What makes a character a good character? Is it an interesting design, good voice acting, maybe their actions? No, it is the characters with intriguing pasts that capture your attention like no one else.
Deadman Wonderland is known for its great action, compelling storyline and most importantly its genuine characters. What makes the cast of this show so exciting is their difficult pasts and touching backstories. You feel for them and just cannot help it but root them on in their never-ending fight for a better life. To honor these characters we have compiled a list with the ten characters whose traumatizing backstories have touched us the most.
A quick disclaimer before we start: even though we try to keep this list as spoiler-free as possible, there might be some details we have to add in order to fully explain each character’s backstory. So if you are still planning on watching Deadman Wonderland, do that first and then come back to this list and tell us what you think of our selection. For everyone else, here are our Top 10 Traumatized Deadman Wonderland Characters. Enjoy!
10. Karako Koshio
Let’s be honest, who didn’t have at least a small crush on the strong and beautiful Karako? Too bad that she is our first character who has to carry a heavy burden on her shoulders.
Karako is a Deadman and definitely a force to be reckoned with. Even when she doesn’t use her Branch of Sin, she can give and take a couple of good punches. Despite her tough exterior, Karako has a caring side which she shows towards the people closest to her. No one can mess with her loved ones as long as she is around, that’s for sure.
Karako’s caring side is her strength and weakness at the same time. Maybe it’s her past experience as a nurse that forces her to take responsibility for the people around her. No matter the reason, Karako carries a huge burden on her shoulders and struggles to combine her own well-being with the need to protect others. She is a tough chick with a big heart and definitely deserves a shout-out on this list.
9. Kiyomasa Senji
Most characters of Deadman Wonderland turn out to be the opposite of who or what they pretend to be. Same goes for Senji, but in his case he’s actually a better person than you’d expect.
Senji is the first Deadman Ganta meets and he is the typical person you wouldn’t want to mess with; with his trained body, spiky hair and leather outfit he certainly makes an impact. However, he turns out to deeply respect morals and honor and even trains Ganta to use his Branch of Sin more effectively.
Senji is one of the few helpful souls Ganta meets while inside Deadman Wonderland. Not only does the former police officer train Ganta, but he also teaches him everything he knows about the Deadmen and being part of the Carnival Corpse. It is surprising to see Senji always committed and casual despite the fact that he has to compete in deadly games. Senji is a true soldier at heart who takes every punch life throws at him with a straight face, that is why he deserves the second spot on this list.
8. Toto Sakigami
Deadman Wonderland is a place filled with terrifying and deadly fighters. Who would have thought that the most terrifying of them all is a young boy with green hair?
Toto appears later on in the story and at first it is hard to put him into a category. He is wrapped in secrets and he doesn’t seem to interact much with the other inmates. Yet, Ganta has to learn that he belongs to the most powerful Deadmen out there and was the only one to survive an encounter with the Red Man.
Not much is known about Toto’s past or true personality, so why do we include him on this list? What makes Toto’s fate tragic is the fact that he is an empty shell. After everything he had to endure in his life there is not much left of his personality and now he is simply a vessel for his outstanding powers. Toto barely has any free will left and despite his childish looks and strong abilities he has lost most of his humanity.
7. Yo Takami
Yo is one of the first people Ganta befriends inside Deadman Wonderland, but there is a second side to him that he keeps hidden.
Friendly, calm, polite - these are the first view words you’d use to describe Yo. But despite his collected exterior he still has a couple of tricks up his sleeve. Yo likes to pickpocket others whenever he gets a chance to and, without giving too much away from the story, let’s just say that he might not be Ganta’s loyal friend after all.
The one thing that characterizes Yo - and also makes him vulnerable - is the unconditional love for his sister Minatsuki. He saved her life before the events of Deadman Wonderland and only has her well-being on his mind during their imprisonment. What makes this brotherly love tragic is the fact that Minatsuki might not be the innocent angel he thought she was. Yo tries to protect the only family he has left, but does not receive much love in return, that is why he earns the third spot on this list.
6. Tsunenaga Tamaki
You thought only the inmates of Deadman Wonderland were traumatized? Think again, because Tamaki as well has a couple of screws loose.
As the Assistant Warden of Deadman Wonderland, Tamaki is the ultimate antagonist of the story. His unbreakable smile only adds to his twisted and cruel nature. He reigns over the prison like a tyrant and plays with the lives of humans as if they were simple toys. As long as Tamaki can earn money or prestige he is ready to sacrifice anything and anyone.
In extreme contrast with his cruel nature, Tamaki is often seen playing with toys and also acts rather childish when things don’t go his way. He is obsessed with games and being the constant winner; Deadman Wonderland is only another game to him. Tamaki is traumatized by his own mind which controls him to the point of no return. He is driven by the need to succeed and win in life, to a point where he slowly loses his sanity. Tamaki seems to be a free man, but he is as much trapped inside Deadman Wonderland as the prison inmates.
