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Manga / Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction

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"No matter what happens, I won't back down. At least not until this world filled with lies and deceit crumbles away. (...) The real threat to humankind is not invaders, but me."
Ouran "Ontan" Nakagawa

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). 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.

It was serialized in Big Comic Spirits from April 28, 2014 to February 28, 2022, running at exactly 100 chapters, and was collected in 12 tankobon volumes. Following the publication of the final chapter, an anime adaptation was announced on March 23, 2022. On August 30, 2023, it was announced the adaptation would be a pair of theatrical anime films for release in spring 2024. Tomoyuki Kurokawa will helm directing, while Reiko Yoshida wrote the script with character designs by Nobutaka Ito and a score composed from Taro Umebayashi. By November 2023, it was confirmed the first half will release on March 22, while the second part is set to premiere on April 19.

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 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, although one chapter near the end of vol. 6 shows that he hears the same weird gibberish coming from humans that we hear coming from the Invaders.
  • Alliterative Title: With the repetition of the "De" imitating a sort of phone static or a disc skipping. In several chapters, "dededede" is also used as onomatopeia...for machine guns.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: For the final volume of the manga, it's Kadode's dad who takes the reigns as the protagonist and eventually sets up the ending by altering the timeline to influence Kadode to start talking to Ontan on her own.
  • Apocalypse Wow: When the Mothership finally goes, it goes out with a BANG. Starts in Chapter 86, all of 87 is dedicated to the annihilation of the Tokyo Metro Area, and then keeps ramping up from there.
  • 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.
  • Beach Episode: The latter half of vol. 7 counts as one in aggregate, as the girls spend a few days helping Futaba and the leader of the UFO society research some claims of alien activity at a beachside town. Naturally, this also means a lot of swimming in the ocean and horsing around on the beach, as well as Ontan telling "Oba" that she loves him.
  • Bonding Through Shared Earbuds: Played with by "Oba" in regards to the translator devices he reveals in vol. 7. They look like a pair of metal discs that he and the person he wants to talk to each put in one ear.
  • Butterfly of Doom: The events of the story, from the Invaders' arrival to the seemingly imminent doom of humanity, were apparently set in motion by Ontan's time manipulation; if she had stayed in her timeline, it's likely that the Invader scout would've warned his people to not come to Earth.
  • 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...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kadode's dad disappeared after 8/32 and his disappearance is mentioned throughout the manga. He reappears for the final leg of the manga, and sets the ending in motion by doing his own timeline manipulation to prevent the horrors of his world from taking place.
  • 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. Vol. 9, however, reveals that her personality is a choice that she made to differentiate herself from the previous version of Ontan, in the hopes that the dark fate the previous Kadode met could be averted.
  • Cosplay: Ch. 49 revolves around two American otakus watching Pres. Padron ranting about the shady antics of the Japanese government while fretting over the details of a fanservice-heavy video game they're developing. At the start of ch. 50, one of them reveals a cosplay costume of one of the characters in their game...which, considering he's an overweight, hairy, bearded man in an outfit that basically consists of frilly briefs and a couple of strategically-wrapped strips of fabric, is Fan Disservice in the extreme.
  • Death from Above:
    • In vol. 10, as the mothership begins to list alarmingly, sections of its underside detach and fall onto the city, causing a lot of property damage and a handful of casualties, inclding a journalist who'd been covering the government's actions in previous chapters and the woman who she was interviewing at the time.
    • In vol. 11, as the mothership's troubles continue, it starts emitting balls of light. They float around like bubbles, but if anything organic touches them, they blip away and disintegrate whatever was touching them. A woman in an office loses both her hands to one, and several people are shown lying dead with sections of their bodies removed. The final volume reveals that they spread across the world and caused untold devastation. Measures have been taken to destroy them that are successful, but they're still a danger.
  • Déjà Vu: Ontan and "Oba" find a crashed Invader craft in a secluded area of the beach where they're staying; as they explore it, Ontan says that she's having feelings like she's experienced some of what they're doing before. Later, as "Oba" and Makoto are talking, "Oba" reveals that Ontan has been displaced in time, and that what happened to her and Kadode a few years prior will be revealed soon. Said reveal takes up most of vol. 8 and the entirety of vol. 9.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kadode's father disappeared during the attack on the mothership on 8/31, causing his wife to grow increasingly paranoid. He shows up at the very end of the story, taking over as the protagonist.
