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[[caption-width-right:212:When Escher met Klimt]]

->''"Bide your time, and hold out hope."''

The year is 5053. A young French nobleman, Viscount Albert de Morcerf and his friend Baron Franz d'Epinay are partying hard on the moon colony of Luna, when a dark, ominous, blue-skinned stranger suddenly steps into their lives. Said stranger is the self-made ''Count of Monte Cristo,'' a man with incredible riches, unusual powers, and an unnatural interest in our hero, Albert. (The Count also appears to have some sort of mysterious connection to Albert's parents--as if he had somehow known them in the past, although neither of them can ever remember seeing the Count before.)

As time passes, the Count insinuates himself further and further into Albert's life and into the lives of the people he knows. But what is the Count's true reason for doing so? Is he, as he claims, a harmless wannabe nobleman who just wants to be introduced into High Society, or does he have a much darker purpose in mind?

''Gankutsuou'' is a 24-episode paraphrase of Creator/AlexandreDumas' famous novel, ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'', set far into the future (thus also sharing some similarities with Alfred Bester's ''Literature/TheStarsMyDestination'') and viewed through an anime-and-LSD filter. Because it's based on a work of Western Literature, it has an unusual pace and plot for an anime, choosing to ignore many of the most common tropes that one tends to find in that medium. It also has a weird visual style with fantastically rendered CG backgrounds and characters with elaborate clothing patterns that [[UnmovingPlaid remain stationary as the clothing and characters themselves move]]. Some viewers are awed by this aesthetic, while others are so put off by it that they stop watching the show. (You'll know about five minutes in what kind of viewer ''you'' are.)

See, also, ''Literature/TheVampireCountOfMonteCristo''.

!!This series provides examples of:

* AccidentalPublicConfession: At Villefort's trial, Andrea Cavalcanti shows up, and angers Villefort into confessing that [[spoiler: he had an illegitimate son with Danglars' wife and burying [[OffingTheOffspring said son]] alive.]]
* ActionizedAdaptation: The original book has very few action scenes, with two duels interrupted before they can begin. In the anime, both duels proceed, with additional action elements such as the duellists piloting giant mecha.
* AdultFear: What the Count inflicts on a number of his enemies either directly or indirectly. A few examples include [[spoiler: Noirtier de Villefort having to watch as his granddaughter Valentine writhes in agony from poison and being unable to even speak out, Mercedes seeing as the Count (the man she loved years ago) cuts down her son in a duel (though it was actually Franz), and coming close to having Albert murdered in front of his own father. Such actions are meant to emphasize the loss of the Count's humanity and how he's become no better than the men who wronged him.]]
* AnAesop:
** Revenge will consume your soul. [[spoiler: Love and forgiveness will redeem your soul.]]
** "A life of simplicity and togetherness is better than a superficial life of luxury and crippling loneliness."
** [[SpoofAesop Stay away from creepy people who live on the moon.]]
%%* AffablyEvil
* AllLovingHero: Albert becomes something of this, especially at the end where [[spoiler: he [[EasilyForgiven forgives The Count for everything]] and uses the PowerOfLove to save the day]].
* AllThereInTheManual: Quite a bit of backstory (for example, everything between the Count's escape from the Chateau d'If to the first episode) is included only in the manga. Or possibly the novel.
* AnimatedAdaptation: Of one of the most seminal works in Western literature.
* ArcWords:
** "Mesdames, Messieurs, bonsoir."
** "Wait and Hope."
* AristocratsAreEvil: Played with. While the parent characters range from selfish to nasty to even outright evil the children who were born into the upper classes are at worst spoiled but good people. Furthermore a lot of the nobles bought their titles.
* ArrangedMarriage: Several plot points revolve around these, which are apparently common amongst futuristic aristocrats.
* ArtsyMoon: Justified by the fact that it is colonized, thus having its surface altered, the moon sports a creepy skull-like face.
* AscendedExtra:
** Franz is a minor character in the novel who [[TheWatson receives exposition]] in one short section of the story and serves as an easily overcome roadblock to the OfficialCouple. In the anime he becomes integral to the two main characters' relationship.
** Early in the novel, Albert is lured into the clutches of bandits by a young woman who turns out to be a young male bandit in disguise. The young bandit doesn't appear again in the novel, but in the anime he goes on to join Albert's household staff (as a maid) and play a supporting role throughout the series. Interestingly, Peppo was originally meant to be a marginal character like in the novel, however in the end the writers thought he was too much fun not to keep around.
* AssholeVictim: Morcerf, Danglars, and Villefort all richly deserve what the Count plans for them, both for what they did to him and for the terrible things they have done since. Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones who are to suffer.
