This was originally a blog post found on my blog Moe Monster, but has been moved to Konseptual.com.
Deadman Wonderland -- Coolish and Foolish
If you like bloody violence and white girl butt, Deadman Wonderland was made for you. I was hoping the season finale would redeem a rocky last couple episodes, but it’s pretty much a mess. Some thoughts and my “cool” list.
Ganta makes guest appearance in season 2 of Saki.
The season finale of Deadman Wonderland attempts to do a lot. It tries wrap up a bunch of loose ends, while also attempting to set up a second season. It was a difficult task, and I’ll cut the creators some slack, but man, this show could use some new direction. I won’t summarize this last episode fully, just know that one the main supporting characters die, and the good guys generally win.
Instead of the good and fair critique I’ve become known for, I’ll just take a note from Nichijou and list, “Things I Thought Were Cool!” and I’ll also add a, “Things I thought Were Terrible!”
Shiro's Evil Grin is Cool!
Things I Thought Were Cool!
Shiro was cool and she’s easily my favorite insane character of the Spring. I enjoyed her character, and I’m not above saying I greatly enjoyed looking at her boobs and butt all season. Although on a serious note, albino people aren’t attractive in real life. It’s true, look it up. It’s like anime has moe-fied albinism. I can’t imagine this series without Shiro though, seriously.
The entire opening sequence is excellent. The song, animation and design were all put together beautifully. I enjoyed all the animation overall. The characters and most importantly, the fights, all looked good. I enjoyed a lot of the grimy-ness of the characters and the dirtiness of the prison, especially in contrast with the pretty shows like Hanasaku or Denpa Onna.
Shiro eating cookies was cool!
I thought the lack of rainbow hair was cool. Besides Shiro and Kanako with their white locks, the show had some good hairlism (hair+realism). I just made that up, but I could see that one taking off.
Hummingbird was pretty cool. Crow was cool, but all his homoerotic scenes of girl-hating and being topless with Ganta were not so cool. His consistent slicing up of dudes was cool though.
Cool-kid Shiro swinging cool style.
All the action in DW, in a slice of life and drama filled season, “seemed” cool. Although the action wasn’t always that great, it always looked cool. I’ll lump the violence and gore in with the action as well. While the censoring was surely “terrible”, all the amputations and bone-breakings were cool. The violence along with some rape and drug use made this show pretty shocking at times. Guitar Hero (featured in my terrible list) even drops the F-bomb quite a bit.
There were some other cool things, but even more than things I thought were cool, there were…
Things I Thought Were Terrible
The overall character design, and not just looks, but everything from origin stories to personalities through to their special abilities or “super powers’ if you will. I hated Guitar Hero. I hated Daida, the 3rd grader. I hated Owl. I hated the “super good with computers” guy.
The show had some nice grown up themes and more mature plot style devices, so all the “super cool” character designs, for me, felt like an insult. I don’t need an evil priest who uses guitar guns or a little girl who uses a giant sword. They were terrible.
Ganta I wasn’t thrilled with, but I understood the need for a weak-ass lead, but I thought Romi Park (Edward Elric, Toshiro from Bleach), was a terrible choice to perform his voice. I enjoy almost all of the seiyu’s former roles, but the whiny-bitchy tonal quality along with the whiny-bitchy character design, was just too much whiny-bitchy for me overall.
While I thought the action was cool, I could use a little less shounen dialogue during the fights. More fight, less talk. Too much talk while trying to survive is terrible. Unless talking is your super power I guess.
Does Cool kill Terrible? Or does Terrible kill Cool?
Unlike the actual show, there’s no killing here. As evidenced by the scientific list above, Deadman Wonderland definitely has its merits. I’m not going to rail on the show, but I’ll just say that story isn’t told in a very tight, consistent way. It also feels very rushed. At first it just felt like a quick, fast moving show. Now that it’s over, it ended up just feeling rushed, as if they tried to squish 20 episodes worth of material into 12.
I will be watching a second season however and waiting eagerly for Eating Cookies With Shiro, coming out on Blu-ray soon!
See you for Season 2!