Short of vampire movies, it feels like “The Count of Monte Cristo” is one of those stories that has been made (and remade) a huge amount of times. I mean, it is a pretty resilient story of betrayal, revenge and redemption and this anime version is no different at the core than any other version. But how they approach it is very intriguing. Now, the official title is “Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo” and that part of the title is made clear as the series progresses. But what we have here is what I call Future Past. It feels like 19th Century France in architecture and dress and those phony airs of tact, but we have a lot of the conveniences of the modern age: space travel, computers and hover vehicles, to name a few. It does help that this takes place in the year 5053.
Although we keep a lot of the story, we also tinker a lot with the story and that is not a bad thing. We focus in on Viscount Albert de Morcerf. A rather naïve 15-year-old lad, he and his friend, Baron Franz d’Epinay, are attending some grand and glorious festival on Luna (yes, we are on the moon; remember, this is the 51st Century), where they are having a ripping good time. However, Albert falls afoul of some cutpurses and is kidnapped, only to be rescued by Le Compte-de Monte Cristo, a mysterious man of enormous wealth and magnificent charisma. (If you know the plot, this will not come as a great surprise as to the reason for the kidnapping, OK?)
Still, it is a good retelling of the story, in tandem with the surroundings, but the huge selling point is the look of the show. (more…)