  • Driven to Suicide: In vol.9, after Ontan rejected Kadode's efforts to improve the world for her sake, Kadode became so distraught that she eventually committed suicide by jumping off a high staircase. This drives Ontan to have the Invader scout send her into the Ontan of the story's main timeline to try to prevent this fate.
  • 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.
  • Face on the Cover: The tankobons' cover arts through vol. 8 are each a close-up shot of one of the main characters. Volume 9's breaks the trend by being a closeup of Kadode and Ontan looking at each other so closely that their noses are almost touching. Volume 10's cover is a close-up of an Invader with Kadode and Ontan's distorted faces reflected in its helmet's faceplate, vol. 11's cover is another close-up of Ontan, and vol 12's cover is another close-up of Kadode.
  • Fanservice: One of the lighter aspects of this series is that it includes a handful of genuinely fanservicey scenes, unlike most of Asano's other works where such material is often Fan Disservice. There's a midriff-revealing shot from Kadode via rumpled bedclothes, some Comedic Underwear Exposure from Ontan as she leaps over a pedestrian, and a fairly restrained sex scene between Futaba and a fellow pro-alien protestor with a shot of her getting dressed the next morning. Vol. 7 features Kadode and Ontan in bikinis in some of the chapter transitions before everyone is seen in bikinis on the beach.
  • Feeling Your Heartbeat: Invoked in ch. 85 when Ontan is teasingly talking to Kadode about getting back together with Watarase.
    Ontan: Skulk into his room, watch some dumb YouTuber and chat suggestively...before gently taking his hand [...] Then place his hand on your breast and whisper "Can you feel my heart pounding?" The voltage between you will skyrocket...and you know what's next. Passionate! Wild! Hard-core sex!
    Kadode: Argh! Ontan! Stop! Stop!
  • Flying Saucer: Zig-zagged by the Invaders' ships. The mothership that appeared over Tokyo more or less is the classic flying saucer, although it has some structures hanging down from its underside and a tower-like structure on its top that gives it an appearance similar to a cooking pan's lid in profile. The smaller vessels that frequently leave the mothership are anything but saucer-like. The smallest vessels strongly resemble satellites and probes like Voyager, but the larger vessels that (attempt to) transport large groups of Invaders to the ground start to resemble everyday human objects. For instance, one looks just like a tea kettle, and another looks like a computer mouse.
  • 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 Japan's prime minister, whose tiny, side-by-side eyes make him look like the titular character from Kadode's favorite manga Isobeyan (which gets lampshaded in vol. 10); 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. Ironically, "Oba", the most alien character both literally and figuratively, is the one who looks the most normal as his shell used to be a singer in a Boy Band.
  • Hand Cannon: Invoked in the Isobeyan pages at the start of vol. 6, when Isobeyan whips out a gun for the lead character to use against her bullies and specifically refers to it as one.
  • 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, "Oba" 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. Later on, in the flashback scenes, Kadode uses one of these devices, procured by the Invader scout, to travel around for her misdeeds.
  • 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 Aliens: Although their full appearance hasn't been completely revealed, when we finally get a partial look at what's under an Invader's helmet, a seemingly human face is revealed. Later, when "Oba" reveals his secret to Makoto, the bit of his actual head that can be seen looks just like a smaller human's would.
  • 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. Afterward, at times part of his head comes unaligned from the rest; at first his body seems to be hollow, but when he reveals his secret to Makoto, his Invader form can be seen inside the Oba body.
    • The final volume reveals that Kadode's dad was similarly inhabited by an Invader, but the Invader passed away shortly before the volume's events start, leaving him a cryptic note explaining what was going on.
  • 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 "Oba" has is a sheet of material that mimics its environment. It's first revealed when he 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. Later, in vol. 8, the Invader found by Kadode and Ontan gives them this device, and Kadode uses it to retaliate against a group of bullies.
  • 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: Subverted. Overall, 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. However, as the story progresses, darker elements such as the JSDF's genocide of the Invaders and a seemingly inevitable worldwide catastrophe start to become more prominent, to the point that by vol. 7, an overall feeling of dread persists throughout despite the lighter parts. By the last few volumes, the lighter elements are almost completely gone, and the story is very dark.
