After a powerful earthquake nearly destroyed all of Tokyo, a prison known as Deadman Wonderland rose from what was left of the city. Privately-run through the guise and functions of a theme park, Deadman Wonderland takes in prisoners from all over Japan, using them as attractions for tourists. Little do the public know about the true purpose of this "theme park" and the horrors that take place within.
Enter Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student who has lived a normal life since the great earthquake occurred. This all changes when a mysterious masked murderer called the Red Man appears and kills his entire class, knocking him unconscious which consequently left him as the sole survivor. When he awakens, he is falsely convicted as the perpetrator behind the massacre, landing him a spot in Deadman Wonderland. What will become of this new inmate whose life depends on the bizarre "games" that this prison holds? And just what does Shiro, Ganta's supposed childhood friend who awaits his arrival, know about the Red Man?
Deadman Wonderland was put on hiatus from March 26, 2012 (2012-05) to January 26, 2013 (2013-03). During this period, mangaka Kataoka Jinsei gave birth to and raised her baby boy.
The series was first published in English by Tokyopop with 5 volumes released from February 2, 2010 to June 22, 2011 before publication was discontinued. VIZ Media republished the series to completion from February 11, 2014 to February 9, 2016. It was also published in Italian by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint from January 24, 2010 to February 15, 2014; in Polish by Waneko from June 2014 to June 2016; and in Indonesian by Level Comics.
Coming right off of the un-fulfilling conclusion of the anime, I never really had any high hopes for the manga of Deadman Wonderland. I thought it was going to be another "action and gore trip" just like many of the other manga inspired anime’s I had seen in the past. (I'm looking at you Tokyo Ghoul)
So you can imagine my surprise when I actually started to read it.
It really blew me away with just how much the story could go as far as it did, while still at the same time retaining its ultra-grim and dark tones as the show lead it on to be
(hell it was probably even darker than the anime)
The manga brought so many twists and turns that I really ended up caring about many of the characters and their overall fates by the conclusion. It has that Berserk (another amazing manga) type feel, where literally anything can happen at any moment, making many parts (especially near the end) a real treat to read.
Now many viewers maybe a little wary of reading this manga because of its "extreme violence" and "anything can happen" subject matter. If I’m being honest, yes, it can be very gruesome at times (Yes even more then the show). But for those who can stomach such things and press on, you will find that this is definitely a manga that is worth reading.
So yes, I definitely recommend this manga for anyone who likes dark and crazy storylines, and a must read for anyone who liked the show. I give it an 8/10.
Deadman Wonderland isn't your typical seinen. It has quite its unique distinctions, and is a worthwhile read all right.
Story - 8 :
10 years after a great earthquake that ravaged most of Tokyo, Ganta Igarashi is the only witness of the murder of his entire classroom by a person clad entirely in red. As such, he is framed for the crime and sent in death row, in a prison called Deadman Wonderland that serves as an attraction park ran by the prisoners. His encounter with an albino girl named Shiro will urge him to live on, and discover the mysteries of the prison and of the
Yeah, this is a pretty basic premise, isn't it ? But while the initial starting point for the story might hint at a survival manga in a crazy environment, the scenario will quickly focus on battle by introducing special powers and factions inside the prison (no telling there, go read it :p)
Art - 9 :
The art is, truly, splendid. Each character has many little details and quirks, and the style of the artist truly suits the madness of the story. Some double pages are seriously worth the read.
Character - 10 :
And this is where, ladies and gentlemen, Deadman Wonderland really shines.
Very quickly, you'll see that every character, besides the hero, is crazy. Each one has something tied to his past that shapes his attitude in the world of Deadman Wonderland, that you understand when the characters are developed. Ganta is the only sane person in the prison, striving to survive without becoming mad. As such, his character development is exemplary. Shiro is a weird girl, but she wants no matter what to be Ganta's friend, and when they get separated by the ordeals they live,Shiro's pain is heartwrenching.
Enjoyment : 10
I loved this manga, from start to finish. The combat scenes, the powers, the characters, the end of the story... Everything.
Overall : 9
Yes, only 9, because no manga is perfect. (Besides 20th Century Boys, but here lies not the debate :p). But, as you read, Deadman Wonderland is an excellent manga, and if you like gory seinen story (Gantz, Mirai Nikki, Elfen Lied...), you'll like this one.
Plus, it's completed now. You've got no excuses, go read it all at once !
To start things off, I'd like to inform anyone coming in off of the anime adaptation to disregard that. It was not a good adaptation, and ended prematurely while leaving out a lot of plot points. The manga is leaps and bounds better, and certainly worth most people's time.
In the world of fiction, having a piece of work involving humans with supernatural powers is definitely not rare. In fact, the market is saturated with such things. This in and of itself is not inherently a bad thing. It's all a matter of how the concept is used, and if the work can achieve something its
predecessors couldn't. Does Deadman Wonderland bring anything new to the table?
