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Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Episode 0

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 0 of
Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction ?
Community score: 3.9

As I was watching “Episode 0” of Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction, one thought just kept running through my head: “What a crazy way to introduce people to this story.” Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of starting things in media res but this is way beyond that. From my point of view, this is “in medias epilogus.”

Let me explain, while I haven't read the original Dead Dead Demon's Dededededestruction manga, I have seen the two anime films that were released recently here in Japan—films that will be broken up into this very TV series for streaming abroad. This episode, however, is 100% new footage—nothing seen here appears in those films. This little story takes place after the end of the second film. So, while as a viewer of the films I find this episode incredibly interesting (as it is an unexpected epilogue to what already felt like a perfect ending), it seems insane to have this be the first experience most anime fans will have of this story.

It would be one thing if what we see in this episode were par for the course when it comes to what to expect in Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction. However, the story proper is anything but a post-apocalyptic adventure thriller about a man who, after spending years under the control of an alien, sets off to search for his daughter in a world full of violent terrorists, floating balls of destructive energy, and killer robots. Rather, the actual story is about two normal girls finishing up their final year of high school in a world where nothing changed even after aliens arrived District 9-style in the skies over Tokyo. They deal with things like first love and the uncertainty of life after graduation—all while, in the background, mankind acts just as foolishly and self-centered as we always do.

But while this episode is a terrible way to introduce people to the story, that's not to say it's completely unintelligible. We are just as out of touch with what's going on as Nobuo. However, we can understand what he's going through as well as his motivations. This world may be far different from the one he remembers but his goal of trying to reunite with his daughter—who may not even be alive at this point—still hits on an emotional level.

Moreover, the episode's got some solid action set pieces, that show (rather than tell) the extreme danger lurking in every corner of the world. One moment, you're walking during a beautiful sunset. The next, your brains are being splattered across a wall for seemingly no reason at all. It's shocking, brutal, and thematically gives a taste of what you can expect as the story proper moves along.

That said, I can't imagine the confusion I'd feel watching this without already having the frame of reference the films have given me. So much is just thrown at the viewer—tons of meaningless proper nouns for everything from groups of people to scientific phenomena. The simple fact is that it'll take a good 12 episodes before any of what we see in this episode makes sense.

However, in a way, that's kind of the point. This episode wants you to be so intrigued—so desperate to understand what the hell you just watched—that you'll be in this for the long haul. I think people will be even more shocked when we inevitably go back to the beginning of the story and get a show more like O Maidens in Your Savage Season than anything teased here.

In the end, if I were to sum up this episode, I'd call it a terrible prologue but a great epilogue. And if I were recommending this series to a friend, I'd tell them to skip this episode and watch it when it fits in the story chronologically. Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction is interesting enough from scene one. This confusing (and spoiler-filled) “Episode 0” simply isn't needed.

Rating: if you haven't seen the films. (Rating: if you have.)

Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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