Deadman Wonderland (デッドマンワンダーランド?) is a manga serial written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou, who also wrote and illustrated the Eureka Seven manga, and published in Shōnen Ace since 2007. Tokyopop acquired the licensing rights to distribute the manga in English and has released the first volume on February 9, 2010. It has also been announced that an anime adaption to the series has been green-lit (it is planned for October).
Prior to the start of the story, a massive earthquake ravaged Japan's mainland and destroyed most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of it into the ocean. Ten years later, the story shifts to Igarashi Ganta, a seemingly ordinary, unassuming middle school student attending Nagano Prefecture's middle school. An escapee, a survivor of the great earthquake, Ganta has no memories of the tragedy and has lived a simple, normal life. This all changes one day when a strange man covered in blood and crimson armour appears, floating, out of his classroom windows. Smirking madly, this Red Man massacres Ganta's entire class and, instead of killing him, embeds a red crystal shard in his chest. Within days of the massacre, Ganta is declared the sole suspect and, following a suspiciously quick trial, is sentenced to life imprisonment in Deadman Wonderland, a massive theme-park-like prison.
Arriving at the prison, Ganta is fitted with a special collar which tracks him and monitors his life signs. Due to the heinous nature of Ganta's 'crime', he is also sentenced to live out his imprisonment under Deadman Wonderland's 'Death Sentence'. A lethal poison is constantly seeped into his body through his collar, which can be kept at bay by consuming a peculiar candy-like medicine every three days. Additional candy can be earned through hard work or through purchase. In order to gather Cast Points, the prison's currency, an inmate has to perform in the facility's lethal games and survive to claim his prize. Fortunately for Ganta, he is aided by a mysterious girl named Shiro, who apparently knows Ganta, and by other prisoners as well, namely a kleptomaniac named Yoh.
While trying to survive his daily ordeal as an inmate on death row, Ganta becomes increasingly obsessed with the 'Red Man' and tries to find him and clear his name. In an increasing bizarre twist, Ganta begins to develop a way to manipulate his own blood, to the point of turning it into a weapon. Unbeknownst to him, Ganta has become one of the prison's 'Deadmen', a segregated group of prisoners capable of controlling their blood. After his ability is discovered, Ganta is forced to participate into brutal gladiatorial death matches, known as Carnival Corpse, whose anonymous spectators pay large amounts of money to watch. In his struggle he manages to befriend some of those he fought off in the arena, and with them Ganta continues his quest to uncover the identity of the Red Man, why he turned into a Deadman, and the dark secrets the prison authorities are hiding.
Deadman Wonderland - The Prison
The titular Deadman Wonderland is Japan's only publicly operatived prison, built right after the Great Tokyo Earthquake atop the ruined city to gather prisoners from all of Japan and, especially, raise money for the revival of the destroyed metropolis. To the public and the tourists that visit it daily, Deadman Wonderland is a massive theme park-like facility run by the prison population. Unbeknownst to the general population, most of the prison's attractions involve cruel games of survival where many inmates lose their lives or are maimed while struggling to stay alive for the enjoyment of an oblivious public. The prison also runs a secret gladiator-like game called the Carnival Corpse, where wealthy anonymous donors pay to watch deathmatches between the prison's 'Deadmen'. Deadmen who are defeated yet survive the game, have a part of their anatomy surgically removed for scientific research.
To keep prisoners at bay in case of a riot, the prisoners are strapped with special collars which acts as monitors for their position and life conditions and to stun them. Those on death row however, are constantly administered poison through their collars: should an inmate not consume a special candy-like antidote every three days, provided to them at the cost of a large sum of Cast Points, he/she would die almost immediately. The prison's guard staff is also granted autonomy over how to punish the prisoners, which often results in bloodshed.
While the threat of violence and death is constant at the prison, most prisoners enjoy a great deal of liberty inside Deadman Wonderland. Utilizing Cast Points, the prison's unique form of currency, prisoners can purchase a wide variety of items, from ordinary lunches, to luxury furniture for their rooms, even years off of their sentences. Those on Death Row also use Cast Points to purchase their life-saving candies.
Despite its identity as a prison and theme park, Deadman Wonderland houses a much darker secret. Hidden away from the eyes of tourists and the general prison population is a massive underground facility known as 'Level G'. Here the prison keeps their 'Deadmen' secluded, and where the Carnival Corpse arena is located. Level G also houses numerous laboratories and rooms where human experimentation is performed and where scientists are attempting to harness the powers of the 'Deadmen' for monetary and political gain.
