Manga Bites: Deadman Wonderland

A sadist, a con man, a tsun, a wuss and a crazy chick…the usual.

I hate you Sony. Why you allowed Final Fantasy 7:Crisis Core and Wild Arms XF to be released at the same time!Do you realize how many lives (and free time)have you destroyed?

Game whining apart, this time I present to you readers a manga which breaks my latest trend of Ecchi. This time it’s a Seinen manga where a 14 year old kid, Ganta, is wrongly accused of mass murdering his schoolmates and he’s sent to Deadman Wonderland, Japan’s only prison which is private managed and a theme park as well. There, Ganta finds out that the prison is more wicked and sadistic than it seems and the lives of the inmates are gambled everyday. He also finds out that the real killer of the crimes who have condemned Ganta is also there: the Red Man.

Summary (from Wikipedia)

Ten years have passed since the ‘Great Tokyo Earthquake’, a massive natural distaster that sank over 70 percent of Tokyo into the ocean. Ganta Igarashi is an unassuming 14-year old middle school student in Nagano Prefecture. Ganta is an ‘escapee’, a Tokyo survivor of the earthquake, but he has no memories of the disaster and simply wishes to play soccer and live a normal life. All that changes one day when a mysterious man covered in blood appears outside his classroom window. The ‘Red Man’ slaughters Ganta’s classmates, but strangly leaves him alive after imbedding a crimson crystal in his chest. Ganta’s life goes from bad to worse when he is blamed for the grisly murders and sentenced to life imprisonment in ‘Deadman Wonderland’.

This what happens when you run around with scissors.

Deadman Wonderland is Japan’s only publically operated prison, build after the earthquake as a tourist attraction to help revive Tokyo. The prisoners serve as staff and ‘entertainment’ for visitors. Due to the heinous nature of Ganta’s crime, he is give DW’s ‘death sentence’. A metal collar around his neck slowly injects poison into his body. The only way to delay his ‘execution’ is by consuming a special candy-like antidote every three days. Shortly after arriving at the prison, Ganga meets a mysterious girl named Shiro, who seems to know Ganta from the past. He also befriends a prisoner named Yoh, a kleptomaniac with a talent for locating things.

Strong Points

Deadman Wonderland is written by Kataoka Jinsei and illustrated by Kondou Kazuma, the same pair who made the manga adaptation of BONES anime, Eureka Seven. It’s being serialized at Shonen Ace and has 3 released volumes.

If you have read/seen Eureka Seven, you will notice that the character design is very similar with E7, specially Ganta and Shiro, who could be confused with Renton and Anenome. Even the personalities are similar, but with some quirks unique to Deadman Wonderland. Even so, the characters are interesting, with unique backgrounds that makes the readers get even more interested as the story progresses. The plot itself isn’t predictable and is original, a detail which is very important in a manga.

Careful…she means it.

The artwork comes again straight from E7 and has it’s strong points on how the more violent scenes are drawn; without showing directly, they can strongly hint the raw violence embedded in them. For last, the female cast is moe enough to make some fans of this manga for themselves.

Last Comments

You silly Ganta, if you died there would be no more manga…

Even if I mentioned E7 several times, I must warn that the manga is more action oriented than E7, and it has way fewer quiet moments. But expect instead a lot of plot twists and climax moments, with a visible evolution of the characters. Argh, it’s another manga in my endless list of “Currently Reading”. Anyone wants to donate a new pair of eyeballs? (pun included for those who have read the manga.)

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22 Comments

  1. Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    OMG! I LOVE THIS MANGA! I read and blog it! It’s like the BEST! The more you read it, the more twisted it becomes! I’m waiting for chapter 11 to come out though, but it takes so long!

  2. Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    This manga is actually pretty good, even if I still feel like I am tagging along with Renton. That one guard who got the pimped out card is probably gorging on food, lol.

  3. Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Man I love this. I recently went into more darker manga, and this was a great start. Recent developments were creepy… really creepy.

  4. Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    @Blissmo: You sure are active when you express you love for some mangas and animes…

    @Kabitzin: Ganta kinda loses that Renton feeling after some chapters; he gets morally conflicted in different ways than Renton.

    @Deranged: It will be fun to read if they get creepier than that penalty game Crow suffered.

  5. glouglou
    Posted March 28, 2008 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    First comment on T.H.A.T but this manga is really good ^^

    I started Mirai Nikki a few days ago and Deadman Wonderland is a good crazy/creepy mix :P

    Waiting for Chap 11 now *_*

  6. Posted March 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Wow. this is really quite different to be honest. I think the violence might be a bit too much for me to take, but the concept is a very refreshing one. I might take a look at it later =3

  7. Posted March 28, 2008 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    @Impz: You are such a wuss, Impz. Anyway, read it first then comment about it later, ok?

  8. Posted March 28, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Intriguing concept. Bookmarked.

  9. Posted March 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    @GARLolicon Extrange: But DW is really good! :3

  10. Gravmech
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    As many have said lots of original “things” in this manga. The blood-based powers were nice but a bit too much gore for me.

    And lol at the “I get off by tricking nice boys” chick!

  11. Posted March 29, 2008 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    @Gravmech: Haha, I thought she was hi-larious.

  12. Posted March 29, 2008 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Deadman Wonderland 11 is out. And I shat bricks.

  13. Gravmech
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I shat bricks too, that was a rather nice twist!

    Its also rather creepy that this manga uses terms that you would normally find in children’s fairy tales.

  14. Posted March 29, 2008 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’ll probably end up reading this. Why? Because you’re turning me into a manga whore. That and I REALLY like the artwork.

    Btw, I started reading Amatsuki…you’re bound to have one consistent commenter on your write-ups for it. (aka: I likes it real good!)

  15. Posted March 29, 2008 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    @Riex: JUST AS PLANNED. It’s rare the person I can’t convert to my mangas.

  16. Linya
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I took a look at it, but the page where his classmate’s bodyparts are just rolling around is a bit too graphic for me…

  17. Caraniel
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I love this series. Picked it up last month when I spotted a summary and splash page on a download site – its a really interesting read. I dont mind the violence or blood at all, but I am a self confessed gore-hound! Chapter 11 added a very interesting spin to the plot – can not wait to see where the story will go now. The groundwork has been expertly laid, now on to the action!

  18. Versus
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Ohh quite a nice manga again, thanks a lot for the tip!
    Honestly, where do you always find the good stuff ?

  19. Posted March 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    @Versus: I normally get new mangas either by:
    1) new releases from scanlating groups
    2) new mangas being serialized in magazines
    3) suggestions from fellow bloggers

    Even so, it’s hard to separate the average ones from the good stuff -.-Y

  20. kat
    Posted March 29, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    actually a good series
    chapter 11 suprized me though

    not a total fan of gore
    (reason why I never finished Death Note… maybe i’ll give it a 2nd chance)

  21. Posted March 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Omg, I just finished reading chapter 11 and WTF?!!!

  22. inoochan
    Posted March 30, 2008 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    hopefully we got more manga bites :)

    when i saw this, eureka 7? then i read your blog, the next thing i was downloading it from snoopy and then waaa… cliffhanger chap11 and we won’t see another chap til next month… the wait…. but its worth it… its been a while since i saw a good plot…

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