Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede-Destruction – Episodes 0-1

By: Toni Sun Prickett May 31, 20240 Comments
Ouran and Kadode laughing maniacally

Content Warning: Depictions of abuse, hypocondria, mental illness, teenagers exhibiting extreme lust for teachers (clearly not going anywhere), bombings, death by guns, police and military violence, body horror, and gore

What’s it about? Kadode and Ouran are just two normal high school girls at the end of high school trying to decide what to do with their lives. They deal with the same things as everybody else–overbearing parents, existential ennui, and watching their friends get into too-fast relationships. However, there is one big difference: anytime they look up, they see a gigantic mothership flying overhead. 

It is hard to know where to start with this amazing, beautiful, labyrinthine, and disturbing premiere. So I’ll start with this:

Really, Crunchyroll?

Crunchyroll’s decision to not translate onscreen text is disturbing, given in the past they have been consistently the best with such translation work. It’s most baffling in this show because the onscreen text orients the viewer to when in the timeline and where in Japan we are–without it, given the character designs barely change over the years, the viewer is left utterly lost. One second Kadode’s dad is here, the next minute it seems like he’s been gone for years? Are they in middle or high school? What is happening?!?

Because of Crunchyroll’s translation ineptitude, I had to rewatch this premiere with my phone in my hand set to Google Lens translation, so that I could personally translate the onscreen text myself. Shame on you.

"3 years later" in Japanese untranslated
I’ll give you this one: “Three Years Ago”

With that out of the way, I can get to gushing about this show. This is a show that is very self-consciously About Imperialism and State Violence. It’s a very thinly veiled extended allegory for the lasting impact of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the military base placed in Okinawa, which has lead to many Okinawan women to be raped, water supplies to be contaminated, and piles another layer of colonialism upon an already colonial situation. This operates on both metaphorical and literal levels–metaphorically, just as Okinawans were expected to continue life as normal in the shadow of the military base, the girls in the show are expected to just live their lives as usual under a mothership. (On one of the first pages in the manga, Kadode even muses that the whole thing might be a conspiracy of the American Military Industrial Complex.) 

More literally, however, as of episode 1 the US military’s response to the mothership and general hegemony in Japanese society is a far greater threat than the actual alien invasion. And as we get a glimpse of in the prologue, fascism is just around the corner for our young protagonists.

a nucelar bomb going off over a Japanese city
The aliens weren’t the ones who did this

And what wonderful protagonists they are. I am a high school teacher, and this is one of the first times that I’ve ever seen that age of girlhood accurately depicted in all of its messy, accusatory, philosophical and weird glory. The girls in this show are horny gremlins just trying to make it out of adolescence alive, and I applaud them for it.

A particular delight is Ouran, whose complete lack of a filter is hilarious and refreshing (her applauding Kadode for allegedly openly wanting to “bang her teacher,” which I thankfully highly doubt the show will ever explore as an actual possibility, is particularly funny). She is a fitting foil to Kadode, who is a thoughtful, philosophical girl wrestling with how to navigate the world’s slouching towards normalcy, all while dealing with the worst ramifications of it at home having effectively lost both her parents.

Ouran brandishing a knife maniacally at the camera
I WILL protect her!!!

Kadode’s home situation is devastating. The radiation residue from the US nuclear bombing the alien spacecraft (and therefore Tokyo) causes Kadode’s mother to spiral into a hypochondriac cycle of abuse, demanding control over Kadode’s life in perpetuity. The scenes of her shaming Kadode for wanting agency are chilling, especially as she weaponizes her own medical paranoia to control Kadode. We can see this show’s striving to be nuanced in its depictions of abuse–not nuanced in the sense of justifying the actions of abusers, but nuanced in the sense of showing the whole ecosystem that produces, perpetuates, and sometimes fights abuse. We see how the effects of US imperialism and the collective denial of its harm leads Kadode’s mother to misplace her anger and project it onto her daughter. We see the mother’s new fiance Takabatake attempting to calm her down and offer support to Kadode in her agency, but also allowing Kadode’s mother to step all over him and further isolate Kadode. And, most movingly, we see Ouran offer Kadode quiet support in being there with her through it and trying to cheer her up.

I know that I haven’t talked much about the prologue in this review. That is on purpose. I found the prologue to be beautiful and disturbing, but utterly mystifying. I am confused as to why they placed it first when it was originally at almost the very end of the manga, to be honest. It gives away most aspects of what the world will come to be like in a few more years–which I think takes away from the subtly chilling and horror-tinged atmosphere the actual first episode is supposed to have, which benefits from the fear of not knowing the reality of what’s coming. (Given I have learned that it consists of material that comes after the two original DDDD movies, it might actually be advisable to skip the prologue and save it for when it was originally in the manga.) That clear misstep in writing, however, does not take away from what is gearing up to be a wonderful and wild ride. I will definitely continue watching–and I hope you check this out as well.

Two girls staring into the distance, with the subtitles saying "How about flashing your boobs?"
Perfect. 10/10. No notes.

About the Author : Toni Sun Prickett

Toni Sun Prickett (they/them) is a Contributing Editor at Anime Feminist, and a multidisciplinary artist and educator located in New York, New York. They bring a queer abolitionist perspective shaped by their years of organizing and teaching in NYC to anime criticism. Outside of anime writing, they are a musician blending EDM and saxophone performance, and their hobbies include raving, voguing, and music production. They run the AniFem tiktok and their writing can be found at They are on X, Instagram, and Bluesky @poetpedagogue.

Read more articles from Toni Sun Prickett

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: