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Gankutsuou Chapter 1: The Count of Monte Cristo (2004)

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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Geneon
Genre: Anime, Science Fiction Anime, Drama Anime, Fantasy Anime
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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This science fiction adaptation of the novel by Alexandre Dumas tells the story of a young boy named Albert, born into an aristocratic Paris family. Bored by his surroundings, he travels to the lunar surface with his friend Franz, where he meets a rich, charismatic man called the Count of Monte Cristo. Fascinated and charmed, Albert brings the count home and welcomes him into Paris society. The count is not all that he seems, however, and this is not the first time he has met his new friends. ~ Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Puzzling Art Style, but Good Story Adaptation by drseid December 21, 2005 - 7:14 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Going into this series I was a bit worried that the classic novel about revenge and betrayal by Alexandre Dumas would be tarnished in this anime retelling, set in an alternate world backdrop.

With respect to the storyline (at least through disc 1) my fears were unfounded. The core plot of the original classic is maintained (I'll skip it here to avoid spoiling the series for those unfamiliar with the novel), while the new landscape gives the story a fresh feel. In particular, the Count of Monte Cristo himself is portrayed quite impressively, and I look forward to what he will do next in future volumes.

The area that I feel is less effective revolves around the art choice by GONZO. In general, I am a big fan of the studio's work... good examples being Last Exile and Chrono Crusade. Here there is no denying the uniqueness of the art choice... but the end result is not particularly a good one, IMO.

Clothing has detailed computer generated patterns throughout, but these patterns really are distracting to the eye as they move unnaturally with the garments they cover. I found myself really mumbling to myself about how I wish GONZO would lose the patterns ASAP throughout the entire disc (it never happened). Quite frankly, this is my biggest gripe in an otherwise fine effort. The patterns are so distracting, that they really take away your attention from the wonderful plot development, and that seems counter-productive to the point of the anime medium.

On the plus side, the computer generated background art looks brilliant at times, and features a truly excellent color pallet. I found myself maveling at the Count's castle design towards the end of the disc in particular. Good stuff.

Character design (clothes patterns withstanding) is quite good, and the voice acting is also quite impressive.

Bottom line is I recommend the series to those who can appreciate a fine story and commend the writer who adapted the classic novel so well, but my recommendation is somewhat tarnished by the distracting computer art clothing patterns that scream "unnatural shortcut" throughout the show.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.59)
64 Votes
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