Deadman Wonderland: Episode Nine Review
By: Prince Lammy
Deadman Wonderland Episode 09: Worm Eater
"The whirling, ludicrous vortex of absurdity has no bottom."
Don't stress yourself trying to understand that. I also don't know what it means. I just heard it from the narrator's voice in Episode Ten's prelude. And since I don't know what that holds, let me first give my thoughts on Deadman Wonderland's episode nine.
However, don't forget that all scenes and actions take place in G – Block of Deadman Wonderland (I have to say, that place seems way more expansive than any other prison I know of)
Story | 9/10
Karako passes the drive to Ganta and stays back to hold the bridge, to allow others to get away, even as Necro Macro keeps spitting hot boiling substance her way. As someone drags Ganta and they all walk away, she smiles and leaves the rest of the plans in his hand.
In a flashback, Koshio Karako is seen leaning by a wall in a bar, away from the talks of some other guys. They question Nagi's decision to make her his second-in-command, as she's unapproachable. She flicks the small bell pendant on her neck, and Nagi walks in and starts a conversation with her, where he tells her why he wants her to be his second-in-command.
Back to reality, she's still holding the bridge together, as others had safely crossed and gone. With Necro Macro still in pursuit, she bites a bit of flesh from her shoulder. She covers her body with blood to protect herself as the robot spits the flaming hot substance again.
Reflecting on a particular Yamato Nadeshiko spirit, she dodges the robot's line of attack, jumps up, and punches it from the air. The robot, however, explodes, and she falls with it into a dark bottomless pit. An Undertaker is seen watching her fall and later leaves the bridge and walks into an elevator.
Ganta and the rest of the escaped Scar Chain Members step out of a room and stand in front of an elevator door. The guys talk about the Undertakers and their absence from their path. They all wait for Nagi and Rokuro to start the elevator from the control room.
In the control room, a child walks in on Nagi and Rokuro as they attempt to start the elevator. Thinking she's lost, Nagi offers to take her with them and orders Rokuro to start the elevator, which he ignores. As he reveals that he'd had his plans from the start, the little girl unsheathed a giant sword, introducing herself as Daida Hibana, the 3rd Undertaker Platoon's leader.
Nagi made explosive balls of blood and shot them at Daida, but they all disappeared when they came in contact with her sword. She rammed him into the wall by extending her sword. Realizing that Rokuro had edited the video of Ganta's first strike against Genkaku, he listens on as Daida explains how her sword, Worm Eater, works.
Rokuro wants to cuff Nagi and take him away, but as Nagi attacks Daida again, she deals severe blows on him. Meanwhile, Ganta and the others are worried since the elevator isn't starting. Daida continues dealing mercilessly with Nagi as he runs around the room, painting the whole place with blood.
To get Nagi to apologize without having to kill him, Daida intends to play "lingchi." This slow-slicing technique for punishing people was in use until the end of the Qing Dynasty. Then she started cutting slices of skin off Nagi's chest, arms, and legs till he could no longer stand.
Nagi argues against Daida's notion of being a proper lady. Getting emotional, she lashes out at him, striking continuously and getting flashbacks of times when her mother had punished her for mistakes. In her frenzy, she breaks Nagi's left hand, and he stands up in defense, arm dangling by a thin shred of skin still holding it in place.
He tore off the hand, threw it at her, and slammed Rokuro's head into the wall. The fellow slumps immediately as Daida tries to stop him from starting the elevator. As the elevator dings and turns green, Ganta and the rest of the Scar Chain members get into it, making jokes on the way up.
Genkaku startled them with "Yo, fucking guys…" and started shooting sporadically at the lot. The Branch of Sin users tried to fight back but were startled when their powers didn't work against the Undertakers. As Nagi lay dying, Rokuro praises him for his little feat, which he didn't foresee. But Rokuro did make sure Nagi understood that he'd make perfect plans to see that the mission failed.
Kotsugi dies protecting Ganta and the chip, and as the last of the Scar Chain members still alive, leaves the completion of the mission to Ganta's hands. Rokuro and another Undertaker carry Daida out of the control room, leaving Nagi in a pool of his blood. Nagi uses his hidden radio to pass a message to the bar as a last resort.
Shiro walks in on someone at the bar as Ganta has a face-off against Genkaku. As Genkaku was about to end Ganta's life, a hulking Undertaker came to call him off. Jumping out of a steaming pipe, Shiro runs to Ganta, retrieves the data chip, throws it into the flames, and shuts the door as it explodes, slightly burning her shoulder.
Art | 7/10
The art and colors are pretty good, but I must say this about the scene where Nagi's blood had stained everywhere in the Control Room, the blood coloration seemed a bit darker than necessary. But in all, every other thing seemed pretty okay. It may not have been remarkable, at least not as the new season of some "still airing" anime, but it's pretty good for an anime of its time.
The production did an excellent job of making it all look crisp; all effects do not miss any detail. Corners, shading, actions, emotions, creases, curls, lines, and everything have been done to crisp perfectly.
Sound | 9/10
I would give this a 9 out of 10, for the sound department gave their best, especially in the voice acting. I won't say much about this.
Character | 9/10
I'll start with Rokuro on this. He's the typical computer guru or geek that stands out in any crowd. Of course, he comes across as cool, calm, collected, and intelligent. But an un-geek-like character that he has is his cunning. I didn't think he'd be the one to betray their entire plan, but then, who better do that than him? The twist in his character profile was somewhat crazy but pretty good too.
I already do miss Karako, but it's respectable that she died a hero. The only thing I must say about her is that she doesn't deserve to die, at least not now. She could've gotten more screen time, and secretly, I wish she just might make a sort of unexpected comeback; that'll get her some more screen time and character development.
About Nagi…well, his fight against Daida was okay, especially when he finally reached for the elevator, but it was too one-sided. That aspect of his was a kind of a letdown, as I believe it's only natural to expect more from the leader of a rebel squad in anime. And that reflects how his other members were just killed off like ordinary people; there was nothing to show that they even had special powers.
Daida Hibana is one of the few f***ked up little kids you'd ever find in anime, though there are others like her too. But damn, that girl is strong. I can't even say she fought against Nagi, and it was almost like a parent punishing a wrong child or a school bully beating up a weak student in the school toilet. Like, she didn't leave her position the whole time she dealt him the blows, and spared no strength in doing so.
But then they all had very minute development, for those that even had or showed it. And as for Ganta and Shiro, they're still the same as they've always been.
Enjoyment | 6/10
I would've enjoyed this episode or not! I think I did. But then, seeing it a second time opened my eyes to how dull, and one-sided Nagi's and Daida's fight is. He was helpless against her. He couldn't even fight back, and all he was left to do, and even gave his life for, was distract her when he wanted to pull the elevator switch.
Aside from that feature, seeing how easy it was for the Undertakers to kill all the Scar Chain members wasn't thrilling. They were killed off like flies, helpless, just like their leader.
But that's not to say the episode isn't good, enjoyable, or wrong. I'm just saying these are moments when fans expect more, but less was delivered. So, I believe you understand my hurt.
Overall | 7/10
But oh well, onto the next, shall we?