Last anime review of 2015, although by the time I'm finished it'll be the first review of 2016. I can't watch that fast, I'm not even counting procrastination. Or maybe I can.... anyway, the subject of said review is gonna be Deadman Wonderland, which is only 13 episodes and so maybe I can binge watch it before the end of the year, but I have other things to do as well, so maybe not. So from what I can gather from the trailer, this is about some dude who goes to prison and has to kill people or something, and there's a circus. And there's an albino girl with targets on her boobs. And the ending theme is cool, I guess.
So, we're back, and the modification date for this file was 30 Dec 2015. It's now 31 Jan 2016. Don't give me that look. Did you not see the thread title? It's Zowayix's _Procrastinated_ Anime Reviews. I have expectations to uphold. Anyway, let's get this show on the road.
That good ol' first section
I was mostly right about what it's about. It's about some innocent kid who murders his classmates except he didn't, and so he goes to some prison that no human rights commission would ever allow no matter how much you bribed them. It's in the format of a circus, where people go to watch known criminals perform sadistically entertaining shows where they all fucking die (but the citizens are told that they don't really die, even though they can see bloody heads flying off and people getting stabbed with real blood coming out and that sort of thing where you go to a fucking magic show and they don't do that s**t). So, that's pretty cool. Also there's a dude who's the evil guy and he's both a lawyer and a marketer. Even if he wasn't running a torture prison he'd still be at least double evil. Also people can shoot blood out of their hands and make knives out of blood that come out of their arms, and they fight each other in underground tournaments (because it's a prison, and they probably do s**t like that in real life). And then there's an underground viva la resistance movement who don't elaborate on how the f**k they got in there, but I guess they're nice people, so they probably didn't rape anyone or drive a schoolbus of children off a cliff or some s**t like that.
So you have all these nice intermingling plotlines, and all of them are pretty cool, and have the potential to be a really awesome story just on their own, plus you have those action scenes for those who like a bit of that. But here's where criticism comes in. Notice how I said 'the potential', even though I've just finished the whole anime. That would be odd wording if they really did turn out to be really awesome, wouldn't you say? They don't. Every single one of these plotlines start off being really hype and interesting and all that s**t, and then it's just like... nah. Forget that one. We're going onto this story instead. But what happened to those deadly sideshow games where you have a bunch of people running around and getting killed in gruesome and hilarious ways? Nah, f**k you. We won't bring that up ever again. Perhaps it's because it only went for 12 episodes that they weren't able to have these plots coexist at the same time and reach a satisfying conclusion, but that's a load of s**t, and they probably could do it. And by the time you get to the ending... can I talk about the ending first before the other stuff? I can, because it's my review thread. f**k you. I'll have the ice cream before dinner and nobody can stop me.
If you can even call it that.
Imagine you're watching some TV show that will never be aired ever again and they have no master tapes, and then halfway through, your TV catches fire and fucking explodes. I suck at analogies, but that's what it's like. It's seriously in every way like this is only half of a series and they forgot to fucking finish it. I seriously watched the end, and I literally said "Ah whoops, I forgot to buy season 2. Let's jump over to JB Hifi and see how much it is". Of course I found nothing, so I went over to Google to see if maybe it's just not dubbed yet as can sometimes happen. Hmm. No mention of a season 2. Okay, let's just risk looking it up on Wikipedia and maybe get spoiled for some s**t I haven't seen yet. Episodes: 12. Seasons: 1.
No seriously, what the f**k? That's it? It's just like.... show's over, folks. That'll do. Meanwhile every single question the series ever asked is left completely unanswered, and not even in a 2spooky4u mystery way. It was all so promising, and then just fucking nothing. It was all fucking nothing. This is the s**t that converts people to fucking nihilism. If this anime is pointless, who's to say life isn't pointless? What the fucking hell was it all for? Why did I even bother watching? Why do I bother being alive?