* AtTheOperaTonight: Albert's first meeting with the Count [[spoiler: and when he gets the pocketwatch]] as well as the first time he sees Haydée.
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: The Opening Song has a somber mood that is fitting to the tone of the series, but the art style is dramatically different -- and worrisome to first-time viewers, who might fear that the entire ''episode'' has been animated in that style.
* BecomingTheMask: In the beginning The Count only pretends to like Albert when in reality he only views him as a tool for his revenge. [[spoiler:However, as time goes on, he finds himself developing real feelings for Albert which cause him lots of angst and heartbreak, but ultimately [[LoveRedeems save him in the end]].]]
%%* BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil: [[spoiler: Edmond Dantès/Count of Monté Cristo]]
* BestServedCold: The Count has been planning his vengeance for years, slowly building a power base throughout high society and the criminal underworld. When the time his right his vengeance is excruciating and vicious.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Edmond really lost it.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Three for the price of one! The Morcerfs have a SmugSnake patriarch, a mother, and a ButtMonkey son. The Villefort patriarch is a HangingJudge and the matriarch is a [[spoiler: MasterPoisoner]]. But let's not forget the Danglars Family. A [[AbusiveParents controlling]] FatBastard of a father, his [[AllWomenAreLustful cheating wife]], and an on-and-off [[StepfordSmiler Type A Stepford Smiler]] for their daughter.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The kids are free of the sins and control of their parents and can live their own lives. Valentine and Maximilien are living in Marseilles peacefully. Debray is the Secretary of the Interior and Beauchamp is an Assistant Editor-In-Chief. Eugenie has realized her dream as a concert pianist, Albert has matured into a responsible young man who is working under the Ambassador to Janina, and Haydee is on the eve of her coronation while a peace treaty is signed with Eastern Space. However, it came at the price of innocents such as Franz who gave his life for Albert, their families were brought to ruin, Benedetto and Caderousse are at large, and the Count's redemption ended with his death.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Edmond, Albert, Mercedes and Franz all suffer horrible atrocities in one manner or another. And they deserved none of it.
* BringOutYourGayDead: Averted. Despite [[spoiler:the death of Franz d'Epinay]] The show is far from being homophobic with all that HoYay.
* BrotherSisterIncest: It's non-consensual, which makes it even ''more'' [[{{Squick}} squicky]].
* ByronicHero: The Count is a fine example. He's even strongly associated with Tchaikowski's "Manfred Symphony," which is itself based on Creator/LordByron's "Manfred." The creator, Mahiro Maeda, has even said in an interview that he was influenced by Byron when creating the Count's character. Of course, this is also a reference to the original Count, who is compared to Manfred by several characters in the book.
* ChekhovsGun: A number of them: [[spoiler:the watch the Count gives to Albert that later turns out to be a bugging device; the blue roses seen in Valentine's room; the two mecha in the hall of Albert's home that both end up being used, one by Franz and one by Fernand;]] and an actual gun: [[spoiler:in episode 10 we see a gun hidden in Fernand's drawer. In the penultimate episode he'll use this to shoot Mercedes and Albert, then commit suicide.]] And lastly, [[spoiler:in episode 18, Franz's broken sword shard that is lodged in the Count's heart, which hands KarmicDeath to the Count in the penultimate episode.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: At first Haydée seems like only a loyal and docile follower of the Count. However, she later brings about Fernand's fall by exposing his sins]]; also [[spoiler: Peppo, whose role seems to be over in episode two - until it turns out that she tagged along because she was a spy for the Count.]]
** Interview with the creators reveal that [[spoiler:Peppo's role ''was'' supposed to be over in episode two, but the writers decided she was too good to waste on only two episodes.]]
* TheChessmaster: The Count. {{Lampshade}}d in an episode in which he plays chess against an AI and ''wins'', and also proclaims to a desperate Haydée that he will "throw away the useless pieces that stand in the way of revenge."
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Franz and Eugénie are both in love with their childhood friend Albert.
%%* ClassyCane
%%* CollapsingLair
* CompressedAdaptation, yet still the longest adaption of the novel in terms of hours...it's a very big book.
* ConspicuousCG: Most of the backgrounds are fantastically rendered in 3-D. It's used so much in this production that it is the ''non-CG'' stuff -- e.g., the character's faces -- that are conspicuous.
%%* CooldownHug
%%* TheCorruption: Gankutsuou.
%%* CostumeInertia: Albert's "Pirate Outfit"
* CostumePorn: If this had been live action the wardrobe budget would have been astronomical with lush patterns and outright insane garbs being worn left and right.
