Dandadan Chapter 2: Your name is Okarun

Okarun releases the power of Turbo Granny against the hulking Floodwood alien in chapter 2 of Dandadan.
Okarun releases the power of Turbo Granny

Momo Ayase doesn’t take took kindly to Ken’s name reveal. She forbids him from using it, instead, she names him Okarun. Dandadan Chapter 2 introduces us to the lore of the series, particularly regarding demons, ghosts, and aliens. Momo brings the exhausted Okarun to her home. When Okarun triggers a charm placed on the torii gate he ignites. Momo uses her psychic powers to toss him into a river. On the charm is an image of the Ganzan Daishi (Ryogen). The charm ward off demons. Momo removes it allowing Okarun to enter. Okarun and Momo confirm that he no longer has his penis. Their at a loss for what they should do. Okarun and Momo discuss their potential friendship. As I mentioned in my review of Dandadan Chapter 1, Okarun is “nerdy,” and this often means lonely.

The Floodwood Alien

He tells Momo that he “always wanted friends.” She responds that he didn’t have friends because he’s “pushes people away.” She may be right but I don’t think they know each other well enough for that deep of an insight into who Okarun is. Regardless, that information is likely for the audience. I continue to enjoy the sporadic sprinkling of sexual insults Okarun hurls at Momo as he struggles to control Turbo Granny. It’s possible it will get old but it’s working for me now. Suddenly, the two hear a weird doorbell. Momo’s grandmother installed two doorbells, one for humans and the other for “evil spirits.” They head outside to find that they’re walled in and begin to bleed from their noses.

A floodwoods monster appears and demands their genitals. Okarun explains they’re generally “ten feet tall” and were first discovered in the “American town of Floodwood,” and now exists in Japan. Dandadan blurs the lines between aliens and spirits. Mechanisms intended to detect spirits (the doorbell) are also capable of detecting aliens. Okarun explains that “studies show that people who see psychic phenomena . . . also see UFO’s.” Momo and Okarun’s fighting ability (at least right now) is limited due to Momo’s need to suppress Turbo Granny with her powers. Momo attempts to free Okarun’s head while allowing Turbo Granny to take over his body. He gains a lot of power but Turbo Granny appears to sap his soul, resulting in Okarun feeling depressed.

Momo uses the charm to disintegrate the Floodwood monster

Turbo Granny takes control

Unmotivated, it seems like Okarun is going to be crushed. Turbo Granny is able to move his body without input from Okarun. The fingers of the floodwood are cut off. The speed of Turbo Granny overwhelms Okarun’s body leaving him vulnerable to attack from the Floodwood. Momo notices that the alien moves like a sumo wrestler. Okarun uses his speed to blow a hole in its knee. The Floodwoods hand begins to dissolve but it sprouts two legs, grabs Momo, and slams her into the wall. Despite this, she continues to suppress Turbo Granny. After challenging the Floodwood it begins hammering her into the wall, with a series of devastating punches. Pummeled into a hole under the torii gate, Momo psychically grabs Okarun and uses the charm to disintegrate the Floodwood monster. Exhausted, Momo passes out leaving the curse unchecked. Turbo Granny takes over and prepares to swallow Momo.

I like the lore introduce in this chapter. It’s always important to establish the limits in a series universe. So far, ghosts can’t appear during the day, doorbells can alter you to their (and aliens) presence, and barriers can set them ablaze. Making aliens and spirits exist in the same universe can be difficult. From a genre standpoint, they’re usually categorized in horror and sci-fi respectively. I wonder if we’ll get a more elaborate explanation or just have to accept the word of the author that in Dandadan, aliens and spirits overlap in some way. Yukinobu Tatsu really creates wonderful monsters. I intrigued by what held come up with next.

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