Manga Review: Deadman Wonderland, Volume 4 by Jinsei Kataoka

This manga. I can already tell that this is going to be one of my all time favorite mangas. It may even beat out my current #1 favorite manga, a title held by Bleach. It just seems to be the perfect combination of horror, thriller, mystery, drama, and humor. I’ve also found myself tearing up quite a few times because it manages to capture intensely emotional moments so well. One minute I’m laughing over something funny, such as Crow’s ridiculous awkwardness around the opposite sex, and the next I’m tearing up during the death of a character or angry to the point that the sound of my pounding heart fills my ears.I’d been reading the English version, licensed by the now defunct Tokyo Pop. There are 5 official English releases of the manga. Imagine how I felt when I found out there were 11 volumes available in Japan , and that there was no new English distributor releasing the manga. I’m using fansub (scanlation) sites to catch up with the rest of this series. When I first started read manga, I often had to read fansubs because not many series were being licensed for English reading fans. Should the rest of these be released in English, I’d be glad to purchase them for my collection.

Ganta has gone through many changes since arriving at Deadman Wonderland and has overcome many challenges, but I was completely blown away by the story about the Scar Chain gang, which is yet another community within the prison. Their goal is to not escape the prison, but to destroy it completely. However, they’re hindered by betrayals and a person who seems to be immune to their powers. To me, this arc was flawless, a real masterpiece that brought a powerful emotional punch, and it’s a story that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading this series. I wasn’t too thrilled about the introduction of the “rock super-monk” Genkaku or the Scar Chain gang when I first got into this, though. I thought things were going to take a schlocky turn. I didn’t think I was in for bad writing, but I didn’t expect it to be as well executed.

I’m happy to report that I was wrong. As I learned more about Genkaku and the Scar Chain gang leaders, the story just really culminated into a beautiful disaster of a narrative with so many complex issues weaved around each other to tell the story. Once I finished reading it, I needed a moment to process and reread parts that hit me the hardest, which were basically all of Owl’s parts near the end of the story. He was the breakout character for me, and later in that same arc, the brief glimpse of Genkaku’s background really added something intricate to him that made me reflect on who he was. Excellent volume.

Final Verdict:
5 of 5 stars

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