Warning this review may contain spoilers:
So this is a review for the Deadman Wonderland manga, so I had high hopes for this series. It was a dark Sci-Fi about people who get taken to a special prison and a lot of stuff happens.So it is about this kid Ganta who is framed pretty much for killing his schoolmates and taken to this place called Deadman Wonderland, to be honest this isn't much of a spoiler because that is all chapter 1 is.
The story itself I found quite interesting, the pacing seemed mostly okay. The story was really easy to get into, you kind of feel sorry for Ganta and this is the effect the story had. The character development seemed to of progressed quite well. Honestly I haven't really gotten much to say.
The art was good, really there wasn't much to say about this. The facial expressions were well presented *Cough* Minatsuki arc *Cough*. Yeah not much to say here either. The contrast in the more dramatic scenes are well presented. Pretty much everything is well presented however there were a few moments where I found the art weird, I guess which is why it's only at 8/10.
So Ganta is typical human, he is what any normal person is. He has a plain personality which quite natural expressions where the audience can relate to him if they were in the same situation. Shiro the mysterious girl who befriends Ganta, so we don't really know much about her at the start but around chapter 11 we get to know more. Now the supporting characters, I won't say too much about these but I wanted to bring to whoevers attention the character of Minatsuki Takami, the crazy one minute and normal young girl the next. This girl is messed up and really she makes the story quite interesting, it is like she has two personalities where she uses one as a cover and the other is the real personality. But want to know more about her just check out the series. Overall I found that there was good contrast between the characters and each added to the story quite well.
Conclusion, a drama filled series that light manga readers probably won't like.
WARNING MINOR SPOILER(S)
Story Opinion: This manga starts off really strong in the fast paced way of the main Character, Ganta, just living a completly normal life. Then BAM out of no where everyone important to him was slaughtered and, of course, him being the only one left alive made him the culprit (Pretty much no evidence whatsoever).
Then begins his "Shashank Redemption Attitude" where he goes around saying that he's innocent like they'll suddenly decide that they were wrong in the first place. Soon after that he finds his "friend" Shiro that he barely, if at all, remembers and eats snacks with her. All the while very rarely asking himself what she was doing there or any such questions even though half of the panels are filled with him thinking, but most are hi ideas about being in prison.
Gets into a life or death moment and the real story begins. Since this IS completed I'll tell you now that the finale was not exactly the best way to end the story and left sooo many cliff hangers and seemed sooo rushed that my imagination runs wild ;). So if you don't like those kind of endings then I suggest that you just dont read it.
Characters: For the characters overall I was impressed about how much in depth the authors went into the creation of many of the character's backstories and the reason why they ended up in prison and their present attitude, demeanor, and style. (With the exception of a few)
Ganta: Since he was originally a regular high-school kid, he does have some expected reactions for his newfound situation. But, he gets over the death of his class pretty quickly considering that the massacre of your entire class might normally severly traumatize someone, he handled it relatively fine. Also he never makes me think of him as the lead and at times I doubt of his success in his goals (Some he accomplishes Some he doesnt)
really interesting start, and quite fast an introduction to the second main character, Shiro, which is quite the mysterious character. ( a little too mysterious, so you can see some things coming)
cool idea behind the special powers of deadman, who are able to control the flow of their blood
after a good start, however, the story starts to kind of rush things over. the secret behind the "red man" is revealed quite early, leaving a lot less suspense. the ending with a fight "ganta vs red man" and the result of that fight was also a bit too predictable.
still a nice manga to read though
What an awful story. The events in this story make me want to cry when I think about it, it's almsot too much. This book was seriously brutal, not just the gore, but it was chilling. So it was a very artistic tragedy, not just shock factor stuff. The art was really fantastic, every page was just really striking, I couldn't look away from some of these drawings, I was blown away by the artwork. I could have done without all the tits however. I really think that the huge bouncy boob trend in certain mangas takes something away from a series because it's just so unecessary and pointless that I think less of the whole thing. Anyway, I will have to read this again because I didn't fully understand everything, but for the most part I wasn't really disappointed with the ending like I thought I would be. Most animes/mangas always botch the ending for me because I always think I will have a great "a-ha!" moment and everything will make sense, I'll think "wow, how brilliant" or something along those lines that I think I'm dumb for not figuring it out or emotionally shatter me. Powerful endings are important to me, and this one had a few good moments of clarity. The only problem I had with it was the story which I found pretty boring if I can ignore the wicked artwork and actually evaluate its content. Not too much happened that I really cared about, I just wanted to see more build up in the story with the wretched egg and ganta. But as I'm sitting here thinking about the manga I just finished, I am in awe a bit. The story was just so terribly sad and cruel I almost can't take it. But in that way, it's romantic and artistic and I wish it went on.
