42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Gankutsuou: Vengeance is a dish best served Psychedelic-Gothic
Jun 18, 2007 by sensei joe
Gankutsuou: the Count of Monte Cristo (chapter 1) is an anime created and directed by Mahiro Maeda. Maeda masterfully crafts a unique and compelling adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo that captures the spirit of this literary classic. The writers waste no time in setting up some the key plot points for the entire series within these first four episodes. In Act 1: At Journey’s End, We Meet we are introduced to Albert's motivation: “I want something more in my life; something that will grab my heart and never let go. You see, I set out on this journey to find that something.” Albert finds a pocket-watch at the opera inscribed with the phrase: “Death is certain, its hour uncertain.” Albert found it while following the Count so he concludes it was dropped by him. Albert decides to use the watch as a reason to meet the Count. He becomes enamored by the Count and decides to get to know him better. In later episodes, the Count’s mysterious past is revealed to the audience, but not as much of this is revealed to Albert or Franz - which increases suspense. The artwork in Gankutsuou is second to none. The costumes by Anna Sui are elaborate and beautiful. The digital paint technique used on the costumes creates surreal textures and an otherworldly aura. The backgrounds are all stunning and imaginative. The decadent visuals create a psychedelic-gothic impression that pleasantly lingers in the imagination for hours after viewing.
Sensei no Otaku says: “Gankutsuou is such an amazing work of art that it should be required viewing in every art and film school in the country. Unfortunately, it is rated 16+ so I can’t show it in high schools.”
Gankutsuou is rated 16+ for mature themes (but it is not gratuitous). Geneon has posted a trailer: http://www.montecristodvd.com/gankutsuou_trailer.html
sensei joe also recommended: Last Exile, Tezuka Osamu's Metropolis, Le Chevalier D'Eon,
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