Of course, you'd wonder what happened anyway that caused this to happen. So I looked that up, too. Hmm. Okay. DVD sales were less than 1000 units. 1000. That is not a big number at all in the grand scheme of things. Like even right now, this review has more than 1000 characters in it. Canberra has more than 1000 people living there. Not just that, actually. Tuggeranong has more than 1000 people there. In fact, the suburb I grew up in (Calwell) has more people than that. If I gathered round everybody in the neighbourhood and told them to buy Deadman Wonderland (and they all agreed), that would exceed the whole sales in all of Japan by 5 times. And Japan has more people in it than Calwell. Probably. So that's a bit sad, and perhaps it's understandable then why they weren't able to continue.
But that just raises a more important question: WHY?????? HOW? How the f**k did you suck so hard at marketing? EVEN FUCKING UMINEKO GOT (marginally) MORE FUCKING SALES THAN THAT (about 1800) AND 2CH SAID IT WAS THE WORST ANIME OF ALL TIME!!!!! THIS WASN'T EVEN AWFUL!!!! WHAT THE FUCKING f**k WERE YOU DOING? WAS IT BECAUSE THE MAIN VILLAIN WAS A MARKETER AND YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT GOT OFFENDED AND REFUSED TO PROMOTE IT AND TOLD PEOPLE NOT TO BUY IT INSTEAD? DID YOU ONLY SELL IT IN CAMRIP QUALITY AND THE PRICE OF THE COMPLETE SERIES WAS EQUIVALENT TO PURCHASING A SMALL CAR? Part of my Googling contained a thread which suggested it was because the opening theme was in English.
First of all, what the f**k? And second of all, what the f**k? And third of all, Sonic the Hedgehog has English openings in all the games, and nobody gives a s**t. Everyone loves Sonic. And fourth of all, what the f**k? I mean, I know some of Japan has a bit of anti-Western racism going on, but the anime otakus don't seem to be like that, it's just the old people. That thread was probably joking, but who can fucking tell?
But then there's another question here which is unanswered: Why'd you take on animating the manga if you weren't sure you'd be able to do all of it? Why do they keep doing this? EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. TIME. They fucking did it with Gantz, they did it with Nichijou, Funimation sort of did it with Higurashi and then they both did it with Umineko, now they're doing it here. It's like, "oh okay, we'll do this part of the manga. That'll be 24 episodes, or in this case 12." "But you're going to make another season when this one is succesful, right?" "Not when, if". And then they proceed to f**k s**t up, they hire clueless animators who don't know what a fucking human face looks like or how the different expressions work or they don't even remember what their own characters look like, they hire script writers that mangle the original plot and leave out important details because they spent too fucking long focusing on s**t that nobody cares about or they just make fucking s**t up entirely for no reason, they do... whatever it is Nichijou did, and other animes that have low sales but were perfectly okay (or maybe they weren't perfectly okay, but you could tolerate the flaws and then the source material just becomes a nice bonus which allows you to enjoy the story more in a different format). And they're like "Welp, we fucked up and surprise surprise nobody bought the DVDs. Now your manga's reputation is ruined and nobody else will ever adapt it ever again, nor will we". But the few people who did buy your s**t have to have their dreams crushed and their time wasted because of your shitty business decision.