  • Magic Misfire: In the Isobeyan comic in vol. 8, after getting beaten up by her bullies, Debeko demands that Isobeyan give her a weapon she can use against them. He gives her a device that resembles a magic wand and requires her to concentrate her feelings into to make it work. Unfortunately, when she tries to use it, it seems to fail completely...and then it's revealed that the sun was destroyed.
  • 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.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The first 8 volumes' covers are all close-ups of one member of the cast, specifically (in order) Kadode, Oran, Kiho, Ai, Rin, Futaba, Makoto, and "Oba", with vols. 11 and 12 being close-ups of Ontan and Kadode respectively. Volume 9 breaks this trend by having both Kadode and Oran, and then volume 10 features a close-up of an Invader.
  • Pensieve Flashback: The majority of vol. 8 consists of "Oba" using an Invader device to show Makoto Ontan's memories from an alternate timeline. This shows, among other things: Ontan and Kadode meeting for the first time, Kadode being bullied by her classmates with the "demon" nickname, and them happening across an Invader on a scouting mission and trying to convince him that humans aren't as bad as he thinks they are. This continues through vol. 9, showing how badly things go wrong when Kadode takes it on herself to improve the world for Ontan, and Ontan transplanting herself into the Ontan of the story's current universe to try to change things so that that future doesn't come to pass.
  • Pseudo-Romantic 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.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Happens twice using the Invaders' timeline-altering technology. The first attempt is by Ontan, who influnces the Ontan of a different timeline to make friends with Kadode sooner, which leads to the main story. The second is by Kadode's father, who influences his version in another timeline to have Kadode strike up a friendship with Ontan. While the actual events aren't depicted, this ends up eliminating the Invaders' presence from the story altogether, although they may still be around in hiding.
  • 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 "Oba" reads it while he's in Ontan's care.
  • Slice of Life: Much like Asano'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 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 ch. 40 cranks things up considerably but they break things off after Watarase reveals to her that he’s going to return home to take care of his elderly father. The final volume shows that in the timeline altered by Kadode's father, Kadode and Watarase are a couple, but he's a shiftless bum and she's rapidly losing patience with him.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Kadode plumps up as a consequence of eating "Oba"'s excellent cooking and possibly from overeating in emotional pain from losing Watarase, but is back to her normal size a chapter or two later.
  • Time Skip: The final chapter features one that covers a large swath of time. In that time, Kadode and Ontan have grown up and are working, but have maintained their friendship. Additionally, although none of the events are shown, whatever changes in this timeline happened due to them becoming friends under subtly different circumstances completely prevented the Invaders from showing up.
  • Translator Microbes: These show up in two different ways in vol. 7.
    • "Oba" reveals that he has a pair of earplug-like devices that allow him to understand whatever is being said to him regardless of the language...and proves it by conversing with the dog he acquired a few chapters earlier.
    • The theme gag of the Isobeyan comics in this volume is a pair of "interpreter rings" Isobeyan gives Debeko that function the same way as "Oba"'s Invader tech. Unfortunately for her, when she tries to use them on an American (thinking he's going to hit on her), he just asks if she has drugs, and when she uses them on a dog later, the dog tells her she's ugly.
  • Verbal Tic: In the English translation, "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.
  • Yandere: Downplayed in vol. 9, although the setup starts in vol. 8. Kadode becomes overcome with the desire to make the world a better place for Ontan, and uses an Invader device to cause a number of incidents, including derailing a train and trying to assassinate a Cabinet member. However, when she expresses this to Ontan, Ontan is horrified, even slapping her in shock. This causes Kadode to become so distraught that she eventually commits suicide, setting up the events that lead to the current timeline.
  • 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 "Oba" 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 actually a guise for an extra-atmospheric craft which will house a handful of survivors; the governor refers to it at one point as "our ark". Vol. 6 makes things even more clear at its very end with the ominous statement "ONE MONTH UNTIL THE END OF HUMANITY", vol. 9 states "HUMANITY IS SO SCREWED" at its end, and vol. 10 states "FIVE DAYS UNTIL THE END OF HUMANITY" near its start and ends with "TWELVE HOURS UNTIL THE END OF HUMANITY".