Count on Revenge

Albert de Morcerf has had a trying week: He met a cute girl (who turned out to be a cute boy), ran into a mysterious man who may or may not be a vampire, and was kidnapped by a bunch of extortionists only to be rescued by that same mysterious man known as the Count of Monte Cristo. His friends are warning him not to drop his guard, but Albert has never met anyone as fascinating… as exciting… as the Count.

What is remarkable about this series is that, aside from the cars, space ships, and mecha suits, Gankutsuou stays faithful to its original source material. It keeps the intrigues from Dumas’ novel along with its large cast of outlandish characters. (The only complaint I have with the character portrayals in the anime is that Eugenie Danglars is “straightwashed”. Canonically, she’s a lesbian with a lot more agency than she’s given in Gankutsuou.)

One of the most frequently lauded aspects of this show is its art style, and justly so: This series is beautiful. The animation is breathtaking; there are certain shots that make Gankutsuou more than worthy of being experienced on something larger than a wide-screen TV. But what is not addressed often enough is the series’ expert storytelling, specifically, the way in which the screenwriters restructured the life of the Count to mirror Albert’s, reframing the novel’s themes of revenge and justice, thus opening them up for further, deeper examination.

The series is available for streaming on Funimation and crunchyroll. (picture escaped from a prison called http://i.imgur.com/eZZZ6ok.jpg)

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