Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction – 01

Episode 1, but not a first impressions. The DDDDD saga keeps getting weirder. As it turns out (I know thanks to the comments on the Episode 0 post), the “premiere” was actually something closer to an epilogue, full of information and events from late in the manga. Not only that but it was also apparently comprised of mostly original material. Another odd choice, and some manga readers are saying new viewers should skip it altogether. I can’t unsee it of course so that’s not an option for me, so I’ll just have to make up my mind on whether I agree with them if and when I finish the anime.

Given all that, I can only assume until told otherwise that this premiere more or less begins at the beginning. Rather than on Nobuo it focuses mostly on his high school student daughter Kadode (is that even a name?), who he was searching for in Episode 0. This is presumably eight years before the events of the literal premiere, when the alien invasion (if indeed that’s what this is) was just breaking. Kadode doesn’t seem to have an especially hostile relationship with her dad, just sort of a non-existent one.

Kadode has a best friend named Ouran, and a serious case of hot for teacher syndrome. Her mother claims to be ill from the “A-rays” floating around Tokyo since the invasion, though doctors keep saying there’s supposedly nothing physically wrong with her. Nobuo is missing (we know why), and Mom eventually hooks up with a guy named Takabatake-san (who she plans to marry), who seems like a decent enough fellow even if Kadode is a bit vexed that her mother is remarrying while her father isn’t actually know to be gone.

To be honest, I found most of the slice of life stuff with Kadode and her friends to be pretty generic on the whole. I also thought the seiyuu performances from the two leads were a bit wooden, especially Ikuta Lilas as Kadode – I endorse the use of unfamiliar actors as a rule, but this one does sound a bit amateurish to my ears (she may be an idol/singer, though I’m not sure on that). It’s run of the mill angsty brainiac girl stuff really, even if the heroines have good reason to feel pessimistic about the future what with what’s going on in their present.

That leaves (for me at least) most of the onus on the sci-fi premise to carry the day with DDDDD if it’s going to work for me. There’s not much to go on yet, but given that this is Asano Inio I can’t help but be fairly optimistic. It’s true that Oyasumi Punpun – my favorite of his series – works as a character piece more than a plot-driven story. And the character side of that one was immediately compelling, which is not the case with DDDDD. But it’s Asano, and he’s really, really good. I have to think the alien storyline will have the legs to carry the day, and maybe the characters will grow on my in time (plus we have an Irino Miyu character coming up, and that’s never a bad thing).


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