Deadman Wonderland is a twelve (12) episode series that was left open ended so that there is the possibility that there could be another season. The title of this anime seduced me into watching it while the element of confusion channelled me to keep progressing towards the end of it when I started.
Deadman Wonderland is a theme park that not only serves as entertainment to the public but also doubles as a prison for criminals in society. It is the only privately owned prison in Japan. It is here that fourteen (14) year old Igarashi Ganta is placed after he is charged with the crime of brutally murdering everyone in his class. At first, the prison appears to be an ordinary one but as Ganta begins to learn more about the prison daily as well as continue his ongoing quest to find the ‘Red Man’, he realises that there is more to this prison and himself that meets the eye.
This anime was dark and gruesome and the artwork reflected such. Not to mention there were many graphic violent scenes throughout the series so young children should probably stay away from this anime until they have grown into their teens. The depiction of the amusement park was in stark contrast from the horror that was taking place inside. The prison itself gave off an ominous atmosphere which contributed to the intense mystery of the story.
The opening score provided the key to the dismal atmosphere of the anime and the music included in the story played on one’s mental because even though kaleidoscope music was used it was being played during moments of situational irony. The ending piece was sad, which I believe was a reflection of Ganta’s major emotional state throughout the anime.
The characters were pretty diverse with some of them surprising you completely! Each character added a different edge to the anime, contributing to the story and keeping the audience guessing as to the true nature or intentions of some of them.
The mystery of the anime kept me intrigued because of the journey undertaken with the main character Ganta; empathising with him and curious to know more about the reason why he was made to suffer for a crime that he did not commit. I was highly impressed with the amount of violence and gore in this series (I know that that shouldn’t be lol), so much so, that even some of it had to be censored! Nevertheless, I was disappointed that the story shifted focus after episode six which annoyed me a little. However, the creators left the series open ended thereby the possibility exists that there may be another season in the future to tie up loose ends.
This anime is definitely worth the watch, that is, if you can stomach all the gore and violence that comes along with it. You can’t help but feel for the main character Ganta and hope that he gets vindicated. The only thing that ruined it for me was the change in the arc where the focus shifted from Ganta to another character Nagi, but nevertheless, it was a very good series and I truly enjoyed it.