The show known as Carnival Corpse is a secretive, extremely lucrative form of entertainment the prison offers only to a restricted group of individuals. These individuals are mainly anonymous people who pay large sums of money to watch head-to-head fights between 'Deadmen', who are forced to compete against each other, often to the death. The winner is awarded a large amount of Cast Points, life-saving candies and other prizes. The loser, should they survive the match, is sent to the labs where a part of their anatomy (i.e. eye, kidney, lung, etc.) is removed for further research. In a cruel twist, the loser spins a macabre slot-machine to determine which part of their body will be removed. By a lustful doctor who gets off on peoples pain.
- Ganta Igarashi (五十嵐 丸太 Igarashi Ganta?) aka Woodpecker: The main protagonist of the story. Ganta is a seemingly harmless, ordinary middle school boy who is framed for the slaughter of his entire middle school class, perpetrated by the mysterious Red Man. Sentenced to 'death', he is sent to Deadman Wonderland, where he is initially confused and frightened by the brutality of the prison. Shortly after arriving, Ganta discovers he can manipulate his blood and, thus, is deemed a Deadman, a bearer of a Branch of Sin - a power that can turn blood into a lethal weapon. Ganta appears to have gained this power from a shard of crimson crystal the Red Man fired into his chest after the massacre at the school. As a Deadman, Ganta is forced to fight and survive in the Carnival Corpse under the moniker Woodpecker while trying to locate the Red Man, who apparently is held captive in Deadman Wonderland. Ganta's power, dubbed the Ganta Gun by Senji, allows Ganta to gather variable quantities of blood in the palm of his hand and then shoot them at high speed, as if they were bullets. While advantageous as a long-range attack, due to Ganta's small stature, this also puts him at risk of experiencing symptoms of excessive blood loss. Ganta participated in Scar Chain's attempt to escape from DW, and helped several members escape along with video and audio evidence of the atrocities being committed below the prison. Ganta, however, chose to remain behind to continue his search for the Red Man. Shortly after these events, Ganta's power began to change, evident by a strange tattoo-like mark radiating out from the crystal in his chest. His Ganta Gun now emits a much more powerful blast than before, though it is much less controllable and causes him physical pain. In chapter 36 Ganta and Shiro admit they love one another.
- Shiro (シロ?): A mysterious albino girl that Ganta encountered during his first days as an inmate. Clothed only in a skin-tight bodysuit and muffly gloves, which conceals her heavily scarred skin, Shiro stands out among the other prisoners due to her bizarre appearance and mannerisms. To Ganta, Shiro's manner of speaking and acting remind him of a small child, even though Shiro is the same age as him. However, Shiro possesses inhuman physical abilities and has an intimate knowledge of the prison, having apparently lived there most of her life. From the beginning of the story it is made clear that, as children, Shiro and Ganta were close friends. Ganta, however, has no memories of his childhood, which greatly saddens and annoys Shiro. Despite her seemingly harmless appearance, Shiro harbors a dark secret; she possesses two personalities and is the 'Red Man' Ganta is searching for. Thanks to the Mother Goose mainframe, Deadman Wonderland's supercomputer, which constantly emits a lullaby audible only to Shiro and Tamaki's father, Shiro's true personality is repressed. When the lullaby is turned off, Shiro becomes a murderous, smirking maniac capable of massacring whole squads of armed men with little effort. It's at these times that she dons a crimson colored full body restraint, which gives her a taller, masculine appearance, hence Ganta's inability to recognize her. Shiro is apparently the 'source' of the Branch of Sin abilities and is referred to by Tamaki as the Cursed Egg. Shiro cares greatly for Ganta and constantly seeks his approval. She is willing to do anything that Ganta asks her as long as it will make him happy. Even when in her 'Red Man' state, she still seems to care for him, as it was implied that she butchered Ganta's classmates just so that he would be sent to Deadman Wonderland, where she was also living.
- Yō Takami (鷹見 羊 Takami Yō?): A kleptomaniac and an informant to Assistant Warden Tamaki, Yoh was hired to watch over Ganta in return of large amounts for Cast Points. Though apparently friendly and polite, in truth he is ruthless, scheming and somehow paranoid, given his position as a spy for the prison's staff. A rarity among the prison population, Yoh made himself captured and sent to Deadman Wonderland in hopes to find his sister Minatsuki and buy her freedom with the accumulated Cast Points he got from Tamaki. He cares deeply about her, so much so that he is often thought of suffering from a sister complex, much to Minatsuki's disgust. The two eventually manage to forge an estranged relationship.
