When Ganta Igarashi got on a bus with his classmates for their class trip, it was gearing up to be an amazing day. They were going to Deadman Wonderland, after all, an amusement park where convicts perform death-defying stunts for their amusement. However, when Ganta’s class gets brutally murdered before his very eyes by a man in red, he finds himself the sole survivor as well as the suspect. Now he’s been sentenced to the same amusement park he was just enjoying.
Although Deadman Wonderland wants for a different ending, it has attracted many fans for its brutality and unique story. If you are looking for more series like Deadman Wonderland, then check out our anime recommendations below.
For Fans of Awakenings
Tokyo has become a merciless city where ghouls live amongst humans and feast on their flesh. Their ability to blend in has humans facing danger with every new person they meet. However, one day bookish college student Ken Kaneki finds himself instantly drawn to another avid reader, Rize Kamishiro. Unfortunately, their date doesn’t go quite as planned when she turns out to be a ghoul and tries to devour Kaneki. By a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved, but not without some consequences. Now he must adjust to his new life as half human, half ghoul.
What both Tokyo Ghoul and Deadman Wonderland mirror each other in the most is metamorphosis. Throughout Tokyo Ghoul, you watch Kaneki turn from soft-spoken bookworm to viscous murderer. In Deadman Wonderland, you get to see a similar transformation, but he’s not actually turning into anything, more so he is adjusting his whole attitude to his surroundings.
After being ravaged by the Apocalypse Virus, Japan has fallen under control of the GHQ, an independent military force dedicated to the restoration of order. However, a guerrilla group called Funeral Parlor seeks to put an end to their despotism. After a fateful run in with a key member of Funeral Parlor, weak and anti-social Shuu Ouma finds himself with a powerful new weapon, the ability to pull out manifestations of a person’s personality to wield as weapons. Now he must make use of it in order to free Japan once and for all.
It is kind of crazy how many elements that Guilty Crown shares with Deadman Wonderland. They both start off with a mystery girl singing, then some average schoolboy has his life drastically changed when he awakens to a power he otherwise didn’t realize he had. However, Deadman Wonderland has more of a prison element while Guilty Crown is distinctly military.
One night, sixteen-year-old Shinichi Izumi was peacefully sleeping when a race of parasitic aliens descended on Earth. One parasite infects Shinichi, trying to get to his brain to take over his body, but ends up getting stuck in his right hand. Unable to relocate to the brain, the alien, named Migi, now has no choice but to learn to coexist with Shinichi in his body in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, the other parasitic aliens are not so friendly with humans or to parasites that failed to complete their mission.
Imagine you wake up one day in a prison that forced you to fight for others amusement. Now imagine you wake up one day with an alien as your right hand. While the situations are different, they are no less shocking. Both series pit the main character against others and they both have to use their new special powers in order to win and live.
For Fans of Fights to the Death
Yukiteru Amano likes to imagine himself as an observer. He spends his days keeping a diary on his cell phone, but not about himself, about everything that goes on around him. At home, he spends his time conversing with his two imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina, the God of space and time, and Murmur, his assistant. However, one day he discovers his friends are not so imaginary when they imbue him with the power of a diary that tells the future and forces him into a bloody survival game with godhood on the line.
Although Future Diary is not set in a prison, both series surround a naïve young boy that one day awakens to a special power as well as finds themselves in a fight for survival. In each series, they are helped by a mysterious and lightly crazy girl in order to survive. Overall, both series are about watching them adapt as they unravel the mystery.
Unemployed and living with his mother, Ryouta Sakamoto’s only real achievement is being the top player in Japan of a video game called Btooom! However, one day he wakes upon on an island with nothing but a small green crystal embedded in his hand. He soon finds out that someone wants him and others players to play Btooom! for real.
Games. That is what these two series have in common. Btoom sets its survival scenario around a video game while the prisoners in Deadman Wonderland fight for the amusement of others. In both series, the main characters were fans of the game or the amusement park. At least they were, at least until they were forced to take part in it for real.
Kei Kurono is an apathetic young man that, while waiting for his train, runs into a childhood friend. When a homeless man falls onto a track, his friend coaxes him into helping save his life. Unfortunately, the train comes in and they both die. However, they both wake up in a strange room with other recently deceased and a big black ball that tells them to kill aliens to gain their freedom.
At first, the main characters of both series are thrust into what they believe to be a game. However, the Gantz players are not prisoners, but that does not mean their situation is anything less that survive or die. However, unlike Gantz, there is little hope for freedom in Deadman Wonderland. It is also worth noting that both anime series deviate from the plot lines of their source material. So even if you are left wanting more, there is always the manga.
For Fans of Prison Brutality
In 1955 Japan, delinquency is on the rise. For Mario Minakami and six other teenagers, they are not alone when they are sent to Shounan Special Reform School on criminal charges. Once in their cell, they meet the older inmate Rokurouta Sakuragi, a former boxer, who teaches them how to survive in their new harsh prison environment.
Despite Rainbow being more realistic, both it and Deadman Wonderland share several similarities in its tone and plot. Despite the prisoners being entertainment in Deadman Wonderland, they are still killing each other. In Rainbow, it can be the same. While it is more serious, these prisoners are still under the thumb of their guards, meaning they can do whatever they want to them.
Hope’s Peak Academy is an elite high school where those accepted are given special titles that showcase their skills. This year, only fifteen were accepted, and one of them was the completely normal Makoto Naegi who got in on sheer luck. The students are thrilled, that is until they are trapped inside the school by principal and bear Monokuma who tasks them with killing one of their peers and not getting caught to escape. However, if they are caught, they will be executed.
While Danganronpa takes place in a school, the residents are sealed in, making it little different from a prison. In both series, the main characters are not sure how they got in this circumstance, but soon they are thrust into a world that can be kill or be killed, and to the people watching them, it is all just like a game.
After a case of mass insomnia struck a portion of the population, causing them to go mad, a new medicine was developed to treat it. However, the treated people turned into vampires. Going to war with the new species and winning, humanity thought themselves safe, but some of the vampires survived. Now, Mi Liu, a child born of a vampire and a human, is arrested for a robbery and sent to a special prison to monitor vampires, but there is more to this prison than it lets on.
Although Deadman Wonderland has a particular supernatural element to it, it doesn’t go so far as to have vampires. Yet, despite the vampires, Bloodivore presents a story like Deadman Wonderland in which a person ends up in a cruel and twisted prison, though Liu is not quite so innocent. It also shares a similarity of kind of squandering its potential in the end like Deadman Wonderland, but that is something only watchers should decide.
Do you have any more anime series like Deadman Wonderland? Then let fans know in the comments section below.