Middle school student Ganta Igarashi witnessed the slaughter of his entire class by the mysterious 'Red Man', and as the only survivor, he was labeled a mass murderer and sentenced to death. Now an inmate at the privately-owned prison and ‘amusement park' known as Deadman Wonderland, Ganta must try to survive in a place where inmates are the main attraction in brutal gladiator-style games. At the same time, he must attempt to uncover the truth behind the ‘Red Man', his mysterious childhood friend Shiro, and why he was the only survivor that bloody day.
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.
There are some Spoilers in this Review. About 4 volumes or so. Hey Hey People, Shell Here. Deadman Wonderland starts with a massacre of our Protagonist's class and with him being the main culprit's and Japan's incredibly questionable police force he gets the death Penalty. However in 2013 there was a big earthquake which caused 70% of Tokyo to be submerged in Water. Now to restore Japan's to its former Glory a Prison Named Deadman Wonderland which is a for profit prison. And now 10 years since the earth quake, Ganta (MC) is sent here to suffer the wrath of his consequences. He soon realizes that this prison is more than what it seems and Just how much of a circus a for Profit Prison can be. Deadman Wonderland is pretty by the book series. MC is a nice guy. Follows girls around/vice versa. Realizes what he knows wasn't the truth. Deals with the situation where everyone wins. Rinse and repeat for some subplots and bam you got a 13 volumes series. Now don't get me wrong, Despite me stating this I didn't actually think the series was repeating itself. It always felt like the story was moving forward. Stopping to give proper breathing room. The problem are a few things but First I'd like to talk about what I liked the series. The Art and setting of this series is fantastic. It felt like I was being sucked in another world. A lot of this can be attested to the fantastic art the series has. It really does a fantastic job. I honestly have nothing but praise for the art. Never did it feel like the author was cutting corners. This is also one of the battle shounen series where the ecchi actually is separate from the action and the author isn't trying to shove panties and breasts into my face every 5 seconds. Characters do get occasionally sexual but more during exposition to keep me interested. And you know what? It works because I'm a red hot blooded male damn it! The main issue I have with this series basically boils to character Depth or more importantly, the lack of it. Sure the action and art is great to look at but after a while what's the point of If I don't care about the characters. That is the main problem with Deadman wonderland. Both Shiro (FMC) and Ganta were fine as the main characters but neither of them can really carry the series. Them together was basically made in interesting enough since you partially knew where the story was going. Them alone... It just doesn't work. This becomes a much bigger problem when you get into the last arc where the last fight is meant to be emotional rather than something bloody, violent or action heavy. Honestly the final fight scene was probably the more boring fight scene in the entire series. Should You read this manga? Well depends. The side characters, action and story is interesting enough. But at the same time its predictable and lacks the character depth a series like Kingdom or One piece would produce. Overall the series is enjoyable enough. I don't really have anything super bad to say about this series. But if you skip it you aren't missing much either. It just basically falls into enjoyable but forgettable zone of entertainment. 6/10.
Deadman Wonderland has two story lines and you will know it when you read it. They don't overlap each other. Its one story line and when thats over another one comes up. For me, the second story line is very interesting for a couple of reasons which i will not say because it will turn into a spoiler. Deadman Wonderland has alot of actions so you won't be bored of reading it. Unlike some other manga's where it took me a couple of pages to be hooked into it. Deadman Wonderland got me hooked into it in like 6 pages lol. If you love reading ESP/Action mangss you will love reading Deadman Wonderland.
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