Deadman Wonderland

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Some of the main cast. Most notably, the girl in the chair and the brunette boy at the top right; Shiro and Ganta Igarashi, respectively.

A survivor of the devastating magnitude 11.4 earthquake that sunk 75% of Tokyo (which he has no memories of), middle school student Ganta Igarashi lives an ordinary and peaceful life—until the day a mysterious man in blood-soaked crimson armor comes into Ganta's school, slaughters his entire class, and implants a strange red crystal on his chest. Ganta becomes the only suspect in the slayings; even though he proclaims his innocence, the court convicts Ganta and sentences him to life imprisonment at Deadman Wonderland, a privately-owned penal facility (the only one in Japan) disguised as a theme park to attract tourists.

While serving his sentence, Ganta befriends Shiro, a strange albino girl who knew Ganta as a child, and discovers the truth about Deadman Wonderland: the facility houses "Deadmen"—people endowed with an ability to turn their own blood into a weapon (the "Branches of Sin") -- and the sadistic proprietors of the prison force the Deadmen to fight each other to keep them occupied…and to entertain the tourists willing to pay large sums of money to watch them fight.

As the days drag on, Ganta—who finds himself as the Only Sane Man amongst the Deadmen—finds himself forced to make a choice: he can either lose whatever remains of his sanity or learn to stand up for himself.

Thus goes the tale of Deadman Wonderland, a monthly Shonen manga written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou (who both worked on the Eureka Seven manga). The manga received an anime adaptation from Manglobe in the Spring 2011 season, and Crunchyroll simulcast the series (with English subtitles) an hour after broadcast in Japan. FUNimation licensed the anime in the US and Canada, and its dubbed version premiered on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim's Toonami block on 26 May 2012.


Tropes used in Deadman Wonderland include:
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Haiji cuts through a tank at one point.
  • Action Girl: Most girls in the series, but Kanako sticks out.
  • Adapted Out: The anime adaptation had a lot of differences from the manga. For instance, many characters whether they're important or minor were axed, including Chaplin.
  • Adult Child: Would-be director Tamaki looks a lot like Willy Wonka, plays with dangerously modified toys, and has a dancing flower in his office.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Toto, deliberately, although s/he tends to slip up and use gendered "I"s. May have to do with all those body parts s/he has to keep replacing... and the fact that s/he's actually the elderly Chairman.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Shiro. Also, Nagi and his unlocked memories.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Deadman Wonderland itself, though the doom applies more specifically to the employees and prisoners than park-goers.
  • Anyone Can Die: Don't grow too attached. Ganta may be the only permanent character and even his mortality is pretty suspect.
  • Artifact of Doom: The "Blood Diamonds" that gave Ganta his powers.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Makina slices Yoh in the chest in the first chapter with her sword for "compensation" for stealing.
  • Ax Crazy: Genkaku, Hibana, Minatsuki, Nagi, Shiro. Most characters are, actually.
    • The only character so far that hasn't been Ax Crazy at some point is Tamaki, and he's just psychotic.
  • Badass Normal: The Undertakers are unmutated Ax Crazy humans. It's their "Axes" that the Deadmen have to watch out for.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Anyone who appears pleasant and friendly. One of the Group A Counterfeits is a polite lady whose Branch of Sin has a butterfly theme.
  • Berserk Button: The Deadmen each receive a mask that makes fun of them by poking at the horrible things that caused them to end up there. They don't take it well.

Minatsuki: I'll slice bits off them until they're just a piece of meat!

"Just for once, let me have a chance to look cool, alright?"
"My apologies, but this passage is closed."

      • Guess what Ganta just did to return the favor at the end of 48?
  • BFS/Whip Sword: Hibana. It is not explained how a little girl in 2nd grade can easily wield a sword her size, when a much older male seems to have difficult dragging it around.)
    • And now we have Senji with his BFS blood sword as well.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Whether you're in the 'black' or the 'grey' bit is basically determined by whether you torture anyone.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Senji has a variation of type 1; it comes from his lower arms, and it's removable, yes, but that's only because it's made from his own blood. This still includes his BFS version as well.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: One example out of many, this one from the manga:

Ganta: Is there only bad stuff in reality? (Are there only bad things in the world?)