* CourtroomAntic: Lots of these occur in the last part of the series, which include [[TheReveal reveal]]-tacular {{Penultimate Outburst}}s by and about various characters.
%%* CuteAndPsycho: Madame Villefort
%%* DealWithTheDevil
* DeathByAdaptation:
** [[spoiler:Franz]] is a relatively minor supporting character in the book who lives to the end; in the anime he is given a more prominent role that culminates in a HeroicSacrifice to save [[spoiler:Albert]].
** In the book, [[spoiler:Danglars]] is spared by the Count after the deaths of [[spoiler:Héloïse]] and [[spoiler:Edouard]] cause him to reconsider his methods and have a change of heart. Those two are SparedByTheAdaptation (and the anime's Count is in any case more hard-hearted about that kind of thing), so there is no reconsidering and the Count leaves [[spoiler:Danglars]] to die.
* DeathByMaterialism: [[spoiler: Danglars who is left to starve to death on a stalled ship surrounded with gold instead of food.]]
* DemotedtoExtra: Maximilien, who had a lot more to do with [[spoiler: the Count's redemption]] in the novel.
* DesignStudentsOrgasm: Some series are satisfied by a stylish opening, here we have ''24 entire episodes'' of heavily stylized visuals.
* DistressedDamsel:
** Valentine's poisoning.
** Eugénie's rush to the altar.
%%* DrivenByEnvy: Danglars.
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler: You'd think Albert would resent the Count at least a little after he tries to kill him in front of his dad, and this after manipulating him, killing his best friend, and causing the fall of his family.]]
* EccentricMillionaire: The Count, obviously.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Count has one, and it's a doozy. It even has its own indoor ''ocean.''
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: Gankutsuou, which appears to be some kind of space demon]] qualifies.
%%* MrFanservice:
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler:Invoked in the end by the Count's two servants Baptistin and Bertuccio of all people as they both refuse to kill Albert, who at this point is willing to forgive and even save the Count despite all the crap the Count put him through, under the Count's order. Bertuccio previously swore to walk down the path of Hell with the Count, which shows just how depraved and monstrous the Count has become in his pursuit for vengeance]]. During the Count's duel, all 4 of his servants visibly cringe at his brutality.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: Haydée attends an opera in one episode wearing what can only be described as the sparkliest dress ever.
** For reference the dress is taller than the Count, while Haydée stands behind him, and is as wide as the opera booth, as seen [[http://i.imgur.com/McQUQhd.jpg here]].
* EvilCounterpart: The Count is Albert's evil counterpart, while Fernand is Franz's. They even hang a lampshade on it with a flashback of Edmond and Fernand at the beach that is a mirror image of an earlier (or is it later?) flashback of Albert and Franz there.
* EvilLaugh: Fairly late in the series the Count breaks down sobbing, as his next move involves destroying his friendship with Albert - and then the sobs turn to chuckles and soon he's howling with mad laughter.
* EyeScream: Luigi Vampa. During the rescue of Albert, the Count holds a very sharp knife to his eye before the screen blacks out. When Luigi next appears, he's wearing an eyepatch over that eye.
* FacialMarkings: The "eyes" on the Count's forehead are a manifestation of his power, and are only visible when he's using it.
** These facial (later full body) markings are a {{Homage}} to Alfred Bester's ''Literature/TheStarsMyDestination'' (aka ''Tiger! Tiger!''), one main source of inspiration for the writer.
* FanDisservice: [[spoiler: Héloïse's]] masturbation scene and [[spoiler: Andrea's sex scene with Victoria, his mother]].
** Also, the Count's ShirtlessScene after [[spoiler: he gets shot by Villefort]]. Turns out [[spoiler: his ''whole body'' is FanDisservice]].
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Nearly all references to foreign countries and customs from the book are replaced with "Eastern Space." Rome is replaced with Luna, a city on the moon that resembles a cross between old world Italy and modern day New Orleans. Haydee, who was an ethnic Turk in the book, is shown as a [[OurElvesAreDifferent pale faced, pointy eared alien]] from a civilization that is a cross between Middle Eastern and Chinese influences.
* FatBastard: Baron Danglars. Although flashbacks show that, while he wasn't always fat, he was always a bastard.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Let's just say that convicts unlucky enough to end up "incarcerated" in the prison/space fortress, Chateau d'If won't mind execution after being [[PoweredByAForsakenChild literally plugged into its control system]].
* ForeignLanguageTheme: Both the opening and the ending songs are in English.
%%* FreudianExcuse: Andrea.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Haydée in her opera outfit, combined with ConspicuousCG. A rather odd case, especially in how exaggerated it is, considering that Haydée is relatively modestly endowed, and not intended as a sex symbol.
