Posts Tagged ‘Mononoke


Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Prepare to see this image reused... a lot.

Whenever I think of Studio Gonzo, positive reviews do not come to mind. They have an amazing ability to take great source material, animate it, and, without fail, fuck it up. For example, Hellsing and Chrono Crusade were great series ruined by horrible endings. Of course, Gonzo also creates terrible series that are unsalvageable messes from episode one, like Gantz or Strike Witches. Once in a while they create unintentional comedy gold like they did with Speed Grapher. The lesson from all this is that Studio Gonzo is trash. They have terrible writers, shoddy animation, and use extremely outdated CGI. To date, the only Gonzo series that could even remotely be considered good are Last Exile and Welcome to the NHK. Then I watched Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is a sprawling, epic adventure, a tale of heartbreak and revenge. It is a novel so intricate it requires multiple readings to appreciate it to its fullest. It stars one of literature’s most complex and intriguing (anti) heroes, Edmond Dantes. I’ve read the book and seen a number of Hollywood adaptations. To me, it is one of the greatest stories ever told. And since Gonzo is known for making non-sensical shit, I figured there was no chance in hell this would be any good.

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Mononoke vs. Bakemonogatari

Mononoke's badass Medicine Seller

Usually, I don’t like to do side by side comparisons of anything. I try to judge every movie, TV show, book, album, game, or anime on its own merits, and not judge it against another subject in the same genre. Just because two anime might fall into the same genre doesn’t necessarily mean they should be given a direct comparison. However, after recently watching these two series, I found that they have so much in common, I can’t help but compare them.

I’ve been in a major anime slump lately. Everything I have watched I have either dropped from sheer boredom, or found the show to be a complete and total pile of shit. I had been checking the usual sites for episodes of new (and old) series that I had never seen before. One night I watched the first episodes of Tatami Galaxy, My Hime, Mononoke, and Bakemonogatari. They were all chosen completely at random with only the knowledge that other people had recommended them. I really had very little concept of what any of these series were about. Mononoke and Bakemonogatari piqued my interest the most, and I continued to watch them.

Every time I sat down for a viewing I would watch an episode of Mononoke followed by an episode of Bakemonogatari. It worked well as the former series has 12 episodes and the latter has 15. Coincidentally, I discovered that both series fell into the same genre, had similar formats, similar subject matter, and even shared a voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, who played the wise Medicine Seller in Mononoke and the wise Meme Oshino in Bakemonogatari.

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December 2022


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