    • Tokyopop managed to use both "Skull Chain" and "Scar Chain" within the same volume.
  • Blood Knight: Senji.
  • Blood Lust: Mockingbird, apparently. It's because drinking other Deadmen's blood allows him to gain their powers.
  • Blood Sport: The Carnival Corpse—in more ways than one.
  • Bloody Murder: Bloody murderers, bloody murder weapons.
    • They use blood as murder. Let's face it, if you can combine the words 'blood' and 'murder' in a sentence this manga's probably got a visual description in it somewhere.
  • Body Surf: Toto is really the original chairman, who downloaded his brain into Toto's body, and he's now attempting to do the same thing to Ganta. His ultimate goal is Shiro ("Could this be 'love'? I want to become her!"), seeing as he's the original scientist who experimented on her.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Counterfeit Deadmen. Unfortunately, that includes Azami.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to Nagi after Genkaku reminds him that he has no hope of seeing his child by escaping out of Deadman Wonderland. And then there's Genkaku himself, who was shown in the past to have been a timid, cute monk that got repeatedly beaten and raped by bullies, with the elder monk in charge being unsympathetic and uncaring, and seeing the little wounded kitten he was taking care of die - all of this causing him to go insane.
    • Considering what happened to Genkaku, it's understandable how he became the Ax Crazy psychopath. A serious example of what happens when the cutie snaps.
    • Ganta's been repeatedly broken as the manga progresses.
  • Call Back: The random English letters on Senji's face are actually a memorial to his four friends who got ripped apart by criminals.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played straight when the Deadmen call out their Branch Of Sin's names before using them. But spoofed in an Omake by Aceman.

Senji: (after slicing two Undertakers into little pieces) "Where are the strong ones?"
Random Scar Chain member: (pointing at the dead Underakers) "Probably... down there."

