Framed for the brutal murders of his classmates by the mysterious Red Man, middle-school student Ganta Igarashii finds himself sentenced to d...moreSynopsis:
Framed for the brutal murders of his classmates by the mysterious Red Man, middle-school student Ganta Igarashii finds himself sentenced to death in the bizarre and fatal theme park/prison known as “Deadman Wonderland.” The inmates of this insane penitentiary fight for survival every day to provide entertainment for the masses. Ganta is determined to survive Deadman Wonderland and clear his name, but the price may be his soul…
A couple of years ago, I watched the anime of this series. Now that Viz is releasing the series stateside since Tokyopop closed its North American branch and didn't finish the series, I'm reading the manga the anime is based off of. When I watched the anime, the ending of it felt quite unfinished. It seemed like there was more that was supposed to happen, but I don't think the manga was done at that time, so they ended it where they ended it.
I knew going into this that series is brutal. There's a lot of violence and death. When you take into consideration that Ganta is only 14, it makes the series that much more horrifying. Especially in this first volume. Ganta truly was framed and then he's dropped into a prison as a death row inmate and initially set up to die in an "accident." The accident failed to kill him, however and he saves himself and Shiro using a strange power. He doesn't even realize that he's done it. This catches the eye of the guy running the prison and he decides to play with Ganta a bit and put him under surveillance. Ganta has no clue what's going on. He only knows his friends were all killed by a Red Man. Why is he in prison on death row? Why was he the only one left alive? Can he survive in a place like this? There are so many rules and so many ways to die.
Lucky(?) for him, a girl named Shiro is in the prison and she just happens to pop up whenever he needs her most. It takes some time for him to realize that she's been protecting him, but when she's in serious danger, he comes through. Ganta may seem whiny and cowardly in the beginning, but who wouldn't be in that situation? He steps up when it really counts. He may regret that later, though...
So far, Ganta's arrival has the Chief Warden Makina getting suspicious. I doubt she's ever liked Takami (the guy running the prison), but she saw Ganta display his ability once and now she's starting to wonder what's going on. She's a harsh warden and cuts no slack whatsoever, but I don't think she's heartless.
Ganta's life is really about to change, though. He thinks it's bad now, but it's soooooo about to get worse. He has a lot of questions, but he's going to have to stay alive to do it. Will Deadman Wonderland turn Ganta into a monster? Will he ever prove his innocence? Can he trust the people claiming to be his friends? What's his connection to Shiro? Who is the Red Man/Wretched Egg? I know some of this from watching the show, but there's got to be more to things than just the bit that the anime covered. I can't wait to find out what it is.(less)
Thanks to Eren's timely arrival, the 104th has managed to turn the tide at Wall Rose. But this momenta...moreSynopsis:
"DO YOU THINK THIS WORLD HAS A FUTURE?"
Thanks to Eren's timely arrival, the 104th has managed to turn the tide at Wall Rose. But this momentary victory forces two more traitors into a corner - and the identity of the Titans who have been destroying the walls is revealed! What can Eren do against the two most dangerous monsters humanity has ever faced? And who else might be an enemy in disguise?
There really is something deeper going on here. Ymir reveals herself and saves her fellow 104th recruits from becoming Titan food. Thanks to Hange's group suddenly showing up, Mikasa and Eren are able to take out a few remaining Titans and they all head towards the wall. There, two more 104th recruits reveal themselves. I was rather shocked. When they transform, they try to make off with Eren and Ymir, but Eren being Eren fights. The fight was going well near the end until the second Titan dive bombs onto Eren and he and the other man manage to get away with Eren and Ymir, anyway. It upsets Mikasa something fierce, but a pep talk from Hannes seems to get her back into fighting form. It seems a plan is in place to head out after the Titans and get Eren and Ymir back.
Meanwhile, the two that revealed themselves seem to have their own plan. They're obsessed with going back to their home town, but I'm guessing they need Ymir and Eren's help for that. The female Titan must have kidnapped Eren for the same reason. Eren's too pissed to want to help them, though. What I don't understand is why these two went from trying to wipe humanity out to that no longer being their goal. Is that true? It seems that they just want to go home. Even Annie had a flashback about her father making her promise that she would come back. But what was the point in sending them out, anyway? And why kids? Do they people in their hometown know something about the Titans that everyone else doesn't?
