Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Manga
Length: 216 pages
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Deadman Wonderland series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I have had this manga series on my to be read list for a while and was excited get it for Christmas. This was a wonderful start to this manga series. It is engaging, very creative, and a bit bizarre.
Ganta Igarashi is a middle school student who is wrongly accused of murdering his classmates (something that was actually caused by the appearance of a strange Red Man). As punishment he is sent to Deadman Wonderland. Deadman Wonderland is a prison complex that doubles as an amusement park for the general public. Basically in Deadman Wonderland the inmates participate in bizarre shows and contests to help fund the rebuilding of Tokyo after its destruction in a great earthquake.
This book is a bit science fiction and a bit horror with some dystopian elements. The whole book takes place ten years after the Great Tokyo Earthquake. Tokyo is struggling to rebuild and a big part of their financing comes from the Deadman Wonderland amusement park.
There are a lot of characters introduced but the main ones are Ganta and Shiro. Ganta is a very confused and horrified middle grade student who was witness to unspeakable horror and then accused of being the person who caused that horror. Shiro is a strangely happy and innocent girl with odd white hair that befriends Ganta inside of Deadman Wonderland. They are both incredibly interesting and mysterious characters that I am dying to know more about.
This book just introduces us to the series and, oh my, what an interesting set up it is. Deadman Wonderland is fascinating in its own right, the idea of inmates being slaughtered in contests for public entertainment is so very Roman. You find out that Deadman Wonderland has some other very dangerous secrets and then there is the who mysterious Red Man who causes mass slaughter. Add to that the mysterious way Ganta seems to be able to stay alive and you have an amazingly addictive story.
This is a pretty gruesome, gory, and creepy book, so I would recommend to older teen and adult only (I think it’s rated older teen).
Overall I absolutely loved this intro to this creepy sci-fi story with dystopian elements. It’s a fascinating set-up with some big mysteries and some engaging characters. It was an awesome read and I can’t wait to read the next one. I recommend to those who like horror/sci-fi manga.