Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo is an anime series set in the year 5053. While the setting is largely futuristic, many of the buildings and dress styles are reminiscent of France in the 19th century. Gankutsuou shares the same basic plot as Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. However, in the Gankutsuou, there is a greater focus on Albert Morcerf and his friends as opposed to the book's focus on the Count. In addition, the anime portrays the Count in a far more negative, almost antagonistic, light. The story is largely that of a coming-of-age for Albert and his friends. Their plushy lifestyle is disrupted by the arrival of the Count, who sets his plan for revenge into motion.
A mysterious nobleman living in luxury, The Count approaches and befriends Albert in Luna as the first step in his plan of revenge against the people who once betrayed him. The Count's previous identity was Edmond Dantès, a sailor who worked for the Morrel family's shipping company. Edmond was imprisoned in the Château d'If on false charges, and it was there that he met Gankutsuou (known as The Ruler of the Cave in Animax's English adaptation). In exchange for the strength and means to gain revenge, he allowed the cold-blooded demon to possess him. Because of Gankutsuou, he is afflicted with an odd condition which causes his body to become increasingly crystalline, revealing his bones and internal organs.
A delicate beauty and skilled harp player, Haydée is one of the members of the Count of Monte Cristo's estate. The former princess of the planet of Janina, she and her mother were sold into slavery when her father was betrayed and murdered. Haydée was eventually rescued by the Count, and grew deep feelings for him over time, even professing her love for him. She wishes to save him from the revenge that consumes his life, but is haunted by her own desire for revenge against the man who murdered her father and sold her into slavery.
The husband of Mercédès and the father of Albert, is General of the Parisian army and the leading candidate in France's presidential race. While touted as a hero, Fernand is actually a cowardly character, guilty of unethical practices including the betrayal and murder of the Pasha of Janina and a purchased nobility. In the past, he worked with Edmond Dantès and Danglars under his real name of Fernand Mondego. Though Edmond considered him a friend since childhood, Fernand was his rival for the affection of Mercédès, and thus led to his part in Edmond's wrongful imprisonment.
Once known as Mercédès Herrera, she was Edmond Dantès former fiancee until she married her childhood friend Fernand upon news of Edmond's death in the Chateau d'If. Though she is a devoted wife and caring mother, Mercédès still remains in love with Edmond. She suspects the Count's true identity and worries that he has returned to disrupt her family's life.
Viscount Albert de Morcerf (アルベール・ド・モルセール子爵,Arubēru Do Morusēru Shishaku?)
The series protagonist. A naive fifteen-year-old, he encounters the Count while vacationing on the moon colony, Luna. Taken in by the Count's poise, sophistication, and mystique, Albert serves as a tool for the Count to immerse himself in Parisian society. His naivete is his defining flaw, blinding him to others' faults and intentions. Nonetheless, his purity of spirit penetrates the hearts of others. He turns sixteen over the course of the series, in the final episode of the series, he no longer seems to be the naive boy he once was, having matured through all that he has experienced years earlier.
Most often simply called Danglars, he was a crew member on board the same ship as Edmond Dantes, but is now the most powerful banker in France and he seeks wealth above everything else, disregarding the feelings of those closest to him in the process. By appealing to Danglars' sense of greed, the Count persuades him to create an account allowing an unlimited withdrawal of funds. He sees the marriage of his daughter Eugénie as a way to enhance his family's wealth and prestige. He has been friends with Fernand for several decades, and engaged Eugénie to Albert as a way of tying the families together as well as a means of supporting Morcerf's political ambitions. Danglars was the one who came up with the idea to imprison Edmond for his own gains and because Edmond had uncovered his embezzlement of ship's funds.
Most often called Madame Danglars, is known for being outspoken and determined to get her way. Madame Danglars has had several extramarital lovers, such as Albert's friend Lucien. In contrast to her husband, Madame Danglars has limits on what she will do in the pursuit of wealth; her most prized possession is her horse Eclipse which she refuses to sell. Her character in the novel was called "Hermine" (エルミーヌ,Erumīne?).
