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.
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.
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.
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.
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.