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FUNimation Adds Gonzo's Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Anime

posted on by Egan Loo
Gonzo's sci-fi retelling of Dumas novel was once released by Geneon USA

The North American distributor FUNimation Entertainment has announced on Friday that it licensed Gonzo's Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo television anime series. Director Mahiro Maeda (Blue Submarine No. 6, The Animatrix's "Second Renaissance") oversaw this science-fiction re-imagining of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel about revenge and deception. Natsuko Takahashi (07-Ghost, Tales of Agriculture) and Tomohiro Yamashita (Afro Samurai, Red Garden) supervised the scripts, while Hidenori Matsubara (Ah! My Goddess, Sakura Wars) designed the characters which Gonzo gave a distinctive stained-glass texture. The anime aired in Japan from 2004 to 2005, and won the award for the best television series at the 10th Animation Kobe Fair.

Instead of the post-revolutionary-era France of the original novel, Gonzo's retelling takes place in a surreal distant future. Albert, the son of a renowned general, meets the enigmatic Count of Monte Cristo during a festival on Luna. Albert invites the beguiling count back to Paris. Unbeknownst to Albert, his father had once framed the count and destroyed the count's personal and public life. What follows is a dark passage for Albert as he discovers the depths of the past wrongs and the lengths that the count is willing to go to avenge himself.

Another distributor, Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc., had released this anime series in North America in 2005 and 2006. Then, Geneon Entertainment ceased in-house distribution of its own titles in September 2007. FUNimation announced at Anime Expo 2008 this past July that it agreed to manufacture, sell, and distribute selected DVD titles from Geneon Entertainment in North America. However, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo was not licensed from Gonzo's corporate parent GDH until now.

Image © 2004 Mahiro Maeda • GONZO / MEDIA FACTORY • GDH

Update: According to FUNimation's press release, the company will release the 24-episode series on DVD in 2009.

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