Saturday, June 30, 2012

Deadman Wonderland Impressions

Deadman Wonderland was a show I’ve been anticipating since I heard about the show’s basic plot when it started airing in Japan. Since then, I’ve been patiently waiting for the show to be dubbed (I’m not a big fan of subtitled anime). In my impressions of the first episode, I mentioned how I loved the setup and claimed it pretty much did everything a good first episode should do. Now that I’m about half way through the series, I can confidently say that I’m hooked until the end. In fact, the only thing that can stop me from finishing Deadman Wonderland is my stomach.

The Deadman Wonderland prison is very brutal. Inmates are forced to perform in challenges in order to earn candy that will allow them to keep living. These challenges, however, can be quite brutal. Episode two decided to take that last statement to crank the violence, death, and gore to the extreme. Like I previously mentioned, I’m not a big fan of gore mainly because I have a hard time watching ultra-violence without getting queasy. On the plus side, I do find it easier to watch gore in animation rather than live action. While the violence can be extra brutal, I find myself wanting to watch the next episode every week because of the story. Deadman Wonderland has a really intriguing story as Ghanta and Shiro try to figure out the mystery behind the prison. I feel like the show has been revealing just enough information every episode to keep me informed while also wanting to learn more. I strongly feel that above all, the writing to usually the most important aspect to any animated series and, so far, Deadman Wonderland has been doing a fantastic job with its storytelling.

With that said, I do have to small problems with the show so far. First off, there are times where I feel like the scenes can be way too dark. I get that they’re supposed to be in a dark place, but there’s a way to animate a scene like that so we can still see the characters while knowing that it is currently very dark where they are. There hasn’t been a scene where the audience not being able to see was necessary yet, so the effect appears bothersome when it is done. It’s also worth mentioning that the ending song and video are really out of place with this show. Having an ending sequence that is happy and cheerful following a show full of death ad violence just doesn’t fit. The ending feels like it was just slapped together (there’s very little animation involved) and added at the last minute regardless if it fit the show or not.

Speaking of themes, the opening for this show is just pain awesome. The song, “One Reason” is intense and actually fits the show quite well. The imagery during the opening theme using a large amount of red and a lot of interesting imagery that helps set the mood and portray what Deadman Wonderland is about. It’s an amazing opening that has quickly become one of my personal favorite anime openings in recent years.

Overall, Deadman Wonderland has me hooked. The story and characters are simply fascinating and keep me wanting to come back to watch more. Simply put, I fully intend on finishing this series. Hopefully my stomach allows me to do so.

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