Posted by psgels on 3 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Deadman Wonderland




Suspense of disbelief is this tricky thing. It’s because of that that it’s hard to recommend, but if you’re not bothered by the fact that this series show doesn’t make any sense at times, it has a lot to deliver in return.

The thing with Deadman Wonderland is that it has a completely insane setting. The creators really tried to create a prison that would be the equivalent to hell on earth. There is so much morally wrong with this series and just about every episode is filled with practices and protocols that would cause a complete outrage normally. The way in which the prisoners are treated in this series is reallly imaginative, but also completely dark and twisted.

Now, just throwing in some dark and twisted stuff is nice and all, but those alone don’t make a good series. What makes Deadman Wonderland so interesting is that it’s got a very likable and diverse main cast where everyone has his or her own purpose. There’s a lot of overacting, but that is to be expected in this kind of setting. There is a nice amount of character development for 12 episodes, and the pacing of the story hardly ever leaves a dull moment.

As for not making any sense, this series does need to pull a few things here and there to make sure that its main character doesn’t just immediately… die. He’s a fourteen year old kid and while a decent lead for his age, a number of deus ex machina need to be pulled in order to keep it that way. The show is rushed, so it doesn’t have time to explain every single detail while also devoting enough time to its characters and the few quiet moments here and there.

So yeah, this series has cheese, deus ex machina, overacting and a rushed plot. On the other hand it has amazing action scenes, excellent characters, an engaging and imaginative setting and a great plot. It’s really going to be a matter of balancing the flaws and stenghts here, but personally, for me it really worked and I enjoyed ths show a lot.

Oh, but this show does cut off a the end with a huge cliff-hanger with no hint to a sequel in sight. That sucks.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Uses Deus ex Machina, but makes up for it with a grat plot and an intense style.
Characters: 8/10 – The acting isn’t the betst at times and there is some cheese, but it makes up for this by great characterization, character development and a diverse and likable cast.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Not up to Manglobe’s standards and it becomes clear that the earthquake left its mark here as well, but makes up for it with gorgeous money shots and very fluid animation.
Setting: 9/10 – Imaginative beyond belief, and the creators really succeeeded in delivering a second hell on earth.

Suggestions:
Blassreiter
Blue Gender
Jyu Oh Sei

12 Responses

  1. konart says:

    >>Oh, but this show does cut off a the end with a huge cliff-hanger with no hint to a sequel in sight. That sucks.

    We have one more episode as an OVA in October at least.

  2. Rustle says:

    I dropped the show at the point where the audience laughed at the massacre and said “Oh what a great Show blabla effects” wtf? *Head gets cut off* “HAHA NICE EFFECT!” lol..

  3. anon1 says:

    I can’t understand how you gave 8 for the production values if this has the worst animation quality i’ve seen in a Manglobe series. Even The Sacred Blacksmith which is the worst Manglobe anime (DW is the second) has better production values than this.

    The action scenes are lame, characters are cliches, the plot is fucking dull. How can someone like this?

  4. Deadpool says:

    @anon1
    That is your personal opinion, you can’t say things like “How can someone like this?”, when many people really enjoyed this show. Psgels’s rating is correct, the show deserves an 8. It’s good to see shows as twisted as this from time to time.

  5. tomphile says:

    I liked the way it strayed from the norm with the gore until it got to the point where it was just killing for the sake of killing. :/

    Meh, I’m just not a fan of this. I like blood just as much as the next guy but this show just didn’t click.

  6. m says:

    It’s not really ‘killing for the sake of killing.’ The team did wipe their sooty fingers on Eureka Seven and gave it a bleaker continuity in the manga adaptation, so it’s probably something of a shtick for them, but, like with Narutaru or Elfen Lied, there’s actually a point to the violence other than the shock factor. I guess you could say there’s a little social commentary tied to it, if you look to see how the monsters are made and connected.

  7. Deus says:

    I felt that this show really suffered from only having 12 eps. I very rarely “wish” for more eps, but this is one of those rare time when I do. But by saying that, that is still no excuse for the show…

    Overall the show was intriguing, but not nearly as smart and shocking as it thinks. Not to mention that despite having sympathy for most of the characters, what little character development there was was handled poorly. The worst offender being Ganta… easily one of the worst protags in recent years… maybe ever… top 5 at least.

    In the end the potential was there, but with a slow start, rushed ending with more questions than answers, and poor character development, Deadman Wonderland ends up falling into the seemingly endless void of average anime.

    I’d give it 6/10.

  8. -OJ- says:

    For me this series was the biggest disappointment in the Spring season. The setting was brilliant and I wanted to know more of the (underdeveloped) original cast and see the conflict with the Red Man advance.

    Too bad the creators chose to abandon everything that was interesting in the series and braught in a rather boring new conflict with a couple of new characters and two really lame shounen-antagonists. Thus the second half of the series was completely worthless!

  9. Mv says:

    @Anon1
    Well, 8/10 could be 7.75/10 rounded up.
    Which is a C.
    Which in my book is absolutely horrible.
    I’d never accept anything less than an A on my report card.

    In seriousness, I believe the definition of 8/10 is “decent”.

    No need to get angsty now.

    • Ytinasni says:

      This is the problem.

      He’s using a 10 point scale, but the points 1-7 mean absolutely nothing to most people other than “pointless garbage, do not watch” and an 8 is considered “meh” by many people.

      Honestly, I don’t watch much anime, but I had been reading the manga for this for quite some time and was thoroughly entertained. Part of the thing with ultraviolent mangas being adapted to anime is that it goes from just graphic stills to full blown animation (although in EL the manga was twice as violent) which makes it more “shocking” to a viewer and considerably more offputting to many people.

      If the plot to this is anything like the manga, there is a point to all of the violence that may not be fleshed out in the short anime series.

  10. john carson says:

    totally agree with this review.

    It wasn’t realistic at all but it was fun to watch.

  11. Awesome Panda says:

    Cut off?

    Then read the manga, jesus.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.

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