IS IT THAT FUCKING HARD TO FUCKING MAKE A FUCKING ANIME AND FUCKING SEE IT ALL THE FUCKING WAY THROUGH? AND ACTUALLY FUCKING PROMOTE THAT FUCKING s**t PROPERLY SO THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY BUY IT? THIS IS THE FUCKING FIFTH ANIME IN THIS THREAD IN A ROW WHERE THE ENDING HAS BEEN A COMPLETE FUCKING WANKLOAD OF FUCKING BULLSHIT! SEVENTH OVERALL! AM I FUCKING CURSED HERE? WHAT THE f**k IS GOING ON? CAN I JUST HAVE FUCKING ONE ANIME THAT FUCKING WRAPS s**t UP SATISFYINGLY? APPARENTLY I FUCKING CAN'T BECAUSE SOME BRAINLESS EXECUTIVE IN A SHITTY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO HIS FUCKING JOB! WELL I AM SERIOUSLY GETTING FUCKING TIRED OF THIS FUCKING s**t! I FUCKING HATE YOU FUCKING IDIOTS! I HOPE ALL THE EXECUTIVES WHO WORK AT KADOKAWA FUCKING DIE FROM EBOLA YOU FUCKING CUCKOLDS! FUCKING CUNTWANKING FUCKWITS GO FUCKING CHOKE ON YOUR OWN SEMEN AND THEN HAVE YOUR TESTICLES RIPPED OUT AND SHOVED UP YOUR MOTHER'S ARSE! YOU ARE THE BIGGEST FUCKING PIECE OF s**t EVER AND ARE A STAIN ON THE HUMAN RACE WHICH IS SHITTY ENOUGH WITHOUT YOU IN IT SO THE FACT THAT YOU STAND OUT AS BEING THE SCUM OF IT REALLY SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU SHOULD FUCKING KILL YOURSELF! STOP RUINING THE FUCKING ANIME INDUSTRY!
Apologies for being harsh, but words to that effect needed to be said.
Oh wait, there's an OVA too. Let's talk about that, shall we? Now that I've remembered there is one, I'll just watch it. Hmm, okay. So that one guy-who-is-a-real-fucking-arsehole-but-then-the-protagonist-beats-him-and-now-he-decides-to-help-him-out guy that shows up in every fucking anime like this is now a loose cannon cop who lives on the edge and doesn't play by the rules. So uhh.... I guess Deadman Wonderland finally got shut down? I guess he was set free? Or did he escape? You know, s**t that you should have answered in the fucking ENDING? What happened to Ganta? What happened to that lawyer marketer guy? What happened to the prison warden who was going to overthrow the lawyer marketer guy? Why is someone with a criminal history able to get a job as a police officer? Do they not have background checks in Japan? Where is this place? Who are all these people? Who was it who murdered Ganta's classmates anyway? Who cares, let's just fucking have every single fucking cliche from every fucking Hollywood 'action' movie ever and throw it into a 22-minute shitshow.
So that was a load of s**t. To suggest that I was in any way enthralled by this s**t would only be an accurate statement in Opposite Land.
Alrigt, sorry about all that. Now that I've gotten the s**t parts out of the way, let's relax and talk about the parts of this anime which weren't the ending and so aren't necessarily bullshit. I wasn't sure if I should do a separate character section, but there's enough of them and I feel like typing s**t, so why the f**k not.
So as I was saying back there, you have the main character Ganta, who has a funny voice. He's just some kid, basically. The problem that isn't really a problem but it's made to be one here is that he's not a SUPER COOL EXTREME TOUGH GUY and has feelings. So of course everyone on online forums is going to call him a 'pussy'. I'm not sure where to begin with how stupid that is, but let's start with HE'S FUCKING 13 YEARS OLD OR SOME s**t AND HE'S IN PRISON AND HE FUCKING GETS BEATEN UP AND ALL HIS FRIENDS WERE BRUTUALLY MURDERED AND HE HAS TO AVOID DEATHTRAPS ALL THE TIME! YES HE'S GOING TO BE A BIT SCARED SOMETIMES! f**k this part of the fandom sometimes, I fucking swear. I hope that's just what we call a vocal minority, but even so, enough of that s**t, guys. I mean, he's even got a bit of heroic resolve in him. One of the best moments of the series is where he stands up and proclaims "This place and its rules can suck my dick!". I bet if you fucking idiots went to prison you wouldn't have the fucking balls to do that. You'd get stabbed on day 1. Most people would get stabbed day 1. But nah, this kid displays emotion and cares about the few friends he meets in there, so you know, he's a pussy. Clearly. With character analysis like that, I shouldn't even bother writing these reviews and should just point you to /a/ or the MyAnimeList forums instead.