* GlamourFailure: The Count appears blurry and out-of-focus in photographs, and his voice doesn't register on audio recordings.
%%* GlowingEyesOfDoom
%%* GoMadFromTheIsolation: [[spoiler: Edmond Dantès/Count of Monté Cristo]]
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: The most purely good characters like Albert and most of his friends have wide eyes; more anti-heroic characters like Beauchamp and Debray have narrower eyes, as do the Count and his enemies. Andrea, being a real psycho has [[HellishPupils slitted pupils like a snake]] [[spoiler: in fact, he looks a real lot like his half-sister, Eugénie; it's the eyes that are the real noticeable difference in their features.]]
%%* GoodThingYouCanHeal
* GratuitousEnglish: The pattern for Albert's pirate outfit says "PIRATE ALBERT". Also, "Happy Birthday, Albert."
* GratuitousFrench: There's a lot of French (most of the on-screen writing, for a start), but where it really goes over the line is that there is one character who is distinguished by speaking only in French, in the midst of all these French characters speaking what appears to be Japanese.
** It can be assumed that everybody speaks French, but is [[TranslationConvention dubbed in Japanese for convenience.]]
** The narration at the beginning of each episode is spoken in grammatically correct French, although with a very heavy accent.
** The rest of the French in the series is generally correct. Unsurprisingly, the name of the correspondent in Japan from the biggest French anime magazine pops up in the end credits as a language consultant... Draw your own conclusions.
* HangingJudge: Villefort, who is referred to in the subtitles as "the hanging judge".
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Edmond, being a ''naïf'', misses the significance of Villefort asking him this.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: A central theme in the case of the Count. [[spoiler: When his plans start to come to fruition he starts committing horrible, vindictive crimes up to killing Franz in cold blood just to see if he was fully committed to exacting his revenge. It goes to show that the Count might be far worse than the men who wronged him.]]
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: The Count's minions, particularly Baptistin and Bertuccio.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Franz, who drugs Albert and takes his place in a HumongousMecha duel with the Count. ]]
%%* HiddenEyes: Albert, at certain key moments.
* HideYourGays: Strangely for an anime with so much HoYay in it, it drops the suggestion from the novel that Eugénie is a lesbian.
** Debatable, since it adds a large dose of HoYay between Albert and the Count, and Franz and Albert. Even Eugénie was originally designed to be a lesbian (the trailer even has her leaning in to kiss her piano teacher), but that was changed when she was retooled into Albert's love interest.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Albert just keeps insisting that the Count isn't evil or maniacal. [[spoiler: However, it's also because of his innocence that he realizes that the Count's actions are because he was so deeply hurt by people he trusted and loved and why Albert's able to forgive the Count.]]
* HumiliationConga: The Count's plan for his enemies is explicitly to do this to them so badly that they will long for death, but not receive it.
* HumongousMecha: Used by Dueling Noblemen of the Future -- apparently simple swordfighting isn't flashy or dramatic enough anymore.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Let's face it: Franz is a lot brighter than Albert is.
* IDoNotDrinkWine: In an indirect homage to the TropeNamer, the vampiric Count does not consume food or drink for sustenance. Rather, he takes medication, which is a direct homage to the original Count.
* IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight: Albert and the Count. [[spoiler:In the act of turning back into a human, the Count suddenly becomes vulnerable to a wound he received earlier which now kills him.]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: The reason [[spoiler:Peppo]] helps Albert crash [[spoiler:Euginie's wedding]]. Also the reason for [[spoiler:Franz's]] HeroicSacrifice. Franz helps Maximilian understand that this is the best way to love someone early on.
* IdiotHero: If only Albert had listened to Franz.
* IfICantHaveYou: [[spoiler:Morcerf shoots his wife and son when he realizes he has lost everything. Mercedes offered him a LastSecondChance to go away with her and leave everything behind; when he declares IveComeTooFar and persists in his VillainousBSOD, she tells him that she's leaving him then -- though she'll always be grateful for what's he's done for her and never forget what they shared together -- that's ''when'' he shoots her and then he shoots their son for trying to stop him/avenge his mother.]]
* IllGirl: Valentine is a very moody, sickly girl who tends to stay indoors and tend to her wheelchair-bound grandfather. [[spoiler: It turns out she's being poisoned by her stepmother.]]
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: It's ''the future''! Everybody wears these! Furthermore they're meant to evoke nineteenth century garb that Parisian nobles would have loved to show off.
