Three years ago, a gigantic alien spaceship suddenly filled the skies of Tokyo. Although it has yet to attack, all efforts by the Japanese government to bring it down have only led to widespread collateral damage and the subsequent collapse of Japan's economy. The JSDF fights a brutal war against the "Invaders" while Japanese weapons manufacturers and overseas private military corporations make millions, and America has become increasingly aggressive in their own relations with an increasingly warlike Japan. Angry protestors take sides, with some wanting the Invaders completely obliterated without mercy and others wanting to make peace and end the senseless conflict. All the while, the mothership floats above Tokyo like the inescapable sense of dread gripping the world.
But this is the story of highschoolers.
Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction is a strange Seinen Slice of Life manga by Inio Asano (author of Goodnight Punpun), published by Big Comic Spirits and beginning publication on April 28, 2014. The story follows the lives of five high school girls (later college students), focusing mainly on the geeky Kadode Koyama and the eccentric misanthrope Ouran "Ontan" Nakagawa, as they live in a world under the shadow (figurative and literal) of an alien invasion. Combining some at-times dark comedy and social commentary on the Internet's effect on today's youth, this series is notably lighter than some of Asano's earlier works, but still manages to instill a sense of looming disaster that hangs over the head of the cast like the alien spaceships that have become a part of everyday life.
This manga provides examples of:
- Alien Invasion:
- Played with. The alien spaceship that fills the skies of Tokyo simply looms there not doing anything, with any negative consequences coming from endless attempts to to bring it down and the (sometimes literal) fallout from shooting down smaller craft that leave it. The Invaders have occupied small sections of Tokyo, but they stand no chance against the JSDF and are ruthlessly butchered whenever they're discovered.
- The still art at the start of one chapter lampshades the concept by showing a Space Invaders screen with Kadode and Ontan at the bottom.
- Aliens Speaking English:
- Played with. When we finally get a chapter from the aliens' perspective, their dialogue appears in perfectly human text (they even call each other Japanese names like "Yuriko" or "Tsutomu"), but the human speech appears as a nonsensical gibberish.
- The Invader disguised as Oba speaks perfect Japanese.
- Alliterative Title: With the repetition of the "De" imitating a sort of phone static or a disc skipping. In one chapter, "dededede" is also used as onomatopeia...for a machine gun.
- Artstyle Dissonance: While the backgrounds are extremely realistic and intricate, many characters look quite cute and cartoonish, or have jarringly cartoony eyes or faces on an otherwise realistic body.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Par for the course with an Inio Asano manga. Kadode is probably the most "normal" looking, Ontan has big eyebrows and weird droopy eyes, Ai is notably chubby-cheeked with tiny eyes and mouth, Rin is tall with a pointy face, Hiroshi is fat with a tiny face, Futaba has Blush Stickers with a red nose, Makoto has large eyes and huge front teeth...
- Cloudcuckoolander: Ontan is an incredibly eccentric girl who dreams of taking over the world. Her antics are a major source of both entertainment and frustration for Kadode.
- Disappeared Dad: Kadode's father disappeared during the attack on the mothership on 8/31, causing his wife to grow increasingly paranoid.
- Dutch Angle: Omnipresent, most likely to reinforce the feeling that everything is almost ordinary but slightly off, from the setting to the characters.
- Enclosed Extraterrestrials: The Invaders are shown wearing full-body suits with helmets with small ports on the front and sides of the head, making them look a bit like old-fashioned deep sea divers.
- Funny Background Event: At one point, as Kadode and Watarase are talking after class, the other girls are seen in the background silently cheering Kadode on...including Ontan holding a sign saying "SHOW YOUR BOOBS".
- Gonk: The strange facial designs of some of the bit characters make them almost alien-looking in and of themselves. Examples include a govt. official whose huge, droopy cheeks make his head look something like a kidney bean, and a pro-alien protester who has an unnaturally squared-off chin and jaw.
- Helicopter Pack: Ontan carries around a piece of Invader tech she found, proclaiming at one point that she wants it to be something to let her fly. Not long after, the Oba!Invader uses another of the same device for just that purpose—it clamps to his head, extends rotor blades, and lets him zip off. When he flies to Kadode and Ontan, he tells Ontan that the one she has is out of power.
- High-Pressure Blood: Whenever an Invader dies, what looks like at least a gallon of blood jets out of the sides and top of its head. This usually happens when one is shot, but one that dies from blood loss after being stabbed has the same thing happen.
