When it comes to entertainment, we live in the era of reboots. Just look at movie trailers in Hollywood right now, with The Legend of Tarzan, Ghostbusters, and the Power Rangers movies coming our way (just naming a few). It isn’t just live action movies that are getting some rebooted love. Cartoons like Voltron and (potentially) Ben-Ten will be reset, making it seem inevitable that if an old series was popular enough, a reboot will be in store. Anime is no different, as we can look at a ton of shows getting rebooted with more faithful adaptations or continuations that occur later from the original series. Examples like Hunter x Hunter, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works— the list of rebooted franchises goes on and on.

Ultimately, everything can potentially have a reboot, even if a lot of time has passed (series like D.Gray-man and Berserk are both getting new continuations). Companies believe that more money can be made from the revivals. In fact, Toonami has and will probably continue to air reboots such as Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Hunter x Hunter. They are also about to broadcast continuations of old classics like FLCL and Samurai Jack. This makes me wonder if there are any other shows that have been on the block that should be rebooted. Of course, my answer is yes, but looking at series that Toonami has aired throughout its history makes it tough to decide which ones deserve a 2nd look. So during the month of June, I’ll be looking at one show each week that should be rebooted, starting with a series that many people would love to see a 2nd season produced. That series is Deadman Wonderland.

Deadman Wonderland and I have a pretty odd relationship, looking back on it. When Toonami returned to television, it was one of the headlining shows, airing after Bleach at 12:30 a.m. I knew little of the franchise and watched it with an open mind, as I do with all the series that air on the block. I was entertained and swallowed up by the plot, where its most important character, Ganta Igarashi protests his innocence after his entire class is murdered in front of him. Of course, since he was the lone survivor everyone assumes he killed them all (even though the audience gets to see who actually committed the murder). This incident then began the speculation (from fans) as to why Ganta was set up to go to the world’s worst prison/amusement park, Deadman Wonderland, in the first place.

The setting of the prison was uniquely interesting. Not only was it a privately owned facility, but it was also an amusement park, where people would get to see the inmates battle and die. It was not unlike the Romans watching the gladiators, and being entertained even at the expense of their very humanity. While we obviously don’t wish to see someone die in front of our eyes, the presentation made it almost fun and somehow bearable, although obviously barbaric. Due to a massive earthquake that has destroyed Tokyo, Deadman Wonderland was built to help save the country, in the same sense that the sale of diamonds help third-world countries. Tourists were coming from around the world to watch the spectacle of the inmates dying. All of this could be considered “blood money”, and people ignored the gruesomeness in order to help a destroyed nation recover.

We also see how death-row inmates rack up Cast Points (the currency of the prison) and purchase candy to keep themselves alive. All of the death-row inmates wore collars that would inject them with poison, and instead of typically waiting years to die, these prisoners had a maximum of three days–unless they ate the candy. This plot device would actually lead to some fun, and eventually Ganta and others would enter death games and other battles to earn these points to buy this life-saving candy. During the deadly battles of Carnival Corpse the loser would have to give up a body part “FOR SCIENCE,” because the only prisoners who were in Carnival Corpse were Deadmen (people who can use blood as a weapon), and only a few were privy to the information about these people.

There are quite a few clichés in this series, but there were also a lot of things that kept me interested. Like “the Red Man’s” identity, why/how Ganta and others became Deadmen, learning more about terms used like Branch of Sins, Nameless Worm, Wretched Egg, and what was the real purpose of Deadman Wonderland (just to name a few). Sadly, a lot of questions raised during this series were left unanswered. While I wish that it had more than just 13 episodes, I still had fun watching it.

So how did my odd relationship with Deadman Wonderland arise? I decided (a while ago) to look up a couple of things that left me puzzled about the show (the characters Toto Sakigami and Tsunenaga Tamaki). I found out that there was a lot that was left out of the series, and not just because the series adapted only 21 chapters. After discovering some spoilers about a few aspects of Deadman Wonderland I ended up getting more and more upset that the anime left off where it did. Two of my favorite characters, Azami Mido and Idaki Hitara (after I started reading the manga) weren’t even IN the series, and one of them played a major role later on! And what about how some cases resolved themselves? Nevertheless, the extra storylines were fascinating to read about; such as a “Civil War” going on in the prison between the Deadmen and the Forgeries (artificially created Deadmen), and Ganta becoming alienated from the other Deadmen at times. But it was disheartening how much was left out of the 13 episodes. Normally when I look at a show and like it enough, I’ll buy and read the manga so I can understand things more clearly than an anime can portray. However, knowing these differences now, how it was adapted made me angry, and I wound up reading the manga mostly because “I have to know or I’ll go insane.”

This isn’t to say that the anime series is horrible. Putting the manga aside, I did find it enjoyable. In fact, from time to time I see fans on Twitter lament about how a second season doesn’t exist or won’t be produced. On the Toonami Faithful Podcast 200th episode, Jim Nelson explained that his “in” with the podcast was a project he did (to go along with a Twitter campaign) was to try and get a second season of this particular series. It seems to have a cult following here in the U.S. It’s probably even more broadly popular, since the series sold well and is now considered an anime classic at FUNimation. For a series to be called an anime classic a certain number of discs have to be sold (Freezing and Haganai are some of the more recent examples of that).

So yes, I think this series should be considered, not for a continuation but a complete and total reboot, now that the manga is finished. Not only would some characters get the spotlight they deserved, but fans would also get to learn the more important backstories and character development that were missed due to the series’ short run. What piqued my curiosity was how everyone was so afraid of Toto Sakigami. Obviously, he was strong, but when you read the story his strength is emphasized even more. I also wanted to know if Ganta would survive or eventually be consumed at Deadman Wonderland, plus what his reaction would be when he found out who “the Red Man” was. I still want to know more about this story, and I believe there are a lot of fans who are in the same boat as I am.

I also think the series is popular enough (in the U.S.) to at least produce a whole new series (ala The Big O). However, since the studio that first produced Deadman Wonderland was Manglobe Studios, that idea might never materialize. Right now they have filed for bankruptcy, and that doesn’t make it probable for a whole new series to be produced. For any chance of a new Deadman Wonderland project to be green-lighted it would need another studio to buy the property from Manglobe (Madhouse, A-1 Pictures, BONES, J.C. Staff, anyone please?). That would probably be the toughest hurdle for a revival to happen. And I would love for that to happen, and I know many others feel the same. While it’s not impossible, I think it’s unlikely.

In the end, who wouldn’t want to see more battles involving Deadmen? They were fun and I enjoyed the action sequences. The themes that went along with this series were intriguing and the overall story of Deadman Wonderland was both compelling and well executed. I’d also love the original voice cast to show up again, including Greg Ayers as Ganta, Monica Rial as Shiro, Jamie Marchi as Karako Koshio, and the list goes on (it was a great dub cast). I think Deadman Wonderland deserves another chance to wow its fans and give them even more reasons to like this show. Reading the manga blew me away, and I think if a new series were produced that adapts it faithfully, most viewers would be astonished as well.

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for When he says he wants a reboot of Deadman Wonderland, he really wants a reboot of Deadman Wonderland. You can follow C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris