Deadman Wonderland – 10

“The guy who doesn’t go mad in this wretched hole was crazy to begin with.”

That little aside from Gankaku to Owl is probably as good a summation of this series’ modus operandi as any. Of course, some viewers might think an even better one from this episode might be Ganta’s “Why am I so weak?” – and I could certainly forgive them for that. But as I’ve said before, you have to be able to empathize with him for Deadman Wonderland to really work on the level I believe the author intended.

Of course there were tons of reveals this week. Not only is Kanako still alive, but amazingly enough Nagi as well. One arm down, he’s a captive of Gankaku – who apparently has been trying to get him to join with the Undertakers since the day two years earlier when he broke into their HQ and revenge-slaughtered 22 of Gankaku’s minions. So is Nagi really as crazy as all the rest of them – maybe more? Well, while he refuses to join with Gankaku – despite torture, blackmail and injections to make him remember his terrible orgy of violence – he does say something about Scar Chain “destroying the world”.

That’s a theme Senji touches on this week as well. Crow is, of course, badass beyond badass – making short work of Rokuro and his underlings with his sonic-boom powered Branches of Sin blade. But he’s not joining up with Scar Chain, oh no. Aside from not being much of a joiner to begin with, he looks upon them with contempt – if they’re not strong enough to succeed on their own, they never should have looked for trouble. The world outside, Crow reasons, is much worse than in DW – at least there, it’s a simple matter of survival of the fittest. Yest why did he attack Rokuro and his Undertakers, if not to save Ganta – weak by his own admission? Crow clearly likes the kid, or at least sympathizes with him – and perhaps, having been bested in combat by Ganta, he has some respect for what the boy can do is pushed to the limit.

By appearances Ganta has made a mess of things, though. Shiro seems like someone you’d very much rather have as a friend than an enemy, but Ganta – misunderstanding her destruction of the “data chip” (apparently a bomb after all) – becomes enraged that she destroyed their “hope” and punches her. Shiro is off in a self-pitying snit, eating “Grandpa’s” cookies and sulking, when she meets young Lag Seeing Sakigami Toto – better known as Mockingbird. And he seems only too willing to offer her both sympathy and an outlet for her anger…

The other wild card here is the Warden. Never a fan of Tamaki she’s recruited her yuri underling and broken into the Director’s office, looking at files she shouldn’t be looking at. After Tamaki comes back early they hide inside one of his toys and overhear Tamaki talking to a representative from the military. There’s your big reveal of the episode right there – now we know where the money is coming from, and that there’s an ultimate point to all this beyond Tamaki’s perverted self-gratification.

Ultimately, however Manglobe decides to end this series, Ganta is going to have to face his demons and be strong if he wants to survive. He’s also going to have to try and do it without turning into a monster himself. So far he’s succeeded at the latter but mostly failed at the former, which accounts for a lot of the viewer dislike of the character. I’m more sympathetic, given just what an unfair and insane turn his life his taken – I think his failings are pretty understandable. But now, for certain, he’s going to have to step up if this series is going to end on a good note.

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