In Gankutsuou, the art style is pretty weird. Instead of having normal coloring/shading, different pieces (such as hair or a shirt) have their own pattern that doesn't move with the piece. You can see it in the Count's hair and in the shirt below. Is there a name for this type of art, and is this something that is unique to Gankutsuou or to anime?

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  • this style is similar to what's in the ~what a Beautiful ~ Visual Novel Series, in Sekien no Inganock ~What a Beautiful People~ Gii's clothes has the same pattern as what overlaps his eye when his Crack Equation is used, in Shikkoku no Sharnoth ~What a Beautiful Tomorrow~ a lot of the time i can see a Coat of Arms such as in Mary's Umbrella. difference is that most of the time the character's are not animated
    – Memor-X
    May 16, 2014 at 1:10
  • 1
    This type of cell shading is actually used a lot these days, but just not so densely or in such a clashing way.
    – Jon Lin
    May 16, 2014 at 1:10
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    I'm not sure what this is actually called, but TVTropes calls it "Unmoving Plaid". As @JonLin says, it's used a lot; you can see some pretty egregious examples in Shaft shows.
    – senshin
    May 16, 2014 at 1:30
  • "Unmoving plaid" is not a style, it's a side effect of texturing.
    – Kreiri
    May 16, 2014 at 13:56
  • I think this style is inspired from "multiple exposure photography", some anime use a kind of tapestry to render character's clothes and the character moves but this background stays in place.
    – unom
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


According to an interview (in French) with the series creator series creator, Mahiro Maeda, the art style of the anime combines western Impressionism with Ukiyo-e, a 19th century Japanese woodblock printed art style that strongly influenced the Impressionism movement around the same time.

One of the particularly notable mini-movements within impressional is the Art Nouveau style, particularly the influence from the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, likely best known for his work The Kiss. Klimt was mentioned to be one of Maeda's most favorite artists and his works gave way to inspire the blocks of strong primary colors seen in the series.

Klimt's style applies a tension of naturalism and stylization, bridged together by turns through fairly intricate multiform and multi-patterned surfaces and bold contrasts of color with highlights of gold, silver, coral, and gems. This is all wrapped around a pervasively mystical and alluring aura brought about the the spiraling and intertwining lines juxtaposed with stark square and triangular shapes. All of this is reminiscent of a ghostly mosaic aesthetic.

For more information on the visual style, I recommend picking up the illustration art book on the series Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Complete.


There doesn't seem to be a technical name for this animation style. TVTropes calls it Unmoving Plaid, while it's also referred to as "plaid animation" and "static pattern animation".

Outside of animation, this is also lumped in with, for example, a pattern such as plaid or polka dots not changing orientation on a shirt as the character moves. This shows up in manga and comics as a way to avoid having to reorient a pattern every time the character moves.

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