Well Vice, it’s me again, M. To the few that follow me more regularly I’ve just finished a quest to finish all of Deadman wonderland the manga. With All of Deadman in the hole finished and my last review up it was ironically perfect to see the Anime variant reach its conclusion on Toonami. With Deadman wonderland the Anime Completed It’s up for the chopping block as a separate entity entirely.
To the Uninformed to The series of a whole it revolves around the story of Ganta, an average middle schooler; just like many Anime protagonist, however unlike many protagonists within a few scenes his entire middle school class is murdered in front of him. This act done by the mysterious Redman. The only Survivor, Ganta, is sentenced to death in a horrific prison turned carnival that earns its name Deadman Wonderland. There he discovers a friend Shiro and a series of horrors hidden in Wonderland, not the least of the Strange Deadmen. This series carries a lot of blood from the hit Eureka 7 and reached a pretty decent leave of attention especially with its reintroduction into toonami.
Speaking strictly the anime deviates from Manga in very seldom ways, except for the removal of a few relevant side characters. It’s frankly a streamlined visual version of chapters one through twenty one or volumes one through five respectively, cutting out the side bits not relevant until the parts post the twenty one mark. As a whole Deadman starts off with a very strong and positive early game. Deadman Wonderland is a terrifying nightmare draped in colorful lights, Shiro remains impossible to dislike while Ganta remains realistic considering being a fourteen year old. For the most part it capitalizes on the same successes as the manga, especially early on in a well themed and stylish way. Sure not studio shaft stylish, but not a bad. The beginning six episodes build a set of interesting flavored and fairly likeable characters and a dark world with tasteful and unnerving contrast of grit and cheer that drives ones interest up easily. This all while delivering a slight commentary on society that isn’t forced down your throat.
That is until the series takes a sharp nose dive into the ridiculous and absurd. Unfocused and often a tad bit too incomprehensible or forced depending on your perspective story directions begin to take over. This slowly begins to degrade the series as a whole and greatly limits one’s ability to take it seriously. More so the prime failure of Deadman wonderland has been its inability to capitalize on its interesting concepts, such as the Wonderland aspect of world, or the political tension of that world. Instead the series makes constant story arc shifts incapable of committing to any one thing and properly execute its plot in any meaningful ways. It’s not that the story isn’t capable of being good, it has all the materials of a fantastic story, just never manages to play them out well or satisfyingly. Well to be fair the introduction of the Bleach Character rejections that are the undertakers could never be good, but I digress.
Deadman Wonderland was given all the tools to be functional, even more so has the concepts and the originality to be above and beyond its peers becoming excellent. Some Series have the execution to make two plus two equal five superseding the weaknesses in its parts , Deadman started off with a greater sum in pieces then it manages to be together, with that three plus three ends up four. While Deadman Wonderland is never bad, and rarely even so low as to be mediocere it manages to be completely disappointing compared to its ultimate potential especially when adding the inconclusive and unsatisfying end.
While I still feel a blog post is needed separately to address specifically where Deadman Wonderland consistently went wrong and why this will do as a spoiler free review of the series. Deadman Wonderland isn’t bad, hell it’s actually pretty good, but fails to manage above 3.5 Ace men out of 5. I can’t shake how great all this could have been, but I don’t regret watching it in the least. That’s all for today, M’s heading out vice hopefully for a bit of a break, but don’t worry. We got more Reviews and podcast one the way, later vice.