  • Cute and Psycho: Minatsuki is arguably more this than Yandere as what she does isn't a result of a love interest or any love-motivated ideas. She can act happy and cute (at times)... but beware the Ax Crazy Psycho for Hire (although lately she's leaning closely to Sociopathic Hero).
  • Cuteness Proximity: Minatsuki to an armadillo, which she actively tries to fight.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the Deadmen and a few others as well.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Minatsuki, subverted due to the fact that she caused her Parental Abandonment) and possibly Shiro
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Karako.
  • Dead for Real: Tamaki (self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head), Azami (beheaded by the Red Man), and Nagi (Having a huge hole blown into his torso.)
  • Deadly Upgrade: Branch of Sin is blood-based. Ganta doesn't have a lot of blood, although whether the blood diamond caused or merely unlocked his Branch of Sin powers is unknown. Additionally, the Counterfeit Deadmen: normal people who were given a virus plus a mind-control chip.
  • Death by Irony: The Director is killed by Shiro, whom he's been perfecting as a weapon. He doesn't stay dead, though.
  • Death Course: The Dog Race—winners get 100,000 cast points; participants get sweet, delicious bread...if they're still alive to eat it!
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Ganta manages to do this with Senji and, in a way, Minatsuki.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Minatsuki has become much less of a Blood Knight and has even become a bit more optimistic, compared to her original personality.
  • Delinquents: Anyone in Deadman Wonderland who isn't an adult; Azami was an actual girl gang leader she took a murder rap for one of her members.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Genkaku towards Nagi.
  • Detached Sleeves: Hibana's dress.
  • Dirty Cop: Not Senji, but the other cops in his precinct.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Shiro destroying Genkaku's electric guitar is apparently a worthy enough offense in his eyes to order his men to rape and cut her up. Some of it was due to him feeling angry and jealous that she was Nagi's friend, but most of it was because of the guitar.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Shiro is shown smiling very happily after ripping up a bunch of guards.
    • Toto is also way too calm about killing, being injured, and consuming specimens of other Deadmen.
  • The Ditz: Shiro.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Ganta is getting his "entrance examination" the table he's strapped to almost the same as the ones used for executions by lethal injection.
  • Dramatic Irony: Ganta promising himself to trust and believe in Shiro from now on, not knowing that Shiro is actually the Red Man.
  • Driven to Suicide: Hitara's disfigured daughter Yuki, after she interprets her dad's stoicism for uncaring. Tamaki shot himself in the head after discovering that he'd been played the whole time by the Chairman.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Ganta experiences this very quickly with Minatsuki. However, Minatsuki is Ax Crazy and actually manipulated and planned for The Dulcinea Effect to kick in so she could kill him easier.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The Deadmen.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted. He might have been in shock and she might not have been a nice person, but no one likes being second fiddle to the internet after being crushed by a pillar.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Minatsuki, who is a little less antagonistic after losing her hair in the Carnival Corpse punishment.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Masu.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Subverted, after Senji loses an eye--part of the randomized punishment for losing a Carnival Corpse match but not dying.
  • Eye Scream: See below.
    • Hitara, via a fork held by his enraged daughter Yuki.
    • In the anime, Tamaki shows Ganta the ropes of Carnival Corpse by strapping him down to a chair, holding his eyes open A Clockwork Orange style and making him watch footage of previous battles.
    • Even earlier than Hitara's backstory in the manga, we see Senji's right eye being removed by the doctor as part of the Punishment Game.
  • Face Heel Turn: Shiro is the Red Man.
  • Fake Memories: Turns out that child Nagi was fighting to see was never really outside; his wife was still pregnant when she was killed, and the baby was placed in a test-tube for laboratory purposes.
  • Fan of Underdog: Senji to Ganta, after the former shows up at the latter's match with Minatsuki.
  • Fan Service: Despite the rather dark lyrics and design of the opening, we get to see a lot of shirtless characters, and Minatsuki has some minor Gainaxing to make up her somewhat censored fanservice-scene in the opening.
  • Faux Symbolism: The main power wielded by Nagi and his opponents is called Branches of Sin, and the Red Man is called The Retched (sic) Egg. It is explained that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was referred to as an egg.
  • Finish Him!
  • Foe Yay: Genkaku to Nagi. Starts off subtly, ends with a full-blown love confession and something close to an If I Can't Have You moment.
  • Foot Focus: Shiro, lots.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Shiro is Ganta's.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The Promoter.
  • Four Is Death: The earthquake happened on 4/4/2014, measured 11.4 on the Richter scale, and 148,000 people died/went missing.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Shiro and Toto.
  • Freudian Excuse: Minatsuki loves to make these up as justification for slaughtering people, but what she doesn't tell anybody is that, during the earthquake, she was shaken off and abandoned by her mother as their home collapsed around them, only to find her dead later.
  • Friendship Moment: Ganta will stand up to a lot of abuse to protect Shiro.
  • Gag Boobs: Makina, who is completely up front about her G-cup breasts when asked.
  • Genki Girl: Shiro.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Happens to Nagi. It also happens to Chaplin in the form of a Groin Attack.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Genkaku and Nagi. The former is slightly disturbing, while the latter plays more traditionally to the trope.
  • Gorn
  • Grand Theft Me: Hagire Rinichirou to Toto... and it's apparently not the first time he's done it.
  • Gratuitous English: "What's up, fucking guys?"
  • Guns Akimbo: Genkaku and his double Gatling-gun guitar.
    • One of Makina's crew actually triple-wields, apparently by keeping a Wave Motion Gun somehow attached to his left leg.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: Senji. Inside prison: A Blood Knight and a Sociopathic Hero. Before prison: The last honest cop on the force.
  • Half-Identical Twins/Single-Minded Twins: Tamaki's guards.
  • Half the Man He Used To Be: Ikazuchi, after Senji's Diagonal Cut.
  • Heel Face Turn: Yoh.
  • Heroic Albino: Shiro.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ganta, following Nagi's death and a week in solitary confinement. He can no longer taste things and has ceased to see the point of going on. He gets better.
    • Much later, Ganta completely switches off after he finally learns Shiro is the Red Man, moments after blasting her out of the sky.
  • Heroic Resolve: Ganta in the Carnival Corpse matches.
  • Hostage Situation: The Undertakers threaten to kill the remaining members of the Scar Chain if their leader, Nagi, doesn't turn over to the Undertakers' side.
  • Hulk Speak: Subverted, as Shiro is a petite young girl and only seems to be Made of Iron.
  • Human Shield: Shiro is willingly Ganta's and Yoh is unwillingly Minatsuki's. He forgives her, though. Later, Ganta also returns the favor to Shiro.
  • Humongous Mecha: The dangerous robot sentinel let loose after the Wretched Egg escapes.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Genkaku seems to be quite turned on just by watching Nagi crush someone's skull.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Genkaku makes it quite clear what he intends to do to Karako and Shiro unless the Scar Chain want to risk coming in to rescue them.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ganta.
  • I Just Want to Be You (non-Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery version): Hagire Rinchinchou to Shiro. Shiro is like 10 at the time and Hagire is the head scientist experimenting on her.
  • If I Can't Have You: Genkaku to Nagi.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The chapters sometimes rhyme ("Kill My Will") or have Alliteration ("Faced With Fate", "Past The Passion").
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: One of the creators stated in his blog that even he's not sure if Genkaku's double-gun-guitar would be technically possible.
    • The anime takes it even further, turning it into a compressed-air cannon capable of removing most of a target's torso.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Hibana's ridiculously long ponytail somehow stays standing almost straight up.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Genkaku gets really turned on when he sees Nagi kill, and is willing to kill anyone to make Nagi revert to being berserk.
    • Why Rinchinchou fell in love with Shiro.
  • Insistent Terminology: Genkaku is not just a monk, he's a super-monk.
  • Instrument of Murder: Genkaku's guitar can turn into a pair of machines guns, or a single gun capable of punching significantly-sized holes through people.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In episode 7.

