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CASSHERN SINS #4 / DEADMAN WONDERLAND #11 - - Watch & Learn

The faces of sex, death and... self actualization?

Sex and violence have been conflated on countless occasions, certainly, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard them coupled in a way as… direct as in this episode without the grouping sounding creepily sado-masochistic. You know, Sophita goes on so coquettishly about how she’s in love with Casshern and how she wants to fight him, and it’s all cute - - romantic, even. Imagine if it was one of the big, brutish bots saying those exact same lines, though?

Yeah, the prospect doesn’t sound so cute and innocent anymore, does it?

I’m officially out of dubbed episodes to (legally) watch online and I’m wondering if my appreciation of this show’s going to change once I switch to subbed next time. I hate to admit that my enthusiasm for the material has cooled by a degree or two over these past couple episodes.

Mainly, it comes down to dialog. It’s not that it’s bad per se, but the conversations do run long enough that patches of cheesy statements really start creeping in. We are talking about a show that started with robots saying “Eat Casshern!” of course, but I don’t mind that so much as the on-the-nose explications from Sophita wherein she details everything about her past and voices everything that’s on her mind. It’s the sort of material that gets you thinking that this show might’ve benefited from being shorter than 26 episodes, as there wouldn’t be as much air time to fill with stretched-out conversations.

At the same time, I am still appreciating the sentiment of everything that’s being discussed here - - even if I’d rather it be expressed in two lines instead of ten. Thus, I wonder if reading the dialog’s going to make it seem better than when I’m hearing it spoken aloud. We’ll find out next time, I suppose.

Watch this episode, "The Angel of Ruin” right above and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Huh… you know, it’s always a little pleasantly eerie, whenever you find the same sentiment coming at you from three totally different avenues.

See, I run the Spartan Race, right? And recently they put out a new ad sampling some motivational speech claiming that the secret of success lies in the experience of nearly drowning. It’s a lot more uplifting in the video, trust me. Basically, the idea’s that you must want whatever you want in life as much as you want to breath - - like it’s a survival instinct.

And last month, I saw DARK KNIGHT RISES, and there was that whole section where Batman can’t crawl out of a pit because he isn’t afraid, right? Remember what the breakthrough in the thinking was that got him back out? Bats throws the safety harness down, so he’s actually got everything to lose if he slips again. He’s throwing all his chips in.

So here were are with DEADMAN WONDERLAND - - this freaky mature audience cartoon from Japan - - and it’s spinning the same notion in its own unique vocabulary. Ganta’s trying to learn how to be stronger, right? So what does his psychotic mentor do first? He smashes all his life-preserving candies, so their target practice becomes a tense matter of survival for the kid. Then, his “Ganta Gun” or whatever gets to be wall-smashing powerful only after Ganta’s so low on blood that he’s basically anemic.

It’s a powerful message. A universally-applicable one, obviously.

It’s a shame, then, that the crew doesn’t seem to be practicing what they preach, because they obviously haven’t put everything on the line with what they’ve got. There’s only one episode left, so this is obviously going to end on a cliffhanger and, seeing as how many of lunatics have been saying that this series wasn’t actually that much of a hit in Japan, there’s a good chance that they’ll never be able to finish their story.

See kids? That’s what happens when you don’t listen to the Spartan Race dude and Batman’s prison mentors. That’s what happens when you save what you really want to do for later.

Watch this episode, “Gig of Despair” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 3, 2012 at 12:47 a.m.

About Deadman Wonderland your almost right.The end will deserve review just to recap what went right an what went wrong. As a viewer i can say but like to know as a writer when ya seen the roller coaster amusement ride o death go off the rails?

No other show that season or season since has left me not wanting more so much as wanting something else than what i got from the show.Not sure how close this was to the manga .But i get the feeling some thing was left out .

No_name_here staff on Sept. 3, 2012 at 1:38 a.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

About Deadman Wonderland your almost right.The end will deserve review just to recap what went right an what went wrong. As a viewer i can say but like to know as a writer when ya seen the roller coaster amusement ride o death go off the rails?

No other show that season or season since has left me not wanting more so much as wanting something else than what i got from the show.Not sure how close this was to the manga .But i get the feeling some thing was left out .

I think it's pretty clear. First couple episodes made it seem like it was setting up to be some anime Roger Corman movie about a normal human trying to break out of a funhouse prison. Then it turned into a "dark superhero" story about Deadmans with blood weapons. Not awful.... but different than what was expected.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 3, 2012 at 3:47 a.m.

@No_name_here: @Marshal Victory:

I actually don't believe that the Deadman Wonderland anime was ever really intended to go past this season. You have to remember just how many anime based on manga or light-novels are produced in Japan. More often, they are an average of twelve episodes. They work more as a promo for the manga. They will follow the story so far then stop. If the viewer wants to know what else happens in the story, they'll have to buy the manga. It works sort of like an elaborate ad that reaches a wider audience by being on TV.

I have a feeling that Deadman Wonderland was never really intended to go very far, becasue there was a character cut out of the entire story who Ganta meets in the prison and plays sort of a larger role later on. Also, the ending of the anime isn't canon to the manga.

Lurkeroon Sept. 3, 2012 at 5:43 a.m.

I dislike the theme of attaching fear or desperation to physical ability. It didn't work for me at all in Batman, but in Deadman Wonderland it is a different circumstance.

Ganta didn't become stronger because of desperation, he just realized a new ability as a result of having low blood. It's more like a well written coincidence than a sudden revelation of strength and ability.

metalsnakezeroon Sept. 3, 2012 at 10:50 a.m.

@No_name_here: I think what doesn't help is that things are moving fast that the transition from normal to dark superhero is a little off. This is a slight example of 12 episodes being not enough for a series.

Sometimes lines must be express in ten lines instead of two, they need to fit in all that detail and it wouldn't make an impact if the details were very short.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 4, 2012 at 7:37 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: if what ya say is true their doing the manga a disservice .You do not leave out characters ,change characters ,an then expect people to buy the mange which is not the same as the anime,Those of us who have seen this fail with comic movies know it does not work.A bump in sales probably but a increase in long term sale growth does not happen an in some cases it hurts it.

@No_name_here:hm when ya mentioned Roger Corman i thought of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto_(film) only one of his i have seen all way threw.But i kinda agree their was a b movie feel at times.Not sure their goal but from fan sites an forums seems the next episode hurt the franchise.That is one of the reasons i see why it should be discussed an dissected.

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