Deadman Wonderland v12 (Viz)


CREDIT: Viz Media

Rating: 4/5 – Survival At Its Most Insane in a Prison for Heinous Felons!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell

I’m not much of a Manga reader, but Deadman Wonderland was highly recommended by a friend of mine. I fought him on it, but he let me borrow it, and a free read is always a good thing with me…Now I can’t stop reading it. At this point volume 12 is available for purchase in English, and volume 13 will be available in February. A volume comes out every few months but it only takes me about an hour or 2 to devour these things!

Deadman Wonderland sounds like Alice in Wonderland meets possibly something to do with zombies. I can assure you, this is not Alice’s Wonderland down the rabbit hole and there are no zombies. Deadman Wonderland is a manga written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondō and it is an addicting series for me; I get pulled into the story like my favorite TV shows. It’s well written and while the art can be a little cluttered and chaotic at times, it all levels out in the end. There is romance, death, destruction, action, comedy, one stop for all kinds of things! I like stories having to do with survival and Deadman Wonderland is survival at its most insane.

Trying not to spoil anything, the story starts out with Ganta Igarashi who is sent to jail for a pretty nasty crime. His sentence is death, but instead of going to the gas chamber, he’s sent to a facility called Deadman Wonderland. The rules of the facility are pretty corrupt, but every inmate is here for doing something pretty bad reason. Just when I would get into a character and find their motives heroic, I remember that the character is in this facility for a crime like murder, plus they are quite possibly insane. I feel like I’m being pulled into rooting for the bad guy in every situation, because everyone in this place was convicted of a crime that put them on death row. The inmates work at the facility, and its one big game of survivor and is like a twisted theme park  Adding to that, the public can watch what’s going on in Deadman Wonderland (you’ve got to love these tropes that you mostly see in Japanese Manga).

Deadman Wonderland is captivating, like watching Survivor or Lost.  Kazuma’s illustrations are so well done that after a while I don’t notice the lack of color even though I’m used to mostly reading color comics.  Fight sequences are fast paced and the design shows heavy and fast movement, but being bounced around so much during battles I can’t help but have to look back to see if I missed something in the last segment. I will continue to read this as it comes out in English, because after 12 volumes the story still pulls me in and I can’t wait to see what happens to this large array of convicted felons next time!

Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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