As it stands now, Eren is pissed off and confused. Ymir seems to know at least a little bit more than she's letting on, but I don't think she knows what's going on in the home town of those two guys. One of them is trying to convince her to join their side in order to protect Krista. What will she decide? What will Eren do? Right now, he isn't in a position where he could escape and make it back over the wall. I'm really glad v.12 comes out in a few weeks. Perhaps there will finally be some answers. And will Eren ever make it to the basement of his old house to find out what his father left there?(less)
With no combat gear and Wall Rose breached, the 104th scrambles to evacuate the villages in the Titans' path. On their way t...moreSynopsis:
FORTRESS OF BLOOD
With no combat gear and Wall Rose breached, the 104th scrambles to evacuate the villages in the Titans' path. On their way to the safety of Wall Sheena, they decide to spend the night in Utgart Castle. But their sanctuary becomes a slaughterhouse when they discover that, for some reason, these Titans attack at night!
Things really aren't all as they appear to be in this series. So far, all of the humans that can transform into Titans have been teenagers. Eren is just the first one that the public knows about. Apparently, there are quite a few more of them. Three more get revealed in this volume as well as Krista's true identity. One of them wasn't such a surprise once I knew her real name, but there's still plenty to be discovered about her. The other two were a shock. I wonder if I should have seen that coming?
We know that there's been no breach in Wall Rose. We know that beast Titan seems to be able to give orders to the normal Titans and he can get pretty violent. There's still so much that's unknown, though. I still think I'm right about where the Titans that were inside the wall came from, but I guess it'll be a little while before we get confirmation on that.
Now, we've got a big ol' Titan fight about to happen. Maybe Eren shouldn't fight them so close to the wall, though. Talk about dangerous...(less)
Eren is still resting from his brutal fight with the female Titan, when word reaches the interior that the impossib...moreSynopsis:
HUMANITY'S WORST NIGHTMARE
Eren is still resting from his brutal fight with the female Titan, when word reaches the interior that the impossible has happened: Wall Rose itself has been breached, and Titans are pouring through the gap! The emergency casts new urgency over Armin and Hange's questions about how the walls were built, and what humanity can do to restore them...
The insanity continues. The Survey Corps spreads out in order to warn people to evacuate and to find the wall breach. Only this time, things seem different with the Titans. There are some things that just aren't making any sense. We also learn something surprising about Krista and the identity of the freckle faced girl who's name we've never been told prior to this volume even though she's been plenty rude on a number of occasions.
Minister Nick still doesn't want to tell what he knows about the Walls, but he does tell Hange that there is someone with the authority to tell them all what they want to know. Apparently, this person is Krista. I'm not sure she realizes that she can do this. She's certainly never brought it up before. Why did she join the Survey Corps in the first place? The other surprising thing is that the girl who is nearly always with Krista is named Ymir. A few volumes back, that name was mentioned before in a pretty startling way. Is she that Ymir? If so, what is her goal? What's her connection to the Titans?
Meanwhile, Connie goes with a group of the Survey Corps to his village which is in the direction the Titans came from. He's certain that it's too late to help anyone, but when they get there, the place is deserted. Except for a Titan that looks like it can't move at all. So how did it get there? And why is it lying on Connie's house? The village is strangely free of bloodshed, but houses and other buildings have been destroyed. Since Titans don't randomly attack empty buildings, what the hell has happened here? The horses are all still in the stable, so where did everyone go? As they're leaving to try to find the breach in Wall Rose, the Titan welcomes Connie home. It freaks him out. He said it sounds like and resembles his mother. I'm thinking something very unexpected has happened here, but how the hell did it happen?!
That isn't the only strange thing going on, either. Squad Leader Mike ran into one hell of a freaky looking Titan not long after the breach. It was huge and looks like an animal. And it speaks! Really well, too! He seemed intrigued by Mike's vertical maneuvering equipment and takes it from him and lets the humanoid Titans eat him. He even seems able to order the regular Titans around. How is that possible?!
