Ganta is starting to learn a little more about the system of Deadman Wonderland. Criminals that are on Death Row are given the opportunity to extend their time until execution by way of consuming special ‘candies’. These candies can be bought using a point currency system, and these points are earned for various things throughout the park. Which, predictably, ends up with stronger, more intimidating inmates earning a monopoly over points.
Ganta’s new ‘friend’ Yoh instructs him about a race inmates can choose to participate in, the price of which is a massive load of points. Ganta would do anything to extend his lifespan but only when he is in the race does he realize exactly what happens to those who don’t win.
An episode about a race feels like filler material in nearly every other anime, but Deadman Wonderland did it quite well with a great blend of horror and suspense. This…really isn’t a feel-good type of show, and whenever I watch I just get this feeling of distinct D:. I already made the Battle Royale comparisons in the last review but they’re worth restating. (Seriously though in the future are we going to get some kind of disease that just turns all adults into assholes or something?) That’s not to say this show isn’t enjoyable, depressing as it is…there’s actually this nice, faint sense of ‘hope’ that runs through it. Ganta’s still holding onto some form of hope, and Shiro basically radiates it. They make a good pair, and now that Yoh has made it a trio of sorts I’m interested to know where things will go. Yoh’s definitely not benevolent, though, but he does seem like the sort of character that can be ‘touched and reformed by the goodness of the hero.’
Mostly, this episode raises questions about what exactly Shiro’s attachment to Ganta is, as he seems to have some difficulty coming to terms with the fact that she declared herself his friend and fights to protect him.
Even more questions crop up now as Yoh continues to act ambiguously – to Ganta, he’s a friend, but he clearly has a tie with the creepy higher-up Tamaki who seem to be in for some kind of benefit from Yoh’s ‘friendship’ with Ganta. Tamaki also seems concerned with Ganta’s mysterious power that the ‘Wretched Egg’ (AKA the ‘Red Man’ that killed his friends) seemed to have implanted in him. And speaking of this ‘Wretched Egg’, he’s kept in a hidden facility within Deadman Wonderland and has just broken free. As the prison goes into lock down, Ganta, along with Yoh and Shiro, head to the secret G-block to find the Red Man;after all, being on death row Ganta really has nothing to lose. The staff, able to see through security cameras, send a robot after him.
This show is clearly excelling at keeping me interested and in suspense, and after being a bit on-the-fence about it after episode 2, this was the episode where I decided to stick with it. I guess I’m a sucker for these kind of stories; I just have to know how Ganta will get out of the Deadman Wonderland, if he’ll manage to outsmart the Asshole Adults, etc etc. The fact that the Red Man was kept at the facility is incredibly interesting; it heavily implies (as if it weren’t already obvious) that Ganta was clearly framed (by Tamaki, most likely.) The nature of the mysterious hidden ‘G-Block’ also invites many more questions…and the episode even ends with one major question-who is the guy that just came in, and is he a friend or foe? (Okay, two questions.)
I also really like Shiro; not only is she ridiculously adorable but she provides some incredibly welcome comic relief to this story. Despite what should be an awkward mood-clash, her behaviour doesn’t feel forced or out-of-place at all. She’s interesting for a number of reasons mystery-wise, too, perhaps most of all the fact that she seems to be the only female prisoner in Deadman Wonderland (or at least, the only one that’s been shown so far). Whether or not this is something particularly exceptional or rare hasn’t really been focused on yet (no one has really mentioned it, or even reacted to seeing her, despite the fact that she doesn’t wear anything even slightly resembling the regulation outfit either. Everyone just regards her as another prisoner.)
I’m really looking forward to finding out exactly what is going on behind the scenes here…even if the biggest mystery of the series is still why something like Deadman Wonderland exists at all (although I already mentioned that in the episode 1 review. But I still can’t get my head around the concept of someone being all “A prison combined with a theme park? What a great idea!!”