Speaking of the few friends he meets in there, you also have some dude whose name is... Yo. Like, that's actually his name. Yo. I'm not saying 'Yo' as a fucking linguistic filler, that's his fucking name. I suppose in Japanese you don't have people saying "Yo wazzup my homies" so you don't have a who's-on-first situation going on there, and also it'd be You or Yō because it's not pronounced like something we would spell as "Yoh" with the short o, but still. This is one where I would have given permission on behalf of anime fans for the dubbing team to change his name to something else. Anyway, Yo is just the one dude in prison Ganta meets who isn't a complete douche, and his purpose is basically to be one of those exposition characters. You know the ones, the ones that don't really do anything and don't say anything, but ask questions as to what the protagonist is doing just so someone else can answer it. Okay, I lied, he has a moment or two midway through the series, but I'll keep that one to myself. I don't want to spoil parts of the plot you can enjoy from this.
The other one who isn't a complete douche is Shiro, who is an albino girl with targets on her boobs. The obligatory 'slow-and-naive-moe-girl-who-likes-happy-things', the first few scenes with her you think she's just there for comic relief, but then she also has robot-punching superpowers and s**t like that, and maybe has one of them dark and mysterious pasts, or dark and mysterious presents, and maybe she is a complete douche after all, or something.
The staff at Deadman Wonderland include the lawyer marketer dude who runs the place and I forgot his name, and is basically a gosh-darned c**t. Like he's one of the biggest fucking psychopaths in the history of anime, and that's saying some s**t. This fucking dude is just completely fucked up in so many fucking ways. Very accurate depiction of lawyers. You also have the chief warden Makina, who has nothing to do with the musical genre, just one of your badass women with a sword who goes around stabbing people for talking s**t and never smiling. I don't even fucking know where her moral compass points. Is she evil too? Is she secretly good and just doing her job? Does she not give a s**t and just wants to be the best prison guard like noone ever was? Well, they sure as s**t ain't telling us.
Then you have people like the Crow or some s**t who may or may not have had an actual name, who is that one guy-who-is-a-real-fucking-arsehole-but-then-the-protagonist-beats-him-and-now-he-decides-to-help-him-out guy that shows up in every fucking anime like this. You know the one. The one where you meet him and he's like "IMMA f**k YOU UP KID GET FUCKIN SHANKED" and then the protagonist beats him in some non-lethal fight, and then later on the protagonist is (non-non-lethally) fighting some other dude, and this guy shows up and he's like "HEY KID! NICE MOVES THERE, NOW LET ME SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE" and then he does some morally-ambiguous-but-badass thing to help him out, or maybe he sacrifices his life and he's like "NAH KID YOU GOT YOUR OWN LIFE AHEAD OF YOU I'VE COMMITTED MY SINS I'LL PAY MY DUES" that sorta s**t. One of those guys. He doesn't necessarily do exactly those things, those are examples, but yeah. Other inmates include Hummingbird who is your obligatory crazy b***h, and Mockingbird who I seriously thought was a short-haired chick, but isn't despite being voiced like one. Just some weird creepy dude who likes licking people's blood and is really creepy. Also, some of you may be picking up the pattern here that they're all birds. f**k if I know why they're all birds, but everyone in Deadman Wonderland is a bird. Ganta is known as the Woodpecker. I don't know what the f**k he has to do with pecking wood, but there you go.
So at first, it's like yeah okay, whatever, that's cool. People have got some weird-looking eyes in this one, they're too round/tall and it's different and weird, but that's forgivable. But then you get to... what was it... episode 4 or 5 or so. And it gets fucking... dark. Yeah, I getcha. They're in a tunnel. It's dark in the tunnel. But that doesn't change the fact that I CAN'T SEE FUCKING s**t! I mean sure, you can have the background a bit dimmer than normal, but like... not so much that I literally and I do mean literally in the literal sense of the word and not the teenager sense can't fucking see anything without having to fiddle with the brightness settings in my media player. That's just having a bunch of talking people (and did I mention that the DVD is super-quiet too? Had to turn up my speakers to unheavenly volumes, and then was I in for a shock when I went to watch something else), and I can't really appreciate how deep and dank it is that Ganta and friends are in some part of the prison where they don't have lights. You could have communicated that point without resorting to complete and total darkness. And then they have the audacity to have action scenes in that same lack of anything visible. What the f**k were they thinking? It's not like it's just to save money/time, because you turn the brightness up, and it turns out they did draw everything as detailed as usual. So it's a deliberate style choice. -1 points for that.