- Tsunenaga Tamaki (玉木 常長 Tamaki Tsunenaga?): The primary antagonist revealed so far, Tamaki is Assistant Warden and de facto tyrant of Deadman Wonderland. Under his calm, almost idiotic attitude, he is something of a sadist, caring nothing about the fact that he butchers dozens of prisoners every day for the sole purpose of gathering money or experimenting on them, or simply for his amusement. As son of the dying Chief Warden of Deadman Wonderland, he eagerly hopes for the death of his father to become truly the supreme ruler of the prison, and he devotes much of his time and resources in studying and experimenting on the powers of the Branch of Sin and their origin. He also is in contact with the upper echelons of the Japanese government, his ultimate goal being the synthesis of artificial Deadmen. In sharp contrast with his cruelty, he enjoys playing with children's toys.
- Chief Makina (マキナ Makina?): Senior leader of the prison's guard staff, Makina is a harsh and cold enforcer which does not hesitate in punishing, often brutally, the prison's population. Known for her demeanor and her large breasts, she is infamous for carrying a decorated sword with herself at all times, and also for using it to cut whoever breaks the prison's rules, acts that almost always result in bloodshed. Despite her brutality she is far less twisted than Tamaki, whom she is greatly suspicious of, especially after discovering that she knows and has authority over only a part of Deadman Wonderland.She along with three of her comrade are now helping Ganta.
- Kiyomasa Senji (千地 清正 Senji Kiyomasa?) aka Crow: Senji, nicknamed Crow, is the first Deadman Ganta encounters while held as an inmate in Deadman Wonderland. Confined in Level G for his ferocity, he is depicted as a tall, powerfully built man which revels in bloodshed and battle, a fact which helps him enjoy his life in prison and the Carnival Corpse matches. He is the first opponent Ganta faces off against, and apparently dominates their entire battle until Ganta suddenly defeats him with a powerful blood shot to the chest. Being defeated, as a penalty Senji is stripped of his right eye, though he reappears shortly after and somehow befriends Ganta, christening his power as the Ganta Gun and helping him by encouraging him during his next match. He developed something of a rivalry with Ganta, demanding him to not being defeated until their next fight. His Branch of Sin power has its blood turning into incredibly sharp scythes that protrude from his forearms, the Crow Claws, with which can perform an attack at the speed of sound he dubs Invisible Black. Ironically, while pretty much everyone finds the name Ganta Gun idiotic, Senji adores it. Also, he becomes greatly embarrassed when in the presence of women with risque clothing, often to the point of ridiculing himself. He often declares Dead Center as a catchphrase. He use to be a policeman.He fought Akatsuki and have a grudge with him as Akatsuki use to be a criminal he and his team was after.He was left behind by his friend using a punch to knock him out and his four friend was wipe out.He defeated Akatsuki using a Giant Blade made of blood.
- Minatsuki Takami (鷹見 水名月 Takami Minatsuki?) aka Hummingbird: Minatsuki, the Hummingbird, is Yoh Takami's younger sister, and a Deadman secluded in Level G. When Ganta encounters her for the first time, she appears as an extremely shy and gentle girl who stands at odds with the place she is held in. In truth, this reserved and quiet personality is just a ruse that she uses to make those around her feel secure and to mask her true nature, that of a sadistic psychopath so twisted that she becomes sexually aroused by witnessing others suffering. While an ordinary girl, she became a warped killer (and likely gained her Branch of Sin powers) after her mother abandoned her during the Great Tokyo Earthquake. She lost more than once while fighting in the Carnival Corpse, and she lost again in her fight with Ganta, though by rigging the organ-choosing slot machine she only lost her hair. After these events she somehow reconciled with her brother Yoh, though she still lashes out violently from time to time. Her power, Whip Wing, takes form of blood-made whips which extend from her hair and can deliver immensely quick blows or restrain her opponent.
- Scar Chain (自由の鎖 Sukā Chein?): Scar Chain is a group of Deadmen that opposes the prison and plan to leak the truth to the rest of the world. They believe in each individual's own personal definition of freedom. They are led by the Deadman Owl. His second-in-command is Koshio Karako, known as Game Fowl, who secretly loves Owl and fights for his sake. She is able to use her Branch of Sin to coat part or all of her body in blood, reinforcing her natural strength and durability. At the end only few members of Scar Chain escape and expose deadmen to the world.
