Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Review

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

Years ago, I found myself drawn by the story of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. My first exposure was the 2002 film. From there, I understood the basic storyline that dealt with revenge, and it fascinated me. Several years later, I saw that they made an anime adaptation of the story, and I decided that I had to watch it. Lo and behold, though, my procrastination skills interfered, so after having the series for over two years, I finally watched it. And now I present my review.

The Goods
* With the exceptions of Baron Danglars and Madame Danglars, Mr and Mrs de Villefort, and Edouard de Villefort, the characters of this series were all interesting and likeable to a certain extent.
* I found myself liking a lot of the female characters here such as Valentine de Villefort, Eugénie de Danglars, and Haydée Tebelin. This fact is quite unusual since most female characters aggravate me.
* The music the series used — the classical pieces and the operatic pieces — all contributed well to the atmosphere of the story.
* The unique art style really grew on me, as well as its vibrant colours. For an anime that’s pretty dark in nature, the colours are quite a contrast.
* Le Baron Franz d’Epinay *LOVES LOVES*
* The pacing was excellent. After each episode, I wanted to watch more — especially if it ended in a cliffhanger! But the overall pacing for the series was excellent. Not a single episode was a filler! WOO HOO!
* Since the pacing was good, the story was well delivered, too! The story here is drastically different in certain areas from the book, but it works since the main theme is kept the same.
* The voice acting were great! And yes, I watched it in Japanese, so of course it’s great!

The Bads
* The anime style might take some time to get used to, but luckily the zooey-ness of the crazy style tones down after about the third episode.
* I’m still trying to figure out why a lot of guys went after Madame Danglars. I mean . . . she’s not even pretty and her personality was quite uninteresting, SO WHY?!
* I don’t know about Albert and the residents of Paris, but I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how the Count won them over since honestly? He would have freaked me out more than being charismatic.
* Okay, okay. The anime takes place in 5053? In a futuristic world where there are space travels, holographic computers, cars, and other technology that are advanced, but NO CELLPHONES?! There were several times in the series where I was thinking that having a cellphone would have solved the problems . . .
* The . . . random mecha scenes just made me go huh. Not only that, but they were ugly machines and it was kind of hard to differentiate who was who.

The Uglies
* Franz, oh, FRANZ! You silly boy.
* ALBERT IS STUPID. Homg. This was my major complaint. I know he’s 15, but his stupidity stemming from being naive made me go bonkers at times. I’m glad he matured and grew some brains and balls at the end. This is a coming of the age anime after all. ~_~;;

Conclusion
My only regret is to not watching it sooner! After finishing the last episode, I decided that this was one of the best non-yaoi/shounen-ai anime series I’ve watched in years! The last anime that left such an impact on me like this was when I watched Generator Gawl and Tekuu no Escaflowne. This series is really great for its story and its representation of music, animation, and characters. If I had to rate it, it would definitely be 10/10, and I do not give those out easily. I give out 9/10 fairly often, but a 10/10? Very rare.

Comments

  1. Nice review! The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite books and I enjoy random robot suits, so it looks like I’ll have to go out and grab a copy of this series.

    There’s a French Miniseries based on the novel – not Anime, but it’s excellent. It’s called “Le comte de Monte Cristo” and was released in 1998. You might find that interesting if you’d like to see another take on the characters.

    And thank you for commenting on my blog!

  2. Awesome! I might check it out one of these days. I love Dumas in general, even if he is long-winded. No one writes a good swashbuckler like him. :)

  3. Ongaku on

    I think all I saw of that series was the first DVD I have been tempted to rent the rest but I have yet to find the time. Your review on it makes me want to see it again though… lol

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