Deadman Wonderland Volume 12 sees a young man named Ganta Igarashi wrongfully imprisoned in a special prison known as Deadman Wonderland. At this point in the series, Ganta has learned some painful truths about himself and his friend, Shiro.

Deadman Wonderland Volume 12
Written by: Jinsei Kataoka
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 8, 2015

Volume 12 continues Ganta and Crow’s fight against Hagire. After a hard-fought battle, it seems that Ganta and Crow have won. Unfortunately, Crow doesn’t come out of the fight unscathed, and now has to adjust to the changes that his injury causes to his life.

This volume also sees a girl named Yosuba finding a very injured Hagire and taking care of him. We also get to see some flashbacks of when Yosuba and Hagire were younger, and are provided some backstory for these two particular characters. I appreciated getting this backstory, because it helped me to better understand who these two characters are. While there’s exposition included in this volume, there’s not so much that it causes the story to bog down. In fact, there are so many action sequences here that the exposition is actually a nice break from the fight scenes.

Makina learns some very shocking information about Ganta’s branch of sin, and reveals it to everyone except for Ganta. When Ganta announces that he intends to do something major with his branch of sin in order to try to save Shiro, I couldn’t help but be a little frustrated with Makina. She knows full well that there could be dire consequences if he goes through with his plan, but doesn’t say anything to try to stop him.

From the way that Deadman Wonderland Volume 12 is written, it’s obvious that the story is headed for its conclusion. It also ends on a cliffhanger, which appears to be leading up to a final battle between the two sides. The stakes for both sides has to do with Shiro and what will ultimately happen to her.

When it comes to the art, there are some panels during that fight that really jump out at the reader. On pages 28 and 29, there’s an image of Crow launching an attack on Hagire that almost looks like it will leap off of the page. There’s also a stunning image on pages 36 and 37 of Ganta and Crow at the end of their fight with Hagire. Some of the panels of Yosuba also stand out due to the effort and detail that were put into them.

Volume 12 also includes some bonus manga that are much more light-hearted in nature than the actual story. I assume these were included to try to reach a particular page length. These bonus manga weren’t bad, but they did kind of feel out of place after the dark tone that permeated this volume. The bonus manga can be skipped if you don’t want to read them, because they don’t truly add anything of any real value to the series.

Readers who have been following this series will want to read Deadman Wonderland Volume 12 in order to find out how the story progresses and to find out what happens to the various characters. And since it appears the ending of the series is coming up sooner rather than later, long time followers of Deadman Wonderland should just read what’s left of the series in order to follow it through to the end.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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