"Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo" - Review

I thought I had read The Count of Monte Cristo, but perhaps not - maybe I've only seen one of the previous movie versions. Having read the Wikipedia summary of the original Alexandre Dumas novel, I have to admit this is a surprisingly accurate interpretation of the plot - if not the setting, as this takes place in the year 5053. We start out on "Luna" (Earth's moon), but the majority of the story takes place in Paris. Some of the speech is in French, but the large majority of it is in Japanese. Cars look surprisingly similar to our cars (or at least French cars of the 1960s), but the rich ride around in carriages drawn by horses. And everybody drives on the left side of the road - I suppose so as not to mess with the heads of the target audience (the Japanese). But the most immediately obvious thing about the whole proceeding is the visual style: clothing is provided for most characters by making a cut-out in the shape of the character to a background pattern that doesn't necessarily move in quite the same way the character does.

This is an anime series of 24 episodes, 25 minutes each.

Our protagonist is the young Viscount Albert de Morcerf, who we first see on Luna with his friend Baron Franz d'Épinay, where they meet the Count of Monte Cristo. His introduction into their life is shown to not be as accidental as it appears to be, but Albert doesn't notice and happily introduces Monte Cristo into Paris society, where Monte Cristo pursues his revenge on Morcerf's father as well as the father's associates Villefort and Danglars. The biggest change apparent near the beginning is that Edmond Dantes, during his stay in prison, has somehow merged with Gankutsuou, some form of alien.

Albert is charming, but unbelievably naive. I don't use the word "unbelievably" simply for emphasis: his naiveté was so extreme that it made the willing suspension of disbelief impossible on more than one occasion.

And the ending didn't make much sense and was more annoying than satisfying (it also deviated farther from the original plot than any other part of the story). So ultimately, occasionally interesting but silly and definitely not worth the time invested (~9 hours).