In the second volume of Gankutsuou, Mahiro Maeda's (Blue Submarine #6) dark twist to the literary classic "The Count of Monte Cristo," the story continues to slowly unfold as the Count begins to pinpoint all those responsible for his past. Though this volume contains no action, this series continually gets better and deeper as the intrigue plays out around all of the characters. This series is carried by excellent plotting and it's risk-taking style of animation.
In this volume, the characters face what it truly means to love, as two characters, Albert and Franz, must deal with arranged marriages, while another, Maximilliam, a commoner, finds himself in love with the woman arranged to be married to Franz. During all of this, the Count's wicked games continue, as he spurs friends on to duel, hands over a ring capable of injecting poison, and unites two past lovers in an attempt to bring back terrible memories. This volume reveals a lot of the characters' emotions, enlightening us on two minor characters, Maximilliam and Valentine, who served a brief part in volume one, as well as introducing a couple new characters to the mix of deception.
This series, despite having almost no action to speak of, is one of the best I've seen in a long time. The rich animation and the fact that Mahiro Maeda is willing to institute plot elements such as homosexuality that may alienate those uninterested in such things makes this series more alluring than other blandly plotted anime. Though the reference for this series is considered one of the greatest novels ever written, it takes a great deal of skill to be able to translate that for an anime format. Mahiro Maeda did an excellent job at doing just that. If you haven't already began collecting this, then start now and get both volumes one and two. If you have began collecting this series, then don't miss out on this volume.