Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Deadman Wonderland by Kataoka Jinsei

Deadman Wonderland
Kataoka Jinsei

The Great Tokyo Earthquake. Ten years ago, it destroyed lives as it tore buildings asunder. Among those who lived through the disaster was Ganta Igarashi, now a middle school student finally getting a footing in his own life... that is, until the day the 'Red Man' appears at his school and turns his world upside down again. Ganta's entire class is brutally murdered, and although innocent of the crime, Ganta is sentenced to death and sent to the bizarre prison known as 'Deadman Wonderland.' There, a brutal game of survival begins, where Ganta must discover the truth behind his classmates' murder. Can Ganta break out of Deadman Wonderland... or will it break him first?

Alternative names



Manga reader sites (free)

Manga Reader, Manga Here

Rosy's scrawlings on Deadman Wonderland

This is one of those few mangas where the main characters are young but the story and surrounding characters and situations are beyond brutal. The end result is that this manga isn't one for the young although it could be read quite comfortably by anyone a teen and up.
I've been saving Deadman Wonderland up for a while, and by that I mean putting off reading it as although I was immediately interested once I heard about it the story had only just started. I like a good run of reading and a build up of addiction with stories and a one of two chapter dip just isn't enough. I'm used to reading longer stories after all. I'm glad I did for this manga too, as it is really intense and full of action that draws you along rather quickly.
The story of Deadman Wonderland revolves around Ganta Igarashi, principally, but also the 
girl Shiro who is about his age. Ganta survives a massacre at his school and finds himself quickly condemned to live in the strange prison Deadman Wonderland. There he finds himself in a dark and terrible Wonderland and he, like Alice, just keeps falling into its depths. Soon enough he finds out that there aren't just ordinary humans about but ones called Deadmen who can wield their own blood as a weapon. At about the same time he discovers that he too is one and from there the real nightmare of prison life begins. Ganta, wrongfully imprisoned, faces death on a daily basis, finds his morality challenged and his sanity even more so. Nothing is sacred in Deadman Wonderland and being a human who can use blood as a weapon sets you up as a dispensable lab rat rather than a hero of justice as Ganta would prefer.
Shiro, on the other hand, is a strange and ethereal being. She's extraordinarily strong, knows all the ins and outs of the prison and seems to be not quite stable. She's got secrets but they aren't even held by her anymore as her mind has simply given them up. Shiro is a mystery but she is also Ganta's most loyal friend and potential love. If there was time for love in Deadman Wonderland. Shiro is a strong female character with enough weaknesses to make her not just an action heroine of the prison but a psychological mystery, one Ganta struggles to understand even as he defends and protects her to the best of his weaker abilities. Shiro is immensely strong and capable but her weaknesses are mental. Ganta, physically far weaker than Shiro, is far more mentally capable of picking himself up and dusting himself off to continue fighting however he can. How these two who once played happily as children ended up like this is the real story of Deadman Wonderland, one that is slowly told in amongst the bloodbath of Deadman experimentation.
The art of Deadman Wonderland, created by Kondou Kazuma, is quite beautiful. It does conform to most of the currently expected styles but that aside there's quite a bit of skill involved in the drawings and it shows. Anatomical features are portrayed extremely well, the flow of the blood suitably fantastical and the range of expressions utilised to show inner turmoil and insanity brilliant. There isn't just a mad grin for anyone insane but a complete range of confusion, pain, rage and more that's tied in to help build the characters into ones you'd sympathise with or despise, depending. Darkness and light are given equal weighting but then this is a story where the struggle between both is what drives everyone completely batty.

I'd recommend this manga to: those who enjoy gruesome battles, grandstanding, themes of justice and revenge, play or die stories and characters with special abilities, themes of sanity and morality as well as fantasy action stories.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

No comments:

Post a Comment