Anime Review: Deadman Wonderland Episode 9

Anime Review:
Deadman Wonderland Episode 9

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Deadman Wonderland is a weekly anime television series that started airing in April 2011, based on a popular manga series by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou. Ganta, the sole survivor when his classroom is attacked, is convicted for murdering all of his classmates. Sent away to a private prison called “Deadman Wonderland” where the convicts entertain the public, Ganta must fight for his own survival with an unlikely ally.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: Ganta and his group continue along their escape route, until they reach an elevator that has the be activated remotely by Nagi. But when Nagi reaches the control room, he is betrayed by one of his men and attacked by a little girl who is a member of the Undertakers, wielding a weapon that neutralizes Nagi’s powers. Nagi manages to defeat his opponent, but giving his life in the process. Ganta’s group is also attacked by an Undertaker (Genkaku), leaving only a few survivors, and has to be saved at the last moment by Shiro from a double-cross.

My Impressions: I’m back after a few weeks away from reviews. On with the show!

So. Does anyone out there remember Fruit Stripe Gum? When I was a kid, I would get a big ol’ pack of gum, and chew one piece as it burst with flavor. After the first couple of minutes, the flavor was completely gone, and I would add another piece. A few minutes later, a third piece. Then a fourth, and a fifth…until about two-thirds of the pack of gum was gone, and I was left with this huge, grey, flavorless wad of gum in my mouth.

Deadman Wonderland, it turns out, is just like Fruit Stripe Gum.

They keep introducing one new idea or concept after another, big bells and whistles each episode, stacked on top of each other and then quickly discarded along the way. New characters are likewise introduced, played out and then just as quickly discarded. Yet despite this hot mess of potentially-neat ideas and fast action, as we approach the finale of the series it comes across as a wad of flavor-drained gum.

Along the way I’ve convinced myself that this was just a brainless popcorn action/adventure flick…but really that was just deluding myself. In retrospect, Deadman Wonderland had problems from the very beginning — starting with the wimpy-ass main character Ganta who is so uninteresting that they have introduced a whole raft of supporting characters around him to carry the show. Ganta is not so much of a proactive protagonist, rather a simpering weakling that is barely present as the action takes place *around* him.

There are other things that bug me about this episode (like the antagonist, in this case in the form of a little girl, who spends so much time doing her evil villain gloating routine it gives her opponent time to defeat her…sigh) that are repetitions of problems I have had in previous episodes, but I’ll just cut it short and place that Fruit Stripe Gum analogy out there. Looking back, I probably would have been better off dropping this halfway through; I would drop it now, but I’m soooooo close to the end, might as well finish it out. But anything short of a miraculously fantabulous finale, I seriously doubt Deadman Wonderland will be worth recommending.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “Besides Shiro-lack, I feel this episode just wasn’t as good as it’s been lately. I know they were ambushed, but no one seemed to, outside of dying perhaps, add too much immediacy to their actions. I didn’t hear one, “Holy shit, we’ve just been set up, we’re all gonna fucking die!!” or “This guy is shooting at me with fucking guitar guns and killed me and now I’m dead, why did this happen?!!” Maybe that’s why I’m not an anime character.” – Moe Monster
  • “So this wasn’t meant to be the most surprising episode: right from the start it was clear that everything would go to hell in this episode, with a traitor right in the middle of everything, just about every part of the plan was set to be sabotaged and brutally murdered, which is exactly what happened.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
  • “Unfortunately, the downsides of having a limited number of episodes for a lengthy manga with lots of things going on at once are really started to show up. They skip and speed through character backgrounds, proper characterization and introductions (Who knew that guy would be a backstabber! Oh wait, none of us knew him at all), and epic, well-written fight scenes. Now it feels as though they’re throwing in and throwing out characters willy nilly.” – Sekijitsu
  • “Ignoring the rushing and lack of any real character development, this episode was a good one for Deadman. I tend to prefer episodes that focus on blood, gore and crazy fights. It’s a wonderful distraction from the ridiculous way the plot is panning out.” – Metanorn
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