TV and Movies

Deadman Wonderland

The principal characters of Deadman Wonderland. From left to right: Tamaki, Yō, Makina, Ganta, Shiro. (Wikipedia)

Recently the wife and I sat down and watched Deadman Wonderland. We watched the first three episodes in Japanese with subs, then switched to the English dub that Netflix offers.

Deadman Wonderland is Japan’s only privately operated prison. To the public and the tourists that visit daily, Deadman Wonderland is a massive theme park-like facility run by the prison population. Unbeknownst to the general population, most of the prison’s attractions involve cruel games of survival where many inmates lose their lives or are maimed for the entertainment of an oblivious public.

The anime Deadman Wonderland, is the story of Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary student attending Nagano Prefecture’s middle school. One day when a strange person covered in blood and crimson armor floats through his classroom windows. Grinning madly, the ‘Red Man’ massacres Ganta’s entire class but instead of killing him, embeds a red crystal shard in Ganta’s chest. Within days of the massacre, Ganta is subjected to a mock trial as a suspect and is sentenced to death at Deadman Wonderland.

While trying to survive as an inmate on death row, Ganta intends to find the ‘Red Man’ to clear his name. In a bizarre twist, Ganta begins to develop the ability to manipulate his own blood, to the point of turning it into a weapon. Unknown to Ganta, he has become one of the prison’s “Deadmen,” an isolated group of prisoners possessing the Branches of Sin which makes them capable of controlling their blood. After his ability is discovered, Ganta is forced to participate in Carnival Corpse. In his struggle he manages to befriend some of those he fought off in the arena and with their help, Ganta continues his quest to uncover the identity of the ‘Red Man’, why he turned into a Deadman, and the dark secrets the prison authorities are hiding.

While the premace of the show has great potential, however the show left me disappointed.
The first few episodes are kind of boring and I was going to quit watching part way, but evidently it got better as the story and characters developed. However at the end it falls flat and everything the show had been building up to is left unresolved. As I understand it the Manga the show is based on covers it in more detail, but I have not read the manga and doubt I will.

This show is full of the ol’ ultra-violence, and if thats your thing then you may like this show it is certainly not for everyone.

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Jedite83 is a professional geek-of-all-trades and founder of Hacker Labs - The Geek and Otaku Blog.