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Old 03-08-2010, 10:51 PM   #1   [permalink]
MeMyself
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Thumbs up Gankutsuou (aka The Count of Monte Cristo)

This is refreshing -- an anime for adults. Gankutsuou is based, somewhat, on Alexandre Dumas' novel The Count of Monte Cristo, although the story is re-set in a futuristic fantasyland version of Earth.

Albert is a naive, young aristocrat who has a chance meeting with the mysterious Count. Or is it by chance? Is Albert a pawn in the Count's plans for revenge?

I watched disc 1, episodes 1-4. So far, it is an interesting story enhanced by some unique animation. The artwork is somewhat psychedelic. The patterns of the clothing do not move with the actors, thereby actually giving the illusion of additional movement. This is not a great description, but it is the best I can come up with. Needless to say, this anime has a very unusual look and feel. Then again, the main character is also unusual.

I watched each of the first four episodes twice -- in English and in Japanese with subtitles. The Japanese voice acting is very good, but the subtitles add little. The English dub goes into more than just the bare necessities of the story-line. The English Count maybe sounds a little like a young Orson Welles.

I will continue with this series, and get back to more of my impressions. Meanwhile, if you have anything to say, please remember -- NO SPOILERS!
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:04 AM   #2   [permalink]
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I finished disc 2, episodes 5-8. As the Count manipulates his enemies into position, for the first time in his life Albert faces the ugly underside of his aristocratic world.

The introduction to each episode in the Japanese dub is actually in French. In the English dub, it is in English and occasionally with a French accent. Anyway, I am not watching the Japanese dub as the sub-titles add nothing.

There is not much action in this series, but there is a lot of intrigue. I am finding this a very interesting anime to watch. There are so many mind games going on that it is hard not to find it fascinating.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:43 PM   #3   [permalink]
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Disc 3, episodes 9-12, finished. We actually get an action sequence in episode 11. It's a car chase. But don't let the lack of action fool you. There is more drama in this anime than most any other series I have ever seen.

In disc 3, there are several plot twists. Everyone, except for Albert, suspects the Count. We also get clues as to who the Count is and what he is up to. This is really getting good.
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Old 13-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #4   [permalink]
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I'm finished with disc 4, episodes 13-16. There are two more discs to go, and I hope to finish the series by the time I go away for a long weekend next week.

One by one, the Count's enemies begin to fall. Even Albert is not safe. But others begin to learn the Count's secrets.

One of the things that makes this series work is the way the villains are portrayed. They are certainly uncompromisingly evil, but they are not caricatures or clichés. Each one has their own distinct personality making them believable. There is good character development in the series which heightens the drama.
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:24 AM   #5   [permalink]
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I've finished the next disc, chapters 17-20. Disc 5 has a fight sequence which is the best action in the series to date. More importantly the guilty continue to fall, but so do the innocent. Will Albert finally see the truth about the Count? If he does, what will be his reaction? Secrets are revealed. Is Albert about to lose his beloved Eugenia forever? These are the most tragic episodes so far. One problem -- The surprise twist in episode 18 I saw coming.

Still, it is a thrilling series. I have one more disc to go, which I hope to complete before I skip town for a long weekend. I will give my final review then.
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Old 19-08-2010, 07:09 PM   #6   [permalink]
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I've been reading the book recently because I saw this anime a couple of years ago, at the time I considered this anime to be a masterpiece, intricate plotlines, character interactions, compelling storytelling and I simply love the way it is animated. I am nearing the end of the book and I have to say, the book is much better, a whole lot more detailed, a much bigger picture and the anime kind of cut a lot of corners. Still this serie is a must see for anyone who is very much bored with the giant bouncing boobies that is animes of today.
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Old 23-08-2010, 10:38 PM   #7   [permalink]
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Not that I am bored with bouncing boobies, but. . . .

Seriously, it is obvious that the book will have more detail. There is more room and time for details. If the series would copy the book exactly, it would probably take an extra 50 episodes. I am not so sure they can keep up the unique animation style for another 50 episodes.

Anyway, I just started the last disc. I hoped to have finished before I left on a long weekend away. Unfortunately, Netflix sent a damaged disc. But I have the replacement. More later.
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Old 27-08-2010, 12:15 AM   #8   [permalink]
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I finished disc 6, episodes 21-24, thus the entire series. As the Count's enemies fall, Albert tries to avert tragedy. But he himself may become the Count's last victim. Episode 23 has the best action sequence in the series. The finale is somewhat predictable, but it does not ruin the lead-in. The final episode ends with a bit of hope right before two lovers reunite.

In all, I have to give this series my highest recommendation. There is some action, but mostly this is an anime for the mind. The animation style is one of the most inventive and imaginative I have ever seen. The artwork is superb. The characters are believable. As soon as I return disc 6, I am putting this back on my Netflix list to watch again in another year or so. Meanwhile, I suggest you take a look.
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Old 24-04-2011, 02:28 AM   #9   [permalink]
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The book is one of my absolute favorites, and has been for many, many years. I think the anime is very enjoyable and the animation is definitely unique. But I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forgive them for ruining my beloved ending from the book:

Spoiler:
The Count should not have died.

