidating.

Luigi Vampa

Luigi Vampa is a notorious bandit as well as leader of bandits in Luna and is responsible for the kidnapping of Albert at the start of the story.

Eugenie Danglars

Eugenie DanglarsEugenie Danglars is the daughter of Julian Danglars and his wife, Victoria. She is the childhood friend of Albert and Franz and is engaged to be married at the start of the series to Albert. She appears to be disapproving of the engagement and sometimes acts coldly towards Albert but she later begins to realize that she does harbour affections towards Albert and shows it through her music and plays the piano. Later, her father breaks the engagement to Albert and re-engages her with Andrea Cavalcanti. In the novel, it is implied she’s a lesbian, however, in the anime all implication is removed.

Lucien Debray

Lucien Debray is a friend of Albert’s and he is a secretary in the French government, despite his young age. He has an affair with Eugenie’s mother.

Robert Beauchamp

Robert Beauchamp is another friend of Albert’s and he is a reporter of a French newspaper. He is the journalist who helps bring the scandal of Janina to the surface.

Valentine Villefort

Valentine Villefort Valentine Villefort is the daughter of Gérard Villefort by his first marriage and is engaged to Franz, though it appears that she does not have feelings for him, while instead preferring the company of Maximilien Morrel. She is a caring, yet frail, young woman and cares for her grandfather, who suffered a stroke and can only communicate by restricted body language.

Maximilien Morrel

Maximilien Morrel Maximilien Morrel is a soldier, friend to Raoul de Château-Renaud, and falls in love with Valentine Villefort. His father owned the shipping company that had hired Edmond Dantes. While somewhat awkward, his intentions are good, and courageous. He is snubbed and disapproved of by Valentine’s father due to his position.

Raoul de Château-Renaud

Raoul de Chateau-Renaud

Raoul de Château-Renaud is a former soldier of a past war and friend of Albert. He is a talkative person and was rescued by Maximilien, whom he introduced to the group. He has a love for cars.

Mercedes de Morcerf

Mercedes de MorcerfMercedes was the former fiancée of Edmond Dantes and when he was imprisoned and his apparent death announced, she married her childhood friend Fernard Mondego (in the book, he was her cousin). Despite being Fernard’s wife and a caring mother to Albert, she still harbours feelings for Edmond and when she meets the Count, she suspects his identity.

Fernand de Morcerf (Mondego)Fernand Mondego

Fernand Mondego is the wife of Mercedes and father of Albert. He was the general in the Parisian army and is first in line for the “throne” of France’s presidential line; and while envisioned as a hero, he is actually a coward. He was also the political ally that betrayed and killed Haydée’s father. Fernand and the Count later face each other in a fatal duel. He played a part in the wrongful imprisonment of Edmond Dantes.

Baron Jullian Danglars

DanglarsBaron Danglars is the father of Eugenie and husband of Victoria Danglars, he is a wealthy banker. He apparently doesn’t have any value for family and only sees things with a perspective of financial gain. Early in the series, the Count opens an account of unlimited credit with Danglars, which inevitably ruins him. He had a part to play in the wrongful imprisonment of Edmond Dantes.

Baroness Victoria Danglars

Madame Danglars

Victoria Danglars is the wife of Baron Danglars and the mother of Eugenie. She owns the finest horse in France, which is sold to the Count, only to have it returned. She once had an affair with the crown prosecutor Gerard Villefort, which resulted in the illegitimate birth of a child.

Heloïse Villefort

Heloise Villefort Heloïse Villefort is the stepmother of Valentine and is the second wife of the crown prosecutor Villefort. She is the biological mother of her young son Edward, from her first marriage. Valentine is to inherit all of the fortune, leaving her stepmother jealous because Edward doesn’t get a single penny. The Count innocently introduces her to toxicology and gives her a deadly ring. Heloïse becomes murderous and tries to poison Valentine, as well as inadvertently almost poisoning Albert and poisoned one of the servants of the Villefort household.

Edouard Villefort

Edouard Villefort is Heloïse’s son by her first marriage. He is young and very spoiled, yet seen as a darling in his mother’s eyes, though unfortunately he is also rocked by Heloïse’s ambitions.