Now all of the groups seem to be converging in one place and it isn't looking good. No one has found the breach in the wall. I suspect that there never was one. If these Titans came from where I think they came from, this is so not good. Eren and his group are now headed to Utgard Castle as well, but they don't realize the place is under seige by Titans who are strangely active at night! And now, the beat Titan has climbed over the wall...(less)
The expedition outside the wall was Eren's chance to prove himself. But it failed, and the female Titan is free once more!...moreSynopsis:
BLOOD ON HIS HANDS
The expedition outside the wall was Eren's chance to prove himself. But it failed, and the female Titan is free once more! With his squad dead, Eren faces a royal summons. Will Mikasa and Armin have to betray their king to save their friend? And can they discover the female Titan's identity before she kills again?
This volume contains some big surprises. I probably should have seen one of them coming, but the other, I never would have guessed that. Never.
In order to keep the MPBs from putting Eren to death after the scouting mission failure, the Survey Corps devises a plan to expose the identity of the female Titan. It seems that Armin and Mikasa both figured it out during the scouting mission. Eren did, too, but he didn't want to believe it. In the end, there was no choice and he had to fight her. It wasn't easy, but thanks to Mikasa, he was able to win. Though they can't find anything out from her because she protects herself in some kind of crystalline shell and appears to be asleep. They can't even tell if she's alive in there.
However, because of this fight, the Survey Corps discovers something huge inside the wall. Literally. Huge. And inside the wall. Literally in the wall. How did this happen?! How were these walls constructed this way?! Is this way the humans controlling Titan bodies have started attacking? Was this science developed as a way to do this? Are they trying to free comrades? Why is all of this happening now?! And how is Eren's father involved? Did he inject Eren as a way to counter the others? Did he get dragged into this against his will? Where the fuck is that guy, anyway?!
The Survey Corps sets a cunning trap to capture the mysterious Abnormal Titan that broke through their ranks. As Arwin t...moreSynopsis:
TURNING ON THEIR OWN
The Survey Corps sets a cunning trap to capture the mysterious Abnormal Titan that broke through their ranks. As Arwin tries to determine the grotesque creature's identity and purpose, scouts report Titans closing in on all sides! But they don't seem to be after the humans - instead they're targeting the Titan!
This mission went oh so wrong. It can't be blamed on the Survey Corps; there's just too much that they don't know about the Titans and their job is even harder when there are spies in their midst working against humanity. No one knew things could go this badly. It was an utter failure. Eren is still too new to this Titan thing, but it didn't have anything to do with him that caused this failure. It isn't even Commander Erwin's fault. Yes, Eren was meant to be bait, but there was no way to know that the spy would be this crafty. It's insanity. I hate to think what may happen to Eren and the top members of the Survey Corps after so many people died. Someone is bound to see this as being that using Eren to help save humanity is too risky. With public opinion against them, what will they do? (less)
On the way to Eren's home, deep in Titan territory, the Survey Corps ranks are broken by a charge led by a female Titan! But...moreSynopsis:
TITAN ON THE HUNT
On the way to Eren's home, deep in Titan territory, the Survey Corps ranks are broken by a charge led by a female Titan! But this Abnormal is different - she kills not to eat but to protect herself, and she seems to be looking for someone. Armin comes to a shocking conclusion!
Things are pretty hectic with that female Titan on the loose and searching for Eren. Eren doesn't understand why only Squad Levi is entering the forest and comrades are dying trying to stop the Titan that followed them in. He doesn't understand why they don't help them. It becomes clear when they reach the other side of the forest and trap the female Titan. I really want to know what she was doing. Does she want to kill Eren to keep him from helping humanity? Is what the Commander suspects to be true, the truth? What's really going on? Can't wait to find out!(less)
Thanks to Eren, humanity has taken the town of Trost back from the Titans. Exhausted, Eren falls into a coma for three...moreSynopsis:
CAN YOU GO HOME AGAIN?
