Book review: Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 2

Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 2.Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 2 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

This review’s going to be pretty short. I mean, I could recap a bunch of what I said when I looked at the first volume, but let’s not do that, eh? It’s pretty safe to say that as we’re only on the second of thirteen total books that there’ll be a bit of confusion on the reader’s part.


And there is. Not because what’s going on is particularly complicated – indeed, the script isn’t really that convoluted – but because there’s a lot that’s obviously going to be revealed in the future.

Sucks to be you, Ganta. I mean, in addition to everything else.

Where we’re at now is the point where stakes have to build, and characters have to deepen into people we actually give a shit about. Because at present, there’s two modes of action in this thing: crackers or angry.

Or, y’know, both.

I suppose that’s to be expected when the action is set in an amusement park prison but it does seem a little shallow. Still, I’m giving it time, because there were breadcrumbs of interest through the collection – the introduction of a mysterious ward, a secret from even the facility’s security co-ordinator, for example – that were enough to see it through. There’s squick aplenty.

It’s as bad as you’re imagining.

The whole human-research-meets-gladiatorial-arena part of the storyline also was given a bit of a poke in this collection. The Branch of Sin and the mysterious powers of blood were teased out a little more, and the relevance of the first volume’s children’s rhyme was given some more clarity. I get that it takes a while to set stuff up and start the ball rolling, but despite the number of !!!s attached to all-cap ejaculations, there’s still a while to go before the motor’s running at full tilt.

I must admit, this is a pretty extreme reaction to activewear.

Until then, I’ll push through the occasional weirdly-sexualised angle and somewhat childish characterisation – OK, I guess Ganta actually is a schoolkid, so he might get a pass for that – and see what comes next.

My Goodreads profile is here.

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