Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction Episode 0 Recap/Review (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Directed by Tomoyuki Kurokawa
Written by Reiko Yoshida 
English Voice Cast: Giles Panton, Michelle Creber, Lexi Ly
Studio: Production h+

Welcome to The Beat’s weekly coverage of Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction. Animated by Production h+, the series adapts the manga by Inio Asano. Warning, there are major spoilers so read at your own risk.

Nobuo in a shelter
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

Sleeping through an alien invasion

Manga editor Nobuo Koyama has to break the bad news to one of his artists: their manga is cancelled. He dreads telling them this, especially since they revealed what sounds like a spectacular twist. As he returns to the office, he jokingly hopes the world will end and that’s the moment an alien spaceship lands over Tokyo. As a result of the destruction caused, he’s caught in debris and passes out. When he wakes up, it’s in a new world set eight years later.

Fujin Robot in Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

This is the world introduced in “Episode 0” the first episode of Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction. Aliens landed in Japan and people live in underground shelters in fear of killer floating orbs called Asterisks on top of killer robots on the surface. To make the new realirty for Japanese society even worse, there’s fallout from the destruction of the alien mothership from the initial invasion creating a noxious fog that makes it hard to breathe for anyone on the surface. 

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

“Episode 0” leans hard into how wildly different this world is for Nobuo. Imagine being asleep for eight years and now you’re in an entirely different world with new rules and social structures you now have to adhere to. In an additional stroke of bad luck, he was also inhabited by an alien parasite who lived an entire separate life in his body while he was “asleep”. People talk to him who knew the parasite for years, and in a moment both surreal and funny, the alien leaves a note apologizing for inhabiting Nobuo’s body and explaining the situation to him.

Nobuo's parasitic alien
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

What really sells this episode is how incredibly strange this all is. People can tell an alien parasite lives in Nobuo by lifting his left ear back, meanwhile some of the aliens hide inside bodies that look like little robots. The Asterisks are deadly but just hang in the air, so while it’s a post alien invasion world, it’s not a post-apocalyptic world and the distinction readily makes itself appararent in the episode. There’s still electricity, the internet still exists, and people still use cell phones. It’s precisely when the characters travel on the surface that director Tomoyuki Kurokawa highlights how empty this world is, a world that is also dangerous, but not far removed from the present.

Nobuo and friend
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

However, that aforementioned danger is never too removed from daily life as Nobuo awakens and not too long after, finds the body of a girl who came into contact with one of the Asterisks. There’s also strange alien spheres in the sky that will kill you on contact or robots ready to kill you on sight, while the two young women who travel with Nobuo are murdered in cold blood by people who want his alien. While this goes on, the factions vying for control of Japan only matter in whether or not they’re willing to kill someone on sight.  

The Asterisks in Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

The road to adaptation

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction, based on Inio Asano’s manga, had an unusual path to adaptation as studio Production +h has adapted it as two feature-length films. Those two films are now being broken down into an 18 episode TV series now streaming on Crunchyroll and is essentially a remixed version with extended and new scenes for the adaptation.

The best part about this adaptation is that if you didn’t know the scenes were taken from a movie, the episode never comes across like a collection of clips, it feels exactly like an episode of a TV show. Director Kurokawa and writer Reiko Yoshida could have turned this episode into something that seemed like a segment without resolution, as most prologue episodes are treated. Instead, they give this episode a complete and satisfying emotional arc with an ending that leads into the start of the series proper.   

Final Verdict

If you’ve been lucky enough to see the first of the two films or know Asano’s manga, you know this episode doesn’t represent the series as a whole, and isn’t supposed to. Spoiler for folks hopping on with this series, but Nobuo isn’t the main character, either! This episode is specifically table setting, there’s a reason it’s “Episode 0” and not “Episode 1”. It’s a solid enough episode which eases you into the world of Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction before shifting to the rest of the series.

Alien? in Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction is currently streaming on Crunchyroll. New episodes drop every Friday.

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