Deadman Wonderland ReviewHaley Nicks
Ganta Igarashi's day started out like most others. He got up and drug himself to school, did the usually banter with his friends before class started, and settled in for the mind numbing task of listening to the day's lessons. Suddenly he hears a familiar tune in his ear and looks for the source. When he glances outside the school window, his eyes widen in fear. A masked man clothed in a blood red garb is seemingly floating outside and staring directly at him. The man's mouth twists into a sickening grin. Energy builds in one of his hands and he thrusts it at the window. The last thing Ganta sees is his classroom exploding in a mess of glass shards and wooden splinters with his classmates' screams filling the air.
When Ganta opens his eyes, the horror of what has become of his class overwhelms him. Bloody carnage is everywhere and it becomes apparent that he is the only one still alive. Before he can make out what has happened, the masked man is in front of him. He draws energy in his hand again and slams it into Ganta's chest. Instead of dying, Ganta looks down in fear to see a ruby-like stone that has become embedded in his chest. He passes out. When he awakens, Ganta learns that the police are making him out to be the culprit behind the attack on his classroom.
He is detained and placed on trial. No one believes his pleas that the Red Man is behind this horrible crime and he finds himself guilty of killing his classmates and sentence to death in Deadman Wonderland. This prison is a theme-park inspired facility that takes in the incarcerated and makes them perform for tourists for entertainment. Ganta soon learns that this prison treats its guests with brutality. The prisoners wear collars that pump lethal poison into their systems that they must overcome by eating antidote candy every three days or else they die. The entertainment that they put on for tourists are death traps that are covered up by being part of the act for special effects. The prison guards and the prisoners themselves all treat one another cruelly. It seems all that Ganta can find here is suffering...that is until he meets Shiro.
Shiro is a strange albino girl that seems to know Ganta from way back and claims that they are best friends. Ganta has no memory of her and can't help but be mystified at this girl that acts so happy and childish within this torture facility. It becomes obvious that she only cares about stuffing her face with sweets and protecting Ganta. As he is on Death Row, Shiro gets to display her protection quite often as the prison sets it out that accidents happen to those serving this sentence.
But Ganta learns that he is capable of protecting himself with the new power that he has acquired from the ruby gem in his chest. When situations are dire, Ganta is able to call upon the power of manipulating his blood to come out and blast away harm. He soon learns that he is not the only one there that can do this and that the term for them is DeadMen. He also finds out that the Red Man is there as well. Spurned on by this knowledge, Ganta focuses on surviving to track down the Red Man while learning more about his powers and his fellow DeadMen.
Overall, I was very impressed with this anime. The action and suspense were right on par. Definitely not something for the little ones as gore and random curses are a plenty here. Ganta at first was very grating to my ears as his voice actor lived up to making him be the whiny character that always doubts himself and asks Why me?. However, as he grows and develops relationships with his fellow prisoners, Ganta is able to get stronger and push himself to be brave in order to survive. My only real complaint is that it ended too soon. At only 12 episodes, I hope there is a Season 2 as nothing really got resolved. I need closure!
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.