Dandadan Episode 1 is everything a manga-reader could want and then some

We were fortunate enough to attend Anime Expo and witness the world premiere of Dandadan’s inaugural episode. As avid manga readers, it exceeded all our expectations.

Dandadan’s highly anticipated 2024 anime release has been the talk of the town, following its rise to fame as a must-read manga during the past two years.

With its abundance of zany moments, stunning artwork, and exhilarating action, Dandadan captured our attention from the very first chapter. After eagerly anticipating its on-screen adaptation for over a year, we were thrilled to finally experience the anime’s debut episode at Anime Expo 2024.

Caution: Minor spoilers below!

The JW Marriott’s Platinum Ballroom was filled with excited fans, just like us, who were eager to watch the episode. Before the screening, a panel of special guests, including voice actors, producers, and the anime’s director, was held.

We were fortunate enough to witness a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of the series, which featured Okarun’s debut transformation as he takes on the role of Turbo Granny to rescue Momo from a group of Serpoian aliens attempting to harvest her organs in a UFO.

The first episode provided only a glimpse of the exhilarating action to come, and we were completely caught off guard. Science Saru, the studio responsible for the animation, truly exceeded expectations with this series. The artwork is incredibly fluid and a delight for the eyes, particularly during the numerous action scenes.

Director Fuga Yamashiro carefully selected every aspect of the film, from the sound effects to the camera movements and the colors used. He specifically chose vibrant red and blue to represent Turbo Granny and the Serpoians, respectively, and these colors dominate the screen whenever they appear.

During the screening, the colors were projected in the background of the Platinum Ballroom, adding to the immersive experience for viewers. We couldn’t contain our excitement as we joined fans in laughing, being shocked, and feeling sadness due to the character development depicted in the first episode. In just twenty minutes, we found ourselves enamored with Okarun and Momo, as we learned about their pasts in the middle of an intense action scene.

As avid manga readers, we were particularly pleased with a creative decision made by Yamashiro and the rest of the team regarding a pivotal moment in the action sequence towards the end of the episode. This scene hearkens back to an earlier interaction between Momo and her ex-boyfriend, which was briefly mentioned during her fight with the Serpoians. This departure from the original manga added depth to Momo’s character, as it showcased her growth and empowerment as both a woman and a spirit medium. It resonated strongly with us, as it depicted her determination to no longer be controlled by insignificant men.

In our opinion, Dandadan is an absolutely must-read for manga fans. After watching the first episode, we were thoroughly impressed by Science Saru’s skillful adaptation of the original material. They have truly elevated an already amazing story and we can confidently assure viewers that they will not be disappointed if they decide to give it a chance.

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