Deadman Wonderland is an anime adapted from the manga series written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou, who also wrote and illustrated the Eureka Seven manga. It ran on Toonami from May 26, 2012 to August 11, 2012 and ran for 12 episodes plus an OVA.
The story follows Ganta Igarashi, a middle school student who had survived Japan’s great earthquake ten years previous. Ganta leads a normal life until the “Red Man” appears outside his classroom one day and massacres his entire class and embeds a red crystal in Ganta’s chest. As the only survivor, Ganta is immediately blamed, put through a farce of a trial, and sentenced to death at Deadman Wonderland, Japan’s prison theme park.
When he arrives he is immediately fitted with a collar that monitors his location and vital signs. The catch is that the collar constantly injects poison into his bloodstream; a poison that can only be neutralized by candies taken every three days. In order to get these candies, Ganta only has three options: perform for audiences at the theme park, work backstage, or purchase them with Cast Points. Cast Points are the currency used in the prison and you only earn them by competing in the often lethal games in the prison and surviving. Enter Shiro, an albino girl who claims to be Ganta’s best friend though he has no memory of her, who helps Ganta survive the madness in Deadman Wonderland.
When Ganta’s life gets endangered, his incredible will to survive and clear his name unlocks an ability to control his own blood as a weapon or a shield. Ganta is immediately moved to the G Block with the other “Deadmen” who can control their blood, an ability known as Branch of Sin. Here he must compete in sick games known as Carnival Corpse in order to survive. Two Deadmen are selected to compete and anonymous people make bets on who will survive. If the loser is still alive at the end, a wheel is spun to see which body part they will have removed for scientific research. The winner is bestowed with Cast Points, candies, and a myriad of other prizes.
Not all is as it seems though as the prison is shaken up by political maneuvering in the background. A new group, called the Undertakers, are formed to neutralize the Deadmen under the new institution. Ganta and his allies whom he’s defeated in bouts of Carnival Corpse must come together if they want to survive, all while the mysterious “Red Man” lurks in the background.
I loved this anime! If you’re looking for something gory, dark, and swear-filled, you’ve come to the right place! And the music is great; the opener is One Reason by Deadman Wonder Band (DWB) ft. Fade and the closer is Shiny Shiny by DWB ft. NIRGILIS. Several characters also have character themes. There are also several familiar voice actors in the dubbed: Greg Ayres, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Eric Vale, Monica Rial, and Lindsay Seidel.