The childhood friend of Albert and Franz who is engaged to Albert. Though she is usually friendly to Albert, she appears displeased with the arrangement and sometimes acts cold towards him. Later in the series she shows some feelings towards Albert and she soon realizes that she has fallen in love with him, even sharing a kiss with him. She shows her affections through composing music for and playing the piano; her dream is to become a professional pianist.
The highest ranking judge in Paris and is considered a member of the social elite. He is known for being harsh in his rulings, a trait that will return to haunt him. While he conducts his judicial business with an iron fist, he is in truth a very passive, self-flagellating character trying to get out from under the shadow of his father Noirtier. His first wife died years ago, and he remarried to a social-climber named Héloïse. He once had an affair with Madame Danglars which resulted in a child. Villefort was the one who sent Edmond Dantes to prison without a trial and the intent to keep him there within the prison walls for life.
Villefort's daughter by his first wife. She is a kind and caring person, but she is also somewhat withdrawn and rather frail. She is very sickly most of the time. While she appears to have a civil relationship with her father, she is more attached to her grandfather Noirtier. She is formally engaged to Franz who does not seem to have feelings for her. After a while she starts to prefer the company of Maximilien Morrel and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, due to his position as a soldier, Maximilien does not meet with her father's approval.
The second wife of Villefort and Valentine's stepmother. She is bitter towards her stepdaughter because she knows that Valentine will inherit fortunes from both her maternal grandparents and Noirtier while Madame de Villefort's son Edouard will barely inherit anything from the Villefort estate. Her hobby is gardening in her private greenhouse. She is fascinated by toxicology, and most of the plants she grows are highly poisonous. From her flirtations with the Count and indifference towards her husband, she gives the strong impression that she is a social climber.
Gérard de Villefort's father, though they have an antagonistic relationship. Noirtier was once a high-ranking official within the French government, but was paralyzed due to a stroke and he can no longer speak. Valentine is devoted to his well-being and he seeks to provide for her as best as he can given his condition.
Albert's best friend who accompanied him in the carnival in Luna. He seems to be more mature than Albert, cautioning him against the Count. He holds deep feelings for his best friend, whom he has known since childhood (when they met at the funeral of Franz's father) and he risks his own life on several occasions to save Albert.
A friend of Albert and Franz. He works as a secretary within the French government. Charismatic and confident, Lucien is a self-proclaimed ladies' man, and far from shy when it comes to his affair with Madame Danglars.
Renaud is another friend of Albert and Franz. A soldier during the previous war, he was saved by Maximilien and introduced him to the group. A man with a love for cars, he is an open and talkative person.
A young woman who meets and seduces Albert during the festival on Luna per Luigi Vampa's orders so that Albert can be kidnapped, but who also tries to defend him when he is about to be tortured and killed. The Count reveals to Albert that she is actually transgender (that is, that she was born male). After Albert returns to Paris, he finds that Peppo has made her own way to Earth and become a maid in the Morcerf household. She seems to have a strong affection for Albert and enjoys teasing him whenever she can. She later falls deeply in love with him. She is based on the character Beppo (ベッポ?) from The Count of Monte Cristo, but was intentionally given a different name for Gankutsuou.
Marquis Andrea Cavalcanti (アンドレア・カヴァルカンティ（侯爵）,Andorea Kavarukanti (Kōshaku)?)
An Italian criminal known to the Count, who rescues him from execution, funds him and introduces him to Parisian society as a noble. Cunning and crude, Cavalcanti flamboyantly displays his wealth to make himself known throughout Paris. After meeting the Danglars, he replaces Albert as Eugénie's fiance. He is arrested at the wedding after he was revealed as a fraud created by the Count. Andrea is actually the child of Gérard and Victoria as a result of an affair who was abandoned as an infant.
He was once a member of the same group of friends as Edmond, Fernand, and the others. He indirectly participated in the plot to send Edmond to the Chateau d'If, but unlike the others (who became extremely successful and powerful) has fallen on very hard times.
A noblewoman who knows Franz d'Epinay well and is on good terms with him. She is a recurring character in the series. In the original novels, she is known as the Countess G and is heavily implied to be the Countess Teresa Guicciolo, Lord Byron's mistress after he left England for the last time and settled in Venice.