Deadman Wonderland: Complete Series
DVD | 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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The show is not so much a "complete series" as it was a first season of what was supposed to be a multi-season show. Sadly it did not fare well and got the axe so you're left with a bit of a frustrating and confusing ending, if you want to call it that. I won't knock the product for that because it is as much as Funimation was able to produce, and I think they did as good of a job as Funimation usually does for a barebones box set. No real extras (except some commentary), but I don't pay the 500% markup for post cards, art books, and whatever other doodads Aniplex tries to justify their prices with.
If you like somewhat darker Battle Royale/Elfen Lied/etc. shows and movies, you'll probably dig this series. As I noted in my initial review, my BIGGEST gripe is that the show has a LOT of distracting shadowing on certain scenes which blocks out some of the gore, ostensibly to censor out what was deemed too violent for broadcast television. I'm not entirely sure why they decided to go that route yet kept almost all the rest of the content intact (including plenty of language, and a good bit of violence... which added to the confusion...), but it gets somewhat distracting in places.
One thing that IS nice is the show is fairly faithful to the manga, so barring a few characters and minor plot points you can watch this show and then start right back up in the manga and finish off the story, which I'm now doing.
4/5. Not the greatest show out there, but it was entertaining and well priced, so why not give it a shot? You might just like it enough to read some more of it. For the price it's not too bad of a gamble.