Gankutsuou Volume 1

Before you start basing your Count of Monte Cristo paper on Gankutsuou remember that the anime is a creative adaptation of the original novel. Creative or innovative is the best way to describe Gankutsuou. The artwork has lavish patterns for the walls, clothes and even hair instead of using solid colors. With all of the different patterns on screen at once the anime looks like a bright paining. Add in the soft brush strokes and it looks more like a soft oil painting in motion. Certainly, Gankutsuou separates itself from all other anime on the market.


The story begins with two aristocrats and best friends leaving a futuristic Paris. Albert and Franz are out looking for adventure and Luna is just the place to do this. Set on the base of the moon Luna is known to host a mysterious carnival similar to Mardi Gras. As the two enter an opera they find a pocket watch that belongs to the enigmatic Count of Monte Cristo. The count is an enigmatic character with his blue skin, long hair and fangs. Even though he may look out of place Albert is intrigued by him. After a dinner meeting with the Count, Franz and Albert continue to explore Luna. Except that Albert stumbles into some trouble as he’s captured by a group of bandits. They demand an enormous sum of money that Franz cannot pay. As a last resort Franz turns to the Count, who happily aids the two. Why would the Count do this? Is it simply to join the high society of Paris or is there more?


The story does not get a chance to progress very far in the span of two episodes. The relationships between the three characters are established, but there are a lot more mysteries that are merely hinted to. Aside from the two episodes the UMD of Gankutsuou has both the Japanese and English track plus some extra trailers for upcoming Geneon releases.


Gankutsuou is a series that is going to polarize anime lovers. It is not a stereotypical action anime with intense battles. Nor is it a true drama series with cliffhangers on each end. Instead Gankutsuou moves at a slower pace and has an emphasis on dialogue between the characters. If you’re interested to see what Gankutsuou is all about the PSP disc might be a good investment. Set for a price around $15, Gankutsuou volume 1 is a fitting litmus test to see if you’ll enjoy the series.

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