Dandadan Volume One introduces the main characters and the events that will drive the overarching story of the series.

Dandadan Volume One
Written by: Yukinobu Tatsu
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 11, 2022

The story opens with a girl named Momo Ayase being dumped by her boyfriend and dealing with a broken heart. It turns out she’s looking for a guy like an actor named Ken Takakura, and she thought she found him in the guy who dumped her. After this, she defends a nerdy boy from taunts at school, and it turns out he’s into aliens and unidentified aerial phenomena (which he insists is the correct term instead of UFOs). Momo, meanwhile, is the granddaughter of a spirit medium, so she has a belief in spirits. The two of them argue over aliens and spirits, and they give each other a challenge to prove to the other that what they believe in is real.

As luck would have it, the nerdy boy encounters a spirit of an old woman, while Momo encounters aliens. The boy is possessed by the spirit, while Momo is captured by the aliens. Let’s just say that in both cases, there’s some… “horniness” involved. It turns out that the nerdy boy possessed by the spirit arrives and tries to save Momo, but while in captivity, Momo has awakened spiritual powers and can help free herself. Right at the end of the first chapter, the nerdy boy’s name is revealed… and it’s one Momo never wants to hear again, so she starts referring to him as “Okarun.”

Yes, all of that was in the first chapter. But let me just say that by the time I finished the chapter, I wasn’t really sold on Dandadan. While we do get some minor character development for both Momo and Okarun in the following chapters, and Momo’s grandmother becomes an important character in the volume, these developments only slightly improved my opinion of this volume after I finished reading it. Even though Momo’s grandmother becomes an important character in the volume, I found that I personally didn’t care much for her as a character. To be honest, I suspect that I’m not the target market for this manga, and there just wasn’t enough here to personally get me interested in the story or to truly care about the characters.

I do have to give Tatsu credit for the art, though. All of the characters that appear in Dandadan Volume One all have a distinct look to them, and he’s also able to give the spirit and the aliens an appropriate look to emphasize just how different they are from the humans that are in the series. There are also some decent action panels included in this volume as well.

While I may not have personally enjoyed Dandadan Volume One, I believe that the target audience that the series is aimed it will find more to appreciate about it than I do. It’s not a bad series, because Tatsu has obviously put in effort in both his story and his art. And he also seems to know who his audience is and what they’re going to want out of this series. However, at this point, I’m not sure if I’ll read the second volume of the series if VIZ Media makes a digital review copy available for it.

If you enjoy stories about teenagers getting entangled with the supernatural and things that are out of this world that include a decent helping of horniness, then you’ll likely enjoy Dandadan Volume One.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media