Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
- Trailer: DVD trailer (poor quality)
- What it’s about: An anime re-telling of the Andre Dumas “blockbuster” The Count of Monte Cristo, with a few twists. Most prominently, the setting has been changed from Enlightenment-era Europe to a space-faring sci-fi civilisation. Secondly, the point of view character is no longer the Count himself but Albert Morcerf, the young man embroiled in the Count’s schemes for revenge. The shift in perspective and “in media res” setup makes the Count appear far more sinister and otherworldly than the original tale.
- Why you should watch it: The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic, classic tale of revenge. Gankutsuou reworks it slightly, but the core of the story remains – a brilliant, scheming mastermind who is all too happy to manipulate pawns and characters to achieve his ends. It weaves mystery and action into its plot from start to finish, and it’s never boring to watch.
- Caveats: The artstyle. It’s weird, there’s no other word for it. But it was a deliberate choice by the creators, and it does grow on you after a few episodes. Here are some screencaps as a demonstration of what to expect:  .
- Themes: Revenge, ennui.
- Similar works: Code Geass, Monster. Outside of anime, the original Count of Monte Cristo is an obvious choice, along with other modern derivatives such as V for Vendetta or The Stars’ Tennis Balls.