The year is 2029 as Japan has lost most of its land due to the Great Tokyo Earthquake that took place ten years ago. What was once Tokyo is now the bustling tourist attraction known as Deadman Wonderland, a theme park where prisoners are sent to entertain the masses. But when middle schooler, Igarashi Ganta, is sent there for a crime he did not commit, the brutality of this massive prison comes to light.
At Nagano Middle School, Igarashi Ganta is looking at an advertisement for the theme park Deadman Wonderland on his cell phone. The mass prison was built on what remained of Tokyo after a devastating earthquake that took place ten years ago, killing Ganta's mother and father and leaving him an orphan. His friends talk excitedly about the trip to the amusement park as Ganta questions why they are going there on a class trip. As he discusses it, the class hears an odd melody as there is a figure hovering outside the third story window. The figure is covered in red drapes and armor as he unleashes an attack. Ganta is knocked out and wakes up to see his whole class dead as the figure embeds a red stone into his chest, causing him to pass out.
Ganta awakens to find that his whole class dead and him in the hospital. Furthermore, he is put on trial for the murders of his whole class. Due to an incompetent attorney, he is found guilty and sent to Deadman Wonderland to serve a death sentence. As he arrives, he is fitted with a white jump suit and a mechanical collar. The Warden of Deadman Wonderland, Chief Guard Makina, arrives and tells them what is to be expected of them, giving a very bleak speech. She also calls out Ganta for his reprehensible crime and condemns him. Another prisoner knocks a cart into Ganta as Makina calls the boy a thief and slashes his chest open with a sword, something the other guards and Ganta object to. As he is put to his cell, Makina and the surrogate Chief of Operations Tsunenaga Tamaki talk about Ganta and how he will suffer from an accident that will kill him intentionally in the park.
As Ganta is put in his cell, he begins to cry over his situation, being fourteen and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. As he laments, he wishes to die as a girl dressed in white bursts through his cell window. She identifies herself as Shiro and states that Ganta's desire for death is a lie. Ganta wonders what is up with this girl as Kasuga Kyoko, Makina's subordinate, comes in to tell him to go on work detail, complaining about the mess. As Ganta goes outside to work, a group of thugs comes up and criticizes Ganta for killing his classmates as they heckle him. Shiro comes back, offering Ganta a cookie as the thugs start to get violent and beat Ganta up.
Shiro comes to his aid as she tries to help him but it is of no use. However, a bomb goes off with the intent of killing Ganta. Instead of that happening, the stone in his chest glows as he feels energy surging in his hand, using an energy shot to stop the debris from crushing him. Takami is stunned that he was able to do that as they express a desire to examine him more. Ganta is more concerned though with what has just happened with his body.
Ganta still tries to come to terms with being sent to Deadman Wonderland as he wonders why the Red Man (the man that killed his friends at school) did this to him and put that stone in his chest. Makina also tries to figure out why the assassination was foiled when she is called out to deal with a prisoner hostage situation. A man has taken another prisoner hostage, demanding candy in exchange for the hostage. Makina does not abide as the man suddenly keels over and dies, something she cites as the death sentence rule. Ganta goes to the mess hall for his first meal as a prisoner when he notices how he gets a measly food ration while others are enjoying steak.
A girl bumps into him as she is able to buy a salad, criticizing Ganta for going with the standard ration. She realizes that he is a new prisoner and buys him half of a sandwich, explaining that in Deadman Wonderland, prisoners earn Cast Points for competing in events and working. These points are the currency in the prison and can be used to buy luxuries, food, medicine, and even their freedom. Ganta thanks her as he introduces herself, the girl in response stating that she is Azami Mido. They are interupted when one of the prisoners harrasses and takes the Cast Points away from an elderly prisoner, stating that he is the top dog in the prison.
His lackeys recognize Ganta as their boss introduces himself to him as Kouzuji after stepping on his food ration. He then knocks Ganta down and says how he is the rule of the prison. Not wanting to cause any trouble, Ganta agrees and laughs at the old man at Kouzuji's request. Azami takes back her sandwich, condemning Ganta as he leaves. Makina runs into him, asking if he read Chapter 11 in his rule book. He lies and said he did as she sends him to the clinic for his injuries. The doctor there patches him up and asks him if he has eaten his candy, something that he was supposed to get when he got to the prison. Ganta says he doesn't as the boy he ran into the other day pops out of bed, saying that it was dropped when they bumped into one another.