- Undertakers (墓守 Andāteikā?): The Undertakers are Tamaki's special enforcement group, specifically trained as anti-Deadman soldiers. The group is composed of some of the worst criminals in Deadman Wonderland, individuals who could not be rehabilitated. They possess technology that allows them to nullify a Deadman's Branch of Sin ability, such that any blood constructs created by Deadmen will revert back to normal blood upon contact with their weapons and armour. Their leader is Genkaku, a self-proclaimed "Super Monk" who dresses in the garb of a Japanese monk. He wields an electric guitar that can split into two machine guns. Another high-ranking Undertaker is Daida Hibana, a polite and well-mannered young girl who was warped considerably by the abuse heaped upon her by her late mother, such as suspending her in the air with hooks embedded in her skin for minor offences like wetting the bed. Despite her diminutive size, she is absurbly strong and wields a massive, sectioned sword longer than she is tall. Other members of the Undertakers include a serial killer who skinned his victims and made dresses out of their hair and scalps, a man raised by bears, and various foot soldiers armed with anti-Deadman mundane weaponry such as blades and firearms.
- Nagi Kengamine (剣ヶ峰 凪 Kengamine Nagi?) aka Owl: Kengamine is the leader of the Deadman rebellion group Scar Chain. Before he formed Scar Chain he formed a relationship with a female deadman while in Sector G. They eventually were parents-to-be before being put into a Carnival Corpse against each other where Kengamine intentionally lost due to his lover being pregnant at the time. His defeat gave way to his punishment game, in which he lost his vocal cords, but Tamaki killed his lover anyways in order to punish his dishonesty. Kengamine formed Scar Chain to help reach his own hope of holding his child whom he believes to be alive on the surface. In chapter 18, however, he tells Karako that his child was killed in the womb when his wife was disected, and is preserved with other Deadmen body parts. Owl then goes off killing everyone, Scar Chain members and Undertakers alike, hating everyone who lives. His Branch of Sin, "Owl's Eyeball", allows him to generate blood spheres that detonate with tremendous force.
- Masaru "Chaplin" Sukegawa (チョップリン 助川 Choppurin Sukegawa?) aka Peacock: Masaru is a crossdressing gay male who sees himself as a bright figure in Sector G and is also an announcer for most of the "Carnival Corpse" duels. He is often around Minatsuki, Itadaki "Masu" Kazuya, a fat man who tore his own mouth open from eating large objects, and Hitara, a mysterious old man that claims to be listening to his daughter through headphones. Masaru has entered Ganta's room on two occasions unannounced and called him silly for not locking his door. His card is Peacock and his Branch of Sin, "Peacock Peak", allows him to create what appear to be bramble-like constructs that can be used to trap opponents.
- Hitara (Hitara) aka Condor: An old man who always claims to be talking to his daughter through his distinctive headset. As we learn through a flashback while he was fighting the forgery twins, Hitara was put in Deadman Wonderland after falsely confessing to killing his daughter, Yuki, who had in fact committed suicide in a fire. Hitara's Branch of Sin is called "Condor Candle" which enables him to ignite his blood into flames "hotter than ice". His complete forgery opponent's were a pair of 30 year old twins who appeared in the form of toddlers. The twins "sleep inducing" blood poison did not seem to affect Hitara, and he was able to finish them off, after spreading his blood all around them during a seemingly losing battle.
- Toto Sakigami (咲神 トト Sakigami Toto?) aka Mockingbird: A mysterious Deadman feared even by Senji, Toto is a mysterious boy dressed in a way reminiscent of Shiro, and appears not only to be one of the strongest Deadmen introduced so far, but also to know in great detail about the true nature and purpose of Deadman Wonderland. His power, Love Labyrinth, allows him to copy the abilities of other Deadmen. However, he states that he recently was reset of his copied powers after his battle with the Red Man. However, even in his weakened state, he managed to take down two of the Forgeries with nothing but a copy of Crow's powers. Nicknamed Mockingbird, he freely comes and goes through the prison, and recently has become friends with Ganta. Toto is the only person to have fought the Red Man and have survived.
- Forgeries: The Forgeries were created by Tamaki in order to inspire fear in the people outside of Deadman Wonderland. At the time, Deadman Wonderland's Carnival Corpse was seen as inhumane, but by putting his Forgeries into the ring, he starts to convince people that Deadmen are monsters that deserve to be treated the way they currently are. These fake Deadmen have the unique ability to create snakes out of their blood, to be forced out of their arms. Any bodily contact with the snakes will cause for one's muscles to swell up to the point where, if touched or left for a long period of time, they will burst. It has been seen that the swelling can be cut off at early stages, thus preventing more fatal injuries.
- Complete Forgeries: They are Forgeries who have poison that has evolved. They are supposed to be stronger than even the Deadman. But that is proven wrong when they are defeated by Ganta, Senji, Minatsuki, Chaplin, and Hitara.
-On July 30, 2009, a retailers' solicitation sheet reports that an anime adaptation has been green-lit. The anime's official announcement will be made on a wraparound jacket band on the sixth compiled book volume when it ships on August 26. It is Satelight to produce the anime series planned for October.