MyAnimeList Rating: 7,40/10
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Shounen
Author: Kazuma Kondou (Story & Art), Jinsei Kataoka (Story & Art)
Seiyuu: Kana Hanazawa, Romi Park, Masayuki Katou
One of the main issues I have about my perspective on anime is the horror genre. Comparing it to Hollywood horror movies that some are mainstream and some are incorporating sub-genres, I sometimes prefer to horror anime instead of watching horror movies that have predictable plots and jumpscares. Based on the manga by Kataoka Jinsei and Kondou Kazuma, Deadman Wonderland takes a bit of an influent on the horror genre. Horror doesn’t always focus on myths or creatures with a horrible look but horror can be a spooky touch if it connects with other sub-genres. One of the horror genres that doesn’t always connect with jumpscare or something like mediocre is QTT’s Ghost Teller which makes “human” as the horror point. However, we don’t need to discuss that stuff because we’ll review one of my favorite horror anime ever, Deadman Wonderland.
“Deadman Wonderland,” tells about Ganta Igarashi (Romi Park) living his daily life as a normal student along with his friends as they prepare to go to a class field trip to an amusement park prison called Deadman Wonderland where prisoners undergo a hazardous performance to satisfy the visitors. However, Ganta’s life turns to upside down when the whole class gets massacred by someone in red. Accused guilty of the incident, Ganta was sent to the prison. But his nightmare had just begun when he entered a world full of sadistic and enigmatic powers where there was only fear when a necklace was installed in their necks that they had to slowly play a death game. Ganta must survive in his new life where a friend is an enemy. All he has to do is to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name in Deadman Wonderland.
Deadman Wonderland is like an inspiration for Akame ga Kill! and Tokyo Ghoul. If Deadman Wonderland never exists, these anime may never be made. The story is like a shounen in general, introducing a concept that’s predictable but always focused on the main genre. It’s more like you want to see it again and again because the one which is shown in this anime is some edgy thing like ultra-violence, blood, gore, explosion, and many more. Akame ga Kill! is one of the edgy anime that forgets the concept. Killing many people without any explanation or reason of why should it be done will never make the anime or movie can be said to have a dark theme. Deadman Wonderland doesn’t entirely center on it because it always focuses on the horror genre and not always to show how dark the story is done. But this is also my minor problem because some unspecified plots holes are not explained until the end. The ending also doesn’t solve the main issue of the conflict constructed at the beginning which it has never had a conclusion. The event also always comes just like that and is too random to be spelled as a miracle as they just came up without any reason why it was put.
On the other hand, Deadman Wonderland not only shows a dark and bleak but the animation and visual that showed are very great in this anime. The smooth and contrasted animations are made with darker colors for darker stories. Manglobe is known for a studio that adapted Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, Gangsta, and The World God Only Knows. The character movements just feel natural and manipulated. The action scene is shown as the shounen thing in general. If you see the details again, you’ll feel how the similarity with Eureka Seven which is a work by the same author. Although there are some flaws that I think feel dull and tedious, they are doing a great job for this. Although there are so much variety and background in music, I don’t really see if there’s anything behind it. The soundtrack is not much presented in this anime and I’m not very memorable with things like that. Sure it has a lot of such as electro, techno, and metal but I gave a score for one of the best opening theme songs in the anime. The opening theme is one of the best in this aspect. One Reason by DWB feat. fade is a well-composed sequence that makes a well-done music in the anime. This is also what makes me wonder why most anime didn’t use metal songs instead using some pop thing or whatever? SHINY SHINY by NIRGILIS isn’t quite memorable for this but it has one of the slow-moving end credits followed by images before the event of Deadman Wonderland. Although I’m not very into this song, I like this kind of merging. Kana Hanazawa as Shiro is nothing less and nothing great. Same as Romi Park as Ganta and others. I think the character of Kana Hanazawa in this anime isn’t entirely to make everything emotional. In fact, everything seems to be trying to look trying so hard like that. However, they are doing a great job too for all of those although I’m not very focused on this point.
Ganta Igarashi has plots and characteristics that can only be seen from one perspective. There is no other perspective on his character but, it seems like he is just forcing his determination alone. I’m not saying that he’s one of those types even though his character is one of the psychological ever. Shiro as the mysterious Deus ex Machina also was not felt when it first appeared. She seems to like to appear and claim to be Ganta’s childhood friend was only confused in there. Sure, when the story goes there’ll be much to be explained which means this is not the point. Deadman Wonderland is not fully focused on Ganta but all the characters in the prison. I realize when watching the OVA episode that tells about Senji’s past before the event of Deadman Wonderland which means this is all about the people in the prison. All the characters that the protagonist encounters have their background though some still look vague which you have to read the manga instead of just watching the anime. While this is not about every character, it will not change everything if it’s just a linear one rather than trying to put it all into the main story. Sure, I enjoy it a lot since I’ve been watching this for a long time even forgetting when I was watching it. From now on, I’m still reading the manga that I’ve also dropped a few years where there’s only one volume left so it’s all over. Regardless of Deadman Wonderland only adapted 5 volumes of 21 chapters, I think that does not change the fact that this is one of my favorite horror anime ever. Some flaws are still slightly dim and there is even a great deal to say when speaking that deeply. Deadman Wonderland is one of the edgy things I have ever seen and this is also one of the anime that would somewhat imply something like “there is a bad guy on the top of bad guy” or things like that. For me, it’s enjoying with a lot of flaws but it still.
Overall, Deadman Wonderland is one horror anime series that doesn’t always focus on the ‘horror’ point. There are many mixtures we can combine to create a horror story or something else. Deadman Wonderland seems looks great if you like shounen or horror. The concept is cool and amazingly full of gore, ultra-violence, and others. However, some flaw could be a question of why there is no second season. Bottom line, some flaws are not able to be separated but I enjoyed it a lot regardless of all of those.