The Count of Monte Cristo is a blue-skinned elf from outer space

Why is the Count of Monte Cristo a blue-skinned elf from outer space? Because he’s in an adaptation of the novel from Studio Gonzo. I recently finished watching Last Exile, so I was happy to find another show to watch, Gankutsuou.

The first part of the novel is shown in the opening credits, which have a sepia-tone and a jumpy quality to the animation that manages to evoke the look of old films. The look of the series is interesting, I think the best phrase I can think of to describe it is “holographic baroque”. All of the characters wear period clothing, but patterns on the clothes look as if they are being projected. This look is extended to some of the backgrounds, so there’s a mix of flat projected patterns and hand-drawn style characters. It does give the show a unique futuristic look.

Gankutsuou starts out midway through the story, as Albert and Franz meet a mysterious nobleman from the outer universe at a carnival on the mood. You can get a sense of the character design and look of the series here and this is where you can see some screencaps of individual episodes.