Thanks to Eren, humanity has taken the town of Trost back from the Titans. Exhausted, Eren falls into a coma for three days – and wakes in shackles, staring at Erwin Smith, leader of the Survey Corps. Certain that Eren’s father’s research holds the key to the mystery of the Titans’ rise, Smith wants an expedition to retrieve it from the house where Eren grew up. But that’s deep in Titan territory, and to get there Eren will need to master a power he still doesn’t fully understand…
In this volume, Eren wakes up in a cell, specifically, a dungeon. No one knows what to do with him. Plenty of people want to kill him, study his body and then dispose of it as quickly as possible. The Survey Corps want to use him in he fight against the Titans. Eren himself wants to kill as many Titans as possible. In the end, the Survey Corps gets what they want, sort of. If Eren can prove his worth and fight for humanity in his Titan form, he can live. If he fails during the next excursion, they'll put him down. If he fails, Levi will likely just put him down in the field, so it doesn't really matter, does it? The Military Police Brigade really wants to put him down. Apparently, lots of people are fighting in the Interior and Eren's existence seems to be a point of contention. I don't envy Eren the position he's in at all.
The day for the trainees to pick whether to join the MPs, the Garrison or the Survey Corps. Some surprising people join the Survey Corps. I was really surprised that Connie, Sasha and Krista joined. Now the day for the Survey Corps to go on the excursion for scouting to reclaim Wall Maria has begun. However, things are going badly pretty much from the start. A startling Titan has appeared and decimated the first scouting column. Armin thinks it's another human in a Titan body like Eren, could he be right? What will happen now?(less)
The Survey Corps develop a risky gambit – have Eren in Titan form attempt to repair Wall Rose, reclaiming human territor...moreSynopsis:
HUMANITY PUSHES BACK!
The Survey Corps develop a risky gambit – have Eren in Titan form attempt to repair Wall Rose, reclaiming human territory from the monsters for the first time in a century. But Titan-Eren’s self-control is far from perfect, and when he goes on a rampage, not even Armin can stop him! With the survival of humanity on his massive shoulders, will Eren be able to return to his senses, or will he lose himself forever?
So at first, the mission to get Eren in Titan form to move the huge rock and plug the hole in the gate seems like a lost cause. He first goes on a rampage and then ends up knocked off of his feet. He won't listen to Misaka and when Armin comes to check things out, he doesn't respond to him, either. It's like he was in some kind of dream world when he was in there. He'd completely forgotten about what was going on in reality. If Armin hadn't started to try to dig him out of the Titan and talk about how Eren wanted to go see the outside world, he may have never come to his senses. He does, though and the mission ends up as a success, but there was a great bit of a loss of life. At the end, Eren can barely move and if Levi hadn't shown up when he did, he, Armin and maybe even Mikasa would have become Titan food.
After that, we take a look back at the time Eren, Mikasa, Armin and the other trainees spent in military training. Eren and Jean have never mixed since the beginning, but it seems their rivalry really started all over because of Mikasa. Eren has no clue about that, I think. Jean seemed to think Mikasa was cute and told her that her long black hair is beautiful. Mikasa does thank him, but when Jean sees her go to catch up with Eren and overhears Eren saying Mikasa should get her hair so that it doesn't get caught up in her vertical maneuvering equipment, it seems he decides not to like Eren after all. We really get to see what all of the members of the 104th were like when they first joined up. Eren struggles in the beginning, but starts to get the hang of things quickly. Mikasa, of course, does everything perfectly on the first try. Armin struggles a bit as well, but he's smart. They're all different, and have strengths and weaknesses, but they could be valuable to the military and they all end up sticking it out. I'm sure they never expected things to go wrong so quickly.
They've all lost a lot of friends just in this first encounter with Titans, but it seems that they're going to stick it out. I sure hope they can last a while. Meanwhile, Eren seems to be a prisoner. He helped them plug the hole, but they still don't understand how he can turn into a Titan and they don't really trust him. Levi ends up deciding to take responsibility for him which means that if Eren ever loses it, Levi will put him down. Eren is in a precarious position, but I think he'd risk anything if it means he can kill the Titans.
It seems they're planning to use Eren in order to go to his old house and explore the basement room where Dr. Yeager did his experiments. They also want him to plug the whole in Wall Maria so that they can try to reclaim that area as well. Is Eren up to the task?(less)