This review may contains spoilers.
Anime Episodes: 12 and 1 OVA
A massive anomaly happened in Japan destroying most of Tokyo. Right in the center of the destruction a privately owned prison was constructed, Dead Man Wonderland. The prison is designed like an amusement park that is open to the public to visit. The inmates work to keep the park running and are part of the main attraction. They do this to earn cast points within the prison.
Skip ahead ten years and the story jumps to Ganta is the sole survivor from the massacre of his class. He has no memories of the massacre, he can only remember the ‘Red Man’. To gloss it over, he is sentenced to death and is imprisoned at Dead Man Wonderland.
When arriving at the prison Ganta is fitted with a collar that releases poison into his system. To survive he must earn cast points so that he can but an antidote in the shape of a piece of candy, which he needs to consume once every three days. To earn enough cast points Ganta needs to partake in deadly games, he is aided by a mysterious girl, Shino who claims to be his friend and only seems interested in food.
While Ganta struggles to survive he intends to clear his name by finding the Red Man.
In a bizarre twist, Ganta begins to develop the ability to manipulate his own blood, turning it into a weapon. Unknown to Ganta, he has become one of the prison’s “Deadmen”. The Deadmen are an isolated group of prisoners possessing the Branches of Sin which makes them capable of controlling their blood. Once his ability is discovered, Ganta is forced to participate in brutal gladiatorial death matches known as Carnival Corpse, whose anonymous spectators pay large amounts of money to watch. During his struggles and battles Ganta manages to befriend some of the other Deadmen. With their help, Ganta continues his quest to uncover the identity of the ‘Red Man’, why he turned into a Deadman, and the dark secrets the prison authorities are hiding.
The anime was interesting but left unfinished. It was graphic and often made me flinch, especially when they did the punishment game for the losers of Carnival Corpse. I would happily watch a second season of this anime, if they ever make one. I went ahead and read the manga to see what happened after the ending of DML. A few good plot twists, some of them predictable. The art work was good and the sub was done nicely without missing lines or having the subtitles flashing on and off the screen quickly. There was enough time to read them. This is not a show for the squeamish. The manga has 58 volumes. Warning, characters do die.
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