Story: Framed for mass murder, wanton slaughter and 16 other assorted accounts, Ganta is found guilty and is sentenced to Deadman Wonderland, a jail where the public can watch some fun death games and badass blood fights. Family friendly fun for all! I should also mention that it's a literal wonderland, with the jail smack dab in the center of an amusement park, complete with a ferris wheel. That's how they roll, and they're rolling in a MacLauren, one of those super fast race cars; it's that good.
The concept of jail for convicts and those with super powers who also happen to be convicts is awesome and something I totally dig. Mix in some death games and and I'm totally sold. It's pretty intense, matching and building up on the initial concepts and unleashes a hefty torrent of blood, grim scenes, tearjerkers, morbid moods, dark atmospheres and some good, mature stuff to really get the reader's attention. It sees the promise it displayed initially and it delivers.
The story itself is also worked pretty well on and provides a surprising amount of depth considering that it's death games and violent combat with disturbing consequences. No spoilers here but it really goes deep into the tale, delivering depth and actually explaining plenty, leaving very few plot threads hanging. The explanations provided are satisfying and if something isn't explained now, it will be later.
Really solid stuff and while it may drag at times, it still provides plenty of excitement and the tradition of explaining shit and providing even more backstory. Heck, it's pretty action-packed throughout with loads of fights occuring and some real nice thrills that can make you go to the edge of your seat in tension and suspension. Drama between the inmates is done really well and provide some of the best moments, especially the aftermath and the effect of said fights, especially the ones that deal with words and not fists or superpowers. Some real good moments of emotion to be had here. This is one violent blood fest you can read for plot.
Art: Excellence. Grim, gory, detailed and looks pretty smashing in it's glory. The art is solid throughout: the character designs I really liked with some of the dames providing some plotty fanservice, Shiro, gory discretion shot to go along with the actual gore and some real good atmosphere abound. And as time moves on, some characters just grow in badassery.
Characters: What I really love about this is how just about any character with some significant impact on the story or some semi-hugeish interaction with the main guy has a backstory. Crow? Backstory. Whips? Backstory. Old guy? Backstory. Flamboyant? Backstory. Hummingbird? Backstory. The significants have backstories and that satisfies my curiosity like water to a dehydrated traveller. Big props for weaving tales about all of them and with said tales dealing with how they got into Deadman Wonderland, by putting two and two together, so to speak. And by everybody semi-significant and up, I mean EVERYBODY. Pretty mindboggling actually.
With their backgrounds are the characters themselves, in the here and now. They have depth, caused by the hardships of the past and the events they have to partake in the present. More than just names but faces and flesh behind the skin, makes you care for at least a few and feelings (Take your pick) for some, if not most. Hell, even liked a few of the villains as much as some of the good guys, like that Red-Headed Priest of the Katsu discipline. Katsu being a brutal, face punching discipline. Of violence.
Can't really say I hate much of anybody here but there are a few who just don't bring much to the table, despite whatever impact they may have on the story. I don't mean the gal who works with G-Cup but another who just wasn't up to snuff with the others. Also don't mean the ones you "love to hate", which are perfectly fine as they're made to be dispicable sons o' bitches, but a few others that just seem... a bit "eh" and just aren't as good as others. One in particular but overall, can hardly complain.
At the helm is Ganta and Shiro, our tragic heroes. Tragic because it screams "gang kick these two while they're down", how they wouldn't get much slack in their journey through hell. And with journey comes development, which they have in spades. As I learned more about them and witnessed all the crap they had to go through, I came to love them and continuously root for them, wanting the best ending they could get in this fucked up world.
Overall: I frigging loved this. Extremely solid throughout, high on action and violence, tension and suspense, tearjerking moments and nightmarish scenes, disturbing and cruel yet with hope on the horizon... it's just great. Really felt for the characters and as badass they can be, they can really pull on the heartstrings with all the crap they're put through. It's certainly not a happy read most of the time but it wouldn't completely kill you with depression. A flurry of emotions with a massive dose of action, it's got loads to spare. Simply put, as sad as it got, as much of a downer as it became, I had fun with this and couldn't wait to read the next chapter as I was hooked.