Also the animation does seem to get a bit wonky and off model in the last episode or two, but it's not like Studio Deen bad. Still can be noticeable though.
Potentially controversial content
Well, you know. Everything. You got more blood than... something with a lot of blood. More than Future Diary, maybe not as much as Elfen Lied, somewhere in between. Also, you got like a fuckton of swearing. You think this review thread is bad? You think I have a potty mouth? Well first off f**k you it's within the forum rules I'll do what I fucking want, and second of all, my profanity level ain't s**t. This is the s**t here. This is the swearingest s**t that ever swore. Which makes sense, because it's set in a prison. Have you ever been to a prison? I haven't either, but I'm pretty sure they swear a lot in there. This might just be the dub though. I dunno. I'm (apparently) a pleb so I never watch the Japanese version if I don't have to.
So you may be wondering with all this talk of a dub: If this sold so poorly in Japan, why the f**k does it have a dub? Most shows don't get a dub if they don't think there'll be a market for it. Well, you see, Funimation (for the most part) are actually smart. They were able to get the license pretty cheap, and they figured out that westerners tend to like action s**t like this. And they did, it was on Adult Swim and people seem to like it over here. Maybe an American studio can pick up the rights to do a reboot of the whole thing and actually finish it. Wouldn't that be cool? Yeah, I know, it won't happen.
Anyway, is the dub actually good? Well, I dunno. Like I was saying, Greg Ayres (who you may remember as the kid who beat up homeless people in Gantz, the dude with the fucked up nose in Speed Grapher, the nerdy camera kid in Rebuild of Evangelion, apparently the blonde dude in Clannad) gives Ganta a kind of funny voice, it's in theory too high-pitched to be taken seriously. Yet somehow, in those really important moments like the aforementioned one where he tells this place and its rules to suck his dick, he can be taken seriously. Could have felt even more powerful if it was said by a better voice, but it's okay. It'll do. It's fine. The other main star is Monica Rial as Shiro, who is also known as Bulma in the DBZ games, the bookstore clerk in Gantz (Mika or whatever her name was), Kagura in Speed Grapher, more recently (after this) Stocking in Panty & Stocking, Index in A Certain Magical Index, Tomoko in Watamote, Homura in Senran Kagura, and you get the idea. Whole bunch of roles, many of them leading in very notable series. So she uses that experience to deliver a fitting voice for the seemingly innocent-but-not-so-much character and does exactly what Shiro should sound like. Overall, the dub is of a high quality, nobody really sounds overtly ridiculous, the dialogue is fine, from what I can tell the swearing was added to it. But as I said, this is a prison, so it makes sense that they'd swear a fucking lot. I mean, I swear a lot, and I'm not in a prison.
Soundtrack and s**t
Despite the low sales and all that s**t, this actually has a soundtrack. Yes, being Kadokawa, it's one of those 'buy the Bluray special editions in several volumes because f**k you' ones. Okay, so the CD singles aren't, you can just find those from CDJapan if they're still in stock.
The opening theme is One Reason by Fade, or maybe it's DWB (Deadman Wonderland Band) feat. Fade, or maybe it's just DWB, or who cares, I'm tagging it as just Fade even though that has ambiguity with the DJ dude who made that track The Future on Bonkers X which is pretty cool and has nothing to do with Deadman Wonderland. So, it's basically a metal song, or maybe metalcore, or nu metal, or I don't fucking know because I'm not really a metal fan. I'm sure Greg-senpai will educate me on this later. Anyway, I enjoyed it. It's in English, so you can sing along potentially. I like to do so during the chorus. Catchy, and yet invokes the feelings of fear and aggression that represent the series. I can see it being a love-or-hate-it thing, because it's different, but I seriously hope that's not the reason why this anime failed in the Japanese market. I hope it's not the..... One Reason.
