Deadman Wonderland reviewed
Kazuma Kondou and Jinsei Kataoka wrote one of the most intriguing manga series in recent years, Deadman Wonderland (in Japanese, デッドマンワンダーランド). The plot of the story takes place in a combination amusement park/prison. While the authors sometimes had difficulty incorporating the horror aspects of the story, the end result is still considered terrific for people who like the horror genre.
This article will provide a review of the manga and anime series Deadman Wonderland.
What is Deadman Wonderland about?
Tokyo citizens lived a normal life before a disastrous earthquake wreaks havoc on the city. The area that now dominates the city is an amusement park/jail where people can watch blood fights and death matches—Deadman Wonderland.
Privately operated under the guise of a regular theme park, Deadman Wonderland imprisons people from every corner of Japan and uses them to attract tourists. The public is largely oblivious to the real purpose of this facility and its ominous nature.
The main character is Ganta Igarashi. Just as the other residents, this middle-school student’s normal life is interrupted by the catastrophic earthquake.
More importantly, he also suffers a great tragedy at the hands of a mysterious Red Man, who slaughters his entire class and knocks him unconscious. Ganta is the only survivor of the mass murder, and when he wakes up, he’s falsely accused as the killer of his high school friends.
As a result, Ganta ends up in Deadman Wonderland with other criminals. His fate depends on his progress in the horror games. Ganta also meets his childhood friend Shiro, an albino girl who plays a major role in Ganta’s battle for survival.
How many books are in the Deadman Wonderland series?
There are 13 books in the Deadman Wonderland series:
Deadman Wonderland Volume 1
Deadman Wonderland Volume 2
Deadman Wonderland Volume 3
Deadman Wonderland Volume 4
Deadman Wonderland Volume 5
Deadman Wonderland Volume 6
Deadman Wonderland Volume 7
Deadman Wonderland Volume 8
Deadman Wonderland Volume 9
Deadman Wonderland Volume 10
Deadman Wonderland Volume 11
Deadman Wonderland Volume 12
Deadman Wonderland Volume 13
Deadman Wonderland—Our review
Deadman Wonderland is unlike anything you may have read before, including Dragon Ball, Vampire Knight, and Naruto. The plot is unique, and there’s a massive amount of gore. The characters also immerse you in their struggles. If you’re into horror, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the title.
You’ll also have a great time reading the manga if you love dark, creepy, and morbid tales. The story breaks away from other adventures of this kind and doesn’t delude you with a false sense of happiness.
On the contrary, the story is deprived of joy altogether. The story solely revolves around those who try to make their way out of a nightmare situation.
The story begins by introducing the amusement park/prison, describing its purposes and the activities that take place inside. From there, it mainly centers on the protagonists, the people he meets, their survival tactics, and other daily routines of Ganta.
The biggest strength of this manga might be all the twists. You hardly see them coming, and they normally occur due to the characters’ decisions that keep the plot moving forward. The events also have one thing in common—they’re dark, psychological, and depressing.
The action scenes are solid, too. Although the tale may drag at times, there’s still ample excitement in almost every scene. A number of fights take place throughout the novel, offering nice thrills that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Furthermore, the authors perfectly captured the drama between the prisoners. They depicted every conflict realistically, especially the aftermaths of their fights. Even if the characters don’t use fists, their words are impactful and influence the story.
On the other hand, the one reason most people criticize the title is that the story sometimes devolves into a generic combat shounen or battle royale style. This is most evident from the moment when Ganta starts using his own blood to defeat his enemies.
The tale is no longer about Ganta’s survival but his quest to attain near-super powers to keep his friends safe. The games introduced at the start of the novel sometimes take a backseat to fights that have little bearing on the storyline and character development.
Another problem some readers have with the manga is how the authors handle mystery. The writers introduce a mystery and often resolve it just a few pages later. The characters’ revelations also come too soon, sometimes in the same chapter.
The prime example of this is when the protagonist first meets Shiro. Ganta tells her that she looks familiar but can’t remember where he met her. This is a great way to shroud a character in a veil of mystery.
However, the authors quickly provide a backstory in the form of a flashback of Ganta and Shiro as children just a few pages later. The decision makes you wonder if masking a character’s identity was even worth it.
As for the art, you can hardly ask for more from Deadman Wonderland. The moment you start reading the story, you’ll feel immersed in this dystopian world. Each part is clean, crisp, and detailed.
The background and gore are believable, but character designs are the highlight. You can relate to their expressions, which convey vivid emotions on every page.
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Is there a Deadman Wonderland anime?
Yes. Manglobe produced the anime version of Deadman Wonderland. There’s also a version with an English dub, which aired on Toonami on Cartoon Network as part of their Saturday night block of Japanese anime programming. The U.S. anime distributor is FUNimation, who you can buy the blu-ray from. You can also stream Deadman Wonderland on Crunchyroll.
Why is Deadman Wonderland so short?
The Deadman Wonderland manga has 13 volumes, but the anime wasn’t renewed for a second season due to poor anime reviews.
Is Deadman Wonderland disturbing?
Deadman Wonderland can be quite disturbing from some readers, as it features over-the-top gore and violent scenes.
Who are the best characters in Deadman Wonderland?
Fan-favorite Deadman Wonderland characters include Ganta Igarashi, Makina, Shiro, Crow, Tamaki, Kiyomasa Senji, and Minatsuki Takami.