Makina: I'm going weasel hunting (cut to Tamaki, playing with blocks)
Tamaki: Feels like something bad's about to happen.

  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "The Woodpecker Song"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Senji.
  • Kangaroo Court: Ganta's trial is ridiculously one-sided. He was the sole survivor of a mass murder, gets charged immediately without any chance to defend himself, and is sentenced to death even though he is Middle School aged. All within the first 10 minutes of this show.
  • Karmic Death: The Torture Technician doctor.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Normal kids can be fantastically cruel, and in at least one case this was before the chaos of the mega-quake. Genkaku's tormentors killed his pets and beat/raped him, and Madoka's played Othello on his back with thumbtacks.
  • Kill'Em All: First, Ganta's classmates, then most of the Scar Chain.
  • La Résistance: The Scar Chain.
    • And now the Captain and her men.
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: Genkaku not batting an eye when a bunch of people (including his own soldiers) die, yet breaking down crying when Shiro destroys his electric guitar. He even goes as far as to say he'll have to hold a memorial service for it.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Ganta and Shiro bear close resemblances to Eureka Seven's Renton and Anemone. Although considering it's drawn by the same artist, it could be an accident.
  • Lecherous Licking: In one scene, Genkaku licks the blood from Nagi's severed arm. In a later scene, Mockingbird licks the blood from Senji's arm.
  • Lethal Chef: Shiro doesn't have much experience with regular food. She improves... somewhat.
  • Little Miss Badass: Hibana is the quintessential Badass Lolita.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The Deadman have the power to animate their own blood and use it to kill people. Even more so for the Counterfeits, whose blood is also poisoned and does stuff like melt people's flesh.
  • Love Hurts: Nagi, who tried to save his wife from the Carnival Corpse by losing to her on purpose, got his vocal chord chopped out in the penalty -- and she was killed anyway.
  • Love Martyr:

Chen & An (the creepy twin guards): We love you.
 Toto/Chairman Hagire: I don't love you.
C&A: We know.