Noitier Villefort

Noitier Noitier is Villefort’s father, however, they have an antagonistic relationship. Valentine mainly cares for him and he does whatever he can for her well being, given his condition as he had a stroke, which left him paralyzed. Before, he was a high-ranking French government official.

Gerard Villefort
Villefort

Gerard Villefort is the father of Valentine, stepfather to Edward, and wife of Heloïse. He is the crown prosecutor in Paris and is harshly ruthless as well as merciless in his rulings and is considered as elite. He is one of the first to be skeptical of the Count’s identity, wanting to know every bit of the Count’s history. He was also one of the people involved in the imprisonment of Edmond Dantes.

Ali

Ali is the Count’s mute alien slave and he is skilled and has experienced with horses. Due to his intervention, the Count gained the admiration and gratefulness of Madam Danglars and Madam Villefort during a ride that almost resulted in a collision.

Marquis Andrea Cavalcanti

Andrea Cavalcanti Andrea Cavalcanti is seen as a wealthy Italian nobleman, who clashes with Albert almost at the start of their meeting. The nobleman flamboyantly displays his wealth and Albert is replaced by him as Eugenie’s fiancée. In actuality, Cavalcanti is a criminal known as Bendetto, and he was saved from execution by the Count.

Cadderouse

Cadderouse is an old, wheezy, and nervous man. He is hardly seen without drink. He also played a minor part in the wrongful imprisonment of Edmond Dantes and later gives the slip about the scandal of General Morcerf.

AvailabilityGankutsuou

Gankutsuou is available on DVD and has been transferred to a manga format. All 24 episodes are available, usually with 4 episodes per disc. In addition, special features include an interview with the director, and comments from the voice actors. Audio language options are Japanese and English, with English subtitles. (Japanese is best!)

List of Episodes

There are six chapters, in which there are four acts (or episodes) per disc. Click on each highlighted episode title for more information. Click here for a table of short sypnosises of the episodes. Each episode runs a usual length of 25-30 minutes, including opening and ending credits. Note: titles may differ depending on sources.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

  • Act 05: Do You Love Your Fiancée?
  • Act 06: Her Melancholy, My Melancholy
  • Act 07: The Secret Nectar of the Flower Garden
  • Act 08: A Night in Boulogne

Chapter 3

  • Act 09: I Dreamed a Dark Dream
  • Act 10: The Letter From Edmond
  • Act 11: An Engagement Broken
  • Act 12: Encore

Chapter 4:

  • Act 13: Haidee
  • Act 14: Wandering Heart
  • Act 15: The End of Happiness, the Beginning of Truth
  • Act 16: Scandal

Chapter 5:

  • Act 17: Confession
  • Act 18: Duel
  • Act 19: If I Had Become Unlike Myself
  • Act 20: Farewell, Eugenie

Chapter 6:

  • Act 21: The Golden Boy’s True Identity
  • Act 22: Counterattack
  • Act 23: Edmond Dantes
  • Act 24: By the Seashore
Gankutsuou Trailer
See Also
The Count of Monte Cristo

Links

Anime Club – first six episodes with images

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo – official website (English)

The Count of Gankutsuou (Anime Insider) – Read this fascinating and interesting interview with Mahiro Maeda on Photobucket. The pages are disorganized but every image is labeled by page number. Just about every page has little tidbits of interesting information about Gankutsuou as well as scenes from the anime and some character profiles and designs.

Fabric Displays – Reading this article reminded me of the unique clothing in Gankutsuou.

“Mood Clothes” & “Super Clothes” – Brief articles about the near future possibility of clothes that change colour accordingly to one’s mood (like a mood ring) or personal choice, or even change according to one’s environment.

Customize the Colour of Your Sunglasses – These high-tech sunglasses can change colour within a second.

Images

Gankutsuou

The Count of Monte Cristo & Haidee

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Comments»

1. SHAZA - Monday, February 2, 2009

ilove

2. KiraVL - Monday, November 30, 2009

The gankutsuou is amazing ,mi very like this anime.

3. aficionado.sk - Sunday, December 23, 2012

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog
and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!


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