Manga Review: Deadman Wonderland Volume Eight

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Deadman Wonderland Volume 8 sees Ganta determined to carry out Makina’s order to destroy the Ninben’s control switch.

Deadman Wonderland Volume 8
Written by: Jinsei Kataoka
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 14, 2015

Ganta and his allies find themselves face to face with the Ko Unit, which is made up of the ultimate Ninben. The residents of G-Ward offer to hold off the Ko Unit so Ganta, Shiro, and Azami can locate the switch. The ones who stay behind face off against members of the Ko Unit, and as they do so, they have to face demons from their past. As each resident of G-Ward fights against the enemy, we get to see flashbacks that provide background and development for each character and explain what each of their demons are. These flashbacks were probably my favorite part of Volume 8, since I didn’t know much about these particular characters prior to this point in the series.

Roughly two thirds of Volume 8 focuses on the battles with the members of the Ko Unit. The final third primarily focuses on Ganta’s progress, with a small section focusing on Makina and her group’s progress. Ganta encounters Madoka, a Ninben who had saved him previously. Madoka claims he can help Ganta reach the control switch, but it turns out he has orders to kill Ganta.

When Madoka reveals his deception, there’s an intense battle between him and Ganta that includes dialogue and visual religious references. I have to admit that seeing Ganta pinned against a wall in a way where bears a pose that resembles Jesus’ crucifixion caught me off-guard right at first. This is the first time that I’m aware of where Deadman Wonderland has used such blatant religious imagery.

Shiro tries to jump in and help Ganta, but Madoka appears to be trying to kill her. As Ganta watches in agony, the reader is treated to a flashback as to how Ganta and Shiro met as children. Just as all seems lost, both Ganta and Shiro find a way to get past Madoka’s attacks and work together to bring him down. Right near the end of the volume, a major progression happens for Ganta and Shiro’s relationship.

Volume 8 is very action oriented, but there’s also a lot of character development and progression that takes place in the midst of the fighting. I found myself getting immersed in the various backstories that were presented, and I was especially interested in the flashbacks for Senji and Chaplin.

The art in Deadman Wonderland Volume 8 actually includes quite a bit of detail in many of the panels, which makes it an interesting read visually. The art style that is used for this series works well for the mood of the story.

Readers who have been following the series since the beginning will definitely want to check out Deadman Wonderland Volume 8, especially for the character development that plays such a major role in this section of the story.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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