This week’s recommendation also comes from a show I found on Crunchyroll. It’s called Deadman Wonderland. If you haven’t heard of it or seen it yourself, it is an interesting show, very dark, gory and sinister. An unnatural phenomenon wiped out Tokyo (no surprise there…) anyway, 10 years later, the nation’s first privatized prison is built in the center of the disaster zone. They call it Deadman Wonderland; basically, prisoner’s here are forced to perform for citizens who come to this inhumane amusement park-like prison. More on that later.
Igarashi Ganta is seemingly ordinary student attending Nagano Prefecture’s middle school. He is a survivor of the anomaly but has no memory of it, and thus, has lived a normal life. One day in class, a mysterious figure appears outside of his third story classroom, naturally, the entire class is in shock.
The floating man completely annihilates the entire class, leaving only one alive in this bloody massacre. The man attacks Ganta and implants some red object into his chest. Ganta wakes up in a hospital after the attack and is immediately approached by the police and informed he is under arrest for the murder of his classmates.
Things happen so fast, unnaturally fast… He is almost instantly found guilty in court despite the efforts of his ‘public defender’ and Ganta’s pleas that it wasn’t him, that it was the “Red Man”. He is sentenced to death. Ganta is sent to Deadman Wonderland. Now a death row inmate amongst a bunch of criminals, murderers, and thugs, he must survive. Chief Guard Makina informs all the new inmates of the rules at the prison. She also explains that they have all had collars placed on them which contain a variety of gadgets, such as a GPS and tasers. They also slowly inject a poison into them which will kill them in 3 days if they do not take their medicine, which is like a hard candy.
The prison doesn’t really seem much like a contemporary prison, as the inmates seem to be able to wander freely, so long as they abide by the rules. They can purchase things like smokes, beer, and clothes with the prison’s currency, Cast Points. They can even purchase the candy-like medicine, and time off of their sentence, if they save up enough.
Ganta didn’t read the rule-book and as a result, he didn’t know about the poison. He is forced to earn enough Cast Points to buy some medicine. He must enter the Dog Race Show, in which the winner can earn 100,000 Cast Points, enough to buy one medicine. In this event, the inmates race against each other in a demented coliseum type obstacle course, however, it isn’t just some harmless race.
The obstacles are deadly, giant swinging axes, trap-doors into spikes or fire while being shot at by guards with bows and arrows, stuff like that. Oh, and you can’t even quit the race, if you try and bail out, the guards, dressed in animal costumes like you would see at a theme park.
Basically, this “prison” is just a front to a sinister group who exploit the unique prisoners for entertainment. They call them the “Deadmen”. These individuals are capable of using Branches of Sin, which enables them to control their blood and convert them into brutal weapons. As it turns out, Ganta’s sentence to Deadman Wonderland wasn’t a coincidence… When the warden, Tsunenaga Tamaki (who also happens to have been Ganta’s ‘public defender’), learns of his power, Ganta must now participate in the Corpse Carnival, in which the Deadmen battle each other in gladiatorial-like combat.
Completely obsessed with this “Red Man”, who ultimately condemned him, Ganta must fight to survive so that he might kill the Red Man and clear his name so he can escape this inhumane hell.
After a couple of minutes into the first episode, I wasn’t too sure about the show, but I promised my friend I would check it out. Once the Red Man attacked and massacred an entire classroom, I figured I could keep watching. Definitely glad that I did.