While the multiple layers of designs are chiefly remembered for their use as clothing textures, they had other uses as well: here the friends relax under a tree, their clothing and faces additionally patterned by the Chiaroscuro effect of alternating bright sunlight and moving leaf shadows. The effect is even more striking in the moving image than in still images

Art design Edit

Among the artists referenced in the anime's style was Gustav Klimt, who was one of Maeda's favorite artists and provided inspiration for using blocks of strong primary colors and intricate patterns.[1][2] Maeda combined multiple layers of complex design with the Ukiyo-e style common to all anime, a style of 19th century Japanese painting which strongly influenced the Impressionist movement.[1] To create the anime's distinct animation style—which saw multiple bold colors and overlaid background and foreground texture layers—Maeda used a computer graphics program.[3]

En Garde

Use of the program came about due to issues created by the source material, which set its events in grand aristocratic houses, ornamented in the complex Art Nouveau or Baroque styles. Maeda also wanted to fully express the different textures of character clothing.[4] This made key animation challenging; after trying several different animation types and getting nowhere, Maeda tried the computer-managed layering system, which made the process both possible and much easier than traditional animation.[5] The illustrators only needed to create the clothing outlines for key frames rather than full character designs, for example.[3] Because of this style, Maeda had to imagine each scene as being filmed with live-action actors rather than focusing on animation. By using the computer program, Maeda could create different texture layers within scenes. During the testing stages, Maeda worked with professional stylists, stapling fabric pieces to concept drawings to achieve the desired effect.[5]


The computer animation gifted the production with the true blessing of moving images: patterns, spheres and cogwheels that could move, like an automated astronomical Orrery

The character designs were created by Matsubara, who had gained notoriety for his work on Oh My Goddess! and the Sakura Wars franchise. Matsubara was brought on at an early stage, when Maeda was putting together internal promotion videos for the project. Matsubara designed the characters based on Maeda's drafts. The character design of Gankutsuou was different from other anime of the time, not using shadows and highlighted elements and instead focusing on vigorous movement and exaggerated posture, communicating a character's personality through movement.[6]

Character design Edit

Count of Monte Cristo Edit

Main article: Count of Monte Cristo

When Matsubara was given Maeda's draft design for the Count, the character looked like a typical villain; as Matsubara created the final design, he softened the villainous aspects and added noble and sarcastic elements to the Count's expressions. Due to the chosen animation style, Matsubara could not put excessive rumples and creases into clothes as they would be camouflaged against the underlying textures.[6]

Albert Edit

Main article: Vicomte Albert de Morcerf

Albert was given multiple outfits to reflect his changing attitudes and roles in the anime; his formal suit reflected his clashing feelings about an arranged marriage to Eugénie.

Franz d'Epinay Edit

Main article: Franz d'Epinay

Franz's design was less flamboyant than other characters, reflecting his grounded personality and sense of responsibility towards Albert.


Rarely do we see five character's textures on screen at the same time. Left to right: Albert, Haydée, Franz, Maximilien, Robert Beauchamp the reporter

Eugenie Edit

Main article: Eugenie

Eugénie had the most costume changes of the entire cast, with her styling drawing from 1960s fashion to illustrate the disconnect with her family and her wish to rebel.

Haydée Edit

Haydée's design made her appear doll-like, with one of her dresses being modelled on stained glass and reflective of her melancholy background.


Mercedes Herrera Edit

Main article: Mercedes Herrera

Mercedes was designed to show her coldness and fragile spirit in the wake of losing Edmund, with her dress design using ice and crystal as a motif.

Fernand Mondego Edit

Main article: Fernand Mondego

Fernand was intended to be the polar opposite of the count, clothed in white or similar bright colours. The theme of the bright and beautiful villain recurs often in anime and JRPGs. It suits the father of the optimistic and bright Albert who is doomed to disillusionment, to have a bright and fair-seeming upbringing with fate doom and sin behind it all.

Baron Danglars Edit

Danglars' gaudy golden clothes symbolised his obsession with wealth and brash nature which keeps him from rising in manners to the station to which his betrayal led financially.


Exquisitely faithful homage to Jean Giraud (Moebius)

Prosecutor Gerard de Villefort Edit

Villefort's clothing symbolised his power of control.[7]

Valentine de Villefort Edit

Main article: Valentine de Villefort

Valentine is reserved and, together with Maximilien Morrel and Albert, faithful and unreservedly committed to goodness and purity, with even Albert tainted by his hero worship of the vengeful Count. She wears high necks, ruffles, her hair tied back, the usual thing for less outgoing women in dramas of this period who are not dressing to be noticed.

Maximilien Morrel Edit

Main article: Maximilien Morrel

It's fairly simple: Max dresses like a soldier, because he is one. Not intriguing, perhaps, but very effective, as the role sets him quite apart from most of the rest all the same.

Costume design Edit

In addition to Japanese designers, Gankutsuou saw a collaboration with American fashion designer Anna Sui, who had previously done a collaboration for a Dark Horse Comics project and liked the prospect of working on a full-motion animation project, the studio's animation technology and Dumas's original novel.[8][9] The anime uses clothing styles drawn from early 19th century France, showing fashions associated with the time including the "dandy" look and widening hems for women's skirts being incorporated. Sui described these designs as her biggest challenge.[8]

Voice actors Edit

Character Japanese voice cast[10] English voice cast[11]
Count of Monte Cristo/Edmund Dantes Jouji Nakata Jamieson Price
Albert de Morcerf Jun Fukuyama Johnny Yong Bosch
Haydée Akiko Yajima Stephanie Sheh
Franz d'Epinay Daisuke Hirakawa Ezra Weisz
Fernand de Morcerf Jūrōta Kosugi Paul St. Peter
Mercedes de Morcerf Kikuko Inoue Karen Strassman
Baron Jullian Danglars Shinpachi Tsuji Doug Stone
Victoria Danglars Naoko Matsui Mari Devon
Eugénie Danglars Chie Nakamura Michelle Ruff
Gérard de Villefort Yōsuke Akimoto Tom Wyner
Héloïse de Villefort Kumiko Watanabe Julie Ann Taylor
Valentine de Villefort Junko Miura Dorothy Elias-Fahn
Maximilien Morrel Tetsu Inada Tony Oliver
Lucien Debray Jin Domon Doug Erholtz
Andrea Cavalcanti Tomokazu Seki Liam O'Brien

Gallery Edit

Links Edit

[12] [13] [10] [6] [14] [15] [4] [9] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

[1] [5] [2] [33]

[11] [34] [35] [36] [7] [8] [3] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]


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