Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gankutsuou ~The Count of Monte Cristo~ review

Super awesome synopsis created by me:
Alfred and Franz, two very close friends living as Parisian aristocrats, travel to the moon to attend a Mardi Gras celebration of sorts. There they meet a mysterious man going by the name of "the Count of Monte Cristo." As they are very intrigued by this sophisticated man, when he hints that he'll be going to Paris, Alfred is quick at offering to be his guide into Parisian society. However, Alfred is unaware of the Count's true intentions... *DUN DUN DUN*

This series is so perfect that I almost don't know where to start, so I'm just going to do a list of ten things I loved about the show. It's in no particular order because all of the show's qualities work together to make a masterpiece. :) So without further ado, I bring one really fucking good anime and ten things that I found to be awesome about it:

1. The Count of Monte Cristo 
This man is the embodiment of charisma. He uses his gentlemanly charm to gain everyone's trust as he enters Parisian society. His acting is so incredibly genuine, that sometimes I even forgot that he was only using those around him to reach his goals. That cunningness leads him to exact revenge on those who had destroyed him so long ago. Watching as he stole the hearts of Paris, playing everyone right into his hands, controlling all the aristocrats and spelling their downfall was absolutely incredible.

Not that I'm going to spoil anyone, but his past is incredibly sad, and I totally understood why he was going to such lengths for vengeance. I loved how the viewer slowly pieces together the Count's past, gaining information, and having it verified by other characters. By the very end, even without anyone telling you directly, you know almost everything about the Count, but only in the very last episodes does the Count actually tell the story himself.

Everything about the man just exudes awesomeness. He's seductive, ruthless, and seems to have an unlimited supply of money. He builds magnificent mansions for himself, always living luxuriously.

PLUS he's got heterochromia, meaning that his eyes are different colors. It's rare that you see that in anime, so when I saw him I practically shivered from the overload of badassedry. He's also got that long, luscious hair.... Oh dat hair. And all those tattoos... And his elfin ears... and his blue skin.... Okay, so basically everything about him is epic.

2. Mesdames, Messieurs, Bonsoir.
Every episode started off with this line meaning "Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening" as this very low voiced narrator explained IN FRENCH what had happened in the last episode. It was only this part that was in French (everyone else speaks in Japanese), but it was so awesome to hear French at the beginning of each episode. It's all too often that anime claims to take place in some other country, but all they speak is Japanese. Even though they claim to be American or German, they speak Japanese all the time, so one can never really tell. Especially in Black Lagoon, where the characters say they don't even know how to speak Japanese when they're speaking it. They'll say "I speak in English" in Japanese and precede to speak with other people [who don't know Japanese] in Japanese. It's just really goddamn stupid. Anyway, I appreciated the effort that this series put into being French.


3. It's so saaaaaaad
Other than the Count's past, there are some other really sad moments that add to the series. I don't want to spoil, but all the characters are so awesome that when one of them dies, you can't help but feel upset. It's in no way depressing, though. There's just some really heartfelt moments. ;__;

4. Romance
There's quite a bit of romance in this series, and it's developed very well. I especially loved Eugenie x Albert. I loved how they slowly noticed their feeling for each other. It was so dawwww. Here's a very awesome Albert x Eugenie moment. It's not much of a spoiler plotwise, but it is farther along in the series, so you may not want to watch it.

 Yes, I know the quality sucks. Deal with it.

5. The art
It's so unique. I loved how everything was so colorful and clothing was made of patterns instead of simple colors. It was great to see characters wear more than one outfit *cough cough Bleach Naruto shonen cough cough* The dresses were especially awesome. Amazingly, I didn't think it was all that overwhelming.

6. It's based off old French literature
I haven't actually read the book it's based off of, but I'm assuming it's pretty epic.
It's not every day that you watch an anime based on French literature.

7. Albert mans up
At the beginning of the series, Albert is portrayed as nieve and all too trusting of the Count. He's stubborn and sometimes downright foolish, but as the series progresses you see him start to learn from his mistakes and make wise decisions that have more thought behind them. He took off his training wheels and started riding the big boy bike.

8. Denouement 
There was actually a really satisfying conclusion to the series that answered all questions and even provided a five year skip into the future, showing what all the characters were doing after the time skip. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE TIME SKIPS. I'm always wondering what the characters are doing when they're older and what they look like. This series provided that answer.

9. The Count's lackeys
At first you may have thought that the Count's lackeys were there just 'cause, but they actually held key roles in the Count's grand scheme of revenge. A few of the lackeys actually wanted revenge as well, and that's probably why the Count picked them up in the first place. It's amazing how much thought was put behind it.

10. Dat music
I didn't really like the OP at first, but it slowly grew on me...
I loved the ED from the very beginning, though. It was somehow reminiscent of Death Note's opening...
And I LOVED how Eugenie played piano. Her recital at the opera house was the best. All those sparklies... *o* I love classical music so muuuuuch. <3

Count of Monte Cristo my little pony ^^ xD

Final grading:
Plot: 10/10
Music: 8/10
Ending: 9.5/10
Art: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Total: 47.5/50
Mean: 9.5

FINAL SCORE: 9.5/10

or if I was on MAL, it would be 10/10. :)