Deadman Wonderland – 02
「解毒剤（キャンディ）」 (Gedokuzai (Kyandi))
There’s a psychotic opening sequence included this week, showing a lot of red and featuring some of the other deadmen, plus a little fan-service for both guys and girls. It fits pretty well with the dark themes in the series and the demented amusement park (even if there’s no reason for a costume to smile like that). Forcing inmates to participate in morbid forms of entertainment isn’t a new idea, but throwing a fourteen-year-old in there is pretty brutal too. In addition, Ganta is too naive and has little clue about the system. He finally read the rulebook thoroughly after people keep reminding him, and finds out that he needs to eat an antidote every three days or the poison in his collar will kill him, and that cast points are needed to buy everything all the way from the survival candy to luxury goods and freedom.
So far there’s no one Ganta can really trust, including his new friend Takami Yoh, though he doesn’t know that either. To pile on the misfortune, he runs into Kouzuji Kazumasa as well, the sadistic psycho with a big ego who seems to set his own rules around the prison. But even he can’t win a showdown against the warden, who is an interesting factor in this story. She is harsh, but has her own plans and schemes different from those of Tamaki who just seems to want to toy with Ganta.
Ganta enters the “Dog Race” in an attempt to win the points he needs to buy the antidote, but it’s literally no walk in the park as prisoners get sliced in half, smashed into the ground, shot, electrocuted, or incinerated for trying to leave the “show”. Of course the audience just thinks its special effects like some sort of live-action horror flick, but in my opinion they just don’t want to believe it’s real and give excuses (“those guys are just felons anyway”). The irony is that Ganta was originally going to Deadman Wonderland for his school trip, but is now forced to battle there instead after his class was massacred.
Shiro joins the game as well and saves Ganta’s many times during the game, by bumping him when he falls, taking the wrong rope, etc. Ganta himself has no clue until the end when the revelation hits him hard and he gives up the chance to win to save Shiro. However, somehow I doubt she would have died even if she fell as she has cat-like abilities and is relatively less affected by injuries. Shiro also happens to be the epitome of optimism: very happy go lucky and seems to have fun no matter what happens. She’s so bubbly it’s becomes a little bit creepy sometimes given the situation they are in. Shiro is interesting, but I am also looking forward to seeing some of the other deadmen, as there’s no lack of colorful characters in Deadman Wonderland. The stuff that happens can be rather disturbing though, and like last time there’s censoring of a lot the gore and some scenes were cut out; even then however there’s definitely still no shortage of blood and naturally there will be much more of that to come. Animation is pretty good, but unfortunately the art was occasionally subpar. Regardless it’s a story-driven show, and hopefully extra budget will be put into the fights.