Shiro drops down from a ventilation shaft, asking Ganta to join the race. The injured prisoner figures she is talking about the Dog Race Show, an event that prisoners run to earn money for the park by competing in a dangerous obstacle course. The winner would receive 100,000 Cast Points and the losers get anpan. Ganta says that he and Shiro will enter the race so that they can eat anpan together. He laments about what happened earlier as the injured prisoner says that what happened to him is an injustice of Deadman Wonderland. Ganta knows its wrong but he has to obey in order to survive as Shiro tells him that's not necessarily the case.
As the prisoners get ready for the race, Ganta looks over the rules for the prison. Kouzuji and his cronies arrive, trying to threaten people not to enter the race. Azami comes up and chastises him but in return, Kouzuji knocks her down and breaks her arm. Ganta knows that this is what happens when you don't obey their rules. He commands everyone to laugh and notices Ganta not laughing. He instructs him to step on Azami to prove himself. Ganta thinks about what Shiro said and what has happened to him. He declares that while the prison is corrupt and he is unhappy, he would be disgusted with himself if he does what Kouzuji says, throwing his rule book at him and telling the group to go to hell.
Kouzuji tries to attack Ganta but guards intervene as the race is about to start. Ganta notices his rule book opened to Chapter 11, which says that every three days, the identified collar injects him with a poison and he must eat an antidote called 'candy' in order to counteract the poison. If he doesn't get it, the death sentence is carried out. He also sees that candy costs 100,000 Cast Points at the vendor. He sees now that if he doesn't win the race, he will die the next day.
As the prisoners ready themselves for the event, Takami notices that Ganta is entering the race. Wanting to make things interesting, he decides to raise the danger level of the event, calling in the body disposal team and fabricating excuses to tell the masses. Ganta is still worried about the fact that he hasn't eaten any candy and that he if doesn't win the race, he won't be able to buy any at the store. As they start the race, Ganta is hopeful but realizes that the death traps are not props but real death traps after watching several inmates get sliced up by a set of pendulum's. The crowd cheers, thinking that its all for show as Ganta sees the present danger.
Behind him, Kouzuji tells his thugs to take Ganta out of the race or he'll bust their teeth in. They try to jump him but Shiro knocks him out of the way, stating that he is open. A few of the thugs are taken out of the race as they press on. Shiro's main focus is to eat anpan with Ganta as he criticizes her naivety in the event. In the barracks, the prisoners root for the different contendors as Azami sees that Ganta did enter the race. Another prisoner tells the injured boy that he'll pay him back his money as they watch the race. Kouzuji's men try to attack Ganta again but Shiro deflects their knives by riding around on a bull, knocking out several of them. Kouzuji decides to take care of this personally as the race continues. Ganta is annoyed that Shiro caused him to be behind but notices how there is a handful of prisoners left and they are pretty beat up.
The prisoners come to the final event of the race which is a battle royale. Prisoners must fight to keep control of a ball until the end of the event. Whoever does that wins. The ball is launched into the playing field but as soon as it happens, a panel crumbles and two prisoners fall to their deaths. They all realize that they have to compete against that as well as they fight for the ball. Ganta is able to grab it as he tries to keep his footing among the panels, noticing an odd pattern and wondering if there is a system to it. He puts it together that the panels are falling in a mirror pattern and all one has to do is keep track of what tile falls. Kouzuji tries to jump him but falls under a crumbling panel. While he falls, he kicks the ball from Ganta's hands and throws a knife at him. Luckily, Shiro catches the ball and blocks the knife's blow. Ganta looks at the wound and sees that she is banged up pretty bad. He remembers that she was pushing him around and understands that she was trying to protect him since they're friends and she wanted to enjoy a snack with him.
Shiro doesn't see though that her panel is the next to go as she tosses the ball up to Ganta. Ganta debates as to what to do and decides to forgo the race in order to save Shiro, something the crowd is angry with as the ball falls into the pit and the annoucer declares there is no winner. People throw away their bets as Kouzuji escapes the spike pit with his life. Before he gets to far, Makina intercepts him about his actions during the race and gives him a choice: a year in solitary confinement or give his knife back to his heart. Shiro wonders why Ganta did what he did as he reminds her that they are supposed to eat anpan together, something she is elated with. However, Ganta doesn't tell her that since he didn't win, he'll die tomorrow.
Elsewhere in the prison, the boy with the injuries is fully healed as a debtor of his asks for an extension on a loan he gave. The boy thinks about it and notices a set of earrings. He decides to take the earrings for an extension on the loan as well as the man's ear. He states that he hopes that his new friends will be nicer one that his old ones.
