Top positive review
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Solid But Sample First
on 10 August 2013
Deadman Wonderland; the happiest place on earth. Like a dystopian Disneyland, where prisoners are the puppets on the "It's a Small World" ride.
The story of Deadman Wonderland focuses on the life of Ganta Igarashi; a boy framed for a crime he didn't commit by the horrific actions of the "Red Man". In order to carry through his sentence of Capital Punishment, Ganta is sent to Deadman Wonderland; a prison turned theme park in which the convicts work and maintain the rides. From the eccentricity of the Dog Race to the horrors of the Carnival Corpse and the brutality of the Undertakers, danger lurks around every corner for Ganta. It's a long road ahead of him in his search for the Red Man, to prove his innocence. Get busy killing or get busy dying.
Personally, I really liked this series. The animation is amazing to watch and flows really nicely, and the accompanying soundtrack always manages to set the right tone and really emphasise emotion. Aside from the main character's theme, you will very seldom hear the same track twice, with an extremely broad range on the music. In terms of voice acting, both the dub and the sub are solid; with amazing voice actors all around, such as Monica Rial, Patrick Stewart and Eric Vale. Greg Ayres as the lead is also a powerhouse of emotion, however I would be lying to you if I said that the voice doesn't occasionally grate. During epic moments, he shines, however in casual conversation Ganta does come across as very whiny.
In terms of issues found with the series, the latter half of the show does spend a substantial amount of time building up secondary characters' backstories. Personally, I didn't mind this as that was the part of the original manga series that I loved: showing the prison through the eyes of people other than the main character. However, if you are a very straightforward kind of person, you may not enjoy this as much as others. Another issue that everybody seems to be picking up on is the fact that the show lacks an ending, so to speak. Very little is actually resolved, so it is safe to assume that this series was intended as a set up for a multiple series show (evidenced by the fact that there are 47 manga chapters and only 12 episodes, that cover approximately one third of the series if that). This didn't affect me as much, considering I had already read the manga when the series came out, however for first time watchers or people new to the franchise this may be a bit of a disappointment. My advise to this is to read the manga first before you watch the series. You will end up feeling more fulfilled, and desperate for a second series release even more.
Deadman Wonderland is very much a show that you need to feel you can commit to before buying. I would advise sampling the first episode on legal streaming sites such as funimation's official website to see if you like the show enough to purchase it. Reading the manga would also aid in forming an opinion on the show, however this is very much not essential, just a recommendation.
Fans of shows such as Mirai Nikki, Another and the Blood franchise will really like Deadman Wonderland; due to the overlaying themes of mystery, as well as sometimes graphic violence and scenes of combat.
Based on my own personal enjoyment, I would have rated the show as a 5, however my view is very much subjective, so considering the facts it stands at a solid 4.
So from a fan to the fans, make up your mind on it first before buying. I myself have already per-ordered the series and cant wait for it to arrive.