I love anime but sadly I don’t watch nowhere near as much as I would like to. My third favorite of all time is a very short, sadly cut short anime called Deadman Wonderland. It was shocking, raw, and made me rethink my own passion project, so it can be something different than most so I owe it a lot.
Deadman Wonderland is the story of young Ganta Igarashi, a ordinary middle school who’s life goes nightmarish when a mysterious figure known as the Wretched Egg appears and slaughters Ganta’s friends and entire class with a strange power, leaving Ganta the sole survivor. Camera footage is found framing Ganta for the brutal murders and he is sentenced to life in the newest prison/ tourist attraction called Deadman Wonderland. To the public, prison’s risk there lives in deadly games in exchange for antidote to a poison there are injected with via collar they are forced to wear around there necks. Security is tight and Ganta is pushed to his breaking point by the sick inmates and horrible sights, but he finds a old forgotten friend in Shiro, a strange girl always following Ganta. During a brief encounter with a Wretched Egg, Ganta discovers the key to his salvation and damnation, his Branch of Sin- his blood is a weapon, when he bleeds he can gather it and fire it as a hard projectile. Suddenly he is taken from the general populace and introduced to Carnival Corpse, an underground fighting arena dedicated to others inflicted with the Branch of Sin like The Crow who can form long, curved blades from his slashed wrists or Hummingbird who fuses the blood from her ears into her hair like living razor wire. When things look at there worst, Ganta, now called Woodpecker, discovers a resistance of Deadmen inside the prison, readying to plot there escape, can they escape all the horrors Deadman Wonderland holds inside?
Deadman Wonderland is a sad case. The series was prematurely cut because of legal bullshit so it feels messy at the end of it’s 12 main episodes. I say this because there is a bonus 13th episode that is a Crow origin episode. You can tell if it had 12 or 14 more episodes it could have ended more more tightly but they did ok regardless. Artistically the show is beautiful and the characters are compelling. I love the Branch of Sin; my favorite is Owl’s, leader of the resistance, who can form his blood into grenades. The opening song, One reason- Fade, is probably one of my favorite anime songs of all time. I warn the faint of heart, don’t watch if you can’t handle blood, torture, images of rape, vulgar language or dismemberment. If you can get past all that, there is a lot to be said inside of it’s short narrative and I highly recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.