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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  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:18 AM)
    I noticed something off about the animation and the dialogue was pretty piss poor at times but the latters kind of a given in these things and the prior was never distracting enough to take me out of the movie. I’m indifferent really to the Batgirl drama, don’t mind that its there, don’t care if it wasn’t.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:39 AM)
    This story required a level of care that frankly the creators didn’t want to give.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:38 AM)
    I think instead of trying to combat the whole women in refrigerator aspect of the story they instead should have focused on what inspired the characters to do this. What made batman rethink his relationship with the joker and attempt to find a common ground? What made the Joker suddenly want to prove a point? And sure you could add something to give batgirl a moment but not some crap villain no one cares about. Instead have her go up against a real batman villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:33 AM)
    @Vonter, Animation was one part of it. The other was the first thirty minutes being a tacked on Batgirl story and it really shows. I didn’t really have that much of a problem with it up until that scene which everyone likely knows. That annoyed me. I get what they were trying to do but it just made things worse.
    As for the actual killing Joke itself, I thought it was ok. Hamell brought his A game. Really for that it was just small details that made it lesser.
  • KaZuHiRo
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:46 AM)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PSGELS!! If you’re still lurking around that is…
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 12:48 AM)
    I’m kinda bummed that the Killing Joke adaptation is likely gonna be another feminist driven criticism. As for my opinion its just not as good as it could be because it seems 2D animation in general is having less commitment adapting complex artstyles. Not as distracting as Berserk, but the Bruce Timm artstyle doesn’t strike the tone of this particular Batman story.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Jul 27. 2016 01:48 PM)
    @topgavin, I am not gonna deny that’s a large part of what I like about it as well. And practically everything really does become a side plot when the other guy is introduced.

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