In my opinion, not really. What it does offer is a very compelling and interesting rehash of things we have seen before. To me, at least, this is also not a bad thing. Let me explain.
I'd like to talk about the setting first. A prison that doubles as an amusement park. That is something that I personally haven't seen in fiction before, though I'm sure it has been done at some point. Still, it is a pretty interesting setting. There are some issues with it that I can't talk about too much because of spoilers, but suffice to say the manga doesn't play up its setting as much as I would have liked.
And what of the characters within this setting? The quality and genericness of these characters vary. I found the main character generic, and the fact that he was 14 seemed a little unneeded. He could have been an adult, or at least an older teen, and the story wouldn't have changed much, except making some things more believable. The manga has a lot of gore and even touches on elements of rape a couple times, so the argument that he is 14 in order to appeal to the intended audience is invalid. Most of the other characters were interesting, and I liked that almost every major character (and even some minor ones) rather they were "good" or "bad" got a backstory segment, giving each one a tad of development, even if that development was a little shallow.
The overarching plot had a few pacing issues, but generally it is easy to follow if you pay attention. The pace is quick enough that the reader probably won't find themselves bored at any point. Also, I'm glad to say that most questions are answered by the end of the manga, and the ending wraps things up nicely without feeling too rushed. I found the plot pretty interesting, if not predictable in some places. There are a few good twists that I didn't expect here and there.
The last thing I would like to talk about is the art. The character designs were definitely designed to be "cool", and the powers of most of the characters are drawn very nicely. Plenty of gore too. The backgrounds can be simple at times, but never ugly. Overall, I don't remember ever seeing a panel or page and thinking it looked bad.
I'd recommend this manga to people who like the "super powers" concept, or just like action in general. Although there's a little bit of romance, comedy, and quite a bit of drama, this manga is definitely an action manga at heart. Worth a chance if you are looking for a good manga that does a lot of things right, even if it's not anything new.
First Manga I ever read, and now I'm starting to read manga, because Deadman Wonderland's anime was very incomplete, even though I loved the concept, and so I had the read the manga to get the answers I needed. And you should do the same.
So, a unique prison in Japan called Deadman Wonderland was built after an incident which involved an Earthquake. In this establishment, prisoners are in death row, getting slowly poisoned for 3 days and end up dying. However they can participate in circus like and entertaining events to an ignorant public from the outside world, thinking they are just "pretending" deaths. Igarashi
Ganta, accused from mass murder of his classmates ends up there and meets Shiro and other characters that may help him on getting stronger, escape from the prison, claim his innocence, get revenge from the "Red Man" (the one who killed his classmates) and later with a group of characters, revealing to the public what is really going on. Some of the prisoners have special powers called "Branches of Sin". Those who have these powers are called Deadman.
The story is quite good, I really enjoyed the slow process trough chapters and explaining what could happen inside DW. When I ended up discovering more and more and unraveling more mysteries, the story gets even more interesting and I ended up reading a lot until I got to the final chapter. When a story sometimes "gets you" by surprise and ends up making your reaction being something like "Wooooooow!", then it probably is a good story.
I don't have deep arguments when it comes to manga art, since this is the first manga I have seriously read, but I quite like it, and in my opinion, it is well done, I easily understood what was going on in action scenes. I also loved the circus-like design from the prison, the bloody moments and the characters which are well made, speaking of which, Crow makes me remember of Bleach's Zaraki (xD).
Anyhow, about the characters, Shiro ends up to be more interesting than Ganta, in my opinion, because Ganta is that typical protagonist guy who wants to get stronger for a reason, and in reality, he is a weak guy. He ends up just getting very lucky for his "Branch of Sin" having something different, that's all, because he has no battle experience. It's somehow understandable that he tries to save and protect everyone (typical atitude of a protagonist too) and sometimes he ends up making decisions that brings bad consequences, but sometimes it gets a little tiring. Shiro ends up being more interesting because, despite of the sweet girl personality, quite early in the manga, you quickly understand she has "another mask", and finding out what's going on with her is just amazing. As the other characters, they are quite unique within the manga, and you end up learning about their pasts and the reason they ended up in jail and the way they somehow deal with their past thoughts. Gotta love each one's personality and traits. As I went further into the story, their importance gets even higher and I ended up loving them even more.
To sum it up, if you are one of those DW fans who got frustrated with the anime version, then read this manga, it is way better. If you are one those guys who love action, blood and also some mystery, read it too. The anime is asking for a 2nd season but since the answer is right here, at the manga chapters, I don't consider it necessary anymore. As you can see, most people made positive reviews about this manga, so it's probably worth it for you.