* IncompatibleOrientation: [[spoiler: Franz's love for Albert]]
* TheIngenue: Albert. (Even his virginity is emphasized a couple of times.) Then he undergoes a BreakTheCutie process.
* JerkassHasAPoint: For all that Baron de Danglars is generally an irredeemable, controlling, money-grubbing {{jerkass}}, he actually does has a point when [[spoiler: he stops Eugénie from leaving their home following the breaking of the Morcerf scandal, pointing out that the journalists will eat her alive.]]
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Benedetto]] escapes from prison amidst the confusion of [[spoiler:the bombardment of Paris]], and is last seen in the DistantFinale having become a notorious master criminal.
** [[spoiler: Also Caderousse who is a slimy, greedy little imp.]]
* KarmicDeath: Anybody punished to the bitter end by the Count. [[spoiler: And the Count himself: remember in what fight he got a piece of sword lodged in his heart?]]
* LargeHam: We all love the Count's melodramatic narcissism.
** Fernand is pretty good at hamming it up, too. '''"[[SayMyName Mercedes]]!"'''
* LaserGuidedKarma: Happens to [[spoiler:the Count]] in the end. See KarmicDeath entry above.
* LecherousLicking: One scene has Andrea naked in a bathtub strewn with rose petals, drinking red wine...and then he crushes the wineglass in his hand until he bleeds, and he promptly licks the blood from his arm.
* LikeThatShowButWithMecha: Duels are fought not just with pistols or swords, but with six-foot long swords wielded by HumongousMecha, as seen after Albert challenges the Count to a duel, and again in the showdown between the Count and Mondego.
%%* LoadBearingBoss
* LostInImitation: Averted: the anime manages to avoid the traps and clichés other adaptations of the novel fell victim to [[spoiler:(Albert is not Edmond's son, Edmond doesn't get together with Mercedes in the end, Eugénie and Haydée are not written out of the story, Haydée is not married off to Franz, etc.)]].
* LoveDodecahedron: Every character has one romantic link or another to every other character.
* LoveHurts:
** Franz had to suffer a lot because of his unrequited love for Albert. Of course Albert didn't ''know'' that Franz is in love with him (and Franz never planned to let him know) which puts things in a [[ObliviousGuiltSlinging slightly different perspective]].
** Albert's platonic (?) crush on the Count, and the Count's genuine affection for him.
** Eugenie whose engagement to Albert is cut off just as they begin to be honest with their feelings. [[spoiler: Luckily they share a BigDamnKiss when Albert helps her run away to New York to realize her dreams and are reunited in the DistantFinale.]]
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Morcerf. [[spoiler:Fernand's StartOfDarkness (''I was tired of living that loser life'') was being pushed over the edge due to his being on the losing end of the LoveTriangle between him and his childhood best friends Mercedes and Edmond, which he attributed in large part to the fact that he was poor and struggling in his own profession while Dantes was rich and successful in his career.]]
* ManlyTears: The Count cries a few times ([[HoYay mostly over Albert]]), but doesn't sacrifice his dignity by doing so.
%%* MarkOfTheBeast
* TheMatchmaker: Albert becomes this for Valentine and Maximilien, frequently acting as a mediator between them and attempting to coach Maximilien on how to win her over.
* MeaningfulName: The fact that Edmond Dantes's name may evoke "demon" and Dante's ''Inferno'' is taken literally in the anime. [[note]] 'Dantes' may not be reference to Dante (in fact, the correct spelling is 'Dantès'. Some literary critics would disagree with this point. "Dantès" is a possible Southern French equivalent of the name "Dante." [[/note]]
* [[MechanicalHorse Mechanical Horses]]: Pulling a hovercraft carriage no less.
* {{Melodrama}}: Of the Highest Order. TropesAreNotBad.
* MindRape: Edmond undergoes a major one in prison, although it's ''way'' more explicit in the manga.
* MoralMyopia: After learning the truth about the Count, Albert insists that the Count's revenge against his father doesn't justify all that Albert himself has suffered in the process. In the same breath, he then declares that he will get his own revenge on the Count, no matter how justified the Count's hatred of his father is. Luckily, once the heat of the moment is gone he comes to his senses.
* MoreExpendableThanYou: The above-mentioned HeroicSacrifice
* NarratorAllAlong: It slowly becomes apparent that the narrator of the PreviouslyOn segments is none other than [[spoiler:Gankutsuou itself]].
* NearRapeExperience: When Andrea Cavalcanti [[spoiler:shows his true colors toward Eugénie]].
