So, you’ve watched the Count of Monte Cristo anime, and you’re feeling enticed to experience the original work of fiction for yourself. Or, hell, maybe you’re a long time fan of the book, looking to get into the anime. Either way, you’re in for a series of heavy surprises, as there are a lot of differences between the two versions of the story. No, I mean HUGE differences, some of them great enough for the two stories to almost be considered mutually exclusive from each other.
In light of this, and as a penultimate post for Sci Fi July, I’ve decided to compile a list of 25 differences between the original Andres Dumas classic brick of a novel and the bizarre Studio Gonzo anime series. There are going to be spoilers here, but let’s be honest, if you’ve experienced either version of the story already, then you already know all of the important shit.
Here we go!
1: The anime starts at about the halfway point of the book, skipping Dantes’ backstory until certain flashbacks towards the end.
2: Abbe Faria was the original prisoner who helped mold Dantes into the Count. He is absent in the series. In his place is Gankutsuou, a vengeful spirit who takes over Dantes and makes him look alien.
3: In the book, it’s explained that Lucien Debray sleeps with Danglars’ wife in exchange for stock tips. This is glossed over in the anime.
4: Franz sticks around for the majority of the anime, until he’s killed in a duel. He was absent for most of the book.
5: In the book, De Villefort saw his father’s name in the letter. In the anime, he saw his own.
6: In the book, Franz refuses to marry Valentine because Noirtier killed his father. In the anime, he just acknowledges not loving her.
7: In the book, Maximillien and Valentine had many secret conversations before falling in love. In the anime, the process was much more brief, as well as public.
8: In the book, The Count helped Valentine fake her death to escape her family. In the anime, her friends kidnap her.
9: In the book, Ali is a mute black slave. In the anime, he’s an alien.
10: In the book, The Count meets Albert in Italy. In the anime, they meet on Luna, which is presumably the moon.
11: In the book, Beppo is mentioned in passing. In the anime, the renamed Peppo is a major character.
12: In the book, Fernand and Mercedes were cousins. In the anime, that’s not the case anymore.
13: Book: Hermine de Danglars. Anime: Victoria de Danglars.
14: In the book, Eugenie is a man-hating feminist, and also a secret lesbian. In the anime, her role is changed significantly to emphasize the childhood friendship of herself, Franz and Albert.
15: In the book, Andrea Cavalcanti has no idea of his blood relation to Eugenie. In the anime, he’s explicitly in on the incestuous aspects of The Count’s scheme.
16: The book goes into the specific history of Luigi Vampa, while the anime omits it.
17: In the anime, it’s never explained why Dantes chose the name Monte Cristo. In the novel, it’s explained as the island where he gained his wealth.
18: In the book, the letter is specifically a list of Napoleon’s sympathizers. In the anime, it’s more vague.
19: Albert and his mother exit the story relatively early in the book, while Maximillion and Valentine become The Count’s main focus. This is reversed a bit in the anime, as the story arc of Maximillion and Valentine is resolved early, and the focus remains purely on Albert.
20: Albert and Eugenie are implied to be together at the end of the series, while in the novel, they’ve pretty much forgotten about each other.
21: In the book, Albert challenges Beauchamp to a duel. In the anime, he challenges the Count.
22: The order of The Count’s revenge is different in the books. He strikes the Morcerf’s first, causing Fernand to kill himself. In the anime, he lasts until the end.
23: In the novel, after being confronted about her poisonings, Heloise kills herself and Eduoard. Gerard de Villefort, barely remembering who Edmund Dantes is, shows him their bodies to shame him before going mad. In the anime, they all go mad, and Heloise and her son probably survive.
24: In the novel, having indirectly killed Heloise and Eduoard, The Count psychologically tortures Danglars to teach him the true value of a dollar, and then spares him. In the anime, he traps him on a wayward spaceship full of gold.
25: In the novel, The Count and Haydee end up together. In the anime, The Count dies, and Haydee gets into politics.
Hopefully, this handy guide will prepare you for the shock that you’re likely to face when you jump from one version of the story to the other. Either way, you made a great choice getting into the mythos of Monte Cristo, as it’s a wonder of story-telling in both forms, the anime and the novel. The 1934 movie is also really good, but you’d better be prepared to see Albert wooing Valentine de Villefort. It’s actually pretty jarring if you don’t know about it ahead of time.
Get into this outstanding story while you still can, because as you’ll no doubt hear, Death is Certain… The Hour Uncertain.