Posted on Nov 22 2009
Hello everyone and welcome back to another month of Meringued Manga’s Review. Today we’re taking a look into a Manga that’s well under wraps, and if you ask me, it’s about time we tear that wrapper off!
The manga Deadman Wonderland is a series written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou. Some of you may recognize the name of this individual, as he wrote and illustrated the Eureka Seven manga. It has been published in Shonen Ace since 2007 and, according to Wikipedia, this ongoing manga has a total of 4 volumes out. The name “Deadman Wonderland” has a eerie feeling that goes well with the manga’s story, characters and art.
The manga starts off with two children playing together, accompanied by a woman playing a familiar tone on the piano. Two pages after the now happy, and somewhat nostalgic, scene is replaced with a suggestive disturbed scene. Ten years have passed since the ‘Great Tokyo Earthquake’ that left over 70% of Tokyo under water. Deadman Wonderland is set in a prison of the same name; and a prison our main character Ganta Igarashi finds himself in. Ganta Igarashi was leading a normal life until one day while conversing amongst his friends he notices individual floating outside his classroom window…on the 4th floor. This terrifying man kills everyone except Ganta, and shoots a red piece of glass into his chest. Despite being pierced by this ragged edged glass, no trace of this remains; resulting in Ganta being falsely accused for the murder of his whole classroom, and sentence on death-row in the prison Deadman Wonderland.
The prison itself is very unique and stands as an entertainment center for innocent civilians. Almost like a carnival, inmates put on shows to entertain the civilians. The prison was built centering around tourism in hopes that the Tokyo that was destroyed would be revived again. A rather unorthodox method…it’s almost as if they haven’t thought this idea through. You may think that they’re hardly concerned with the welfare of the civilians, and it may seem as if they take no precautions against the inmates, but…! The prisoners are kept in check… Along with the prison the rules that govern it also call for an unique aptitude.
The necklaces around an inmate acts as an ID for tracking, a stunner, and many other safety measures. Those on death row, however, are constantly administered poison through their collars: should an inmate not consume a special candy-like antidote provided to them at the cost of a large sum of Cast Points he/she would die almost immediately. Cast Points are earned by putting on attractions which are twisted games that usually end in bloodshed.
All in all I can say that this manga is very entertaining, if not slightly disturbing. I would suggest picking it up if you need something new and interesting to read, that isn’t just your every day shonen manga.