Sunday, January 25, 2015

My thoughts on Gankutsuou

Gankutsuou is an Anime that is based on The Count of Monte-Cristo, but which adapts the plot to a distant future setting with various Sci-Fi twists to the story.

I have recently watched it.  The English Dub only, I prefer to avoid Subtitled versions if I can.  It can be viewed for free on Hulu.  Now all I need is some kind of western release for the Anime version of Les Miserables, and I'll have a pretty good handle on the history of Anime directly drawing on French literature/history.

I enjoyed it a great deal, all the voice actors were great, it shared a lot of common voice actors with the dub of Code Geass.

I like that it starts with when Albert and The Count meet.  I feel that is ideally how modern versions of the story should start, all three Hollywood films I've seen spend half the movie on the origin story.  Which in a two hour movies leaves little time for what we actually came to see.

I feel a serialized format is best for adapting something like The Count of Monte-Cristo, it was a serialized format originally, but people forget that.

It does follow the common rout of adaptations making him save Mondeago for last.

The biggest problems I have all come down to Eugenie Danglars.  I enjoy this take on her character in many ways, but it takes away her being a Lesbian in favor of making her and Albert the romantic endgame.

Her Lesbian affair is frequently dropped from adaptations partly because of it being censored from the earliest translations, and partly for the same reason it was censored.  I can't even decide if including Eugenie but changing her sexuality is worse then most adaptations that don't even include her.

In addition to the issue hurting the potential LGBT representation.  I also consider it interesting how in the original novel the Junior Lead doesn't wind up with either of his love interests.

Eugenie's Lesbian history is possibly homaged by the fact that she at times has somewhat of a Bifauxnen look.  I don't think the writers were ignorant of it, because the versions that censor that tend to also censor the opium sequence, which is referenced in a sense in this Anime.

It disappoints me because I felt it lent itself to an Anime trope quite well, the Yuri or GL genre.  But I guess they felt Eugenie's seeming coldness to Albert lent itself to another romantic Anime trope, which I'd probably screw up the name of.  Perhaps it didn't seem like a good Yuri story to them because of Eugenie being younger even though she would have to be the Seme.

The loss of a Lesbian character is perhaps counter acted by the fact that Franz is clearly in love with Albert.  And also Peppo being some kind of either Trans or Intersex person.

But another problem with what ultimately happens to Eugenie is her becoming ultimately a Damsel in Distress.  And experiencing something very disturbingly similar to a Rape.

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