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DEADMAN WONDERLAND #12 -- Watch & Learn

Back your guitar up and get the hell out of here, pal.

What a shame. I’ve really got to eat some of my words, now, don’t I? For the first couple episodes, I was crowing about how sharp this show was; how it seemed to be smarter than so many other anime shows and didn't stoop to their tropes. Well, here we are with a real wet noodle of a finale - - one that can pushed right into the Stereotypical Anime tent that I throw so many rocks at.

Lack of plot resolution masquerading as narrative ambiguity? Check.

A mess of characters who’re all less interesting and less developed than the main characters? Check.

Scenarios drifting far, far away from the initially intriguing premise? Check.

And I don’t really want to check off any more points. Well, actually, I do want to point out the vague philosophical dialogues that turn the conflict into something vaporous and ill-defined because those dialogues specifically remind me of the ones from [C] – CONTROL’s floundering finale. Actually, I can pat myself on the back on the little for at least sensing that this series was showing the same doomful portents as that show at its halfway point.

I’m not eager to totally write off either series because they both have a wealth of pluses to balance out their smattering of negatives. Both series had unique and provocative premises, oodles of interesting ideas and some thoroughly creative designs. Ultimately, those ingredients weren’t enough to make them better than the sum of their parts, per se - - but they at least made them contenders for those Half-Good videos that Rorie and Alex used to do at Screened.

There’s obviously a lot to say, in summation here, and I think I’ll just save it for some forthcoming Vice Pit session - - probably one focused on New Toonami that would also feature discussion of CASSHERN SINS, FMA: B and EUREKA SEVEN. I will say that, at the very least, I appreciate how they didn’t cop out about Ganta’s “sins” by making Shiru magically absolve him. There's an appropriate balance to him acknowledging that he’s flawed, while still not beating himself up excessively.

Watch this episode, “Grateful Dead” 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

metalsnakezeroon Sept. 5, 2012 at 4:34 a.m.

Again, it needed to stay on longer to better develop and that is where most of these 12 episodes series have a problem. Deadman Wonderland is very good but the manga had time to work it magic while the anime was running a little too fast to suck us in.

Elfenlied1012on Sept. 5, 2012 at 7:48 a.m.

The anime ends at the end of the worst arc in the series. From here on out the series starts to get better even if the undertaker/scar chain stuff really soiled most of the package.

LordTerminalon Sept. 5, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.

Great, just when I was about to finally move on, the anger I felt towards this thing having a cliff-hanger ending opens up like an old wound. Well I guess that's my fault for coming in here and reading this. Anyways, this sums up my reaction to the "ending" in a nutshell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIkciQjUKkE&feature=related

Y'know, I'm probably going to complain about something that has a logical explanation but y'know what? I need to get this out of my system now. Japan, STOP MAKING SUCH SHORT SERIES THAT END ON CLIFFHANGERS! I'm still bitter that Durarara ended like that last year but this is the second time I've seen a series I at least have SOME interest in pull this on me and I swear, if it happens a third time, I'm going to smash my head against something hard until I die. Is it wrong to ask for some closure nowadays?

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 6, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.

@LordTerminal: tottaly agree on ending short series on cliff hangers hurts the anime viewer more than it helps the viewer move on to the manga by far.Most would simply go "man that ended crappy why would i want the manga?"

But um Durarara was 25 episodes of dense thick heavy plot sub plot action rarely seen in anime .It was simply the best headless horseman story ever.Art to the minor sub plots was great.Its a anime that is like cowboy bebop its not thought of well enuff in its own time.But short?

On topic .Um Tom may be living rent free in my head .Just the other day i was trying to think of another anime that had such potential an had such a heavy let down. [C] – CONTROL was pretty close.Tho its fan-boy base seemed on another board to be more anti capitalism than pro anime.Never tweek the red tomato nose of the rabid fan-boy.At least not less you have some hand sanitizer handy.

Could it be were seeing where we wanted the show to go ( manga aside) were just projecting to much onto it?Do not think so .Art wise it was good to great. Inventive even in character costumes.Backdrop is wacky an weird enuff.So where does it fall off the rails? an not in a good way.

So its a messy sub ploted,bloody character development,as well as brutally short.With anime we expect odd an different .We expect twists an turns that is part of the ride after all.We do not expect or want week endings.Nor cliffhangers ( they only worked on old serials ) .Sure we like a vicious random end to what we thought was a main or least b class character.

But can a show end so wickedly week?Guess so.Its not what id guess 3/4th of its viewers wanted.Anime always gives us something.This time its week fruit cake.More the shame of what could have been.

Dig Deeper into Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland is a dark-action series about a young boy who's framed for the slaughter of his classmates and sentenced to the privatized prison that doubles as an amusement park for the public called The Deadman Wonderland.

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