** Andrea gets another moment with [[spoiler: Haydée, but luckily Gankutsuou puts a quick stop to that.]]
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: Franz to his father. Not only did he not say goodbye, he also told him he hopes he never comes back. Oops.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The production team made huge changes to the story in the very last moment - so much so that the original TV trailers feature some characters looking different than how they ended up, footage that didn't make it in the end, and events that either never took place or were played out in a different way.
* NotSoDifferent: In his pursuit of revenge, the Count has become just as cruel as if not more so than the people who ruined him. This is explicitly spelled out in the end [[spoiler:whereupon Fernand holds Haydée hostage, the Count orders Bertuccio to just kill Albert regardless of what happens to Haydée. Thankfully, it's also at this point that Baptistan and Bertuccio disobey the Count for the first time. Gankutsuou is more than happy to just walk away once the Count's soul is in its possession. It was the Count who did all the plotting to destroy those one wronged him.]]
%%* ObfuscatingStupidity: The Count.
* ObliviousToLove: Albert was oblivious of Franz's feelings for him. It helped that Franz kept his feelings a secret from everyone.
* OedipusComplex:
** The manga implies that Albert is looking for a father figure in the Count because he has issues with his authoritarian real father. He also has an interesting relationship with his mother.
** There's Andrea who takes this to the logical extreme: [[spoiler:although he doesn't kill his father he gives him a poison that destroys his mind, he has sex with his mother and tries to rape his half-sister.]]
* OjouRinglets: Andrea Cavalcanti, a rare example of a male with this hairstyle It's interesting to note that the hairstyle was originally meant for Eugénie (as seen in the official trailer and concept art) - it was transferred to Andrea in the very last moment, when the writers decided that Eugénie would be a positive character and love interest.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Count isn't technically a vampire, but the fact that he has several of their characteristics is {{Lampshade}}d several times and he doesn't have ''all'' of their characteristics.
** This is carried over from the novel, where the Count is compared to a vampire by the Countess G---. It's just dialed UpToEleven by giving him a vampire's ''magical'' properties instead of just being a guy who fits the traditional suave vampire archetype.
%%* OutOfClothesExperience: In the manga.
* ParentalIncest: [[spoiler:Benedetto and Madame Danglars.]]
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: Albert and Eugénie. Although Albert initially isn't in love with her (though Eugénie ''was'' revealed to have always been in love with him).
* POVSequel: ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'' seen through Albert's eyes.
** According to WordOfGod, one of the reasons Albert was chosen as the viewpoint character instead of the Count was to put the focus on the ''consequences'' of revenge rather than the satisfaction of it, as the creators worried about glorifying revenge.
* ThePowerOfLove: Gankutsuou is defeated [[spoiler:by hugs and kisses dished out by Albert. It wasn't Albert who triggered the reversal the transformation, it was Edmond's own feelings (his soul,) that he'd tried to get rid of (which was the point of his duel with Albert, however Franz stepped in and ruined his plans), awakened by Albert's hugs and kisses.]]
* PragmaticAdaptation: Due to how [[DoorStopper long the novel is]] there was a lot that had to be streamlined or switched around in order to fit it into the running time such as most of the Count's preparation for exacting his vengeance. The protagonist being Albert also led to big changes in the tone of the series.
* PromotedToLoveInterest: Eugénie Danglars. In the original novel she detested Albert ([[DoesNotLikeMen and all other men for that matter]]) and ran away to have a lesbian relationship with her piano instructor. In ''Gankutsuou'' the instructor has been cut out and Eugénie's been changed to something similar to a {{Tsundere}}.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Tchaikovsky's "Manfred symphony" is used a lot - the first movement is the Count's own theme and excerpts from latter movements are also used here and there. Eugénie plays the first movement (edited, though) of Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto No. 2" and [[Music/RobertSchumann Schumann]]'s "Traumerei" during her performance in the Opera, on Luna Albert and Franz meet the Count during a performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor", later in Paris the Count invites Albert to a performance of "Robert le Diable"... and the opening theme song is based partly on Chopin's "Etude Op.10 No.3."
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: The Count, Andrea, and Fernand have some juicy moments, and the structure and intonations of spoken Japanese lend themselves to them very well. TAKE THE HAMMER STRIKE. '''OF REVENGE'''! Close-up on the Count's face, cue to some crazy HumongousMecha fight.
* ThePunishment: The person who received dark, almost supernatural powers as a result of his punishment was ''innocent''.
* RaceLift: To preserve his status as ''[[ScaryBlackMan exotic]]'' the Count's henchman Ali is changed from a black African to a green space alien.
* RecycledINSPACE: To the point where characters that were from the orient in ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'' are from ''eastern space'' in Gankutsuou.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:For both the Count and Morcerf. The former fought off Gankutsuou so he could die as Edmond Dantes instead of the Count. The latter told Albert to always look to the future before taking his own life to face retribution for his own crimes.]]