Ending theme is Shiny Shiny by Nirgilis, they do the "but it's actually DWB feat. Nirgilis you guys!" marketing s**t here, but I don't give a s**t. It's just fucking Nirgilis. I had heard this one from mashups (I'll link to that one where it's mashed up with that one Madeon track later) and remixes/samples before, so I had high hopes. It's okay, it's not that great once you actually listen to it, but it could be worse. The vocals are well delivered as Nirgilis does and are what the good part of this one is, just the backing track has nothing really going for it, doesn't carry any particular kind of emotion or groove or anything with it, it's just there, and it's just like yeah whatever you do that otherwise this would be a capella. The remixes on the CD single are pretty cool at least. I'm just not sure what it has to do with the anime though, unless maybe it has something to do with Shiro (I dunno, their voices seem similar and it just reminds me of her somehow) in some way that they were going to put in the anime but didn't.
The background music has track titles by NARASAKI (who the f**k is that?) thar are all like "DW24A" and "DW15B", which sound suspiciously like internal titles that only mean something to the composer, and it was like "Yo Narasaki wazzup! We're making a soundtrack of this" and they're like "Yo wait up I haven't thought of titles for any of this" and they're like "Who gives a s**t! No time for that, we need to get it out right now". I bet you $20 that's really what actually happened. Anyway, it's a pretty good soundtrack, you get a nice mix of pianos, guitars, and electronic soundscapes (plus some strings which I'm 90% sure are synthesized) to make all kinds of soft emotional tracks or hard rock tracks or dark ambient tracks, all to suit the particular scenes effectively. Kudos to whoever this Narasaki is.
When I was first watching this anime, I really really enjoyed it. I was thinking "s**t dude, maybe this is gonna be my favourite anime". And then that fucking ending happened. It just made the whole thing a complete waste of time. And not just the ending itself really, the whole final episode and maybe the one before it were in hindsight kind of having that thrown-together-at-the-last minute feel. And you know, they probably were. Either way, I don't feel as though I can in good conscience recommend people watch this unless all they care about is blood and guts. Maybe read the manga, tell me if it's good.
Final score: #WasteHisTime2016 / 10
No Facebook conversations this time. For whatever reason, I didn't say anything. Maybe I was speechless, maybe I was just too lazy to press pause and switch out to Chrome. Okay, so after the end I bitched about the ending I think, but nothing was said that's worth me going through the trouble of screenshotting and uploading. I already gave you a rant about the ending here, don't be greedy.
 s**t, it's February tomorrow? What the f**k happened to the whole month?
 Not the blood hands thing, though.
 I don't critise plots that often, do I? I think this might be the first time.
 Knowing Kadokawa, the last part wouldn't surprise me. In fact, I'll just see if I can look that up now.... CDJapan has them for about $80 for each volume (which is 2 episodes) regular edition. JEEZ NO FUCKING WONDER FUCKING IDIOTS!!!! WHY ARE KADOKAWA CONSTANTLY FUCKING IDIOTS?
 Think the eyepatch grill whose name I can't remember from Future Diary.
 Whoops, I haven't written the characters section because I wanted to rant about the ending first and then I ended up writing about the OVA afterward. He's the protagonist.
 So as it turns out, you find this out in the manga, and it's quite the reveal. I was going to read the manga to find out what actually fucking happened in the end, but in looking for what happened to the DVD sales it got spoiled for me. I'm not actually a dick, so I won't spoil it for you people too.
 I'm sure I can make some kind of joke here, like I've watched all the anime from Gant_a_ to Gant_z_. But that doesn't really work.
 Actual dialogue.
 It's Tamaki. Unrelated to the Code Geass guy. Probably.
 Only the prison where my mind is trapped in the crushing grip of my meaningless life.
 I'm sorry.