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ANNCast Series Discussion: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo


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torchic91



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:17 pm Reply with quote
I think for the kiss between the count and Albert, there is in interpretive space as to whether it is a kiss of eros, or a kiss of agape. When I first watched the show, I interpreted it as a kiss of agape, a kiss of compassion. Albert showing compassion to the Count, despite having his live completely changed (his family, his status, etc.), is a radical move on his part, an unrelenting compassion that eradicates the hate in his heart. I also think you can interpret it as a kiss of eros, of specifically romantic love as well. Perhaps it is both!

In any case, a kiss of *love*, in whatever form we interpret it, eradicating the demon of Gankutsuo, the hatred in the Count's heart, makes perfect sense to me.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Apparently the BBC Count of Monte Cristo aired in 1964.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:34 pm Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
Apparently the BBC Count of Monte Cristo aired in 1964.


Yeah, I was way off. I saw this when I was like 11 or something, so I didn't recall exactly what it was. It was this TV version starring Gerard Depardieu as the Count. It's not good. I haven't seen the 60s BBC version, maybe I'll look it up!

torchic91 wrote:
I think for the kiss between the count and Albert, there is in interpretive space as to whether it is a kiss of eros, or a kiss of agape.


Sure. There are two main reasons that I think his crush on the count (and therefore the kiss) were romantic in nature. The first one is that interview with Maeda/the constant framing of Albert's reaction to the Count as infatuation. (All that blushing, including a full pink blush when he shouts at Franz that he has to duel the Count because he "messed with his feelings.") The second one is that he delivers that kiss in an imitation of Peppo, who also committed an act of unconditional love by pushing through Albert's anger and rejection of her to confess her feelings, acknowledge that they were unrequited, and commit to helping him save "the girl Albert really loves." Albert doesn't say any of that stuff, but since the shot framing and circumstances are the same between these two kisses (they even kiss the same place, the right cheek just barely to the side of the lips), I'm thinking that means he was using this kiss to express the same kind of feelings that Peppo was expressing when she gave it to him.
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Another great episode! Though I can appreciate Zac's criticism about the cynicism the show takes in its presentation of Edmond's plight and its reification of his mental conflict, it is more than sufficiently written to wholly delight in the story nevertheless.

What Jacob mentioned about the loss of privilege being necessary for the development of responsibility and personal value was quite an astute observation. I never warmed to the character of Albert as much as I did to Edmond, but on reflection he was indeed the moral epicentre of the setting's opulent rottenness.

All I can fault this show for is handling of a certain scene in particular. Given the sheer fluency of its narrative, I found Franz's death to be striking in how hackneyed and overwrought it was. His strangely optimistic monologue, followed by Albert's superfluous scream, did little justice to the more nuanced fact that Franz died to save a loved one from his own naivety.
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Parsifal24



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote
This is a series I only watched a few episodes of and never ended up finishing all I can remember is that the design for the clothing was interesting along with the character design. I never read The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas so I have no idea how it stacks up as an adaptation. The fact that Jean-Jacques Burnel of The Stranglers did the ending theme was not something I found out until I read the Anime Encyclopedia entry on Gankutsuou.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:24 pm Reply with quote
torchic91 wrote:
I think for the kiss between the count and Albert, there is in interpretive space as to whether it is a kiss of eros, or a kiss of agape. When I first watched the show, I interpreted it as a kiss of agape, a kiss of compassion. Albert showing compassion to the Count, despite having his live completely changed (his family, his status, etc.), is a radical move on his part, an unrelenting compassion that eradicates the hate in his heart. I also think you can interpret it as a kiss of eros, of specifically romantic love as well. Perhaps it is both!

In any case, a kiss of *love*, in whatever form we interpret it, eradicating the demon of Gankutsuo, the hatred in the Count's heart, makes perfect sense to me.

See, I never interpreted it as the kiss itself being the thing that eradicates the demon and whatnot. If it depended only Al's love I think the whole thing would have ended a lot sooner, I mean it's not like Al was ever particularly subtle. (I mean he pretty much confesses to the Count when they're away traveling.)

The point of that scene, IMO, is that the Count loves Albert. Albert's love is obvious and the Count has been well aware of it all along - after all he was deliberately seducing him. The problem is that as time goes on the Count finds himself also developing quite a bit of affection for Al, despite himself. Still, he decides to go ahead regardless, actively fighting against his feelings, going as far as trying to kill Albert in an attempt to completely kill his heart. And in the end we see that it didn't work, that last spark was still alive deep inside of him. Al's kiss and all that it implies is more of a trigger that makes it come alive again, and this is what causes the transformation (that ironically kills him).

Btw eros or agape, I think it's pretty much meant to be both? On Albert's end I think it's pretty difficult to deny the romantic overtones, what with all the blushing, the confession, the whole "how dare he play with my heart" and "if he hates me so much he should just kill me!" angst and so on, or how the kiss pretty much changes direction from lip to cheek in the very last cut... Very Happy;;

Edit:
JesuOtaku wrote:
Sure. There are two main reasons that I think his crush on the count (and therefore the kiss) were romantic in nature. ...