  • Lyrical Dissonance: That cheerful lullaby with very disturbing lyrics that Shiro sings.
  • Mad Eye: Practically a visual motif. Everyone gets this at some point.
  • Mad Scientist: The lady doctor who supervises the Deadmen is a complete sadist.
  • Made of Iron: Shiro.
  • Made of Plasticine: Any normal human who happens to be in the path of a Deadman.
  • Madness Mantra/Survival Mantra: Of a sort: Azami's "I'm alright. I'm alright. I'm alright." was just something to get her through her crapsack life, now it's what gets her through being a brainwashed Counterfeit.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Shiro is a Deconstruction of this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: When word of the Deadmen and the Carnival Corpse tournaments gets out, Tamaki takes a gamble by releasing the Deadmen into the general population while saying that they're all Complete Monsters who need to be sealed away. He then creates "counterfeit" Deadmen using GenPop prisoners and makes the Carnival Corpse tournaments open to the internet. Because death matches aren't wrong if everyone thinks the fighters should be dead anyway, right?
    • And Toto/Chairman Hagire is manipulating everyone.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Unintentionally done to Makina's sidekick during a sneaking romp.
  • Marked Change: Ganta's about to blow shit up.
  • Meaningful Name: Mockingbird can mimic the powers of other Deadmen the same way the bird mimics sounds.
    • The Undertakers: Any Deadman that gets out of line is buried by them.
  • Mega Manning: Toto, AKA Mockingbird, can copy the powers of other Deadmen.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Nagi has two of these - one being the locket that has a photo of his baby in it, the other being his late wife's scarf which he ties around his waist. The locket is actually empty; Nagi's simply insane.
  • Mind Rape: Genkaku does this to Nagi while interrogating him.
    • Also, Tamaki to all of the Deadmen, via the masks.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Ganta.
  • The Mole: Yoh, and to a slight extent Tamaki, as he was posing as Ganta's lawyer to get him into Deadman Wonderland in the first place, as well as Rokuro, who is a Mole in the Scar Chain leaking information to the Undertakers.
    • Makina intended to make Azami into one, too, though we can see how well that's turned out now.
  • Morality Chain: Apparently, the only thing really holding Genkaku (while he was a child) back from going completely Ax Crazy was his little kitty. So much for that.
    • It's only implied, but there's the general vibe that if Ganta died, very bad things would start happening in Shiro's vicinity.
  • More Than Mind Control: What Genkaku does to Nagi (with the help of some drugs).
    • The Counterfeits say their mind control is "better then drugs or women".
  • Mummies At the Dinner Table: Hibana appears to have taken orders from her own dead mother.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: What Genkaku keeps trying to do with every woman that comes into Nagi's life.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Nagi, for a moment, before Karako hugs him out of it.
    • When Ganta unleashes a megaton version of his "bullet" and just about kills everyone
    • Completely averted with Minatsuki. After she reconciles with her brother and realises that she might have been a little wrong about humanity being completely shit, she is still absolutely fine with all her life decisions, including the murders of a puppy who pissed her off, her school counselor, her father, her manipulation of her brother so he could beat up their father cause she liked to watch.
    • Inverted with Shiro who still doesn't realise she's killed her grandfather or even that he is dead even after she walks past his decapitated head.
    • Played straight whenever Ganta realises the full impact of his actions these include: what happened to Crow after he beat him (the punishment gig), what happened after he tried to defend Azami (nearly destroying everyone), after the Scar Chain escaped (where he went into a Heroic BSOD for a while)...just a lot.. He doesn't seem to think ahead.
  • Names to Know in Anime:
  • Nanomachines: The Nameless Worm femtomachines.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Genkaku, who believes that "saving" people is killing them. In bloody ways.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Happens to Ganta a lot.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Tamaki to Ganta.
  • No-Paper Future: All of Yoh's Cast Points -- over 90 million—are on one card.
  • Not Brainwashed: Nagi emphasizes to Karako that he is quite sane right before he mauls her, then goes on to rampage against a few other members of the Scar Chain.)
  • Not So Stoic: Inverted. Hitara can't not be stoic to save his daughter's life. over literally
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Despite everything that happened, Nagi at least gets a peaceful, dignified death.
  • Oblivious Younger Sibling: Inverted and subverted, as Yoh is an oblivious older sibling who really only appears oblivious.
  • Older Than They Look: Toto is actually the Chairman, who's the same age as Ganta's mom but looks older due to all the surgery he's done on himself, in a new body.
  • Oracular Urchin: Shiro.
  • Otaku: Tamaki is an gaming Otaku, and he wants to destroy the Wretched Egg because he sees it as a Final Boss to defeat.
  • Paranoia Fuel: A mad bomber/slasher/whatever busts into your third-story classroom through the window and kills everyone in your class except you. You wake up injured to the bloody mess left behind as the murderer gloats by showing you your girlfriend's severed head. You pass out and wake up in the hospital where you are then arrested for the murders. You protest your innocence, but everyone who could corroborate your story is dead, and no one, not even people who have known you your whole life, believes you- you aren't even sure whether or not you believe yourself. You're sentenced to death for a crime you didn't commit, and your friends' parents have to be restrained to keep them from beating you to death on the spot, only for your cell phone to drop out of your pocket and reveal a video you know nothing about incriminating you by showing you bragging about the murders to your lawyer. The frame-up is so convincing you start to believe you're insane.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ganta, the Takami siblings, and Shiro are orphans, and Azami's parents were neglectful.
    • Minatsuki was literally abandoned by her mother when the earthquake started and Minatsuki latched on to her, only for her mother to push her off and run to save herself.
  • Pet the Dog: Namely, pet the cat. Genkaku was shown in his childhood to not have always been a complete bastard (compared to a lot of children over in DW) because of his sweet care for the kitty. At least, until it dies.
  • Pilot Movie: The entire episode begins with a pilot OVA.
