This adaptation continues to race along at breakneck pace, and so far pretty successfully. Some of the nuance of the manga is certainly being lost, but the realities are what they are. It’s certainly lending the proceedings a breathless excitement that should hold the attention of the viewer.
This is a bit of a tough one to blog, because at this stage of the game it’s a pure action series – and to discuss the reasons behind the puzzling things happening on screen would really be manga spoilage. I’ll give the team at Manglobe credit for delivering an effective Cliff’s Notes version of said manga – despite only being the bare skeleton of the original, I think they’ve effectively captured Ganta’s state-of-mind. And that, really, is at the heart of the experience here. It’s all about getting inside Ganta’s head as he reacts to the inexplicable things that keep happening to him.
Of course, we’ve already been introduced to the “Wretched Egg” – the prisoner in Cell Block G and apparently the main reason for Deadman Wonderland’s existence. When he somehow escapes from the “Mother Goose System” that keeps him secure, he goes on a rampage out in the yard – much to the horror of Ganta, who recognizes him as the one who killed all his friends. Shiro takes great offense to that statement by Ganta, as she considers herself his friend too. Meanwhile Ganta’s weird powers display themselves again as he sees Yoh and Shiro threatened by the Red Man – but even so, he can’t even make a dent in the Wretched Egg’s shell.
I was encouraged this week by the fact that Kana Hanazawa’s Shiro finally seemed to break free of her Nessa. It’s such a crucial character here – one could reasonably argue the crucial character – and up until this week I didn’t feel that the performance was communicating what the mangaka intended us to know (and feel) about Shiro. It was nice to see a different side to the character begin to coax out a different side to the performance, as Shiro, Yoh and Ganta traipsed through the innards of the prison in search of Block G, pursued by the killer security robot sent to kill Ganta.
The other key dynamic developing is the tension between Tamaki and the Security Chief, Makina. Tamaki is a man who clearly sees his allies as disposable, and doesn’t worry about loyalty – figuring that with absolute power, loyalty is irrelevant. He’s systematically pissing off everyone around him but has eyes only for Ganta at this point – the boy clearly vital to his future plans…