Dandadan: aliens, ghosts and absurd humor, why the manga is love at first sight

It is on October 5 that the first 2 volumes of Dandadan, very noticed manga of Yukinobu Tatsu. And future bookstore phenomenon in France?

DANDADAN © 2021 by Yukinobu Tatsu/SHUEISHA Inc.


We remember that Crunchyroll had hit hard a few months ago with the impressive release of Kaiju No. 8creation removed and object of a monster promotion in France. The publisher intends to reiterate the enthusiasm and the media frenzy around a publication which comes to us crowned with a brilliant reputation, and which turns out not only to be brilliant, but deliciously unclassifiable.

With its introverted anti-hero, its student landscape and its occult threats, Dandadan could easily pass for yet another shonen, but from its first boards, it is a completely different energy that takes hold of the story and contaminates the reader. First of all, because his center of gravity will never quite be the young Okarun, just as his shyness will not impose itself as the essential modality of his inner conflicts or his relational issues. Dandadan’s emotional anchor is formed by the duet he forms with the spectacular Momo.

The first is passionate about the occult but hardly believes in ghosts, the second comes from a prestigious line of mediums and does not believe in extra-terrestrials. Their meeting will generate an immediate complicity and especially the realization that the beliefs of one and the other were not erroneous. A later confrontation with a yokai then a gaggle of mustachioed aliens and clonersour two heroes will find themselves endowed with power, an irresistible charm and a pair of supernatural powers.

Dandadan: PictureGrandma doesn’t know how to make good coffee / DANDADAN © 2021 by Yukinobu Tatsu/SHUEISHA Inc.


It is all the talent of the mangaka Yukinobu Tatsu to thwart the expectations of this classic first act on paper, but each box of which comes to qualify and transform the stereotypes. Through the drawing first, which betrays nicely that the author began as a self-taught fan of Gundam. He drew from it an art of tempo and staging, but also of perspective and composition which does a lot to immerse us in his singular universe.

Deceptively classic, the drawing knows how to alternate between poses of classical inspiration, ideal for placing us alongside protagonists that a well-placed box will suffice to nuance a few pages later. The line is flexible, reluctant neither in front of the abundance of details, nor in front of the breaks in your comic straight line, simple, direct. In perfect harmony with his appetite for absurd love and spirited verbal contests, Tatsu orchestrates confrontations that have fun multiplying points of view and perspectives, while taking care of their tempo.

And the publishing of manga rich in insane bestiary, traditional or not, may well be plethoric in the archipelago as in France, the first two volumes of Dandadan easily impose an artistic direction which leaves the reader wide-eyed more than once.

Dandadan: PictureDANDADAN © 2021 by Yukinobu Tatsu/SHUEISHA Inc.


The result is the breathtaking impression of sailing in known waters, which constantly surprise with unforeseen waves and mischievous reversals. This is particularly the case when we approach the nature of the relationship between our two heroes, both more direct and more human than what the competition often offers.

From the first two volumes published on October 5, the alchemy that unites the duo is obvious, which the story never seeks to push back, dilute, any more than it plays the comedy of impossible romance. Momo and Okarun are obviously destined to love each otherand what emerges with strength and clarity is that Dandadan should draw its strength from the evidence of this long-term relationship, at least as much as from its supernatural contests.

Dandadan: PictureThe World’s Least Cool Mariachis / DANDADAN © 2021 by Yukinobu Tatsu/SHUEISHA Inc.

The crystalline love that seems to define their connection from the outset is precisely what authorizes the author to give free rein not only to the sensitivity of his protagonists, but also to their willingly angry characters, and their willingly ruthless taste for the valve. This is the umpteenth quality ofan introduction to the most promising discoveries of recent months.

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Dandadan: aliens, ghosts and absurd humor, why the manga is love at first sight