|Written by||Jinsei Kataoka|
|Illustrated by||Kazuma Kondō|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|English publisher||Tokyopop (discontinued)|
|Original run||2007 - 2013|
|Directed by||Kōichirō Hatsumi|
|Original run||April 16, 2011 – July 2, 2011|
|Episodes||12 + OVA|
|Anime and Manga Portal|
Deadman Wonderland (デッドマンワンダーランド) is a manga serial written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondō, who also wrote and illustrated the Eureka Seven manga (see wiki), and published in Shōnen Ace since 2007. Tokyopop acquired the licensing rights to distribute the manga in English and has released the first volume on February 9, 2010. An anime adaptation began airing in April 2011.
A massive earthquake ravaged Japan's mainland and destroyed most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of it into the ocean. Ten years later, the story shifts to Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary student attending Nagano Prefecture's middle school. An escapee, a survivor of the great earthquake, Ganta has no memories of the tragedy and has lived a normal life. This all changes when a strange man covered in blood and crimson armor floats through his classroom windows. Grinning madly, the Red Man massacres Ganta's entire class but instead of killing him, embeds a red crystal shard in Ganta's chest. Within days of the massacre, Ganta is declared the sole suspect and, following a quick trial, is sentenced to life imprisonment in Deadman Wonderland, a massive theme park like prison.
Arriving at the prison, Ganta is fitted with a special collar which monitors his location and life signs. Due to the heinous nature of Ganta's 'crime', he has to live out his imprisonment under Deadman Wonderland's 'Death Sentence'. A lethal poison is constantly injected into his bloodstream through the collar, but it can be neutralized by consuming a peculiar candy-like medicine every three days. Additional candy can be earned through hard work or by purchasing it. In order to gather Cast Points, the prison's currency, an inmate has to perform in the facility's lethal games and survive. Fortunately for Ganta, he is aided by a mysterious girl named Shiro, who apparently knows Ganta, but isn't known by other prisoners.
While trying to survive as an inmate on death row, Ganta becomes increasingly obsessed with the Red Man and tries to find him so he could clear his name. In a bizarre twist, Ganta begins to develop the ability to manipulate his own blood, to the point of turning it into a weapon. Unbeknownst to him, Ganta has become one of the prison's Deadmen, a segregated group of prisoners possessing the Branch of Sin which makes them capable of controlling their blood. After 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. In his struggle, he manages to befriend some of those he fought off in the arena, and 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.
Deadman Wonderland is Japan's only privately operated prison, built after the Great Tokyo Earthquake on ground zero. It gathers prisoners from all over Japan and raises money for the revival of the destroyed metropolis. To the public and the tourists that visit daily, Deadman Wonderland is a massive theme park-like facility run by the prison population. Unbeknownst to the general population, most of the prison's attractions involve cruel games of survival where many inmates lose their lives or are maimed for the entertainment of an oblivious public. The prison also runs a secret gladiator-like game called the Carnival Corpse, where wealthy anonymous donors pay to watch deathmatches between the prison's Deadmen. Deadmen who are defeated yet survive the game, have a part of their anatomy surgically removed for scientific research. In a cruel twist, the loser spins a macabre slot-machine to determine which part of their body will be removed, with the show being broadcast live to the other prisoners. The winner is awarded a large amount of Cast Points, life-saving candies and other prizes. To keep prisoners at bay in case of a riot, they are fitted with special collars which act as life monitors. locators and stunners. Those on death row, however, are constantly administered poison through their collars: should an inmate not consume a special candy-like antidote every three days, provided to them at the cost of a large sum of Cast Points, he/she would die immediately. The prison's guard staff is also granted autonomy over how to punish the prisoners, which often results in bloodshed.
While the threat of violence is constant at the prison, most prisoners enjoy a great deal of liberty inside Deadman Wonderland. Utilizing Cast Points, the prison's unique form of currency, prisoners can purchase a wide variety of items, from ordinary lunches to luxurious furniture for their rooms, and even years off of their sentences. Those on death row also use Cast Points to purchase their life-saving candies.
