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Gankutsuou, a.k.a. "The King of the Cavern", is one of two main villains of the anime Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo alongside the Count of Monte Cristo himself. He is the main source of power for the Count, inspiring him to move forward with his revenge plans.
Role in the Story
According to Noitier de Villefort, Gankutsuou was once a powerful crime lord who wanted to take control of the criminal underworld hundreds of years ago. However, his plans were foiled and he ended up in prison. A thousand years later, Edmond Dantes was sent to prison on false charges, and was kept there for twenty-five years. Eventually, after years of suffering, Edmond's hatred and insanity got Gankutsuou's attention, and after making a deal, Gankutsuou gave Edmond the power to exact revenge on his enemies while Gankutsuou gained Edmond's body, mind and soul. Ultimately, the two became partners-in-crime, working together to set the stage for Edmond, who was now the Count of Monte Cristo, to get revenge on his treacherous friends. Meanwhile, Gankutsuou had other plans in mind...
Throughout the course of the story, Gankutsuou would try to surface within the Count, which would prompt the Count to use medicine to keep Gankutsuou from betraying him. Sometimes, the Count himself would address himself as Gankutsuou, perhaps indicating that the Count and Gankutsuou were becoming a singular mind. Gankutsuou would eventually crystalize the Count's heart, making him a much more immoral person and more susceptible to Gankutsuou's influences. During the battle between Fernand Mondego and the Count, Gankutsuou finally managed to take control of the Count's mind, making the Count no longer care about revenge and just give in to the corrupting force within himself. However, Albert de Morcerf, in an act of desperation, embraced the Count, exorcising Gankutsuou from the Count's body, which would eventually lead to the Count's demise. Gankutsuou then tried to destroy the basement of the Count's home in retaliation to this, but failed, as everyone but Fernand Mondego escaped alive. He then stated that he would always be with people as a black hole, no doubt of Gankutsuou's own creation, ravaged the garden that would be the Count's tomb.
His initial appearance greatly resembles a dark purple alien who has been crucified, evoking religious imagery. His limbs are bony and thin in certain areas as well.
However, when he possesses Edmond Dantes, Gankutsuou appears as a bright, glowing purple tattoo of a set of eyes and a unibrow on the Count's forehead. Once the Count completely loses himself to Gankutsuou's influence, he appears as a six-eyed face. In most, if not all, of his forms, he has one red eye and one yellow-green eye, which become a set of three on each side of his face once the Count's mind and body are under Gankutsuou's control.
Not much can truly be said regarding Gankutsuou's personality other than his love for negativity. He finds the Count's longing for revenge fascinating enough for him to want to work with the Count, effectively becoming his partner-in-crime, so to speak. However, other than that, he is more or less a being of pure evil. He is also extremely treacherous, backstabbing the Count of Monte Cristo and taking total control of his mind and body before the Count can achieve his revenge.
Powers & Abilities
Gankutsuou is a demonic alien entity with the ability to possess and outright hijack the minds and bodies of other lifeforms. As a side effect of his powers, he vessels often crystalize. However, medication can be taken to keep him at bay. Only extreme forms of positivity, such as love, friendship, and admiration can drive him out, but only if it is physically expressed in a meaningful way.
- Gankutsuou's role in the Count's backstory is somewhat reminiscent of the old man that Edmond Dantes encountered in the original Count of Monte Cristo. However, while the old man in the book told Dantes about his hidden fortune in Monte Cristo and giving the Count his alias, Gankutsuou is a demonic alien who granted the Count unnatural abilities to help him get revenge.
- It isn't a well-known fact, but Gankutsuou also acts as the narrator during the recaps for several episodes.