Dandadan Volume Two works at developing the relationship between Momo Ayase and Ken Takakura (aka “Okarun”), as well as introduces a new character who could become important to the series.

Dandadan Volume Two
Written by: Yukinobu Tatsu
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 10, 2023

Volume Two opens with Momo and Okarun in a race against Turbo Granny and the earthbound spirit she has merged with. As part of the deal that was made, if the two teens can defeat Turbo Granny in a race, Okarun can get his balls back (which were taken from him when Turbo Granny placed a curse on him in the previous volume). The first two chapters focus on the race, and since they’re so action-oriented, they’re actually a pretty quick read. Tatsu did a great job with the art to emphasize the speed and the action of the race.

After this experience, Momo and Okarun try to be friends at school, but Okarun is such a social misfit that he’s having a hard time with it. This is only amplified when some boys at school ask Okarun to help them get closer to Momo because she’s cute… and this make Okarun realize that Momo is kind of cute. This realization makes him start acting even more awkward around Momo, and as you can probably guess, this causes some misunderstandings. They work out these misunderstandings by the end of the volume, but this adds one thread of tension that runs through quite a bit of the volume.

But the two teens quickly discover that they hadn’t defeated Turbo Granny like they thought they had, and she returns to cause more trouble. Momo and Okarun realize right before this is revealed that something isn’t right, because Okarun’s balls haven’t returned. Turbo Granny says that she dropped them while they were racing, and that they should look like shiny, golden balls. Momo and Okarun look for the golden balls, but to no avail.

Volume Two also introduces a new character, a girl at their school named Aira. She’s stuck up and rather vain about herself and her looks, and she likes to tease unpopular guys into thinking they might have a chance with her. Okarun is one of her victims, but Momo uses her spiritual power to do something humiliating to Aira. It turns out that Aira came across one of the gold balls that Momo and Okarun are looking for, but they don’t realize this until near the end of the volume. With the ball in her possession, this awakens Aira’s spiritual power and she begins seeing spirits and other supernatural things.

The last bit of Volume Two sees Aira trying to get back at Momo, and Aira being attacked by a demon that Aira had mistaken for her mother when she was a young child. It’s up to Okarun, Turbo Granny, and Momo to try to save her.

After being rather unimpressed by the first volume of Dandadan, I was still willing to give the second volume of the series a chance. But I admit that I went into this volume with lowered expectations. By the time I finished Volume Two, I found that I had a better appreciation for the series than I did after reading the first volume. I think that this was due, in large part, to the aliens not making an appearance in this volume. Between the aliens and the spirits that appeared in Volume One, I preferred the spirits. While there are still some strange elements in the series in Volume Two, the exclusion of the aliens helps to decrease some of the bizarre factor. However, having said that, Dandadan is a title that I wouldn’t go out of my way to track down and read more volumes of. However, if VIZ Media continues to make digital review copies of future volumes available for reviewers, I would be willing to read them to find out how the series progresses.

If you read and enjoyed Dandadan Volume One, then I would recommend reading this volume to find out what happens to Momo and Okarun. However, if you liked the aliens that appeared in the first volume and want to see more of them, you will likely be disappointed by the fact they don’t appear at all in Volume Two.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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