Title: Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction Vol. 12
Author: Inio Asano
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Slice-of-Life, Fantasy, Drama
Publication Date: April 18, 2023
It’s been since August since we saw the eleventh volume but now, after a long and patient wait, the conclusion to Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction is here, and… everything is a mess. The mothership has exploded, asterisks are everywhere, and the US has occupied Japan and taken over and is at war with China. Humans are forced to live underground; if they go to the surface, weapons known as Fujin will attack and kill anyone on sight. Several rogue groups have formed… some of which are fighting back to restore Japan to the way it was.
Nobuo, Kadode’s father, awakens. The invader that had been possessing his body is gone and his consciousness has returned. After being brought up to speed, he wishes to return to Tokyo so that he can be reunited with his family. The unfortunate news is that during all of the commotion, Tokyo was completely wiped out and its remnants now lay at the bottom of Tokyo Bay. Nobuo finds himself bouncing between different factions as a US/China collision occurs during his travels in search of Tokyo. He finally ends up in the hands of some familiar faces who give him the option which could serve as a final hope for him and him alone… so they take him *there*.
After he goes *there*, we are taken into the epilogue of the story which I will let you read on your own.
Since this is the final volume, I usually skip the character section and give my reflection on the entirety of the series as a whole.
This series started out with Inio Asano’s trademarked view on life. They find the nitty gritty aspects of humans and casually put them on display. He is certainly not the type to stray away from controversial topics but none of them are overblown. We saw this in Oyasumi Punpun and we see it here again in this series.
He took the profoundness of life and wrapped it around a story of alien invaders and an event known as 8/32… the date on which the invaders attacked. At first, it looked as if it were a story about humanity’s survival in the face of a cosmic threat but we get to know the invaders and how their home world turned its backs on them, leaving them stranded there to survive on their own.
When we got to this point in the story, I was reminded of an anime I watched called Shiki. At first, it depicted humans as the victims of vampires but when you got to know the vampires, it painted humans as vicious and you felt a sort of sympathy for them. All the while, you end up in a morally gray area where you question who is truly right… the humans or the vampires. It’s the same deal here. Who is truly right? The invaders or the humans? I really liked that dynamic as it invokes a sense of morality and personal worldview into the series without actually answering the question for the reader. It’s up to you to determine who is right and who is wrong.
Then, Asano introduced the practice of time travel. At this point, I held my breath because we had this established storyline in the series and now all of that could be altered with the advent of this new plot device. I feared that we would be jumping around whenever it was convenient for the story to reach the final outcome but that wasn’t the case. When Oran used it, we rode out the timeline that was created from it as a result and that’s the timeline that took us straight into the conclusion of the story.
Throughout this timeline, the same threat was repeated… the end of humanity as the mothership threatened to explode. Then we see just that. Even though humanity hasn’t truly ended… in another morally-challenging question, it wonders if it truly had. When you’re forced to live underground without being allowed topside… to have been denied access to any and all information prior to the events that drove you underground, etc… are people truly living? Sure, you’re physically alive and breathing air but at what cost?
Overall, I highly enjoyed this series. Everything from the setting the premise, the overall story, and the characters meshed together well. While some would argue that all of Asano’s characters are similar… I think it’s his personal worldview that makes these characters work in the story. Plus, Oran and Kadode have completely opposite personalities so I wouldn’t really say anything was similar.
Asano was able to maintain the quality of the series from beginning to end, too. Something that’s pretty rare in manga as there will always be peaks and valleys. Even the valleys here felt relevant and interesting and proved that you could deviate a bit from the main story to tell a side story only to discover that the side story ties into the main story seamlessly. It’s not at a Ryohgo Narita level of interweaving multiple stories into the whole but it didn’t have to be.
From every witty quip to even gritty moment to every turn of the page… Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction offers up one heck of a sci-fi story that will make you laugh at times, cry at times, and just stare in awe at what you’re reading. It was so good, it has become Asano’s first story to receive a television anime adaptation which, at the time of this review, has not yet started airing but it’s coming up soon. With the full series out, sci-fi fans owe it to themselves to check this story out. Just keep an open and mature mind when reading it.
Overall rating: 4.75 / 5
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media