Deadman Wonderland 11

Things can’t get much worse, but they will -that’s a good slogan for Deadman Wonderland. After managing to survive the first raid attempt, Karako rallies what’s left of Scar Chain to attempt to rescue Nagi. She keeps Ganta out of it, guilty of what she’s already put him through. Little does she know, her dear leader doesn’t want to be rescued, or even to live. And he doesn’t want anyone else to live either. He’s become a nihilist.

Ganta, desperate to do something and make a difference, trains with Crow – losing nearly all his blood in the process – and is introduced to a very creepily friendly Mockingbird (aka Toto). In fact, true to his/her name, Toto mocks both Crow and Ganta here, and it’s pretty unnerving to see Crow actually afraid of something; in this case, a deadman who’s stronger than him. When Genkaku calls Scar Chain out, having captured both Karako and Shiro (and seem to be threatening to rape them before they’re killed), Ganta is off to the races, having just improved his Ganta Gun by speeding it up, but very low on blood indeed.

This episode also had a brief cameo by Minatsuki, who gets Ganta out of an initial spot, but refuses to fight for Scar Chain – as she explains, she has to look out for Yoh, and she wasn’t framed; she is a murderer. She isn’t interested in freedom anymore. Ganta proceeds, and manages to knock out a bunch of undertaker guards with his faster blood bullets – but he’s far from out of the woods, as he still has to deal with Genkaku, the second grader, and a new, “sane” Nagi – while suffering from anemia. Most important, he has to apologize to Shiro. This was definitely one of Ganta’s more assertive moments…but will it mean anything? Just one more episode to determine that. Rating: 3.5

Deadman Wonderland 6

Was I surprised that the sweet, charming, adorable inmate-ette-next-door Minatsuki turned out to be a totally bonkers sadistic lying bitch? Not totally; I saw her in the opening credits looking totally bonkers, and she also has a pierced tongue, which clearly means she’s evil ;) What I didn’t know was that everything Yoh was doing was for her sake; not like she cared.

The past she narrates to Ganta at first suggests her widowed father beat her, leading to her using her branches of sin as a last resort, but her power works so quickly, she could just as easily inflicted her own wounds without anyone knowing. Minatsuki, or “Hummingbird” is consistently all over the place with her past and her motives, but one thing is certain: she isn’t happy. She’s also extremely unpleasant, but I like her anyway!

Another thing that’s certain: Ganta has a hard head, which he uses to win by KO, flipping off the crowd that wants him to kill her. He doesn’t. I’m glad he didn’t, because for all her lunacy and two-facedness, Minatsuki has a lot of potential. Like Crow, she is both entertained and tortured by her power, and sickened by the weakness around her. Perhaps not a perfect match for Ganta, but definitely moreso than Shiro.

Shiro, who as far as we know was a childhood friend of Ganta’s, is also an instrument of the Wonderland’s founder, “No Name”, who is holed up in a hospital ward/lab, and isn’t happy with how the promoter is doing things. After her outburst last week, she’s brought here to recover, but after seeing what she’s capable of, it will be interesting to see if her childlike demeanor or innate need to protect Ganta endured that incident. Rating: 4

Deadman Wonderland 4

Ah, so Mr. “Ssslice” isn’t the guy who tore up Ganta’s class; he’s “Crow”. Incidentally, Ganta’s alias is “Woodpecker.” Dunno why. Anyway, Crow didn’t slaughter Ganta’s class! He just likes fighting, especially those on equal footing with him…like Ganta. He won’t let anyone or anything get in the way of his battles. And despite being highly sensitive to provocatively dressed women, that “anyone” includes the hot doctor. When you have blades made of your blood like Crow, there are things you can get over.

So “Branches of Sin” isn’t just something Ganta and the class-killer (Wretched Egg) can do; Crow can do. Presumably, there are others. They’re known as “deadmen”. When Ganta realizes Crow isn’t the deadman, Crow assumes the kid is just confused, and that he killed his own friends. But Ganta and Crow are broken up and Ganta is sent to Tamaki. Confused as to why his former public defender runs Wonderland, Tamaki enlightens him: he manipulates the machine of justice to get deadmen into his prison. Ganta was the sole survivor by design, and Tamaki is responsible for his framing and conviction.

He wants deadmen in his prison so he can make them duel one another. And so Crow and Woodpecker will be fighting soon. Crow is so excited about it, he’s training hard despite a cracked sternum. Pecker is, well, less enthusiastic, despite the Clockwork Orange-style picture show. And poor Shiro won’t be consoled until she’s back in Ganta’s presence. We still don’t know her deal, aside from the fact she has no prisoner number. I’m wondering if Captain Makina will be a thorn in Tamaki’s side, or if Ganta will have any choice but to unleash his new powers, master them, and use them to beat Crow. It’s kill or be killed. Ganta got a lot of answers, but I still feel like we need more. Rating: 3.5

Deadman Wonderland 3

What I’ve found striking about this series is that it stars a pint-size punk kid with goofy hair and a generic punk kid voice and angsty tendencies, but by God, if anyone has a right to angst and cry, it’s this kid. And when he does scream, at least it isn’t as annoying as Rin from Ao no Exorcist. If we were in Ganta’s situation, we’d probably have to fight pretty hard to keep our sanity, let alone our poise. This week he re-meets his nemesis, who he calls “Red Man”, to which I say, what’s his beef with Wu-Tang Clan?

Seriously though, the evil dude who killed his class is known as the Wretched Egg, and Promotor Tamaki keeps him in G-Block, a block no one knows about, including Captain Makina – except for Tamaki himself…and Shiro. After another brush with Eggman in which more people are killed and maimed, Ganta wants to go to this G-block to teach him a lesson. And suddenly we have a mini Scooby Gang in place: Ganta, Shiro, and Yoh. We also know Ganta (and Egg’s) power is called “Branches of Sin”. They worked together to get here, and are concerned with one another’s safety.

To his credit, Wretched Egg just smirks a lot and says “slice”, but beyond that insanity, he made the conscious choice to inject (infect?) Ganta with his power. Why’d he do that? Why Ganta specifically? Did he simply meet the biological conditions? And did Tamaki sic Egg on Ganta, meaning is Egg in his employ, or is Egg working outside any authority?
And, oh yeah, is Yoh simply being friendly to Ganta because he’s being paid to? When the robot thingy scans Shiro, she has no number or information. We still have no idea what she is, or why she resembles Mimi. Lotsa questions, which is good. Rating: 4