* RevengeByProxy: [[spoiler: The Count tries to kill Albert to make his father suffer.]]
%%* RookieRedRanger: Albert
* RuleOfCool: Without his dramatic poses and mannerisms, the Count would just be... Edmond Dantes?
* RunawayBride: Eugénie becomes this towards Andrea, who was forcing her to marry him.
%%* RunawayFiance
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Baron Danglars does this occasionally; Villefort more often, though his is a Scary Shiny ''Monocle''.
%%* SceneryPorn
* SchizoTech: The setting is an odd combination of the novel's 19th century setting, mid-twentieth century elements (i.e. the cars) and far future technology
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:Gankutsuou]] was sealed away for a thousand years but released some years before the start of the story.
* SecondLove: Valentine's first love was her fiancé Franz, but she eventually returns [[spoiler: Maximilien's]] feelings and ends up with him.
* SecretIdentity: Not only the Count, but also Fernand, Mercedes, Villefort and Danglars and [[spoiler: Benedetto/Andrea Cavalcanti]].
* SecretIdentityIdentity: Although he has fewer personae than in the novel, "Edmond" is so absorbed by his persona as the Count and [[spoiler: as "Gankutsuou"]] that he keeps claiming that [[ThatManIsDead Edmond died in prison and was reborn as the Count of Monte Cristo]] - [[spoiler: until the last few seconds before his death]]. Interestingly, he still signs "Edmond Dantes" when he wants to terrify his former oppressors. One might argue that "Edmond Dantes" is a social construction that exists in a few characters' (arguably deformed or idealized) memories while the Count is very real -and out for some aristocratic blood.
%%* ShirtlessScene: Albert; the Count.
* ShoutOut:
** In Episode 12, Albert turns on a lamp in front of an old music flier. The flier is written in Serbian, and advertises an actual venue located in present day Belgrade, called Kolarčeva Zaduzbina.
** The opera seen in Episode 1 is Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, with the famous Mad Scene being highlighted.
** The Count's Emerald pill-case is lifted directly from the novel, in which the Count has a hallowed-out emerald in which he keeps hashish. Also various other details--the samurai armor in Albert's room, is also mentioned in the novel (well, some sort of armor of oriental origin, which could have meant it was from almost anywhere in the general vicinity Asia given the era the novel was written). Various other visual details and even a few snippets of conversation make the transition exactly, which is actually kind of surprising considering the change in focus and setting the series underwent, and besides which shows the attention to detail of the crew involved. On that note, should we add a "shown their work" entry to the main page or something?
*** On that note, if you pay very close attention, a few characters from the original book pop up - even if they don't actually appear in the Anime. One of the sailors listed in the original Morrel crew is "Jacopo" (identifiable only by his signature on a picture, which is a bit obscured but definitely there), who was the Count's first 'helper' in the novel. Gankutsuou seems to take on the role that Abbe Faria had in the novel, and even appears with a cross around his neck - although that comparison is arguable, considering what Gankutsuou is. Abbe Busoni makes a appearance as well, although seemingly as Luigi Vampa's alias, rather than one of the Count's many alter-egos.
%%* ShowerOfAngst: Albert has one in episode 8.
* SinisterShades:
** Bertuccio wears a pair. They're OpaqueLenses most of the time, but become translucent when he has moments of humanity. (And on one memorable occasion, when he's struggling with his conscience, one lens becomes translucent while the other remains opaque.)
** Baron Danglars wears these all the time, as well. In his case they signify his shifty character.
* SinsOfOurFathers: Another major theme in the series. While the parents who wronged the Count are selfish, greedy, or just outright evil (with a few exceptions) and might deserve their punishment, their children suffer just as much despite being good, if naive people merely because they're related to their parents.
* SlasherSmile: The titular Count wears a rather terrifying example of this when everything is going according to plan (which usually involves a humiliating and/or painful death)
* SpaceJews: Foreign characters like Ali, Haydée, etc. are aliens. The series uses the term "Eastern Space" for locations that were in Turkey/the Middle East in the novel.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Franz becomes this to the Count when [[spoiler: Franz decides to participate in the duel instead of Albert and id killed. This not only derails the Count's [[ThePlan plan]] to be rid of his Edmond Dantes part of soul but also hands him KarmicDeath in the end]].
* SparedByTheAdaptation:
** The poisoner is revealed to be [[spoiler:Héloïse]] much earlier than in the book, far too early for the resultant deaths of [[spoiler:Héloïse]] and [[spoiler:Edouard]], so those two wind up surviving to the end.
