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First Impressions – Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction

There are a lot of interesting elements with Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction. First off, any manga by Asano Inio being adapted is a big deal. He’s a seriously literate and talented mangaka, and I’d go so far as to say Oyasumi Punpun is one of the 20 or so greatest manga ever written (it was probably one of the last two cuts from my all-time manga Top 10 compilation post). I’ve given up on that series ever getting an anime (in fairness, I can see how difficult it would be to adapt) so any Asano is a significant addition to the screen.

There’a also the somewhat unusual route DDDDD (so much easier to type) has taken to “TV” anime status. In the modern era, with production committees always trying to maximize revenue generation, there’s a lot of bleed between theatrical and TV anime. More often than not you see TV episodes stitched together with a soupçon of new material and repacked as “movies”’. But in this case, DDDDD was released theatrically first (as two films in fact) and now – with all of three days notice between announcement and CR streaming debut – it’s being released as an 18-episode series. Obviously there will have to be considerable new material to make that work (which mean this has been cooking since the start), and the series should provide much the more complete adaptation.

Production here is by +h., who’ve really only been the main studio on the superb Chikyuugai Shounen Shoujo. And the “premiere” looks very good for a TV episode, though it would certainly be nothing special as a theatrical movie. Which brings me to the point that I’ve not seen either film – in fact I haven’t read any of the manga either – so I have no idea what we’re seeing that’s part of the original movies and what isn’t. The director is Kurokawa Tomoyuki, who’s quite experienced, albeit lacking anything really exceptional on his resume as a director.

This was labeled “Episode 0” and it very much fits the mold for that.  False MC, prequel storyline, pure setup. We have a brief into in the present, where a haggard manga editor named Koyama Nobuo (nice to see Tsuda Kenjirou finally getting some work) is about to drop the hammer on an author who instead drops some sort of visionary apocalyptic storyline on him. Soon after a giant alien ship appears over Tokyo, and Koyama is caught up in the damage when the mothership crashes to Earth. He wakes up eight years later with no memory of what’s happened since.

Asano is too subversive as a writer for there not to be some major twists on it, but what this comes off as is a very typical end-of-the-world sci-fi that’s quite well-executed. There’s a resistance group called New Japan Harmony that look like seriously bad news, and another organization called SHIP that seems to be in-league with the aliens. But there’s also a fair bit of hinting that the good and evil here is not clear-cut – this may or may not be an alien invasion, but even if it is there’s clearly more to it than just that.

I wasn’t necessarily looking to add anything to my schedule, but with Asano involved DDDDD more or less demands a full trial at the very least (and at least it’s not released on my Sunday). And nothing in Episode 0 dissuades me from thinking this could be quite good. My main concern, frankly, is how coherent the narrative will be given the weird production history, and whether the material produced specifically for the series version will be on-par with the movies. Still, as noted it seems very likely that this was in the planning from the start and the experienced and capable Yoshida Reiko is writing, so I think the odds are pretty good that the series will hold together.

The post First Impressions – Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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