I won’t lie, sometimes seeing a series with the same title as a novel from classic literature is enough to make shy away from any adaptation. Take The Count of Monte Cristo, for example. Its page count alone is intimidating, with it occasionally split into two volumes due to its sheer size.
The thing is, I’ve missed out on some fantastic anime this way, with The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou among them. I ignored this world-class of revenge for far too long. And now? It’s one of my all-time favorites.
As someone who’s worked in publishing for a decade, classics can be intimidating. I’m sure I’m not alone there. But take it from me, this one cannot be missed. It has a little something for everyone—a cool sci-fi setting, gorgeous art, revenge and romance, and even medieval mech suits. I mean, who doesn’t want to say that.
Without further ado, here’s why just have to watch The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou.
Revenge, the future and much, much more
As mentioned before, this is a story all about revenge. The original French novel is considered to be one of the greatest tales of revenge ever told, and while the anime certainly has a ton of centuries-old hype to live up to, you can be sure it delivers with unique twist on the age-old story.
In the year 5053, two young French noblemen travel to Luna, a city on the moon. Baron Franz d’Epinay is simply looking to have a good time at the festival of Carnival. Viscount Albert de Morcerf, on the other hand, has come to Luna for another reason: he’s searching for something more than the unfulfilling, boring life he’s always known. Only, Albert may have found more than he ever bargained for.
The Count of Monte Cristo is a self-made nobleman and only too happy to guide the young aristocrat through French high society. But things may not be as they seem, for soon after the Count’s arrival and settling on Earth, everything begins to go wrong.
There’s something Albert’s parents aren’t telling him, something that feels important. And whatever that secret is may just have to do with the odd things that seem to happen around him and the attempted murder of an old friend.
Absolutely gorgeous art
The medium of anime is no stranger to iconic art. The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou is no exception.
The far-futuristic world of 5053 blends with the traditional art and opulence of French high-society and the setting of the original novel, tossing it into a blender with anime flair and art deco. It’s wild. It’s chockful of all sorts of patterns. And it. Is. Incredible.
Walls and clothing bear fanciful patterns that blur together in dizzying and mystifying effect. Art deco, Victorian and futuristic art known to worlds of sci-fi are perfectly melded, as if these themes were always meant to be together.
If you watch anime to soak in beautiful art, then you’ll definitely want to add this series to your watch list.
A pinch of science fiction
If art alone doesn’t sell you, don’t worry. There is plenty more here that is sure to pique your interest. How about the fascinating future world of 5053 that this classic, literary tale has been dropped into?
Thousands of years into the future, this high society is both alike and unalike what we see today. The wealthy still hold power, people are still complicated and there are plenty of secrets. And no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to hide an unsavory past. Oh, and you can now travel to other planets, moons and assorted interstellar bodies.
With a majority of the series set on the moon and Earth, we do visit other parts of the solar system and locations in the far reaches of space. Plus, there’s cool tech sprinkled throughout, adding even more sci-fi detail to this otherwise grounded-in-reality tale.
What’s revenge without a little action and some romance? There’s certainly no shortage of blooming romance and star-crossed lovers here. I mean, what would a classic literary tale be without it?
The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou is no stranger to things like duels, poisonings and other devious goings-on, either. Revenge may be a dish best served cold and all that, but it also generally comes with sides of evil plots and wild schemes.
This is no exception. The suspense and tension is constantly at 11, and what happens next is a wild rollercoaster that you just have to experience yourself. There’s always something happening in the shadows, and honestly, I’m here for it.
So don’t worry. Just because something has the title of an old classic novel that can stand in as a doorstopper, doesn’t mean it’s intimidating or inherently dry and boring! Sometimes the anime adaptation has everything from mechs and spaceships to star-crossed lovers and a plot for revenge decades in the making. Ready? See for yourself.