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|“||Unneeded pawns are meant to be sacrificed, along with everything between me and my revenge!||„|
|~ The Count of Monte Cristo to Haydee Tebelin before Bertuccio is ordered to take her away.|
The Count of Monte Cristo, originally known as Edmond Dantes, is the main antagonist of the anime, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, alongside Gankutsuou himself. He is inspired from the character of the eponymous novel by French author Alexandre Dumas.
Role in the Story
As Edmond Dantes
Back when he was known as Edmond Dantes, he, Fernand Mondego and Mercedes Herrera were the very best of friends, with Edmond and Mercedes deeply in love with each other. However, Fernand was envious of his friend, and conspired against him with Jullian Danglars. After the captain of the ship that Edmond worked on fell ill and died, however, Edmond would eventually become the victim of a terrible betrayal, as Fernand and Baron Danglars had orchestrated Edmond's arrest. The result was Edmond being sent to Chateau d'If where the world believed he had perished, all thanks to Crown Prosecutor Gerard Villefort, who was included in a letter that Edmond had that Villefort didn't want anyone to see or read.
After spending several lonely and agonizing years in Chateau d'If, a mentally-insane and vengeful Edmond Dantes would be assisted by Gankutsuou, "The King of the Cavern", who would provide Edmond with the ability to exact his vengeance while Gankutsuou could have his body and mind. At that moment, "The Count of Monte Cristo" and Gankutsuou became co-conspirators, working together to destroy the lives of those who had ruined the Count's life. Eventually, he would also "free" Haydee from her enslavement. However, how he met Ali, Baptistin, and Bertuccio is still uncertain.
Setting the Stage
Sometime after his escape, he went to Luna, a city on the moon, where the Count would encounter Albert de Morcerf entirely by chance, and it is through this chance encounter that the Count's plan for vengeance began to finally take shape. Ordering Bertuccio to bring Albert and his childhood friend, Baron Franz d'Epinay, to his hotel suite, the Count made fast friends with Albert, albeit only to use him later. Franz, on the other hand, became very doubtful of the Count's kind nature after a sadistic card game involving a cardinal's letter of pardon was used as a way to free a dangerous bandit from being executed, and Franz consequently advised Albert not to socialize with him.
That same night, however, Albert would be captured by Luigi Vampa and his henchman after Peppo lured him into a trap. This caused Franz and eventually the Count himself to search for him when Franz encountered one of Luigi's goons regarding a ransom, which the Count helped pay for. Using Baptistin and Bertuccio to keep the bandit from tricking him, the Count managed to track down Luigi's headquarters and confront Luigi himself. However, Luigi would lose his right eye after the ordeal, and Albert would be freed from his captors and even gain a friend in Peppo. Sadly for Albert, little did anyone know that the Count made a deal with Luigi to make Peppo keep an eye on Albert's movements, effectively making Luigi and his cronies the Count's henchmen.
After the Luigi Vampa incident, the Count asked Albert to assist him in making positive relations in Parisian society, and, after some formal meetings with the Morcerfs and the Danglars, the Count was just about ready to make his move. Little by little, he set up several events that would allow him to level the playing field, such as bringing Haydee Tebelin to the opera house knowing that Fernand Mondego would be there, and when the Count invited the Morcerfs, Danglars, and Villeforts to the Count's villa and showed Victoria Danglars and Gerard Villefort the box they tried burying Andrea Cavalcanti in. These events would eventually lead to the sabotaging of Fernand Mondego's presidential campaign and the arrest of Gerard Villefort respectively. However, there was one little flaw in the Count's plans: Albert de Morcerf, who at this point still idolized the Count.
The Truth is Discovered
During a trip into space, the Count implicitly tells Albert his backstory by claiming that it was a friend of his who went through this. After sending Albert back to Paris, the Count would later order Bertuccio to bring him back to Earth as well.
When Albert returned to Earth, he found his father's presidential campaign in shambles, and, furious that Haydee would ruin his father's image, went searching for her. He found his way to the Count's villa, where he found Luigi Vampa and his mistress waiting for him. Much to Albert's shock, Peppo, who was working in the Morcerf household as a maid for a little while, was secretly monitoring Albert on the Count's orders, and she was still working for Luigi.
When the Count returned to Earth, he found both Albert and Haydee waiting for him. He explained to Albert that he wanted Haydee to sabotage Fernand's campaign, which was a shock even to Haydee, and that he wanted all of the bad things that were happening to the three families to happen, saying that everything was occurring for a reason. In a fit of rage, Albert threw a dueling glove at the Count, challenging him to a duel using full armor, a challenge which the Count accepted. With the time of the duel being set to 5:00 a.m., Albert and the Count got ready for a duel to the death.
The Death of Franz
Sometime before the duel, Mercedes met the Count again and tried to make things right with him, only to fail, with the Count stating that "Edmond Dantes is dead". That night, Franz d'Epinay chose to take Albert's place in the duel, sacrificing himself to save his friend from the backstabbing Count of Monte Cristo. Due to the probable lack of combat experience, the Count was capable to destroying Franz's battle suit with ease, much to the horror of Mercedes, who believed that her son was the pilot. With Franz's mech in pieces, the Count got out of his mech, took out his sword, and, after a monologue insulting Albert's bloodline, stabbed Franz, but not before being stabbed in the heart by Franz's sword, which broke when the Count tried to remove it from his body, with a single shard remaining in his body, something that would later be the bane of the Count's existence later down the line. Unfortunately for Franz, the Count's heart was crystallized, meaning he couldn't be killed by being stabbed in the heart anymore. With Franz dying shortly after the duel, Albert swore to stop the Count once and for all.
