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Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction
Episode 1

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction ?
Community score: 4.1

If I were to sum up this episode in one word, it would be “discomfort.” That is the feeling permeating both our heroine and the world she exists in. Kadode is a girl who doesn't feel like she fits in her own life. On one hand, she is a jaded realist who realizes that everything from her family life to her prospective future is far from anything she wants. On the other, she still clings to her childhood dreams—taking her childhood backpack with her to high school and talking about what it'd be like to fly.

Kadode doesn't know who she is or what she wants to be. And while she longed for change and excitement when she was younger, now that she's on the edge of adulthood, she wants nothing more than for things to stay as they always have been. But a common phrase epitomizes this episode and this series: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

The arrival of alien life forever changes the world. Then, the Americans destroy part of Tokyo, spreading unknown alien radiation in the process. Yet, three years later, things returned to normal. Kadode's life now is generally no different from how it was before the aliens came. Oh sure, her father is “dead,” and her mother is basically a hypochondriac—but these are things that could have happened without an alien ship looming overhead. She still goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and struggles to deal with her crush on her teacher.

Despite this, there is this sense of unease—this feeling that things are coming to a head. Just as Kadode's school life is about to end, this stage of humanity is about to end as well. After all, we've already seen in Episode 0 how things will be in just a few years. All that's left is to get there.

This first episode is fantastic. The story, the characters, the mood—it's all utterly perfect. But you know what's not perfect? How Ocean Studios has handled the subbing and dubbing.

Let me be clear. When it comes down to it, 90% of this episode's subbing and dubbing is fine. However, that remaining 10% is particularly egregious. On one side, we have the fact that none of the onscreen text is translated—be it diagenic or non-diagenic. This means that everything, from things the characters are reading to the on-screen narrative notes—like the ones explaining when or where scenes are happening—is left in raw Japanese. (Though this is fixed in the dubbed version.)

On the other, we have the issue that the subtitles are not subtitles at all—they're dubtitles. This means the words appear on the screen to match when the English voice actors speak—not when the original Japanese actors do—so the timing can be confusing. Worse still, the dub itself has a huge error. Nearly 30 seconds of voice-over at around the 4-minute mark are missing in the dubbed version. The background sounds and music is there, just not the dialogue.

So, does all this ruin the anime? No. Like I said, it's mostly fine. However, this English presentation is obviously subpar compared to what we've come to expect in anime on a service people pay good money for. Ocean Studios and Crunchyroll need to ensure these problems are fixed by the time the next episode airs, lest these issues become what the anime is known for rather than the excellent story.

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

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