Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction Episode 1 Recap/Review (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Directed by Tomoyuki Kurokawa
Written by Reiko Yoshida 
English Voice Cast: Elyse Maloway, Britt McKillip, Caitlyn Bairstow, Kazumi Evans, Meaghan Hommy
Studio: Production h+

Life after aliens!
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

If last week’s “Episode 0” set the table in terms of world building, then Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction “Episode 1” gives audiences the characters we’ll follow throughout the series. Kadode appeared briefly as a child going to cram school on that fateful August 31st. Audiences know that she goes to university eight years later. “Episode 1” goes back in time to to show life in Japan three years after the August 31st arrival of the alien mothership.

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction

At this point in time, Kadode is a high school senior struggling with her grades. She plays violent video games and obsesses about a manga called Isobeyan in her free time. Her high school friends struggle with boys and hang out after school. Most of her social interactions are with her weirdo friend Ouran. She cares for her mother and sometimes thinks about her father who went missing on August 31st.

Shock! From Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction.
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

So where do the aliens come in? Well they don’t really. “Episode 1” shows life after first contact with an alien ship. None of the main characters directly engage with the ship or mention aliens. There are no heroes who battle with alien invaders. In fact, other than the two pieces of the ship detaching, the aliens haven’t even contacted the people of Earth. This episode is about people going about their day as an alien ship hovers above them. 

That’s not to say that people ignore totally ignore the alien ship.  Audiences see a strange sphere come to Earth on August 31st and the alien mothership emerge from that. The Japanese Self Defense Forces and US military engages with the aliens upon arrival which goes badly. People protest their right to sunlight blocked by the spaceship and US attack. The mothership emits strange radiation embedded with Japanese katakana. Kadode’s mom constantly worries that residual radiation is affecting her health.

Check up at the hospital! From Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction.
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

Still Kadode, as cynically voiced by Elyse Maloway, has decisions to make about how she’s going to live her life in these strange times. Before the mother ship landed she planned to go to university. In here senior year of high school and a post mothership world, she has to decided if still goes to university or does she quit school to support her hypochondriac mother?

Worst First Contact?

The focus on everyday life taking precedence over the presence of the aliens sets Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction apart from other science fiction about first contact. First contact doesn’t radically change the lives of people in Japan. It simply makes it stranger. 

Alien Invasion!
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

However, the spaceship creates a fantastic metaphor. It can’t be a coincidence thematically that the spaceship arrives just as Kadode and Ouran go to high school. Both are events that are life changing, albeit in different ways.

And just as the spaceship is ever present but also in the background, so is the disappearance of Kadode’s father. The audience knows thy he disappears. He’ll spend the next 8 years possessed by an alien in Osaka. However, his absence continues to haunt Kadode and have impact on her in the present day. 

Girls Night! From Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction.
Courtesy of Inio Asano/Production h+/Crunchyroll

The final scene of the episode shows a small craft emerge from the mothership. It floats haphazardly over Tokyo. One of the legs on the craft trips on a power line and crashes into the neighborhood. Two small, strange bodies lie on the ground. As we know from “Episode 0”, life in Japan is about to get stranger.

“Episode 1”

“Episode 1” of Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction continues the focus of everyday life in the extraordinary. The surreality of life has changed but characters continue to deal with everyday struggles and choices. It’s a unique metaphor of first contact being as momentous a change as the first steps into adulthood. The final moments hint at a world that’s about to get change vastly. 

Aliens Night Out! From 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.

Follow along with The Beat’s reviews of Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction by clicking here.

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