Let me say this up front – if that really was the last episode and there’s no second season, the folks at Manglobe are some heartless bastards.
’tis the season for inconclusive endings. As a reader of the Deadman Wonderland manga, I’ve been puzzling over just how they were going to wrap things up in 12 episodes. Tonight we have our answer – they aren’t even going to try. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Thing is, this was actually a very solid episode all-around. Some of the more dark-hearted viewers surely got their wish in seeing Ganta pummeled mercilessly by Nagi. Demon Nagi, that is, still under Genkaku’s sway. Ganta finally stepped up and tried to do the right thing in protecting Shiro, but it was Karako who finally saved the day with her little bell – the sound of which broke Genkaku’s spell and freed up Owl to recover his senses.
Karako must be a luckier cat than the one Genkaku used to feed at the Temple, because she’s been presumed dead so many times I’ve lost count. Yet she always spring back to life. What’s a sword blow through the chest? Well, I guess that’s where branches of sin can come in useful. Not so lucky is Nagi. After pummeling Ganta with his stump and recovering his senses, he confronts Genkaku. We get a Kenshin-like flashback of
Anji Genkaku’s path to the dark side, then he quite literally blows a hole in Nagi. Not even he can come back from that one, but he does linger long enough to give Ganta – on the edge of death from his collar – a saving piece of candy and to utter a few overwrought lines about rainbows.
This is when things get really interesting, for not only does Ganta’s true power awaken just as Shiro is about to reveal herself as the Red Man, but we also get a look at Mockingbird, the ultimate badass of Deadman Wonderland. He’s dispatched another of Scar Chain’s stragglers with Crow’s Invisible Black, which he also uses to off Genkaku’s tame loli. Ganta not only eliminates Genkaku with a little last-gasp help from Owl, but blows a hole in DW big enough for Karako and the other two surviving Scar Chain gang to escape.
The key – and irritating, and ironic – phrase in that paragraph was “This is when things get really interesting”. Sure, this dialogue about rainbows and being strong and hope and light is hopelessly corny. But this was a great episode, and this is just when the story starts to get really spectacular. Deadman Wonderland is a larger than life, mythical, ridiculous story – so what’s a little hyperbole to that? This episode was everything I love about DW. Brutal, heartbreaking, silly, bloody, epic. And it ends the story, right in the middle of some unbelievably great stuff.
Ah well – more talk about that in the series review, I suppose, coming up next.