Main character is Ganta, a 14-year old boy. One bad day, his whole class is murdered by the 'red man', who also implants some sort of red crystal in Gantas's chest. Ganta is accused and sentenced to death (largely because of a leaked, counterfeit video containing a confession) and sent to Deadman Wonderland, a prison operated by a corporation. The prison is styled after an amusement park, and the inmates have to work there and provide the entertainment in order to earn 'cast points'. With those points, they can buy stuff -- as well as 'candy', an antidote against the poison that is slowly being administered to they by their electronic collars. Deadman Wonderland is situated among the ruins of Tokyo, where ten years ago the 'Red Hole' appeared and destroyed the whole city.
So, the setting is interesting. And Ganta has now the same weird power as the 'Red Man' has: he can form weapons from his blood. And he meets Shiro, a girl dressed in a white catsuit who seems to know him. And the Promotor, who fabricated the 'confession video', is up to something.
But in the end it's just a series of scenes of escalating violence. First there's the Dog Race with the obstacles set to maximum lethality, then there's the robot who chases after them, then there's the duels with the other Deadmen, the after-show, and finally the Undertakers. They all follow the same pattern: first there's a display of the power of the new threat, then Ganta tries something and fails, leaving him in tears. And then, through sheer force of will and/or empathy, he overcomes the threat after all. The violence is graphic and pretty malicious in how the characters are treated -- like how an eyeball is scooped out from an unsedated victim.
The ending doesn't wrap anything up -- so there's no redeeming of the violence that went before. That turns it all into senseless, gory violence porn.
Technically, there's not much wrong with the series -- if you can make out what's happening because some scenes are really dark. The designs aren't particularly inspiring though.
- Interesting start.
- Senseless violence porn;
- No resolution or redemption.
All in all, a very dissapointing offering. I'll give it a 5.