Ganta always seems like he’s on the verge of a breakdown.
You’ll hardly ever find Ganta’s face not in a dour grimace. He almost always sounds like he’s teetering on some proverbial edge, his voice wavering and shrill; there’s a whininess to his portrayal that just makes Ganta so unbearable like you just want to punch the guy. The latest episode is the worst yet for Ganta. After Shiro saves his sorry ass, he mistakenly believes that she’s ruined Scar Chain’s noble sacrifice. Mostly, he’s just self-absorbed in the fact that he’s a loser. After punching Shiro, he spends the rest of the episode wallowing in pathetic self-pity. Meanwhile, he’s the protagonist of the story; we’re supposed to root for this guy when he’s just a bundle of misery. Some are gonna say, “Ganta’s just a kid. How would you react in his shoes? Not so well!” Yes, true, but the problem, then, is why make the story about him at all?
Ganta is a microcosm of the anime as a whole. It’s just so miserable. There aren’t any instances of levity or fist-pumping moments of GAR. This also isn’t like Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin when it should be. The two anime are structurally similar — young people thrown into a prison system that rapes and abuses them — but Rainbow has something that Deadman Wonderland doesn’t: hope. The young men in Rainbow stick together, support each other, and are brothers for life. For all the bad shit inflicted upon them, you watch the anime with the feeling that these guys will make it through anything. Deadman Wonderland, on the other hand, is just a dark pit of despair. Underneath all the grime and dirt is just more grime and dirt. There’s no glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.
Deadman Wonderland is certainly not trying to make a deep or profound argument about the nature of world. It’s certainly not a fascinating character study either. It’s not even funny or heroic. The anime is all murders, betrayals and sadistic torture. Deadman Wonderland is thus neither intelligent nor fun to watch unless, well, you like seeing people die around a whiny teenager and his pet shoujo. I don’t.