What I love most about the book was that it was also a tale of redemption. The Count is consumed by the desire for revenge, clothing it in religious terms. But by the end he starts to realize the enormity of what he's done, to the point where he basically tries to give away all his riches and slip away unnoticed into the night. Luckily Haydee's love and the love he held for her redeems him, and he's able to actually experience happiness for once, after so many decades of pain.

The ending for the anime, the Count's death, was definitely not what I was hoping - what I desperately wanted - to see. All the other changes they made from the novel were nothing in comparison to ruining my hopes like that... If only they could have made the anime into a tale of redemption too. So for me, that moment when the Count died and Albert ran to safety with Haydee was truly a crushing disappointment.
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Old 26-04-2011, 06:40 AM   #10   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by dheu View Post
The book is one of my absolute favorites, and has been for many, many years. I think the anime is very enjoyable and the animation is definitely unique. But I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forgive them for ruining my beloved ending from the book:

Spoiler:
The Count should not have died.

What I love most about the book was that it was also a tale of redemption. The Count is consumed by the desire for revenge, clothing it in religious terms. But by the end he starts to realize the enormity of what he's done, to the point where he basically tries to give away all his riches and slip away unnoticed into the night. Luckily Haydee's love and the love he held for her redeems him, and he's able to actually experience happiness for once, after so many decades of pain.

The ending for the anime, the Count's death, was definitely not what I was hoping - what I desperately wanted - to see. All the other changes they made from the novel were nothing in comparison to ruining my hopes like that... If only they could have made the anime into a tale of redemption too. So for me, that moment when the Count died and Albert ran to safety with Haydee was truly a crushing disappointment.
Spoiler:

I actually was really dissapointed with the ending of the book, the entire second half of the book was directing towards the counts desire to die since he has nothing left but revenge, choosing for life just take away everything he has worked for and cheapens his love for Mercedes.
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Old 27-04-2011, 01:17 AM   #11   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by Takahashi View Post
Spoiler:

I actually was really dissapointed with the ending of the book, the entire second half of the book was directing towards the counts desire to die since he has nothing left but revenge, choosing for life just take away everything he has worked for and cheapens his love for Mercedes.
Spoiler:
Maybe it's just my need for things to end positively, then. I hate the idea that someone can suffer for 14+ years because of betrayal and the only reward they get at the end is death. True, maybe his revenge was pretty cruel and relentless, even resulting in the deaths of children and the poverty of other relative innocents, but still. I just feel he deserved to have some kind of happiness, at least, after everything he went through.

And I don't think it cheapens his love for Mercedes. After so many years locked away and so many more wandering the world while knowing she just gave up on him and married someone else... is that love even the same anymore? I imagine by the time he makes it to Paris that it's really just a memory of the pure and wholehearted love he felt for her when they were both only children. That memory would not change, and that is why he was willing to sacrifice himself when she requested he not hurt Albert. But I don't think even love can survive all the realities of the world that came between them.

I don't know, I just like the idea of him starting anew and having some hope. The book would have been pretty brutal if it had only been tragedy upon tragedy for the main character.
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Old 27-04-2011, 04:02 PM   #12   [permalink]
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If you liked this you Might also like Romeox Juliet series it was really well done and its available on hulu for free i think http://www.hulu.com/romeo-x-juliet
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Old 27-04-2011, 04:08 PM   #13   [permalink]
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Originally Posted by dheu View Post
Spoiler:
Maybe it's just my need for things to end positively, then. I hate the idea that someone can suffer for 14+ years because of betrayal and the only reward they get at the end is death. True, maybe his revenge was pretty cruel and relentless, even resulting in the deaths of children and the poverty of other relative innocents, but still. I just feel he deserved to have some kind of happiness, at least, after everything he went through.

And I don't think it cheapens his love for Mercedes. After so many years locked away and so many more wandering the world while knowing she just gave up on him and married someone else... is that love even the same anymore? I imagine by the time he makes it to Paris that it's really just a memory of the pure and wholehearted love he felt for her when they were both only children. That memory would not change, and that is why he was willing to sacrifice himself when she requested he not hurt Albert. But I don't think even love can survive all the realities of the world that came between them.

I don't know, I just like the idea of him starting anew and having some hope. The book would have been pretty brutal if it had only been tragedy upon tragedy for the main character.
Spoiler:

Like you said, he knows very well the suffering and misery he had cause guise as divine retribution, was nothing more than a man bound on revenge at those who wronged him. It seems to me that he has fullfilled his purposed and has nothing to live for anymore.

I was led to belief that his love for Mercedes was an unconditional one, to the very end he couldn't really let go, visiting her at his old home, only to look at her from a far, it felt like his heart was about to break again. Then the sudden confession from haidee, makes him change his mind, just doesn't sit well with me, it felt kind of incestuous as he considered her as a daughter through out the story, never a lover.
If he has decide to live, just roam the seven seas on his own, would have made a better ending to me, back to happier time as a sailor/pirate.

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Old 27-04-2011, 06:18 PM   #14   [permalink]
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Back in the days of when this book was written alot of the Main charaters and heros died at the end. Have you ever rad the little mermaid. Im not talking about the disney crap but the real book it had a horrible ending that would give children nightmares.
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Old 27-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #15   [permalink]
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For those who prefer a happy ending, check out the movie version with Robert Donat.
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