Despite its identity as a prison and theme park, Deadman Wonderland houses a much darker secret. Hidden away from the eyes of tourists and the general prison population is a massive underground facility known as 'Level G'. This is where the prison keeps their Deadmen secluded, and where the Carnival Corpse arena is located. Level G also houses numerous laboratories and rooms where human experimentation is performed and where scientists are attempting to harness the powers of the Deadmen for monetary and political gain.
- Main article: Characters
- Ganta Igarashi (五十嵐 丸太, Igarashi Ganta) aka Woodpecker
- Voiced by: Romi Park
- The main protagonist of the story, is a seemingly harmless, ordinary middle school boy who is framed for the slaughter of his entire class, perpetrated by the mysterious Red Man. Sentenced to 'death' after a phony trial, he is sent to Deadman Wonderland, where he is initially confused and frightened by the brutality of the prison. Shortly after arriving, Ganta discovers he can manipulate his blood and, thus, is deemed a Deadman, a bearer of a Branch of Sin - a power that allows the bearer to manipulate its blood, usually with lethal effect. Ganta appears to have gained this power from a shard of crimson crystal the Red Man fired into his chest after the massacre at the school. As a Deadman, Ganta is forced to fight and survive in the Carnival Corpse under the moniker Woodpecker while trying to locate the Red Man, who apparently is held captive in Deadman Wonderland. Ganta's power, dubbed the Ganta Gun by Kiyomasa Senji, allows Ganta to gather variable quantities of blood in the palm of his hand and then shoot them at high speed, as if they were bullets. While advantageous as a long-range attack, due to Ganta's small stature, this also puts him at risk of experiencing symptoms of excessive blood loss. Ganta participated in Scar Chain's attempt to escape from Deadman Wonderland, and helped several members escape along with video and audio evidence of the atrocities being committed below the prison. Ganta, however, chose to remain behind to continue his search for the Red Man. Shortly after these events, Ganta's power began to change, evident by a strange tattoo-like mark radiating out from the crystal in his chest. His Ganta Gun now emits a much more powerful blast than before, though it is much less controllable and causes him physical pain. He has feelings for his childhood friend Shiro, ironically the very same Red Man that he's bent on killing out of revenge. It is revealed that his mother, Igarashi Sorae is the one who made the Wretched Egg and the Mother Goose System.
- Shiro (シロ)
- Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa
- A mysterious albino girl that Ganta encountered during his first days as an inmate. Clothed only in a skin-tight bodysuit and muffly gloves, which help conceal her heavily scarred skin, Shiro stands out among the other prisoners due to her bizarre appearance and mannerisms. To Ganta, Shiro's manner of speaking and acting remind him of a small child, even though Shiro is the same age as him. However, Shiro possesses inhuman physical abilities and has an intimate knowledge of the prison, having apparently lived there most of her life. From the beginning of the story it is made clear that, as children, Shiro and Ganta were close friends. Ganta, however, has no memories of his childhood, which greatly saddens and annoys Shiro. Despite her seemingly harmless appearance, Shiro harbors a dark secret; she possesses two personalities, one of whom is the 'Red Man' Ganta is searching for. Thanks to the Mother Goose mainframe, Deadman Wonderland's supercomputer which constantly emits a lullaby audible only to Shiro and Deadman Wonderland's director, Shiro's true personality is repressed. When the lullaby is turned off, Shiro becomes a murderous, smirking maniac capable of massacring whole squads of armed men with little effort. It's at these times that she dons a crimson colored full body restraint, which gives her a taller, masculine appearance, hence Ganta's inability to recognize her. Shiro is apparently the 'source' of the Branch of Sin abilities and is referred to by Tamaki as the Wretched Egg. Shiro cares greatly for Ganta and constantly seeks his approval. She is willing to do anything that Ganta asks her as long as it will make him happy. Even when in her 'Red Man' state, she still seems to care for him, as it was implied that she butchered Ganta's classmates just so that he would be sent to Deadman Wonderland, where she was also living, though it is later revealed that she did this as to kill him.
- Main article: Chapters
- Main article: Merchandise
- Main article: Music
- Main article: The Irrational World