Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gankutsuou - The Count of Monte Christo

This is basicaly a science fiction interpretation of the classic novel "The Count of Monte Christo". Those of you who never heard of that story and are old enough to grow pubes are hereby ordered to get your basic education up to speed. Watching this anime won't substitute for reading (or watching) the original, although you are guaranteed to enjoy it.

For those that know the original (or one of the many movies) I can offer a real treat: An anime with a familiar theme in a far removed setting with plenty of differences that distinguishes itself from the original, so that it stays exciting to the end.

The setting is the year 5053 (as oppposed to 1800) and humanity has spread out among the stars and advanced technology to a point where size and appearances don't matter anymore. This results in a visual style reminiscent to the year 1800, although there is never any doubt that everything is high tech. 

The art style is rather unique as you can see by the screenshots. It doesn't take long to get used to it, though. 

The story itself is following the general theme of the original: Elaborate Revenge.
But as opposed to the original, the count - which was pictured much more sympathetic there - is more enigmatic and sinister ... and less of a protagonist than expected, since most of the story is told out of the eyes of young Albert de Morcerf, who is immedeatly fascinated by the Count, not knowing that his meeting with him as planned long ago.

Safe for all ages.


PS: I wouldn't mind hearing from you in the comments section what you think of this series. This goes for every release, of course.

PPS: By the way, the first aria you get to hear in the above episode (you might have heard it in the movie 5th element, too), is the "Mad scene" Il dolce suono from Donicettis Lucia di Lammermoor. Just in case anyone enjoys this kind of music.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Description from AnimeNfo:

Dr. Tenma is a Japanese brain surgeon working in Germany. He has it all: incredible medical skills, a great job, and a beautiful fiancée who also happens to be the daughter of the hospital's director.

One day he is ordered to forgo operating on a critically injured man in favor of a more illustrious patient. Disillusioned by the hospital's politics, he decides from then on that he will do what he thinks is right, regardless of politics.

Some time later, a young boy and his twin sister are brought in. The boy has a bullet in his head and requires an operation that Dr. Tenma knows only he is capable of performing successfully. Just as Dr. Tenma is about to begin the procedure, the mayor is rushed into the hospital and the director instructs Dr. Tenma to leave the boy to operate on the critically ill mayor. Dr. Tenma decides that he will do what is right and go ahead with the boy's operation.

The young boy's operation ends in success but the surgeons operating on the politician fail. As a result, Dr. Tenma is passed over for a promotion and his fiancée calls off their engagement.

Soon after this incident, strange murders begin to occur, all of which benefit Dr. Tenma greatly. As a result, he becomes the prime suspect although the police have no evidence against him. It seems that the boy whose life he saved is heavily involved in it somehow and that there is much more to him than meets the eye.

I admit, the description sounds pretty boring. So boring in fact that I postponed watching it for months, despite the glowing reviews this series received from all over. And once I started watching I was caught in the flow of suspense and mystery.

If you want to prove to someone that anime are not just children cartoons (without resorting to a demonstration of tentacle sex to prove your point), then grab monster. If you want to watch a series that constantly keeps you awake and eager to follow the story to it's conclusion then start downloading now.

No disappointment possible.