Deadman Wonderland starts off quite normal-ish. Our main hero, Ganta is first seen looking at a place known as Deadman Wonderland on his phone. Apparently, it is a theme park prison where the prisoners are the main attraction and it is also the only privately owned prison in Japan. One of Ganta’s classmates, Mimi, walks up to him and mentions about how they are going to go there for a class trip and how Ganta hasn’t lived in Tokyo for ten years. Queue another guy walking up (Yamakatsu) and a conversation about how Mimi just wants the three of them to have fun together.
Class starts, and during some sort of lecture, Ganta hears a familiar song. He turns to the window to see a man dressed in red floating outside and begins to freak out once he realizes that they are on the third floor. Everyone notices this strange thing within seconds and it begins to attack the entire class.
Ganta wakes up to a blood covered classroom where everyone is dead. He sees Mimi, thinking that she survived, but then notices that her head isn’t attached to her body. Of course, Ganta screams like a little girl. (But then again, who wouldn’t?) The red man walks (floats?) up to him and ejects TEH PHILOSIPHER’S STONES!!!!11!!!11! some sort of red jewel thing. Ganta winds up passing out afterwards.
Ganta wakes up the hospital who knows how many hours later only to find out that he is being arrested for the murder of every single student in his class. He tries to explain that it was some floating red man, but no one believes him and he is taken away. He tries to look for the wound on his body from the ejection only to find that it has mysteriously healed.
His trial doesn’t take very long and Ganta is given the death sentence after being found guilty. He pretty much goes berserk as he’s taken out of the court room and winds up getting punched in the face by multiple people. Ganta falls to the floor and his phone slips out of his pocket, playing a video of Ganta confessing to the crime. It turns out that that video had already been leaked all over the press.
We then get a quick glimpse of a strange girl sitting on top of a sign labeled “Deadman Wonderland.” It turns out that she’s up there singing a song about death. However, that song comes to an end when she stands up and says “Ganta.”
Ganta arrives in Deadman Wonderland only to meet Makina, the captain of the entire place. She comments on Ganta’s good behavior saying that it is too late for him to change his attitude now. As she’s explaining about Deadman Wonderland, another prisoner runs into Ganta with a cart. Ganta gets knocked over, and the other dude quickly apologizes. Makina yells at the dude telling him that she’ll let it slide if he returns what he stole. The prisoner replies that he just didn’t see where he was going and gets slashed in the chest with Makina’s sword.
The scene changes to Makina and the guy who was Ganta’s lawyer talking in private about Ganta’s fate. They secretly decide that they want to kill Ganta before his actual excision, but Makina thinks he’ll just die on his own anyways. The lawyer proceeds to ask Makina a question about what she does when she first get’s a present. Her answer is to hurry up and open it as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Ganta is out somewhere doing physical labor around the prison. (It looks like he’s in some type of junkyard almost.) He remembers the times he spent launching fireworks with his friends and then the murder by the strange red man. Tears begin to stream down his face as our strange death-singing girl shows up. Ganta’s first reaction is to remark to himself about how much she looks like Mimi. The girl offers to kill him if he wants and starts swinging a pipe towards his head. He dodges the attacks and asks her what the hell she’s doing. She asks him if he wants to die and Ganta gives a positive answer. The girl then places her fingers on his heart and deduces that he is lying. Ganta tries to say that he doesn’t know her, but she just replies with “We’re friends.” He asks how she knows his name, but she tells him to cheer up. The rest of their conversation kind of goes like this:
Ganta: “You wouldn’t kill me if we were really friends!”
Shiro (That’s her name, BTW.): You mean you wouldn’t kill me?”
Ganta: “NO!” *starts crying*
A few guys walk up to both Ganta and Shiro while Ganta is still in tears. Their intentions aren’t exactly friendly, as the first thing they do is bully Ganta. Shiro pushes one of the guys in defense of Ganta and seriously kicks some ass until she is knocked out with a shovel. Ganta gets up and finally makes the decision to act like a man and fight back. Sadly, he gets pwned after just a few moments.
The fight between Ganta and the guys is interrupted by a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE EXPLOSION overhead. While the guys run away almost immediately, Ganta just stands there thinking about how he wants to live on so he has the chance to prove himself innocent and get a slice of revenge pie. Right at that moment, his chest starts glowing red and he destroys a gigantic falling object with his brand-new awsomesauce power.
The focus switches to a man who is apparently taking one of the prison workers hostage, What’s his demand? Freedom? Better treatment? Nope, he just wants a piece of candy. A freak’n piece of candy. Makina checks the status of the prisoner and says that it’s okay because he’ll die in a few seconds anyways. And just like the lady said, a countdown clock on his collar reached zero and the collar pretty much killed him instantly. This is the fate of all those sentenced to death.
Ganta looks around, wondering about why he’s still alive and what happened. He notices Shiro, still lying on the ground, and tries to wake her up. Once she begins to regain consciousness, she asks if it’s snack time and tells Ganta that she wants to eat her next meal with him.
Well, I can certainly say that that was…interesting. Deadman Wonderland is probably the spring series I have the highest expectations for, and so far, it doesn’t disappoint. The first episode was solid and revealed just the right amount of information to keep me interested. This is probably the most plot-heavy first episode of the season too. Lots of key things happened that seem like they’ll hold some kind of importance farther down the road.
One of the things I thought while watching this was “Geez, Ganta’s life really sucks.” This worries me slightly because I really, really don’t want to see him become an emo crybaby for the rest of the series. The world doesn’t need another Shinji Ikari or Renton Thurston, thank you very much. Yes, I do know that this series was created by the same person who did Eureka Seven, and yes, I‘ve watched E7 before. That just adds to my worry.
The thing I’m most eager about is learning more information on Shiro. From the promo art, I expected her to be some wise guru type person, but it looks like I was greatly deceived. She’s like a messed up version of Nessa from Fractale. They even share the same voice actress, Kana Hanazawa! (Her voice is so cute.)
Well, I loved the first episode, so we’ll see how the rest hold up. I hope it turns out awesome.