5. Minatsuki Takami
We’ve had the brother, now it’s time to talk about the other part of the Takami siblings.
It seems to be a common theme within Deadman Wonderland, but here we have another character who turns out to be much different from what her appearance might suggest. Minatsuki acts and looks like a regular teenager and actually seems to be rather shy and reserved. However, that is only half the story and Ganta has to learn this the hard way after facing her in the Carnival Corpse.
Minatsuki is the very definition of a sadistic psychopath. She enjoys seeing others suffer and doesn’t feel remorse or sympathy when bringing pain upon others. This makes her the perfect participant for the deadly games of Deadman Wonderland. Why would we include her on this list though? Minatsuki’s twisted nature is not her fault and it’s the memory of being abandoned by her mother as a child that has made her this way. Minatsuki is as much victim of her circumstances as the other characters on this list, that is why we had to mention her.
4. Genkaku Azuma
There are the Deadmen, the normal inmates, the prison staff and then we have the Undertakers, dangerous killers who also have traumatizing pasts behind them.
Genkaku presents a weird mixture of Buddhist monk with deadly killer, rockstar image and questionable fashion choices. Still, he is no one you should underestimate as he can kill anyone standing in his way without second thoughts. As leader of the Undertakers he will accept any order and fulfill it no matter what it takes.
His early childhood shows nothing of the psychotic killer he would become one day. Genkaku grew up in a Buddhist temple where he was bullied and harassed by other boys his age. No one would stand up for him and he had to grow up alone, silently enduring his pain. Traumatized by these experiences he soon develops a sadistic nature and realizes that the only way to leave this painful world is through death. Genkaku should have enjoyed a peaceful life, but was thrown into a world full of pain and suffering.
3. Ganta Igarashi
You didn’t think we would leave out Ganta, the main hero of Deadman Wonderland, right?
At the beginning of Deadman Wonderland Ganta actually lives a pretty care-free life. He goes to school, has friends and only has to worry about typical middle school problems. But as we all know, that changes pretty quick. Not only does he have to witness the death of his whole class, but he also gets framed for the murders. Now, he is sent to Deadman Wonderland.
Ganta’s traumatizing experiences begin when he encounters the mysterious Red Man. Sure, being framed for murder doesn’t sound too thrilling, but it is really the special abilities that he gains from this meeting that turn his world upside down. Despite his young age he has to question his identity and what he believes in. His inner turmoil is the driving force of the show and that is why Ganta deserves a spot on this list.
2. Nagi Kengamine
Life inside Deadman Wonderland isn’t easy for anyone, but it was Nagi’s story that touched many viewers the most.
Judging by his appearance, it’s hard to guess that Nagi is a Deadman and leader of the resistance. Sure, he seems like a calm and frail man who couldn’t hurt a single soul, but everyone who’s watched Deadman Wonderland knows that this is far from the truth. Nagi has slipped into insanity and can switch from being a collected leader to an unstoppable monster within seconds.
It is Nagi’s heartbreaking past that has led to him losing his mind. Inside the walls of Deadman Wonderland he met the love of his life and tried to build a family with her. But it wouldn’t be Deadman Wonderland if they were allowed to be happy. Instead, Nagi was put into the Carnival Corpse in a fight against his pregnant wife. Despite losing on purpose he lost his lover and future child forever. If this isn’t one of the saddest fates inside Deadman Wonderland, we don’t know what is.
We’ve kept you waiting long enough - last, but definitely not least on this list we have the charming and much loved Shiro.
When Ganta first meets Shiro he has no idea what to make of her, and we cannot blame him. Not only her albino appearance, but her childish and clumsy nature as well make it hard to take her serious. Shiro seems to be blind to all the suffering going on around her and always has a smile on her face. She declares to be in love with Ganta and follows him around wherever she can. What could be wrong with such an innocent soul?
Pretty much everything, to put it simply. Deadman Wonderland is a show that portrays suffering and the instability of the human mind like no other and Shiro is the best example. She grew up as a test object and while other kids could enjoy a normal childhood, her everyday life was shaped by experiments and endless pain. To escape her painful reality she develops a second identity and protects herself by living in a childish fantasy world inside her head. Shiro is the true hero of Deadman Wonderland and definitely the character with the most traumatizing past.
This wraps up our list for today. We’ve said it at the beginning, but what makes characters truly memorable is giving them a past that shapes their identities to who they are today. A background story that touches you will make any character feel three dimensional and Deadman Wonderland truly excels at this art. Storyline aside, it is the main cast that makes this show so successful and stand out from all the other anime out there.
Which Deadman Wonderland character was your favorite and do you agree with our selection? Share your opinions in the comment section below!