Deadman

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 Toonamifaithful.com. 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

10 COMMENTS

  1. If I must be brutally honest, while I did love the first half of the Deadman Wonderland season if only for how brutally fucked up it was, the second half became an absolute bore. After a while, they stripped out all of the deadly circus games in favor of making it a generic shonen battle anime. Also, I had no idea where the plot went. They started implying that Shiro had a backstory involving Ganta even though he didn’t seem to know about it himself, there was a villain without any inherent motivation (though I probably just ignored it), and the last episode spent some time at a Buddhist temple for no good reason. I’m probably bullshitting about the show, and these complaints are probably unreasonable given that it had become hard to follow the thing at the ass-end of the Midnight-3:30 block, but it became really hard for me to want a second season after how it went downhill.

    Also, can we please get some fresh faces on this site to write the next few articles? Seriously, you could get AnimeSavior to go on about how Project Alicization deserves a rapetastic anime adaptation, and yet I’d read that.

    • Tell me about it? Even Akame Ga Kill is another example of an anime that was adapted way too quickly only for a cash grab and junk.

      Yes. I would like to see other people write news posts about their anime they would like to see get a reboot or sequel.

      Even the prequel manga that was only focus on Akame and her sister has never got an anime as well.

      Either reboot the anime to stay true to the books or GTFO!

      XD

      (I love Japan. But even they have to stop doing this shit every 10,000 years?) lol

    • Well Deadman Wonderland was a typical shonen series in all sense of the word. As disappointing as that may seem it what it really was. And honestly if a show only has a appeal for you with the blood and gore that should tell you it will be great at first but Akame Ga Kill, Walking Dead, and HOTD have already proven that those aren;t enough to keep a show going.

  2. Outside of Akame Ga Kill? This anime Deadman Wonderland. Was another anime series that I watched during the Toonami revival arc. And that shit was the bomb!

    I can’t feel sad enough that we will never get a new anime of that show due to Mangle going outta business and the shows they did made to save their assess…..

    Backfired!

    XD

    I hope either Funi or any anime studio buys the rights to any of the IPs they have in their studio name.

    Sigh? 🙁

  3. Yeah, this did feel like an anime that got the shit end of the shit. Yes, it was a hit here, but it tanked in Japan (where most anime relies on to get sequels), and Manglobe shut down.

    To be perfectly honest, it could go either way for me. I never bothered with the series, since its nucleus is a trope that almost always kills a work for me; I fucking HATE that goddamn “wrongly accused” cliche, and from what little I’ve heard of it, it just goes for the usual execution that makes most of its uses so horrible.

  4. Yo, why won’t they put Tokyo Ghoul on Toonami. Is it because that smelly ass Jason DeMarco hates it or something.

  5. I agree that “Deadman Wonderland” deserves the total reboot treatment, a la “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.” I have not read the manga, so I don’t know what the anime left out. However, it’s clear that the pacing of the story they decided to tell was horrible. The first half was expended leisurely, getting Ganta settled and acquainted with Deadman Wonderland. Then they RUSHED through Ganta finding allies, getting a grip on his abilities and escaping the joint. I really liked the show and its potential at the beginning, but the last few episodes were a whirlwind of “what the f***?” I hope the rights issues can be cleared up and at least a 24-episode reboot ordered so that this series gets to tell its story the right way!

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