** [[spoiler:Caderousse]] also makes it out alive in this version.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover:[[spoiler:Gankutsuou controls the Count more and more as their pact nears completion.]]
* SuperSoldier: Maximilien is one due to muscle enhancements for special forces, but he is also a GentleGiant.
* SymbolicBlood: Shed in large quantities by the mechas during the duel scenes. It would actually be very gory if it weren't for them being mechanical.
* ThatManIsDead: The Count insists Edmond Dantes is long dead [[spoiler: until he dies as himself, asking that Albert and Haydee remember that his name was Edmond Dantes.]]
%%* The Precious, Precious Car: Renaud.
* ThemeTuneCameo: The opening theme song appears in other forms several times during the action of the show.
* TookALevelInBadass: Apparently, this is what Chateau d'If does to you. Albert is a more debatable case.
* TransformationTrauma: Boy, does [[spoiler: the Count's transformation into Gankutsuou]] in the anime look (and ''sound'') painful. In the manga, [[spoiler: his first transformation in prison]] is even worse, as it involves [[spoiler: violent hallucinations, mangling, rape metaphors, and of ''course'' a demonic entity]]. His look of utter "What the hell was this!?" when he looks at his hands in the aftermath says it all, really.
* TricksterArchetype: The Count has several personae, tricks people and is occasionally himself tricked, displays a confusing moral ambiguity and a total disrespect for social conventions, is histrionic, and also lives beyond traditional boundaries such as [[spoiler: good and evil, victim and predator, alive and dead or undead, human and monster, earthling and alien]]. He also has some characteristics of a {{Shapeshifter}} (see [[spoiler: his spectacular and painful transformations into Gankutsuou and the fact that when Fernand impales him with the sword of his HumongousMecha, he turns into a mist and reappears in his own mecha, vampire-style]]).
* TruerToTheText: Despite the [[RecycledInSpace sci-fi setting]], this is thematically the closest to Dumas' story than any other modern interpretation. While most modern takes on the story paint it as an adventure tale with the Count as an antihero who's justified in his actions, this show presents the count squarely as a villain with a FreudianExcuse, calling to light how his revenge overreached "justifiable" by [[MoralEventHorizon utterly destroying the lives of his enemies' children and their friends]].
** The original Dumas text notes that Edmond, as The Count, bears a resemblance to [[TheVampyre Lord Ruthven]]. The anime, in accordance, makes him a literal [[RecycledInSpace Space Vampire]].
* {{Tsundere}}: Eugénie, saying how she didn't like being engaged to Albert. It has more to do that it was decided for her instead of having a say in the matter. She mellows out over the series and even shares a BigDamnKiss with Albert.
* TwoGuysAndAGirl: Edmond Dantes and Albert's parents. Averted with Valentine, Franz, and Maximilien because of Franz' love interest.
%%* TheUnfettered: The Count.
* UnmovingPlaid: Taking to such extremes that it defines the series' entire art style in a divisive fashion; it's used not just for clothes, but for absolutely everything with a texture.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: Happens to Albert. Then [[spoiler: Peppo (the 'lady')]] uses it to wind him up for the rest of the series. It's implied that [[spoiler: Peppo is truly is a man since in the epilogue, Baptistin sees Peppo has become a model and is weirded out by it (if Peppo is a girl, that would not be too surprising).]] Peppo is confirmed to be male by the manga adaptation, as well as originally being a boy crossdressing as a girl to seduce Albert in the novel.
* UnusualEars:
** The Count has pointed ears as does Haydée.
** Bertuccio has a pair coupled with a matching pair of fangs - neither of which he had before joining the Count's team.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The count is ''blue'' and has ''fangs'' but almost no one seems to notice/comment on it. One of the only times it's acknowledged is in a FromTheMouthsOfBabes moment from [[SpoiledBrat Edouard Villefort]]. Some of the aliens in the background in this show are pink and have ''heart-shaped'' heads, while Haydée has blue skin and pointy ears, but no fangs. The weird thing about the Count is really just that he's blue and ''human''.
%%* VillainProtagonist
%%* VillainsOutShopping
* WarForFunAndProfit: The motivation for [[spoiler:the assassination of the Prince]].
%%* WeirdMoon
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Peppo, the young bandit who poses as a woman to lure marks into the bandits' clutches and then joins Albert's household staff as a maid. Cheerful and friendly, and one of the more wholesome characters in the entire series. As usual for the Japanese version of the trope, is never seen in masculine clothing and entire episodes go by without drawing attention to the fact that the young lady is not what she seems.
%%* {{Yandere}}: Madame Villefort
%%* {{Zeerust}}