Geneon // 2004 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // March 30th, 2006
"Feelings of hatred and jealousy towards another are emotions which
silently fester and grow, unbeknownst to the object of their affections. The
happier that person is, the less aware he is of their feelings."
-- The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo, as it will soon turn out, isn't the only one who has festering feelings of hatred and jealousy.
As we begin Chapter 3, we see Albert running for help.
"It's an emergency. Someone send for a doctor!" he yells.
Madame Danglars has just fainted during a house party at the Count's. Albert is also taken ill. It turns out that he drank water at the Villeforts' table. The Count believes that the poison was meant for Valentine, sending Albert, Franz, and Maximilien rushing to the Villefort house to find her in a deep sleep from which she may never awaken.
Albert also has a clash with the Count's mysterious young friend, Andrea Cavalcanti, who taunts that he is the only one who understands the mysterious Count, and who reveals designs on Eugenie, Albert's fiancée.
In Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo -- Chapter 3, the story begins to move away from its original source by focusing on the offspring of the noble conspirators Moncerf, Villefort, and Danglars. Aside from rushing to Valentine's aid, they're starting to consider the Count's background, just as their worried elders are doing. Franz follows the Count, hearing him called "Gankutsuou" by his loyal servant for the first time, and Albert looks in on a secret meeting about Edmond Dantes that involves his father, Villefort, Danglars, and a less noble character named Caderousse.
This volume ends with more complications, but also signs that Albert has reached some kind of turning point. "I'm so frustrated at how weak and pathetic I really am," he confides to the Count near the end of the last episode here. There are four:
* "I Dreamed a Dark Dream"
* "The Letter from Edmond"
* "An Engagement Broken"
It's safe to say Gankutsuou has a strong visual style. I even failed to fast-forward through the opening credits, even after seeing them several times already. That look isn't realistic, since the patterns on clothes don't move and life doesn't look like an artistic collage, but it is fascinating. It drew me in so I could get involved with the large cast of characters and the many storylines in this serial. The look also takes on a psychedelic darkness at places in this volume, reflecting the tortured mental states of some of the characters. Again, the distinctive look of one new character -- Caderousse -- is something to watch for.
As with past volumes, the main bonus is some original Japanese promo spots, with the voice actors commenting on their characters and the story. The actress who plays Eugenie recalls being embarrassed as she read her romantic dialogue as things heated up between Eugenie and Albert. These are fun, but if they release a box set without them later, you won't miss them.
This is also the volume that explains the meaning of the show's tagline, "Bide your time and hold out hope."
Not guilty. Let's hope that protects it from a stay at the Chateau d'If.
Review content copyright © 2006 James A. Stewart; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Comments from Voice Actors
* Geneon Previews
* Review of Chapter 1
* Review of Chapter 2