Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we have the prison fight/amusement park thriller Deadman Wonderland.
STARRING: Greg Ayres. Monica Rial, R Bruce Elliot, Eric Vale, Colleen Clinckenbeard, Mary Morgan, Lydia Mckay
DIRECTOR: Kōichirō Hatsumi
NO. OF EPISODES: 12 episodes
GENRE: Action, biopunk, drama, horror,science fantasy, psychological,mystery
A massive anomaly ravaged Japan’s mainland and destroyed most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of the city into the ocean. Ten years later, the story shifts to Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary student attending Nagano Prefecture’s middle school. As an escapee, a survivor of the great earthquake, Ganta has no memories of the tragedy and has lived a normal life. This all changes 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, a massive theme park-like prison.
Arriving at the prison, Ganta is fitted with a special collar which monitors his location and life signs. A lethal poison is constantly injected into his bloodstream through the collar, but it can be neutralized by consuming a peculiar candy-like medicine every three days, which can be acquired through various activities in the prison, i.e. performing for audiences, working backstage, purchasing with cast points, etc. To gather Cast Points (the prison’s currency), an inmate has to perform in the facility’s lethal games and survive. Fortunately for Ganta, he is aided by a mysterious girl named Shiro, who apparently knows Ganta, and is known by other prisoners as well.
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 brutal gladiatorial death matches known as Carnival Corpse, whose anonymous spectators pay large amounts of money to watch. 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.
First of all, I have to say the blood bending is totally badass. Having to actually focus on using just enough where you won’t go into catatonic shock is awesome, they actually thought this one through. The characters are actually well designed and unique, despite their motivation. I really hope they have a second season as there were alot of moments that would be so much better if they had more time.
Deadman Wonderland is one confusing as hell anime. I am not actually sure on what the majority of the characters motives are, but they all seem on the right track. Also, the story jumps hella, leaving a lot to be desired. I’m assuming this is because they tried to cram so much of a good story into a short 11 episodes. Also, I am incredibly disappointed on the series finale but no spoilers here. You will have to find out for yourself.
- Blood bending.
- Actual facts about blood loss.
- Well-designed and unique characters.
- Second season?
- Confusing story.
- Unclear character motives.
- Anticlimactic ending.
SCORE: 6.5 / 10
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