- Human Disguise: After the crash of an Invader craft kills a male idol group, an Invader appears disguised as one of the group's singers, Oba. Ch. 47 reveals that certain Invaders with squarish helmets can transfer the essence of normal Invaders into other bodies; in the aftermath of the crash, one sends a dying Invader child into Oba's body. Now, when he sneezes◊, part of his head comes unaligned from the rest, revealing that his body seems to be hollow.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: That's what appears when we start to get a glimpse of the aliens' point of view. They didn't expect Earthlings to be so violent and cruel.
- Hypocrite: Human leaders and "Tako" (anti-alien) humans in general. They all describe aliens as horrible monsters who threaten humanity, even though the "war" is pretty much a one-side slaughter of the aliens, with human victims being solely the result of collateral damage, and the Japanese government using the "invasion" as an excuse to pursue its economy-boosting military program.
- Invisibility Cloak: Part of the alien tech the Oba!Invader has is a sheet of material that mimics its environment. It's first revealed when Oba and Ontan pull a prank on Kadode, but it ends up in the possession of the Ax-Crazy leader of an Invader-killing delinquent gang when he pulls it off Oba as he rescues an Invader from them.
- Killed Offscreen: Both the readers and the characters learn of Kiho's death in the coldest and most brutal way imaginable: as a passing mention in a news report, announcing that she's among the victims of the crash of the alien ship that was shot down by the new super-cannon.
- Lighter and Softer: D8 is much more upbeat in comparison to Asano's other works. Word of God is that after the incredibly dark Goodnight Punpun, he felt he needed to tone it down and give his readers something more light-hearted and escapist for his future projects. Still, considering the series features what amounts to a genocide of aliens and a seemingly inevitable worldwide catastrophe, the "lightness" is relative.
- NEET: Hiroshi Nakagawa, Ontan's older brother, is an overweight Hikikomori who spends all day indoors trolling internet forums.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Any resemblance between President Padron and Donald Trump would be purely coincidental.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: While nothing beyond friendship has been explicitly shown, Kadode and Ontan are quite close and one could easily assume that they are a couple based on some scenes.
- Show Within a Show: Each tankobon begins and ends with a few pages from Isobeyan, an in-universe manga about a girl and her gadget-toting mushroom alien, which is pretty much filled with expies of the Doraemon crew, right down to imitating the Fujiko F. Fujio art and writing style. Kadode is a huge fan, and the Oba!Invader reads it while he's in Ontan's care.
- Slice of Life: Much like the author's previous works, the manga follows the lives of its cast growing up and dealing with life. The aliens start out as simply a background element, but gradually get prominence in the story, with the introduction of one who can speak human language.
- Straw Nihilist: Largely Played for Laughs with Ontan and her brother Hiroshi, the former with her rants about her wiping out or enslaving humanity, the latter with his condescending speeches about everyone's insignificance. They both sound far more ridiculous than intimidating, and people around them just kinda go along with it.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Kadode doesn't even try to hide her interest in Watarase, and while he doesn't really take it seriously, he never really turns her down either, especially after breaking up with his girlfriend (and after they're no longer teacher-student). The end of vol. 5 cranks things up considerably but they break things off early into vol. 6 after Watarase reveals to her that hes going to return home to take care of his elderly father.
- Temporary Bulk Change: Kadode plumps up as a consequence of eating Obas excellent cooking and possibly from overeating in emotional pain from losing Watarase, but is back to her normal size a chapter or two later.
- Verbal Tic: In the English edition, the Invader disguised as Oba frequently inserts "Wah!" when he's talking.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Makoto claims he's neither gay nor transgender, but he's always liked dressing as a girl and looking cute. He goes to Tokyo because he thinks he'll be more free to express that side of him there. Indeed, neither Futaba nor the other girls seem to care in the slightest. He's busted immediately by Ontan...and they hit it off in a video game exactly one panel later.
- Your Days Are Numbered: As the story progresses, hints drop with increasing frequency that some sort of disaster is going to happen within the next few months. This becomes more clear in volume 5 when white smoke begins to billow off the mothership, and the Oba!Invader reveals to Ontan that it will eventually crash, causing devastating damage to the planet if its engine explodes. Earlier, it's revealed that the Japanese government is aware that something bad is going to happen, and that the new Olympic stadium is meant to be a shelter, or possibly some kind of spacecraft; the governor refers to it at one point as "our ark".