Saturday, 11 June 2011

Deadman Wonderland - Episode 9

Nagi's plan started to swing into action in the previous episode, but Deadman Wonderland's ninth instalment brings us to crunch time in Scar Chain's attempts to escape the prison with a data chip believed to hold all of the evidence they need to prove that the establishment is corrupt to the core.

Things were already getting off to a decidedly tricky start thanks to the small matter of robots that fire acid at people - a predicament that (after a brief and pointless flashback) leaves Karako splitting off from the rest of the group to keep said robots at bay no matter what.  With the rest of the group carrying on thanks to this, attention then switches to Nagi and Rokuro as they set about controlling the freight elevator needed to take their comrades to the surface... least that's the plan, except of course Rokuro is not as fervently on the side of Scar Chain as he seems; something which becomes clear as he refuses to trip the elevator's switch as Nagi becomes embroiled in an intense scrap with the diminutive and polite little Undertaker known as Daida Hibana, a young girl with a penchant for lopping people's flesh from their bodies bit by bit as punishment.  Somehow, Nagi manages to best this Undertaker, albeit as a considerable cost, only to send his colleagues into dire straits.  Come the end of this instalment the death toll is decidedly hefty, and even the data chip left in the care of Ganta proves to be nothing more than a booby trap itself - it seems that it's game over for our slightly whiny hero, for now at least, although thanks to Shiro he lives to fight another day once again.

If nothing else, at least Deadman Wonderland seems to know what it wants to do now - that being to throw as much outrageously over-the-top violence, torture, blood and guts at the screen as possible, most other plot elements be damned.  I can't really fault it for doing this in a sense, and it certainly reminds me of the good (or is that bad?) old days when virtually all the anime released in the UK was on account of its blood and boobs.  The trouble is that I want Deadman Wonderland to do more than just play the "see how debased and violent we can be" game - it has the plot elements and premise to do it, but too often it falls into the trap of being dumb so that it can shoehorn in more people being attacked with acid or flame-throwers, seemingly ignoring the fact that it can be both violent and smart if it were just to try a little harder.  I certainly can't knock this show as a slice of mindless, crazy fun, but that's really all it can boast at present.

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