I mean, there's also the fact where he all but said "I love you" in episode 15 (I think). I don't know how it was rendered in English but in Japanese it was fairly unambiguous ("boku wa anata ga...!" - not a lot of ways to finish that in such a situation), along with the Count's reaction and follow-up.
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CrownKlown



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Wait I must have missed that, when did they kiss?

I didn't get the sense there was any eros between the two. Franz is implied to be gay and Albert never treated him more than a friend, while the ending implies Albert ends up with Eugenie. Also he is only attracted to Peppo because he thought he was a she.

To me it was a father son relationship, on both parts, Albert was the son he never had with his finance, while for Albert his father was always kind of busy with his political career, the count was this myserious and powerful person who he comes to see as an idealized father figure.
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#rogue_of_space



Joined: 14 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:29 pm Reply with quote
I thought the ending was supposed to be basically optimistic. Zac, Jake, and Lynzee pointed out how even after Gankutsuou was exorcised through the power of forgiveness and gay kisses, Edmond Dantes still cries out for Bertuccio to bring him his sword. I agree with them that having Edmond suddenly apologize for everything would have broken character, but I still think that Edmond ultimately finds peace, if only on his deathbed. Note the last thing he says; after screaming that he needs his sword to kill Albert, he clasps Albert's hand and asks him to remember that his name was in fact Edmond Dantes, not Gankutsuou, before dying with a smile on his face. This phrasing of becoming someone other than yourself is used repeatedly throughout the show, often, but not always, in the context of letting revenge and despair corrupt you. Edmond proclaiming his true name once and for all is a final, tragic triumph.
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relyat08



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:39 pm Reply with quote
Surprised no one mentioned the OST, which had some utterly bone chilling and epic tracks throughout it. My personal favorite was arguably over-played, but it was still dope and I listen to it regularly even today. sooo goood!
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:18 am Reply with quote
CrownKlown wrote:
Wait I must have missed that, when did they kiss?

I didn't get the sense there was any eros between the two. Franz is implied to be gay and Albert never treated him more than a friend, while the ending implies Albert ends up with Eugenie. Also he is only attracted to Peppo because he thought he was a she.


Being gay doesn't mean you're attracted to every dude any more than being straight means you're attracted to every woman. Albert not being into Franz doesn't mean he can't be attracted to other dudes any more than him not being into Valentine means he can't be into Eugenie. (Clearly he favors the older gentlemen iykwim, insert "daddy" jokes here.)

And yup, he kisses him right on the face! Sorta goes for his lips and then deflects to the cheek in the last moment, echoing what Peppo did. That's what causes the Count to un-blue himself.

relyat08 wrote:
Surprised no one mentioned the OST, which had some utterly bone chilling and epic tracks throughout it. My personal favorite was arguably over-played, but it was still dope and I listen to it regularly even today. sooo goood!


Yeah, the OST is crazy-good, it just didn't happen to come up in our discussion. But it's excellent! Very Happy
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:34 am Reply with quote
CrownKlown wrote:
Wait I must have missed that, when did they kiss?

In the penultimate episode.
This is the last cut before he just kinda goes for his cheek instead, but frankly it's still not something that would ping me as a "father-son" thing.
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Spike Terra
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:02 am Reply with quote
I really enjoyed Gankutsuou especially for it's art style and dub cast. I saw it in 2008, so I don't really remember the particulars of the story or characters besides the basics. What I do remember is that I watched it in probably the worst possible way. I starting watching the show at like 8 pm on a Wednesday and watched it all in one sitting in a dark room, sitting at about 8 inches away from the screen because that's smart.
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Animechic420



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:11 am Reply with quote
CrownKlown wrote:
Wait I must have missed that, when did they kiss?

I didn't get the sense there was any eros between the two. Franz is implied to be gay and Albert never treated him more than a friend, while the ending implies Albert ends up with Eugenie. Also he is only attracted to Peppo because he thought he was a she.

To me it was a father son relationship, on both parts, Albert was the son he never had with his finance, while for Albert his father was always kind of busy with his political career, the count was this mysterious and powerful person who he comes to see as an idealized father figure.

You have a clear, thinking head on your shoulders.
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Schoolie



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:39 pm Reply with quote
I haven't watched this show yet (it's in my pile of shame), but wanted to pass along my THANKS for continuing to do these "series" shows on ANNCast.

These help with standing back and reexamining past anime, creators, and trends, along with uncovering content that may have been overlooked.
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relyat08



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:44 pm Reply with quote
Schoolie wrote:
I haven't watched this show yet (it's in my pile of shame), but wanted to pass along my THANKS for continuing to do these "series" shows on ANNCast.

These help with standing back and reexamining past anime, creators, and trends, along with uncovering content that may have been overlooked.


Agreed. I love the series discussion episodes. This is easily the best podcast that I follow, and the analysis ones are an absolute pleasure. I don't look forward to any other podcast, or hearing any other critics opinions, more than those of Zac and Jacob(and whichever guest they have on. Big fan of Nick too).
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