17 CommentsAnime Analysis, Twelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #9: Stepping into the Count’s Room

Gankutsuou is my favourite anime I’ve watched this year. Despite that, I don’t really have an awful lot to say about it, beyond “it’s great, go watch it now”. It wasn’t a story that made me think or leaving much in the way of lasting impressions. It was just pure entertainment that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. But no particular moment stood out. Was I really going to go through these 12 days of Anime posts without mentioning my favourite anime I’d watched in the year?

Well, no. There was one scene. When the protagonist’s gang stepped into the Count’s room for the first time.

YouTube Preview Image

Sorry, but this spanish sub is the best I could find. Skip forward to the 2:30 mark and watch the next 2 or so minutes to see the scene I’m talking about. Don’t worry, there’s nothing even remotely resembling a spoiler in there.

Gankutsuou’s artwork doesn’t really have a purpose. There’s no particular reason why it chose that crazy CGI and pretty layered patterns, beyond the reason that it looked cool. But in choosing that crazy artstyle, they were allowed to rewrite the physics of their world. They weren’t confined by the standard methods of animation. They could throw out any which what sort of scene and it would mesh in fine with the rest of the series. Outfits could be as colourful and large as you liked. Architecture didn’t need to follow any real rules. This was the future. Science had developed fabulousness as a stand in for sound structural design by this point. Your armour could have as many spikes on it as your budget allowed for. Generally they kept this crazy artwork to a reasonable degree, occasionally flashing out with a ladies dress or a spaceship.

But every now and then, Gonzo’s animation team went full out. The first time they really showed off their animation capabilities was in this scene. When the troop entered the counts underground chamber and revealed his living quarters, if you could call them that. Gold ceiling, gold pylons, gold floor all layered and shiny that seemed to move as the characters move. An elevator that seemed to fly through a different dimension. A non-existent ceiling where constellations and solar systems with eyes for suns floated above, like something out of a beautiful nightmare. Standing amongst all of that, ready to greet his guests, was the Count. Where as previously he looked out of place where-ever he walked, reducing the architecture of futuristic Paris to backdrops to his grace, here for once he looked at home. Here was a room that could contain the might, will and fabulousness of the Count in full.

My moment in anime #9: The one time in the entire series that not everything was simply backdrop to the Count.

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  1. Posted December 17, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    By the way, did you watch this dubbed, or subbed?

    • Scamp
      Posted December 17, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Subbed…I think…yeah, defo subbed because I remember the trap was voiced by Horo

  2. Morridin
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This series has been sitting on one of my external drives for ages.
    I really have to watch it one of these days, but unfortunately that goes for so many other series as well :(

  3. karry
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    “pretty layered pat­terns”

    Because it was cheap. This “technique” is from the very roots of animation.

    As much as i hate the dumbasses at AWO, i have to agree with their assessment of this show, astounding production, solid characters, all around great quality, but judging this as an adaptation they completely missed the point and narrative of the original.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      It’s cheap but it works. It’s because it was cheap that they could do such crazy things with it.

  4. Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    More people should watch this show. Seriously.

  5. Posted December 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Gankutsuou was one of the best series I watched last year, and I’m planning to rewatch it soon. Should be pretty damn awesome, especially now that it will be in DVD quality for me~

  6. Posted December 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I remember liking this show. The visuals were nice, but I think there’s some character moments that were well done. I can’t remember her name off-hand, but the musician chic, Albert’s friend, had some of them. Which now reminds me of the music and the tune is in my head now. I guess the show interested me in how relationships changed throughout.

  7. anon
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I still can’t get over how cute Haydee was.

  8. Posted December 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    This show was so good it made me read a book.

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Bloody hell.

    • Posted December 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      That’s scary.

      Although it did make me get it on my kindle. I haven’t read it yet.

  9. Samshel
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Been on my list of must watch for a while, but I’ve been out of time lately, plus I have to watch the episodes of the series I missed in the last month that I was out of PC >_<

  10. luffyluffy
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    So happy I got that Trojan.

    A friend accidentally linked me to a Trojan while helping me patch Little Busters. He felt so bad about it that he offered to buy me something.

    About 19 dollars later, the Gankutsuou series boxset now sits on my DVD shelf.

    And lemme tell you, this episode is BEAUTIFUL on DVD.

  11. Posted December 17, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    This series has been sitting around waiting for me to watch it for ages. It’s just that the shiny scares me, and my eyes do not appreciate it. But I do want to watch it sometime in this coming year.

  12. Posted December 18, 2010 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    I too watched Gankut­suou this year as I mentioned in my character post. I totally want to read the book and watch the live action movie too.

  13. merveilles
    Posted December 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s in my top 5 ^^

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