Deadman Wonderland Episode Five Review
By: Prince Lammy
Deadman Wonderland Episode 05: The Corpse Carnival
At some point, I’d thought Episode Two was the start of some real action in this series. But I dare say I was wrong (at least partially). The Dog’s Race in Episode Two was a great hit, too, but this right here? Man! Now, this is the real deal, bruv!
I don’t want to give away too much info yet. Just dive into the review first, and you’d get a better picture of what The Corpse Carnival is all about.
Story | 8/10
As Ganta lay terrified, Takami tells him of the prizes he’d get after fighting Crow the next day. Tamaki then went ahead to show him a sample of what would be done to him should he lose. Captain Makina requests entry into the Director’s quarters, but two attendants deny her. She, however, tried to force her way in but was held back by them.
Stuck in a dark alleyway, Shiro, and Yoh deliberate on getting out to save Ganta. While Yoh thinks Ganta should be safe since he also has
that strange power, Shiro disagrees, stating that he’s always been helpless.
A commentator welcomes unseen spectators to the Corpse Carnival. After stating the rules, the light falls on Ganta and Senji, and the duo is introduced as Woodpecker and Crow, respectively. As Senji cuts himself and takes a fighting stance, Ganta also bites himself.
At the start of the game, Ganta runs back and climbs up a tree. After a brief try, he gets his power to work and shoots at Senji. As he slices through the projectile, Ganta continues shooting consecutively. Getting frustrated, he riles up a lot of blood and shoots it away, but Crow slices it too.
Ganta suddenly starts feeling cold and weak, and the commentator makes fun of his inexperience. Senji then berates him for losing so much blood without a proper strategy. After the anemia sets in, Ganta gets dizzy and falls on his knees.
After giving his opinion on how Ganta’s power works, Senji remarks that he’d need a better strategy to maximize his power use. Sitting beside Tamaki, the lady doctor remarks that he could die after losing about one and a half liters of blood.
Before he knew it, he fell with pieces of the tree he had been standing on. Senji had increased the length of his blade and sliced the tree into bits, injuring the lad. While Senji is beating up Ganta, the doctor reads the report of Ganta’s medical evaluation to Tamaki, and the two plot to open him up if he loses the fight.
While reflecting on his weakness, Ganta remembers meeting Shiro as a kid, resolves to stand up, and pulls Senji’s coat. As they both prepare to fight again, Ganta shoots at the bell right above Senji, which the latter cuts in half, only to realize that was a distraction.
Ganta darts in and shoots at Senji’s chest, bringing the fight to a close. An unnamed prisoner walks up to Yoh and shares information about a girl being held in G – Block. Then, together with Shiro, he makes his way back into G – Block.
Ganta wakes up on a hospital bed with candy in hand and his prizes by his side. The Corpse Carnival Post–Game Show is broadcast on TV. It is a show where anyone who loses in the Corpse Carnival would have a part of their body taken from them, and it was where Senji lost his right eye.
Shiro breaks into the prison’s Control Room, startling the workers there. Yoh uses a walkie-talkie to deceive those in the monitoring room into shutting off the power supply in the entire prison. As her lullaby stops and she stands calm, backup arrives and goes on a rampage, destroying the Control Room.
Ganta is bent in the toilet, throwing up as he couldn’t stand what he just saw on the Post–Game Show. Now standing atop what was left of the Control Room is Shiro smiling, with someone’s head in her left hand.
Art | 7/10
Manglobe, the animation studio responsible for Samurai Champloo, was in charge of the visuals. The visual design is quite evocative of their work on Ergo Proxy. It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done, so that’s all that matters. The animation at the beginning, particularly in some of Shiro’s portions, is impressive.
The artwork is uncomfortably uneven and frequently looks quite sloppy during the conversation and slower parts. On the other hand, the artwork throughout the action scenes is nicely done. At least this isn’t the opposite of what should be the case.
Sound | 6/10
The sound is a bit remarkable in every way. Throughout the season, there is an abundance of bloodstains and other shock-value audio effects that are overused and cliché. The opening track is a pretty corny and adolescent hard rock piece, which finally got on my nerves when I watched the episode for the second time.
The conclusion, on the other hand, is not what you might expect. The theme music throughout the episode is primarily forgettable, except for a sorrowful piano tune I heard quite a bit of during the more contemplative scenes.
Character | 7/10
I like one essential notion that’s been added to Ganta’s character profile, and it’s that
never give up mindset that’s common to most MCs in anime. While some might tag it as stubbornness, I think it’s a pretty important attribute every MC has to have, especially when the odds are often significantly against them, as seen in Ganta’s case.
Tamaki, as usual, remains his usual dubious self, and it has now become more evident that Yoh has something up his sleeve. And as usual, he also remains his manipulative and deceitful self. But the character that has brought an element of surprise just before the end of the episode is Shiro.
Indeed she’s been cheerful, and I’ve gathered that she is pretty good at martial arts and even does it playfully. Still, I never thought she’d be capable of murdering and destroying, at least not in the way she did.
A glance at a dark room with machines around depicts that the
supposed Director of the prison is in critical condition, as the dark figure lies in bed, looking transfixed. The commentator and viewers of the Corpse Carnival seem to be people who derive fun from watching such gore, like people cutting each other up and seeing blood flow.
The clinic nurse, who always maintained a saintly demeanor, also came off as crazy. You wouldn’t miss how delighted she was when she wanted to remove Senji’s eye in the Post–Game Show and how delighted she seemed when talking about cutting Ganta up to experiment with him.
Senji, on the other hand, seems to have fun at the Corpse Carnival. Even though he had his first loss to a newbie and knew what would happen to him afterwards, he kept calm and reassured Ganta of his friendship.
Enjoyment | 6/10
Indeed I can say I enjoyed most of this episode. And while I can hail and commend how the fight scenes are coordinated, especially during the Corpse Carnival, I feel that fight could’ve gone better. The twist wasn’t well coordinated.
This episode is 5/12, so one can only expect that Ganta would’ve gotten better at his game, so that’s kind of like a minus to me. But maybe he’ll get better soon because I don’t see him winning a bigger fight against a stronger opponent, especially as he hasn’t found a way to strategize using his power.
Overall | 6/10
This episode, The Corpse Carnival, is pretty good, and that’s probably because it mainly talks about the game in itself. But while that may be so, it did lack some things. You can’t help but feel that in your guts.
I don’t know what to attribute it to, maybe the writers and producers were scared of stretching it past 12 episodes, but you can’t miss that feeling.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 6, with minor remarks given to its general enjoyment and slight flaws in the story. But as usual, the arts and other departments are pretty okay.