Manga Review: Deadman Wonderland Volume Six

Deadman Wonderland Volume Six is a manga written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou, and it was published in North America by VIZ Media in 2014. The series is rated “T+” for older teens; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Deadman Wonderland Volume 6
Written by: Jinsei Kataoka
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 9, 2014

The main character of Deadman Wonderland is Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student who survived an earthquake 10 years earlier but has no memories of it. One day while he’s at school, Ganta sees a strange person in blood and crimson armor float through the classroom windows. The “Red Man” murders everyone in the classroom except for Ganta; instead, he embeds a red crystal shard into Ganta’s chest.

Ganta becomes the sole suspect in the murder of his classmates. He has a quick and unfair trial, and is sentenced to death. Ganta is incarcerated in Deadman Wonderland, which is a massive theme park-like prison. Due to the severity of his “crime,” Ganta has to live out imprisonment under Deadman Wonderland’s “Death Sentence”; he is fitted with a collar, which constantly injects a poison into his bloodstream. However, the poison can be neutralized by a candy-like medicine every three years. The medicine can be acquired through various activities in the prison, as well as through Cast Points (the currency of the prison). Cast Points can be earned by performing in the facility’s lethal games and survive.

While at Deadman Wonderland, Ganta is befriended by a mysterious girl named Shiro. Shiro says that knew Ganta a long time ago, and that they’d made a promise that they’d be friends. Ganta has no recollection of this promise. Even so, Shiro does what she can to help Ganta out.

At the beginning of Volume Six, Ganta is released from solitary confinement. He’s in a daze for much of this volume, due to trying to deal with Nagi’s death. When Shiro sees Ganta and realizes he’s acting strangely, she enlists help from Minatsuki; she also receives assistance from Choplin. This features a scene of Shiro trying to cook, but we see that she has no idea what she’s doing. From the drawing that was shown of her creation, you can’t identify just what is was she was trying to make. It actually looked worse than anything from Akane in Ranma 1/2 tried to make!

It’s also revealed that the existence of the Deadmen and the “Carnival Corpse” is revealed to the public through a press conference. It’s revealed that this press conference was called so Tsunenaga can justify his private arena of death. After reading this, I couldn’t help but feel that this guy is an utter scumbag.

While this is going on, inmates of Deadman Wonderland are receiving periodic medical examinations; however, we see with Azami Mido that they are injecting the inmates with something experimental. Later, Ganta, alomg with several others, are sent masks with writing that pertains to them. They’re lured to Ward G R93, where they are attacked by the inmates who were part of the earlier experiment; it appears this fight is being streamed onto the Internet for those in the public who want to watch. When Ganta sees that the others are going after Azami, he inadvertently causes an explosion, knocking everone to the ground.

Not only did Ganta make a mess of things, but he caused a number of injuries as well. At the end of the volume, we see that just about everyone has turned against Ganta. Shiro stands by his side, but after she makes an admission to Ganta, his reaction isn’t what she expected…

I have to admit that I had only read Volume One prior to reading this one, so I had to jump ahead in the story quite a bit. Because of that, I had a hard time entirely following what was going on at first. In fact, I didn’t truly pick up on everything that was happening until after I found some information online and skimmed through Volume Six again.

But now that I’ve pieced elements of the story together, it’s definitely very interesting. At first, I was feeling bad for Ganta after most of the people he knows ostracize him, shun him, and turn away from him because of the explosion and pain he had accidentally created. But my sympathy for him ended when he cast Shiro aside after learning the truth about her. While it makes sense that he wouldn’t be happy with her after the secret she revealed to him, but he’s cast away the only person who had been standing by him. I suspect the next volume will focus on Ganta’s storyline and how it proceeds going forward, as well as on Shiro and how she reacts in the wake of being rejected by Ganta.

When it comes to the art, I have to give Kondou a lot of credit for how Ganta was drawn when he first came out of solitary confinement. Characters reference how thin and gaunt Ganta looks, and Kondou captured this look on Ganta well; I could look at Ganta and just tell how thin and gaunt he was. Ganta also has a rather “dead” look in his eyes, which helps to add to weaker feel to Ganta. Ganta’s “dead eyes” show up a lot early on in the volume, and this really makes sense since he’s trying to process Nagi’s death.

I was impressed enough by Volume Six that I’m going to have to make some time at some point to read Volumes Two through Five of Deadman Wonderland in order to fill in the gap that I have in the story. I suspect that by filling in this gap, I’ll enjoy Volume Six even more than I do now.

I wrote this review after reading a review copy of Deadman Wonderland Volume Six that was provided to me by VIZ Media.

Additional posts about Deadman Wonderland:

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