Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Ganta Igarashi, the main character of “Deadman Wonderland.”
“Deadman Wonderland” is about a 14 year old boy who gets thrown into a horrible situation. He went to school enjoy a normal day when suddenly, a man clad in red came up by the window of his school and murdered his entire classroom. Ganta was spared and the “Red Man” planted a strange red crystal in his chest and left. When the police showed up, Ganta was the only suspect of the classroom massacre. After going through a hasty and unfair trial, Ganta is thrown into a prison known as Deadman Wonderland. This is a theme park and prison combined where the inmates compete in fatal carnival games. Ganta is a special prisoner because he is a Deadman, a human with the power to use his blood as a weapon. There are many Deadmen in the prison that Ganta must battle in a game called Carnival Corpse to stay alive. Each Deadman has different powers, and Ganta will soon learn what it takes to live.
Ganta, Ganta, Ganta. Man, does this poor kid gets thrown into an awful situation. He reminds me a lot of Yukiteru from “Future Diary”, as they’re both young boys who are now suddenly fighting for their lives. Ganta, of course, has super powers and as such, has more to learn than Yukiteru. These powers mean that this anime has Shonen style progression to the character development. Get powers, use powers by accident or for the first time, learn to use power well, get more power for your powers. The usual stuff. Now for many Shonens, the main character gets a teacher or something to show them the ropes. Ganta doesn’t start out with this help. He has to figure out his powers on his own and fight on his own because no one is friendly in Deadman Wonderland. Ganta’s powers involve turning his blood into bullets. This causes a lot of blood loss and Ganta quickly makes himself anemic in his first fight. Now, okay, he messes up but it seems to be a bigger shocker and hard concept to grasp when his opponent points out that he’s made himself anemic. This is a major sign that Ganta is kinda naive. I get that he is young and terrified, but he seems to have an inability to learn. It takes him quite a while to figure things out, and he continues to be a little too trusting of all the psychopathic criminals. He can’t take a hint. Thankfully, Ganta does find one friend in this place in the form of the strange girl named Shiro. At first, Shiro seems very odd, but mostly normal. Visually she is albino and wears a white jump suit with some red markings and has red eyes. Very clever that her name is the Japanese word for white, Shiro, I know. Quickly, Ganta figures out she is no normal person, she has some sort of strange super human abilities. So begins Shiro constantly protecting Ganta because he is being an idiot or is just too weak. The weird thing about her is that she never seems fazed by any of the death and psychos and what not in Deadman Wonderland. Ganta doesn’t question this like at all, which brings us back to the problem of him being naive and clueless. Now to this problem of being weak.
Ganta, for a large majority of the anime, seems to have zero desire to get stronger so he can defend himself. He wins Carnival Corpse games because of flukes or those moments of “ I’m never gonna give up!” So it gets kind of annoying when he doesn’t seem to sort of gradually grow. He doesn’t learn any new tricks with his powers until the end of the show and he only uses that new ability a few times. Now I do bag on him for being kinda dense and always needing protection, but I don’t totally hate everything about him.
He is a character with a lot of willpower and an objective to complete. He wants to find the “Red Man” and kill him to avenge his friends’ deaths. As Shiro says, the best thing about him “is that he always gets back up.” And to be fair, although the wins are a bit cheesy, usually Ganta does beat some pretty brutal opponents one of which helps him out in the end of the show.
Here’s the verdict on Ganta. I give Ganta the verdict of Bad, but there is a little more to it. I say Bad because he seems to have a resistance to really grow until you get towards the end of the show, and he gets way too protection. When he finally gets to growing, the show is almost over, in my eyes his character takes too long to develop. However, there is a catch here. This show did not properly end. It has twelve episode, but it was intended to be a full 24 episode show. 24 is a average length for many animes. This show got cut short because the company had some issues and the writer had her own things to deal with. So really Ganta’s growth is in the middle of the show, not the end. If the show had gone on to its full conclusion, I really think I would like Ganta more. All I’m saying is that Ganta is under the Bad verdict as is, but if the show ever finishes properly then that verdict could change.