So much is happening so fast with Deadman Wonderland now, and I’m really torn in how I look at the series. It galls me to see so much content crammed into such a short timeframe, for sure. But OTOH, they’re really doing a fine job of introducing new characters and concepts without making things feel ridiculously rushed or confusing.
This episode pretty much confirms that Shiro is in fact the Red Man – and the Wretched Egg to boot. What’s more, her costume appears to be based on the “Ace Man” (first name Ace – last name, Man!) hero character Ganta worshiped as a child. A childhood he now remembers, in fact, that includes Shiro. She was his playmate and guardian while his parents were alive and he was a somewhat weak little boy. Of course, he has no idea still who (and what) Shiro really is, and that revelation hangs over him as a massive pending karmic shock. Shiro has a deep connection to the Director – apparently spending her time in his inner sanctum when she’s not cavorting with Ganta.
There’s so much happening on screen that it’s pretty hard to keep up with all of it, but it’s all important stuff. In addition to Ganta’s childhood flashbacks – handled rather well, I thought – there’s the matter of Minatsuki and her perverse relationship with her brother. There’s also the little matter of her punishment game – a game rigged to make her lose only her hair (a kidney and part of her stomach are already gone) by Owl and Karako as gesture of good faith. Who are they? Members of an underground resistance movement in G Block, and they want Ganta as part of their cause.
They aren’t the only new characters introduced this week – we also finally get our first look at Genkaku, who fancies himself an “Ultra-priest” but is basically Tamaki’s attack dog. It appears to be his job to look cool and keep the Deadmen in line. And in case you’ve forgotten about the Warden, she’s getting more and more suspicious of what’s happening in Deadman Wonderland and more and more pissed off that it’s happening behind her back. Tamaki appears to consider her beneath his consideration as a threat, but she sure doesn’t act like he should.
It’s hard to believe this is more than half over, but unless we get an announcement of a second season, it is. If Manglobe is able to walk this tightrope and deliver the remaining episodes with both breakneck pacing and coherence, we could end up with some sort of comprehensible resolution. If there is another season, though, it’s by no means too late to step off the gas – there’s plenty of material to fill a second cour even with all the exposition of the last few weeks.