Shiro and Ganta finish their anpan as Shiro asks that they hang out tomorrow. Ganta still doesn't tell her about his death sentence tomorrow as he goes back to his cell. Meanwhile, the upper echelons of Deadman Wonderland criticize Takami for his brutality in the race earlier and what the purpose of it was. He doesn't justify his actions but what he does reveal is that he is containing something called the 'wretched egg' which turns out to be the Red Man. Ganta is trying to construct a last will and testament as he still is in a haze that he will die tomorrow. As he does this, the injured boy introduces himself to Ganta as his cell mate, revealing his name to be Takami You. Ganta greets him but states how he'll die. Takami states that Ganta dropped his candy the other day and he saved it for him. Ganta eats it as Takami thinks that now Ganta is in his debt, recalling how Promoter Takami asked him to watch over him in exchange for Cast Points.
Under the park though, things are turning sour as the Red Man has escaped, the system called Mother Goose restraining him had shut down. As everyone scrambles to fix the mistake, Takami shows Ganta around the park as they look for Shiro. Instead, Takami offers Ganta some ice cream on him. Ganta then remembers an instance similar to it where he was hanging out with his friends from middle school and ate ice cream. It causes him to become uneasy as he vows to figure out who the Red Man is. At the same time, his chest begins to hurt as the clock tower strikes three. Ganta then sees the Red Man on the rim of the clock as he floats down.
The science staff is able to identify where Red Man is through the trackers in the park as he starts up a tornado of destruction, throwing objects around and twisting people into pretzels. Ganta still is furious about what happened to his friends and he doesn't want the same thing to happen to his new friend Takami. His chest begins to pound as the same energy surrounding the Red Man surrounds Ganta, energy forming around his fist once more as he is able to fire an energy shot at Red Man. It hits him as Red Man addresses Ganta as 'Woodpecker' before disappearing. Takami notes that Mother Goose has come back online and that there were two signatures of something he refers to as 'branches of sin', stating that Ganta will soon learn the true purpose behind Deadman Wonderland.
|Ganta Igarashi||Ganta Gun|
|Red Man||Death Tornado|
|So the Carnival begins||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
Well Hello Anime Vice, M here again with a review but a bit different this time, here I’ve begun to go through and add a bit of a new segment, reviewing volume by volume Dead man wonderland the future diary manga if memory serves. I’ve been interested in checking out Deadman wonderland since it first showed up in the back of one of my old Tokyopop mangas.I felt it might be interesting to write mini reviews of each volume as I read it and show my feelings as it evolves on the franchise as a whole, all while I continue to watch the show on Toonami. This being noted let’s get into the meat of the this new feature and talk about dead man wonderland volume one.
Released back in 2010 by Tokyo pop Deadman Wonderland features the story of Ganta a middle school kid who was the only survivor of an attack on his class by the mysterious “Red man” and then is as his luck would have it blamed for the incident. With a death sentence invoked he finds himself in Deadman Wonderland a carnival style prison where prisoners perform for our amusement usually in horrific and gruesome ways. From there he meets Shrio a mysterious albino girl whom claims to be a friend of Gantas.
The first volume basically covers his first couple of days and establishes the tone for the franchise, something very gruesome dark and unfair to the main character. The Tone whether you like it or not is very much the same as the tone was in two other mangas I rather enjoyed, Elfen Lied and Future diaries. Both building on a dark atmosphere and often putting the main character in rather painful and unpleasant circumstance. The Pros are simple in this turn around. The main character while a panicked middle schooler seems to have some intelligence and some balls when he needs to and while I already know the answer from the anime, the red man is presented successfully as a creepy and frighteningly powerful entity all while remaining a well presented mystery. The art is gritty but not too much, it looks nice and while not always in some spots it reads well and passes quickly giving you the urge to push on with the series.
The cons are mostly in execution, the begging seems too rushed in terms of pace (not in terms of production) and for the most part the side characters aside from Shiro have little or no time to do much more then shout out a line or two before walking away from the scene so that the story can move to something else quickly. Nothing seems to take the time that it should nor be as well established as it should.
Most of all I’m very interested to see where it goes despite some decisive opinions of the franchise. As for this volume I give it a 4 candy pieces out of 5, Well I’m off to do some work but hope you guys enjoy the new mini reviews also sorry about the podcast were working on it just need one last thing done so just wait you guys later.
|Date Added:||April 25, 2012|
|Date Added:||Feb. 14, 2014|
|Date Added:||July 10, 2009|