Deadman Wonderland: The Red Knife Wielder

Senji and an orphan.

Senji and an orphan.

The Deadman Wonderland DVDs came packed with an OVA called The Red Knife Wielder. Since I had it, I decided I might as well see it.

As you may remember from my review, I didn’t particularly like the Deadman Wonderland series, and that was mostly as a result of its non-ending where nothing was close to being resolved. I decided to jump into The Red Knife Wielder with the glimmer of hope that it may be an entertaining OVA, like eX-Driver’s Danger Zone short film proved to be much more interesting than the eX-Driver OVA or the eX-Driver feature film.

This OVA was kind of an origin story for Senji, a supporting character from the series. Here, we see him as a policeman laying down his brand of justice to criminals.

Overall, the OVA, which was made exclusively for the DVDs, seemed to be a sort of feel-good chaser to the series that had nothing but endless suffering. The problem lay with the fact that I felt very emotionally detached from everything in the OVA. I found myself not really caring about the fact that a gang burned down an orphanage, killing everyone in it. I likewise didn’t feel like I cared when Senji chose to spare the antagonist when he was presented with his “light side or dark side” dilemma. I couldn’t even be bothered to remember the bad guy’s name; all I know was he was a dude with white hair who had Deadman powers like Senji and he was meticulous about his polished nails.

On top of that, the animation, despite being meant for an OVA, was noticeably worse than that of the series. In more than one instance, the animators copped out by juxtaposing still cels to simulate action. I have never seen that being done in the series, and it just went to show that the OVA was made on a non-existent budget. The voice-acting was decent overall, and the OVA recycled the good tunes from the series to make the soundtrack up.

While this OVA gave Senji some of the development he sorely lacked in the series, it honestly had no reason to exist. Furthermore, it ended with a hint to a sequel, which I suspect won’t be getting made since the conclusion to the unfinished series looks like it’s getting axed as well. As unfortunate as it is, this OVA is going right next to the series as the second anime Wall of Shame entry for today.

Score: 1/4