May contain spoilers.
I was looking for something new and interesting to watch. The name ‘Deadman Wonderland’ caught my eye immediately. I watched 10 episodes in a row, then I impatiently waited for the final two to be aired. I was hooked, and still am, having already re-watched it.
In short, it is about a boy named Ganta, who is framed and sentence for a crime he didn’t commit, and sent to the hell hole that is Deadman Wonderland – a theme park tied in with a prison. The main attraction at the theme park being the prisoners themselves. Ganta goes off in search of some answers, and discovers something more sinister going on in Deadman Wonderland, something that he himself gets sucked into.
There was gore from the start, something I really wasn’t expecting right from the start (as I hadn’t read the manga), and it continued consistently throughout. I loved the Deadman powers, it added another, deeper level to the storyline. I don’t think I’ve seen blood used in such a genius way before.
I got so pissed off at the ending. It was the one part of the whole series, I just don’t get. Here you have a seriously epic series, and the ending is dull. I got super frustrated at that, but I think it’s hinting at a second series, there are some questions left unanswered that link in with reasons of certain major events etc. I also felt the 12 episodes were too short. Although everything was moving at an ideal pace with no fillers or boring moments, I just wanted it to go on for longer. I was really expecting something around the 26 ep mark.
I liked the animation. The drawing style was pleasant, and all the action and battle scenes were always flowing. I wouldn’t say the gore was over the top and unrealistic, it was maintained at a good level, even though there was lots of it. And when I say lots, I mean lots. The different emotions portrayed were very clear. For clothes/uniform, they were pretty simple, but did help to establish between the different groups of people within Deadman Wonderland.
I think some of the settings needed a little more work to make them a bit more interesting. The theme park side was good, I loved the Dog Race, but the prison was so so, even though it is a prison, I was hoping for something more special. There were small amounts of ecchi concerning about three or four characters, but it was not a main theme and only stuck to a couple of scenes, unless you were to count Shiro’s bodysuit which was worn throughout.
Both opening and ending themes were superb and perfectly related to the anime. The opening ‘One Reason’ by DWB ft. Fade suited the darkness of the anime, and the lyrics were good – well, they were supposed to be anyway, since that set of lyrics was written especially for this anime. The ending theme ‘Shiny Shiny’ by Nirgilis, did surprise me. The style of the song, and the style of the anime are almost complete opposites, yet they are perfect for each other. The lyrics are beautiful, highlighting that there is beauty in this world, which some of the Deadmen are striving to regain. Also the Woodpecker song was quite chilling. The rest of the soundtrack added tension, suspense and sadness when needed. It wasn’t overdone.
The voice acting was good. It was even better for some characters, their personalities were really enforced. I especially liked Ganta (voiced by Romi Park, I love her, she puts everything into her characters) – all of Ganta’s emotions were so strong throughout, and this was paired perfectly with the good visual. Hibana, the little girl Undertaker was also another favourite of mine. The character would be nowhere near complete otherwise. Shiro was good too, keeping up with her light and airy appearance, but her anger and frustration, for me wasn’t voiced as strong as I would have liked.
There is a great variety and contrast of characters and their personalities within Deadman Wonderland, and that was another thing I was very impressed by. You have weak characters, airy and strange characters, deceptive characters and some that are just downright sick and evil to mention a few.
Just to go on about the main character, I liked the character of Ganta, in the sense that it would be no fun to watch a protaganist who is very strong and fearless stick it out in Deadman Wonderland. He is a very weak character, but ready to fight for what is right, even if he needs some persuasion at times. However, sometimes I just wanted to slap him around the face and tell him to man up because it had a tendency to get slightly annoying.
However, I felt the characters weren’t quite complete, they lacked a background. Sure, you would hear snippets of people’s life stories, or catch a glimpse of a flashback, but it needed more solid. I think that was needed in order to better understand each characters nature.
If you love epic battle scenes, and can handle a lot of blood, gore and violence – I would highly recommend. If you’re after something dark, or unique and something that will capture your attention from the very start, I would highly recommend. If you really like knowing everything about a character, their whole life story and background to the last little detail, this isn’t so much for you – but each character is unique in a good way, and I urge you to explore them. If you can’t stand to watch a very long series, or love fast paced, action filled stuff – this is perfect.
The unfulfilling ending, and important questions that are vital to get the whole picture which go unanswered let this one down slightly. But I highly enjoyed it, it will leave you wanting more. I’d recommend it to anyone, no matter what their tastes. You won’t know until you try.
This is my first review here ^^ Actually, it’s the first written review I’ve done on anything in a long time, so I hope it was concise, and not too long…? I welcome comments!
overall score: 9/10