Deadman Wonderland is a series that combines all the right ingredients necessary for an instant classic. From the stylized art to the manic characters, everything about the series just feels fresh. The creators juggle fascinating concepts along with a loose plot, making it an infectious read that grabs reader’s attention from the get-go.
Volume 3 continues to explore the many mysteries still surrounding the theme park, while building on the characters that inhabit it, giving readers a better grasp of their motivations and personalities. Of course, given the title of the series, it should come as no surprise that the cast is comprised of a twisted grouping with seemingly interchangeable emotions to suit the situation, considering they might be forced to battle each other to the death at any given moment.
At the center of it all is Ganta, the kindhearted, yet conflicted young man wrongly accused of murdering his classmates. Seeing him beg and plead his innocence is heart-wrenching and even difficult to sit through at times. It’s almost impossible not to root for him, despite the grisly acts he is forced to commit for the sake of survival.
This volume introduces Minatsuki, a young girl, whose innocent appearance offers a contrast to the barbaric nature of the setting. As a young teenager with only psychotics to converse with, Ganta is naturally taken with her and offers to help her in any way he can. Unfortunately as fate would have it, she is his next opponent, and the quiet unassuming girl he once believed her to be was merely an illusion to cloak a malicious creature looking to devour its prey.
Deadman Wonderland is a series where nothing can be taken at face value. Everything and everyone is under scrutiny. Nothing is as it seems and characters relevant to the plot could drop off like flies at any moment. Ganta’s continued growth from whiny youth to determined hero is one of the best character arcs depicted in manga today. The only thing holding the series down is the agonizing wait between releases.