Deadman Wonderland: Complete Series
DVD + Blu-ray | Box Set
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Death is the main attraction in Deadman Wonderland, from the studio that brought you Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy. Ganta is the only survivor after a mysterious man in red slaughters a classroom full of teenagers. He’s framed for the carnage, sentenced to die, and locked away in the most twisted prison ever built: Deadman Wonderland. And then it gets worse. At Deadman Wonderland, convicts are forced into brutal deathmatches for the amusement of the masses, the cheers of the crowd drowning out the screams of the dismembered. Even when Ganta befriends Shiro, an unusual female inmate, his dark fate crushes all hope – until he discovers the strange ability to wield his spilled blood as a weapon. Ganta learns his new skill might be related to the murderous man in red and uncovers disturbing secrets that could expose those who stole his freedom. He’s determined to see justice served – but first he’ll have to fight for his life in a prison that holds a million ways to die.
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1) The series IS censored. I have both the 3-DVD limited edition version from 2012 and now the Anime Classics (I'll sell the LE one in favor of the AC set because it has Blu-Ray and is cheaper). After I got my Anime Classics set, I re-watched episode 12 on both versions, and on both of them the opening song darkens all of the characters bodies in the scenes where they are naked, or in a few stills on the male characters there is more shadow on the bodies and the nipples are gone. Also, in episode 12, on every gunshot there is a big black blurry dot covering the entry wounds and the center of most of the blood. No matter how you look at it, this is censorship, although it is pretty minimal compared to some of the other shows (like the TV broadcast version of Tokyo Ghoul). Since this is the second set to come out for this show and it is exactly the same as the first in content, it's obvious that if you want to see it 100% uncensored, that will not happen in a North American home video release. However, what little censoring there is really does not take away from the show and is usually almost unnoticeable. (I didn't even notice it was censored the first time I watched the show all the way through.) To make up for the censored theme song, there is a Director's Cut (original, uncensored) version of the song in the bonus features on both sets, which leads me to my other reason for marking this series a 4/5.
2) On the Limited Edition set, almost all the bonus features, including the textless songs (including Director's Cut) is on a third disc, which contains ONLY bonus features. This seems like a waste, because just to watch some specific commentary or see textless songs you have to put in an entirely different disc, which also wastes space and plastic. But at least those features are there on DVD. The Anime Classics set has the exact same bonus features, but the major downside is that all of them (except for select few commentary) are ONLY on the Blu-Ray discs. So if you have no way to watch Blu-Ray then you cannot access those bonus features. What is the point of that? I found that extremelly frustrating, especially since I like to re-watch textless songs, and the DW OSTs are some of my most favorite from any anime (and the Director's Cut version is more visually pleasing).
Overall, I still HIGHLY recommend the Anime Classics set of Deadman Wonderland, just because the show really is that great.
Spoiler Synopsis Alert:
Deadman Wonderland at its core is a story about two childhood friends - the main character Ganta and his female protagonist/ love interest/ comic relief - Shiro (the albino girl). When the series begins all of Ganta's school friends are slaughtered by a mysterious "red man" who wears a red cape and mask, and has a mysterious power to shoot a red bloodlike substance from "his" body that Ganta later finds out is called "Branch of Sin". This happens on the day that Ganta and his friends were scheduled to take a trip to the Deadman Wonderland amusement park, that is part amusement park, part penal colony, that was built after a mega-disaster wiped out a large section of Tokyo, Japan. Ganta is the only one that survives this attack by the Red Man and he is framed for killing his classmates and sentenced to death row (despite being a minor which is rough even for Japan). Long story short while in prison Ganta also finds out that he has the power to use "Branch of Sin" and is forced to fight other death row inmates (most also falsely imprisoned) for survival while entertaining rich investors watching from around the world. He also meets a mysterious Albino girl that he doesn't recognize at first but slowly remembers as his childhood friend named Shiro, who seems to hilariously be immune to any kind of pain or danger that the prison seems to inflict on Ganta and his other friends. After Shiro bails Ganta out of several jams, he finally remembers that they used to dress up and play a superhero that they watched on tv together, cape and all, with Shiro being the one with the superpowers most of the time. Ganta slowly realizes that he has feelings for Shiro but that she also has a dark side and everything comes to a head when Ganta is faced with the choice of getting revenge against the Red Man, sharing his true feelings for Shiro, and helping to save his new friends at Deadman Wonderland - and whether he can accompish all three....
END of SPOILERS
The Blu Ray quality of this disk is very good and Funimation did a good job of encoding it. The downside is that the Blu Ray discs are only dubbed in English (which most people probably won't mind) but you also can't watch the Blu Ray with Subtitles which I like to do with alot of Anime even if its dubbed because I think subtitles usually give you a more faithful translation (most of the time). Overall I really like DW and would add it to my top recent Anime Listmania list if it wasn't for that fact that the "Complete" series isn't really complete. Hopefully they will maybe release a direct to disk OVA movie that covers the rest of the events in Manga series, because it in my opinion is one of the best series in the last few years.
I would definitely NOT recommend this anime for young viewers/ young adults who may be younger than 17 -18 or older, just because altough there is no blatant nudity and there is violence (some of it censored), it does deal with some disturbing themes including abuse, murder, sociopathology, sexual assualt to name a few, so despite its description its definitely not "kids" anime by any stretch so "viewer/ parental discretion" is advised. However like many Japanese Anime it has some redeeming messages and could be interpreted as a reflection on society (well I guess), anyway just a disclaimer, I'll say like the character Shinji would say "Don't come blaming me later on kid..."
You can also buy the Manga to finish the series from Amazon: Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 7,Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 8 etc.
Most recent customer reviews
It plays without skipping.
So I’m satisfied. ^.^
Thank you for sending it.