February 2020 Anime Challenge: Deadman Wonderland

Our challenge anime this month is filled with mystery, gore, horror, drama and comedy, a perfect blend for those who are horror anime fanatiks. The anime is Deadman Wonderland, a masterpiece in its own right that acquired a small devoted fandom since its release. The now extinct animehouse Manglobe created this monster in 2011, basing the anime off the first five manga volumes. Some characters from the manga were not featured in the anime, such as Azami Midou and Masaru Sukegawa. The manga itself was written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou, the same brain-team responsible for writing and illustrating the Eureka Seven manga.

The setting: A massive anomaly caused a great earthquake that ravaged Japan’s mainland destroying most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of the city into the Pacific Ocean.

Ten years later. What seems to be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates, preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, turns into a deadly horror, flipping Ganta’s life upside down. His whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Ganta is framed for the incident and sentenced to death, and sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit. Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

Week 1 February 03 – 09 2020

Konnichiwa Minna! Welcome to week 1 of our Deadman Wonderland Challenge. Did you know that Deadman Wonderland is Banned in China. On June 12, 2015 the Chinese Ministry of Culture listed it among 38 anime and manga titles banned in China!

Deadman Wonderland was created by Manglobe the animation studio responsible for Ergo Proxy and Samurai Champloo, the studio went bankrupt in 2015. On the 29th of September Manglobe filed for bankruptcy and their website went off the net. It has been revealed that they have been in a state of insolvency for a while. A lot of staff and animators suddenly found themselves without a job. 

On a lighter note, let’s look at the Opening and ending theme music for Deadman Wonderland. The opening theme is One Reason by Deadman Wonder Band (DWB) feat. Fade. The ending theme Shiny Shiny by DWB feat. NIRGILIS. We share videos featuring both songs. One Reason’s video is a cover version by the very talented Amalee, an artist whose work we have featured on this website before and the video for Shiny Shiny is a lyrical video. Enjoy the music!

Deadman Wonderland - "One Reason" (Cover by Amalee)

Shiny Shiny by DWB feat. NIRGILIS

We hope you will enjoy this month’s challenge. This week we watch episode 1 to 3, have a super sugoi week, minna!

Week 2 February 10 – 16 2020

Episodes 4-6

Konnichiwa Minna! Welcome to week 2 of our Deadman Wonderland Challenge. Did you know that Deadman Wonderland’s creators Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou are married? Yup they are not just co-creators they are a couple.

According to Katoaka the idea for Deadman Wonderland came up right after they finished their work on Eureka Seven. They thought of a prison and an amusement park and those two ideas formed the basis for Deadman Wonderland. The premise of the story then took about two months to flesh out. Artists that they respect and draw inspiration from include Kazuhiro Fujita (Ushio & Tora), Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell), and Ryōji Minagawa (Project ARMS). An interesting fact about Kazuma Kondou is that it’s hard for Kondou to watch horror movies, and usually cannot handle the grotesque, yet part of the horror manga came from Kondou’s brain. It proves that inspiration can come in dark packages from the unlikely light sources!

We hope you will enjoy this month’s challenge. This week we watch episode 4 to 6, have a super sugoi week, minna!

Week 3 February 17 – 23 2020

Episodes 7 – 9

Konnichiwa Minna! Welcome to week 3 of our Deadman Wonderland Challenge. The Deadman Wonderland anime as mentioned before were created by Manglobe. Let’s look at an anime series and an anime movie from Manglobe.

Gangsta

Set in the city of Ergastulum, the metropolis is filled with made men, petty thieves, ladies of the night, and ‘bribe-friendly’ policemen. Then there are the Handymen that take on jobs that both the gangsters and cops don’t want to handle. The Handymen, two men called Worick and Nic will take those jobs.

These two mercenary clean up men end up protecting a prostitute they were meant to get rid off from the forces trying to out her. Their story spirals into a humongous power struggle that the characters will not be able to avoid.

Genocidal Organ

When Manglobe went bankrupt many people were worried that they will not see the movies Manglobe planned dedicated to the works of novelist Project Itoh. One of the movies planned were Genocidal Organ. The movie were finished and is a monument of the last Manglobe project that were done, ever.

Genocidal Organ plays off in the near future where our world now is mostly ruled by either tyrannical surveillance states or ethnic violence and genocide. An intelligence agent named Clavis Shepard is tracking a dangerous terrorist leader named John Paul, who is set to throw the world into even more chaos.

We hope you are enjoying this month’s challenge so far and will look Gangsta and Genocidal Organ up as well, they are both well worth the watch. This week we watch episode 7 to 9, have a super sugoi week, minna!

Week 4 February 24 – March 01 2020

Episodes 10 – 12

Konnichiwa Minna! Welcome to the final week of our Deadman Wonderland Challenge.

Deadman Wonderland has elements of a ‘battle royale’ theme. That means in the anime a select group of people are instructed to kill one another until there is only one victor left alive. A perfect example of this is the visual novel and anime, Fate/stay night.

Fate/stay night, ran for 24 episodes and the story-line follows the Fate scenario of the visual novel, Fate/stay night with a few scenes parts from the other two scenarios.The visual novel has three scenarios (or paths/routes) each with a different main character and objective: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel. The visual novel also gave birth to various anime and manga interpretations. Here is Archer’s trailer from Fate/stay night:

We hope you are enjoying this month’s challenge so far and will give Fate/stay Night a look This week we watch episode 10 to 12, have a super sugoi week, minna!