I guess this volume is where the story decided to kick itself up a notch. Yes, we’re still in a prison masquerading as the world’s goriest version of It’s A Knockout!, but there’s some deeply mysterious shit going on. Rebels are introduced! There’s another big fight! Backstories are unveiled!
Oh, and that. Which, I’m sure, will be explained properly later.
At any rate, this time around, the denizens of death row are given a bit more airtime. We learn that a couple of characters are connected in a familial way, which colours their interactions, and certainly does not reduce the weirdness of the book at all, no sir.
We also learn more about Ganta and Shiro’s connection, which also ties into the whole branch of sin thing: human experimentation is to blame? Maybe, but it’s a bit early to tell. So instead, Kataoka offers a bit of quite satisfying flashback backstory, turning this grim prison into a reunification of friends and childhood protectors. It’s a satisfying angle, especially given that elsewhere there’s, well, this.
Of course, there’s all manner of Grim Shit in here as well, because frankly it wouldn’t be Deadman Wonderland without it. We learn more about the Wretched Egg, and about the Promoter’s plans for the establishment. There’s the feeling that a bigger narrative is unfolding, that more behind-the-scenes movers and shakers are coming to light, which keeps the story moving at a reasonable clip.
I’ll push on, at least. As opposed to the previous volume, this one has me intrigued.