Deadman Wonderland 1 – Conspiring to Theorize

Still catching up on the rest of the spring crop, but Deadman Wonderland‘s first episode and premise are engaging enough for me to be interested enough to write about it. So here I am! I know the manga has plenty of fans, so I’ll say this out front: No spoilers. I mean, don’t even hint about that shit, even if you see me (or someone else) say something or express confusion about things that will be cleared up later. I know some folks are just trying to be helpful, but try to curb that instinct. Sometimes fans just need to grope around in the darkness, you know? If I catch the slightest whiff of a spoiler, I will come down on that shit like Makina putting the heel down on this guy here.

So there you have it! Before I watched Deadman Wonderland, I heard a few comparisons to Battle Royale, mostly due to the kill collars. Made me think of the Nintendo DS game 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, which has kill bracelets (sort of) rather than kill collars. Anyway! I dig this kind of scenario when it’s done well, because in the right hands it makes for a good thriller. In the wrong hands, of course, it’s cheap and exploitative, but hey. Seems like the TV station is nervous about the possibility, considering all the censoring going on in the episode. I don’t usually watch shows that are censored that heavily (I think the last one was Umineko no Naku Koro ni), so it was kind of weird to see at first. But I guess you can’t just show severed heads all willy nilly on TV like that. Yikes.

Pretty good way to open the series, though — I like when a show goes for the throat like that. Usually a decent sign. And of course there’s a lot to wonder about from the opening sequence: Why the Red Man chooses to give Ganta those crazy powers (aside from the fact that he wants the audience to watch an interesting story), why the class is blown up in the first place, who is behind the whole (if not the Red Man himself), etc. Not sure how much will be answered, especially considering that if MAL’s calculations are correct, this season is slated for 12 episodes. Then again, Deadman Wonderland is relatively popular (right?), so perhaps it’ll snag a second season.

Also heard talk from some expressing disbelief about the set-up and Ganta being railroaded so easily and conveniently onto death row, but it seems clear to me that there’s a conspiracy behind the whole thing. Maybe Ganta is chosen specifically for this, and maybe he wasn’t, but the way everything is set up screams that there is someone pulling the strings behind the scenes and manipulating the courts, police, media, etc. The show’s obviously asking the audience to stretch its suspension of disbelief, but I guess it’s easier for me to do that when the show has a fantastic base in the first place (crazy powers).

I mean, maybe it’s a BIT much that everyone is so insanely corrupt that a 14-year-old is sentenced to death like nothing without the possibility of appeal, but there are many dumber premises that fiction has asked people to swallow, so whatever. Doesn’t really bother me at all. Probably part of that is that the corrupt society also allows the privately-owned crazy prison scenario to happen. That’s always fun, even when there’s a heaping help of 1980s cheese like in The Running Man. (Shouldn’t that movie have been a million times better?!) If there’s a game show, I will snicker.


11 Responses to “Deadman Wonderland 1 – Conspiring to Theorize”

  1. the kill collars indeed reminded me of Battle Royale but the show as a whole actually made me thing of Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin but for shounen instead of seinen lol how brutal the chick was gave me that impression right away

    i don’t quite get the carnival act yet but wouldn’t it be awesome if it was like Kaleido Star but with death! XD

    • Oh yeah, I thought of Rainbow briefly, too (especially the Makina = Ishikawa echoes), but forgot to mention it for this post. Good shout.

  2. thoughtcannon Says:

    Lemme premise this by saying I know nothing about Deadman Wonderland.

    If I could do a tiny bit of speculation though: One of the scenes of the ED shows Ganta and Shiro together as children and in his hand…a doll that looks suspiciously like the red man. No idea what it means but I doubt it was put there by accident.

    • Speculation is a-OK with me, and in fact I encourage it! If someone is correct, then all the more impressive. I just don’t do it (at least not when it comes to OPs and EDs) because I don’t pay enough attention to them unless they’re fancy shmancy and catch my eye lol

      Anyway, hmmmm. Interesting. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to me to think that Shiro and the Red Man could be related somehow, especially since Shiro is the Mysterious Girl and comes out of freakin’ nowhere.

  3. Mad Chemist Says:

    I’d been looking forward to Deadman Wonderland myself, and this was a good first episode. I was expecting it to be pretty dark, but wow, Ganta cannot catch a break, can he? When the nicest person you meet in your new home is someone who tried to kill you because of a poor choice of words, you know you’re not having the best day. Here’s hoping things go slightly less awfully for him in the future.

    As for the censorship… well, they did still keep the blood in most of the scenes. I don’t know how much the show will be censored, but I can understand the classroom massacre being censored on broadcast at least because that seems a bit much for any timeslot.

    • Yeah, I can definitely understand the censorship, even if it’s been shown in a late night timeslot (I assume, anyway). I think we all know what a severed cartoon head looks like, anyway lol.

  4. Deadman! Awesome show so far, but hard to just tell with one episode. I kept thinking Ganta = Reton from Eureka 7 LOL but with “blood” powers, I think the red cape guy is somehow “fused” with Ganta? like gave himself another body to get into the prison? Dunno yet but seems like this will be a great show to get people talking.


  6. as a reader of the manga, I am doubtful of the 12-episode coverage. 2nd season want! lolol

    and random thought: Hunger Games is so much close to Battle Royale

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