Well, here we are again, about to embark on a wonderful journey filled with longing, betrayal, and eye-popping textures that just won't quit. I hope that everyone was able to get a hold of the series or was able to find a viable stream. If not, here are official links to both episode 1 and episode 2 on YouTube (there are also dubbed versions of those episodes available, if that's what you prefer). Remember, I've created an Anime Book Club Google Calendar to help you keep track of our progress!
I'll begin each post with a link to previous discussion posts on the series, for people who would like to reference them, and then provide a summary of the episodes to jog everyone's memory. I'll then outline my impressions of the episodes and provide, if possible, a few topics to discuss. If you want to participate, simply offer your thoughts, either on the provided discussion points or on whatever you feel like talking about, in the comments section. The key to keeping this alive is participation. I can certainly post on my own every week, but it's more fun if other people are willing to offer their own impressions as well. If anyone out there in reader-land has read The Count of Monte Cristo, I would love to hear some thoughts and comparisons between the book and the anime series, if you're willing to offer them.
If you have any discussion questions to add, I'll amend the post to include them to be sure that everyone has a chance to reply.
I'll keep this post open indefinitely, so feel free to comment any time after the post goes up (usually midday Sundays). On to the show!
Act 1: At Journey's End, We Meet
Young noble Albert de Morcerf and his best friend, Franz d'Epinay, arrive on Luna in time to participate in the annual Carnivale festival. Albert is there to have the experiences which he can't have at home, and to potentially experience the rush of love he's missed since being betrothed in a relationship arranged by his parents. He's soon entranced by a mysterious man calling himself the "Count of Monte Cristo." This Count passes himself off as a noble, though none of the other noblemen or women Albert meets have any idea whether his claims hold any truth.
Albert gets his chance to meet with the Count and is immediately charmed by his hospitality, but Franz senses something is amiss and encourages Albert to stay away. Albert insists on meeting the Count for lunch the following day, where he finds himself wielding the power of life and death over a group of condemned inmates. Shaken, Albert seeks solace in a beautiful woman, who turns out to be more than she seems.
Act 2: Until the Sun Rises Over the Moon
Albert is captured by a group of bandits and held for ransom. If Franz cannot come up with the fifty-million ducat sum by sunrise, the bandit leader, the notorious Luigi Vampa, will have Albert tortured and killed. Franz spends the night exercising all of his options, until the only one left is to ask a favor of the Count of Monte Cristo.
Albert's rescuers arrive in time, while the Count begins to show some of his true colors. In exchange for his generosity, the Count asks that Albert help introduce him to Parisian society when he arrives on Earth. The Count also does Albert the favor of revealing the true nature of Peppo, the young girl who trapped him in the first place.