Title: Dead Dead Demon’s Dedede Destruction Vol. 5 Author: Inio Asano Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 164 Genre: Slice-of-Life, Fantasy, Drama Publication Date: April 16, 2019
The fifth volume of Dead Dead Demon’s Dedede Destruction picks up with Keita and Oran meeting face-to-face. The volume spends its time exploring the SDF side of the conflict through the eyes of one soldier who once questioned whether or not the invaders and humans could co-exist but once he started pulling the trigger, he stopped thinking by saying that because he can’t understand them, it made it easier to kill them. Despite those feelings, he’s still conflicted on whether or not killing them is a good idea.
On the flipside, we spend a little time with the invaders themselves who are getting fed up with the humans killing them off. A revolt is being planned but as they’re in the middle of discussing it, the SDF show up and start mowing them down one after the other! Among all of this violence, the mothership begins to emit white smoke. The news claims that it’s just the rain evaporating off of the ship from the warmth of the sun but Keita knows that the ship is reaching its thermal capacity and it won’t last much longer.
Speaking of Keita, he’s mistaken by Oran and Kadode as Oba, a male idol singer who died when in invader saucer crashed into his tour bus. Keita simply inhabited his body. Keita ends up hanging out with Kadode and Oran as he feels it’s rather safe for him to do so. Because as such, a bond between him and Oran begins to form. Meanwhile, Oran is merely interested in using him to build her army that she keeps blabbering about from time to time. The volume comes to an end when we see more and more white smoke billowing up from the mothership, signaling that the end is drawing near for both the humans and the invaders.
This volume, as expected on Asano, was rather deep and philosophical. I know his works are usually this way but this one was a bit deeper than normal. We got to see the duality of humanity in both the humans and the invaders. We got to experience the ever-growing threat of annihilation as well as the portrayal of ignorance within the government. While the characters didn’t really evolve that much, the volume took time to dive a bit deeper into the psychological nature of the story elements and how they ended up having an effect on the characters themselves.
We finally got to spend some much-needed time with Keita/Oba. Through our interaction with him, we can tell that he finds humans interesting. He notes that they are vulgar but are also stupid and kind at the same time. He admits that his people are actually weaker than humans but none of it matters because of the impending implosion of the mothership and how it will end the lives of both invaders and humans. It’s also interesting to note that Keita feels that to his people, humans are the invaders despite them coming to our planet. That there shows the viewpoint of the invaders showing up and immediately getting attacked without any rhyme or reason by the humans. That would, in fact, make us the invaders in their eyes. Pretty nice point there.
What is also odd was the relationship building between Keita and Oran. No idea what prompted what happened at the end of the volume but it’s definitely an interesting twist that suggests that co-existence could have been possible this entire time.
Speaking of relationships, Kadode seems to have realized everything going on and it’s affecting her. She’s spending, what seems to be her final moments, with Mr. Watarase but they way she’s doing it appears that she’s looking for comfort and protection rather than seeing him as a love interest as she previously had. It’s a bit of a personality shift with her so we will have to see how this ends up.
Everyone else, from a character standpoint, hasn’t really changed and I don’t really foresee a reason for them to do so just yet.
This was quite the impactful volume of Dead Dead Demon’s Dedede Destruction. I love how Asano just brings the nitty-gritty aspects of humanity into a sci-fi setting. By, once again, exploring both sides of the conflict, we can see parallel similarities between the invaders and the humans. It really blurs the line between who is right and who is wrong in this matter. The way it seems is that humans are in the wrong for attacking the invaders who did nothing but show up. It means we gave into our preconceived fears without any rational thought or examination of the situation. That in and of itself is a metaphor of our own prejudices and how we, as humans, are quick to judge anything we perceive to be different than ourselves.
Of course, the drama factor is amped up as the mothership is nearing its limit. Another hard-hitting moment is when Oran asks Keita if he knows how long they have and he simply replies “even if I could tell you, would you want to know?” That in itself is a play on our own mortality rates. Do any of us truly know when we want to die? What would we do with that information? Sure, if it was a long time off, we wouldn’t think much about it but when the day, hour and minute of our demise drew closer, we would go insane knowing that the end was coming. Most people would rather not know when it will happen. This way we can continue to live on in peace without our self-aware minds breaking. Just simply lines like that really dig deep into your thoughts and they echo real-world concerns that all humans face. This is why Inio Asano is a master at exploiting this and is one of my favorite manga authors, if not my absolute favorite!
Now only if he can stop putting his series on hiatus so damn much! (although I’m sure he has good reason to do so.)