  • Plot Based Photograph Obfuscation: A certain family photo in the prison director's room shows a young Ganta and Shiro with Ganta's mother.
  • Playing with Fire: Hitara's power seems to involve igniting his blood.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair/Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Played with in the Anime, part of Minatsuki's "Whip Wing" makes it look like her hair has got longer and turned red at the ends at the back.
  • Prehensile Hair: Minatsuki's hair—she uses blood to manipulate it.
  • Proper Lady: Karako likes to claim she is one—most people beg to differ.
  • Psycho Serum: All of Genkaku's injections help reawaken Nagi's suppressed memories and tip him into an insane berserker rage.
  • Put Them All Out of Their Misery: Genkaku qualifies even if he seems to be Complete Monster: he seems to believe that killing people is the best way of saving them. Being raped and beaten by a group of bullies who hung around the temple did not help his sanity and when the Great Tokyo Earth hit and they were trapped under the rubble he saw fit to butcher them all. Strangely it was not out of revenge but because he wanted to grant them salvation, being free of pain in death being better than living in pain. He apparently came to this conclusion because of warped Buddhist ideas and having seen how peaceful a dead kitten was as opposed to when said kitty was wounded yet alive.
  • Rape and Switch: Genkaku.
  • Rape as Backstory: Minatsuki, by her father. Subverted, as it's heavily implied to be a lie as part of her ploy to make Ganta feel sorry for her before their fight.
    • Genkaku, of all people. However, it seems that the rape was only the buildup to what turned him into a death-loving killer. The death of a kitten was the final nail in the coffin.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Makina is the closest you get in a series like this.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Shiny Shiny" by Nirgilis
    • The opening is a variation of Fade's "Black Hearts and Dollar Signs" called "One Reason".
  • Refuge in Audacity: The ever-deadly Dog Race is played out in front of cheering crowds who have no idea that the competitors really are dying. They're convinced it's all special effects, because there's no way that a prison would get away with wantonly killing the inmates like this, right?
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus: Genkaku the Hypermonk seems rather fond of heavy-metal rock.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Deadmen in Sector G.
    • The Red Man can be re-sealed and Ganta's blood is the key.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: The Red Man inside Shiro. May not be the case anymore as that personality has taken over Shiro's body after her "death".
  • Self-Made Orphan: Minatsuki.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Inverted: Minatsuki passes herself as this to trick Ganta into hurting himself for her so that she'd have an advantage during their fight.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Ganta gets asked if Shiro and Azami are his girlfriends. Both of them. Azami and Ganta blushingly deny it, and Shiro is too innocent to realize what they were talking about.
  • Shoo the Dog: Ganta to Shiro.
  • Shout-Out: Rokuro is almost a parody of Death Note characters, constantly referring to 'plans' and 'percentage chances', striking Light-style extravagant poses when angry, and having a face similar to L's (esp the eyes).
  • Shirtless Scene: Senji, often.
  • Shrinking Violet: Minatsuki. Very subverted.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Arguably, Genkaku towards Nagi.
  • Slipped the Ropes: Ganta does this using his own blood.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Several of the Deadmen, but Senji and Minatsuki deserve special mention.
  • Spoiler Opening: The anime opening hints at later plot twists by showing Senji with his eyepatch and Minatsuki sporting a Slasher Smile.
    • May give way to Evolving Credits, if you've read the Manga and look closely at the words that appear beside the silhouettes near the end of the credits they appear to match other deadmen.
  • Stage Money: Just because DW's "cast points" sound suspiciously like "Disney Dollars".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Genkaku.
  • Standard Bleeding Spots
  • Stealth Hi Bye: Shiro in her first appearance.
  • Stepford Smiler: Yoh.
  • The Stoic: Hitara, even before entering DW, even when his own daughter stabs him in the eye with a fork. He just wipes it off and returns it to her, which she unfortunately takes as a sign that he doesn't care about her.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: How Rokuro, The Mole, managed to fit a bomb into a USB-drive sized data chip is an unsolved mystery - especially since it explodes with enough forced to blow out a pair of metal doors.
    • Ganta, once he figures out how to use his power.
  • Stuffed in The Fridge: Poor Mimi... dear, sweet Mimi... ...has a lot less weight on her shoulders these days...
  • Super Empowering: Shiro to Ganta.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Shiro is also the Red Man, AKA the Wretched Egg.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The opening of the Anime is a metal song done by the band Fade entirely in English, and quite well to boot. Justified since the singer is an American Ex-pat.
  • Sweet Tooth: It's implied that Shiro eats nothing but sweets. On the other hand, the Wretched Egg hates sweets.
  • Taking You with Me: Nagi does this to Genkaku, holding him down so that Ganta can kill him. Genkaku doesn't seem to mind, and appears quite happy.
  • Talkative Loon: Shiro acts like this quite often.
  • That Man Is Dead: The Red Man says this about Shiro. It's revealed to be a lie.
  • Theme Naming: All the Carnival Corpse fighters have bird-themed names: Ganta "Woodpecker", Minatsuki "Hummingbird", Senji "Crow", Nagi "Owl", Karako "Gamefowl", Hitara "Condor", Toto "Mockingbird"; naturally Chaplin's is "Peacock".
  • The Tokyo Fireball: An 11.4 earthquake, after which the "Branch of Sin" powers appeared.
  • Tournament Arc: Carnival Corpse matches.
  • Torso with a View: Nagi dies this way.
  • Torture Technician: The sadist doctor.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Nagi, with his dead wife's scarf, which he apparently managed to grab just before her body was taken to remove his child as experiment fodder. For better or for worse, it's later used to cover his face after he dies.
  • Transsexualism: Chaplin.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Minatsuki's haircut.
    • Also, Chaplin's later on.
  • Trigger Happy: Genkaku, with his double machine gun electric guitar.
  • Tsundere: Azami towards Ganta early in the series.
    • Minatsuki's "encouragement".
  • Tyke Bomb: Daida Hibana, the kindergartener killer.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Ganta, or so he thinks
  • Unwitting Pawn: Ganta can't seem to go through a single day without becoming someone's pawn, but the biggest sucker of all turned out to be Tamaki.

Rinichirou Hagire: Boy, you were a well-made clown.

  • The Virus: The blood of the "Counterfeit Deadmen" causes you to expand until you explode.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Senji.
  • War for Fun and Profit
  • We Can Rule Together
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Madoka, revealed to be one of the Group A Counterfeits, was bullied so severely that he got to thinking that pain "helped" the world in that if one person was in pain, another person wasn't (imagine an "idealistic" Johnny the Homicidal Maniac). Considering that he put Shiro in an Iron Maiden and crucified Ganta, he probably prevented the next mega-quake.
    • Tamaki, at least to himself; he justifies being a Manipulative Bastard on the grounds that he's looking to defeat the Red Man and avenge the people who died in the earthquake.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chapter 26 is essentially one extended What the Hell, Hero? for Ganta, who can't even remember what he did. Even nameless Muggles get in on the action. Ganta should consider himself lucky that that the Deadmen just yelled at him/vandelized his room/beat him senseless rather than just kill him.
  • Whip It Good: Minatsuki's "Whip Wing".
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Shiro. (Her name also means "white.")
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Deadmen are mentally unstable, and the normals who try to handle them aren't much better.
  • Wolverine Claws: Madoka, although he doesn't use them the "normal" way.
  • Yandere: Minatsuki, see Parental Abandonment.
    • Genkaku, Genkaku, Genkaku.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Is this really a spoiler considering all they've done for each other? Shiro and Ganta.
  • Younger Than They Look: The Chairman isn't that old, he's just had a rough life of getting maimed by Shiro/Red Man's earthquake and later experimenting on himself. He's actually around the same age as Ganta's mom.
    • Its also suggested he body-swapped into the older body.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Every prisoner on death row has a collar with a timer initially set at exactly three days. When the timer runs out, the prisoner gets immediately killed by this collar. It is possible to gain extra three days added to the remaining time by eating candy, which prisoners receive as a reward for winning in all those hellish tasks and games imposed on them.
    • Played straight with Ganta. His Branch of Sin is so unique that Makina, Karako and company don't know how to save him from it shutting down his involuntary systems, like say, his nervous system or his circulatory system.

So make me your deadman.