Deadman Wonderland Volume 2

Deadman Wonderland Volume 2 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

I liked the first volume of Deadman Wonderland because it seemed a little different than most of the shonen manga out there. It had a darkly cynical sensibility that seemed refreshing, and the storyline about a boy forced into a prison death trap was interesting. The second volume of the manga moves into more conventional territory, but Deadman Wonderland still delivers some slick action and stylish gore.

Ganta learns that he has a similar power to the Red Man who slaughtered his classmates, framing Ganta for murder and sending him to the prison/entertainment complex called Deadman Wonderland. Ganta hears a rumor that the Red Man is locked up in isolation in Ward G of the prison and he runs off to confront his mysterious enemy. Instead of the Red Man Ganta finds a young man with similar powers named Crow. Ganta learns that his mysterious power called “the branches of sin” is triggered by blood, but his explosive method of using the power will quickly leave him drained and unable to fight. The authorities break up the fight. Violence isn’t to be wasted in dark corridors – Ganta will have to face off against Crow again for an audience.

There are still hints of a larger mystery that first captured my attention in the initial volume. Busty Guard Makina seems to have an issue with the warden. Takami still is acting as a double agent, pretending to befriend Ganta while reporting to the authorities. Shiro continues to be incredibly spacey and gifted at acting as Ganta’s occasional bodyguard. While the second volume was less surprising than the first, I’m hoping that the third will spend more time exploring the origin of Ganta’s powers and the meaning behind the mysterious Red Man. I’d be interested to see more of the other characters’ background filled in as well. Even though the second volume didn’t have all the shocking twists that the first did, I’m still entertained by Ganta’s storyline and I’m wondering if he’ll be able to rise to the top of the prison battlefield in Deadman Wonderland.

Review copy provided by the publisher.