Well, here we are, everyone. It's been many weeks, but we've arrived at the conclusion of this excellent anime series. The Count's efforts will come to a cumulative head, and we'll discover the fates of those left hanging.
Just as a note, next week will be a wrap-up session for this series, as well as an introduction for our next book club selection, Skull Man (which, by the way, is still very inexpensive over at Rightstuf). I will also endeavor to pick out the next selection to follow Skull Man, so that anyone interested in participating will be able to make whatever preparations they need. If anyone would like to make any suggestions, please do so here or in the comments of next week's wrap-up.
Onto the final two episodes!
Apologies for the delay, I had trouble getting Photoshop to work so that I could resize the images for this post.
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Act 23: Edmond Dantes
Gankutsuou and Fernand enter into a final showdown, during which Gankutsuou finally takes over Edmond in his entirety. With both men injured, Albert, Baptistin and Bertuccio break into the Count's home and break up the fight, only to get into a showdown of hostages. Gankutsuou seems poised to put down Albert and his father once-and-for-all, but Albert manages to unearth the last bit of Edmond Dantes left, and causes Gankutsuou to flee. As Edmond lays dying on the sand, he finally appears to make peace, asking those around him to remember the name "Edmond Dantes." Albert and Haidee escape on Baptistin and Bertuccio's ship as Fernand ends his life and the house beneath the Champs Elysees collapses into a pile of rubble at their feet.
Act 24: At the Shore
The surviving characters manage to move on with their lives. In the interim, the war between the planet and the Empire ends, opening up new opportunities for social mobility and a greater movement of wealth. Eugenie returns from New York to visit Franz's grave on the fifth anniversary of his death. Maximilien, having retired from the military, is reunited with Valentine. Haidee regains her royal status and becomes princess of Janina, where she's aided by Baptistin, Bertuccio and Ali. Albert returns to his family's former home and discovers a letter from Edmond to Mercedes and, in reading it, imagines a young Edmond, Fernand and Mercedes on the beach, as he once spent his free time with Franz and Eugenie.