Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gankutsuou, The Count of Monte Cristo, vol. 1

Manga by Mahiro Maeda, Scenario by Yura Ariwara and Planning by Mahiro Maeda and GONZO
Released in the US by Del Rey

Slugline: Good even for those allergic to reminders of high school English classes

Though I managed to miss reading The Count of Monte Cristo in my journey through high school I remember enough that it is story of revenge. This is a leisurely adaptation as the Count only begins moving his pieces into play in this volume against the three that conspired against him by gaining the friendship of their children, who of course are innocent of their parent's crimes. This is a science fiction adaptation, with spaceships and the like, but it is not too terribly updated, with the sense of old Europe, of nobility and tradition overwhelming any other aspect of the story. This manga is connected to the anime of the same title that was released a few years ago, and shares the same design sensibility, though the full effect is lost in the translation from a full color anime to a black and white manga. Not quite sure who is the protagonist here, the Count is a bit alienated from it seems humanity itself while the children of the villains are a little clueless, naive or distracted to really do that work. So there is no real single character to follow through here, but that just may be just the fault of the original material. I did like the character work, the understated bits and expressions, that work is what makes this interesting, not any newness of the story or the actual characters.

Gankutsuou, The Count of Monte Cristo, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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