After the duel, the Count proceeded to play a game of chess, only to be interrupted by a mortified and sorrowful Haydee, who bravely tried to convince the Count to stop his plans. However, he merely stated that "unneeded pawns are meant to be sacrificed," and ordered Bertuccio to remove Haydee from his sight. Shortly afterward, he promised Bertuccio that he and the rest of the Count's henchmen would receive all of his riches once his schemes were finished.
After Albert managed to stop Eugenie and Andrea's wedding, Baron Danglars attempted to flee with what money he had left, only for Luigi Vampa and his mistress to be the pilots of his personal rocket. The Count had taken this flight with him, and after a long conversation with the Baron, left him to die of starvation as the rocket flew further and further away from civilization, presumably killing him.
During the trial of Gerard Villefort, Andrea had managed to poison his father's brain on the Count's orders, which, according to the Count himself sometime afterward, would rot the prosecutor's mind, making him mentally disabled and insane, leaving only Fernand Mondego to contend with.
The Final Battle
Due to everything that was going on, Fernand Mondego was getting desperate, his sanity wavering slowly until he chose to stage a coup de tat and take control of Paris. During this time, the Count and Albert confronted each other again, where the Count disclosed more information about what was going on. Eventually, the Count managed to battle Fernand, the two of them using battle mechs to fight each other. Unfortunately, the Count lost the capability of keeping Gankutsuou stable, and mentally submitted to the demonic alien's influence. Right before the Count could eliminate Fernand, Haydee intervenes, confessing her love to the Count and standing between him and his target, all in the name of stopping his revenge plans. Sadly, Haydee would be held at gunpoint by Fernand to keep himself alive, which, despite the Count not caring about Haydee that much, prompts the Count of have Bertuccio hold Albert at gunpoint as well, with the Count stating that he wanted to see Fernand suffer. Eventually, after Haydee is freed and Baptistin takes a bullet for Albert, Albert manages to get in close, and after trying to reason with the Count, he embraces him, which forced Gankutsuou out of the Count's body, leaving him mortal. This eventually results in the Count's death, as a piece of Franz's broken sword was still lodged in the Count's heart, and the lack of crystallization caused the shard to sink into the Count's heart, making him bleed to death. Before the Count died, however, he wanted everyone to remember him as "Edmond Dantes".
When the Count looks normal, he has tan skin and dark brown hair. During his time in Chateau d'If, the Count would eventually get a beard, which, upon his transformation into the Count, would be fashioned into a goatee. After the Count's transformation, his skin became light blue and his goatee and hair became dark blue. His eyes also changed color, with his left eye becoming yellow-green, and his right eye becoming red, signifying that Gankutsuou has possessed him. The Count's ears have also become pointy, and his teeth now resemble that of a vampire's.
In terms of clothing, the Count normally wears a black suit with a fire-like design on the sleeves. The Count also wears a top hat and cape, and he also holds a gold cane with a green, glowing jewel at the top. His hands are sometimes covered by white gloves to hide his see-through, crystalline body parts. Much of his torso has become see-through, especially around the area of his heart.
Before his betrayal, the Count was a lot more naive, merciful, and sympathetic, often being ignorant of what was going on behind his back and going easy on people who did bad things, like when Baron Danglars was caught embezzling funds. The Count was also capable of feeling genuine love for others, such as with his relationship with Mercedes.
Now, while the Count initially comes off as a kind, caring, and empathetic gentleman to those who first meet him, behind the scenes, he is a manipulative, vengeful, traitorous, uncompromising, and sociopathic schemer who cares only about his intentions, using people only as pawns and nothing more, something that the heroic Haydee would eventually learn the hard way. He cares about no one or the people he hurts, sometimes even enjoying the misery he causes, and he is more than willing to take a life if it means furthering his goals. He also has no trouble causing serious collateral damage, with Valentine Villefort and other innocent people not involved in the betrayal being prime examples. He is also a very good liar and is prone to psychological abuse. For instance, he conditioned Haydee Tebelin into believing that she was free, only for her to find out that she was merely doing what the Count wanted her to do and nothing else.
Powers and Abilities
Due to Gankutsuou's influence over him, the Count's body has begun to crystallize, making him nearly invulnerable on those crystallized areas. As a direct result of the fact that his body is unhealthy due to the effects of Gankutsuou possessing him, he needs a special type of medicine to keep Gankutsuou at bay, thereby allowing him to remain sane and physically healthy enough to properly fulfill his goals. He is an expert fencer, often practicing with his henchman Baptistin. The Count also has his own uniquely designed battle suit, which greatly resembles fencing gear, especially in regards to its head/cockpit. The Count is also a very skilled manipulator, capable of bringing the three most powerful families in Paris to their knees with his schemes alone.
- In an ironic twist of fate, while the original Count of Monte Cristo was the protagonist and anti-hero of his story, he is the main antagonist and villain in the 2004 anime adaptation. The role of the protagonist goes to Albert de Morcerf instead, who only appeared a couple hundred or so pages in the original story.
- He and his henchman Giovanni Bertuccio are both included on the album cover for Gankutsuou's soundtrack alongside Haydee, the only heroic character to have this honor.
- he had simair of Simoun and Oh Seung-ha.
- His appearance bears some resemblance to Kambei from Samurai 7 with the only difference being that the Count of Monte Cristo is an antagonist while Kambei is a protagonist.