Momo Ayase has mentioned her grandmother multiple times in the firsttwo chapters of Dandadan. A spirit medium, Momo’s grandmother Hoshiko has a youthful appearance considering her age. She sports glasses, hoop earnings, and a high ponytail. Her style also suggest she deliberately seeks to appear younger. This includes wearing her a revealing sweater that displays her cleavage. When she works as a professional medium named Dodoria Santa, she wears a grotesque masks and a hooded black cloak. Her looks and body are hidden from view. Whether she hides her appearance to create a persona or assumes she won’t be taken seriously as a woman.
Dandadan Chapter 3,” A Clash of the Grannies, Huh?” open with Hoshiko telling the fortune of a young idol. She predicts his age is 27, he claims he’s 20. She predicts he love curry and have a wife and kids. He basically claims she a fraud. Hoshiko arrives home just in time to prevent Turbo-Granny from eating Momo. Armed with a bat, she challenges Turbo-Granny , who quickly appears behind her. Turbo-Granny is set on fire and becomes trapped in a barrier circle created by Hoshiko. The barrier will ignite the demon if it passes over the line. In combination with her “charm nails” she’s able to use her barriers to both protect herself and trap Turbo-Granny . Despite Turbo-Granny mentioning that Ken would die if Hoshiko sets her on fire, Hoshiko doesn’t seem to care.
Gotta play tag with Turbo-Granny
Momo wakes concerned for Okarun (Ken). She finds her grandmother watching Bakatono, and assumes she killed Okarun. Hoshiko leads her granddaughter to believe she killed Okarun. Hoshiko hasn’t seen Momo since she gain psychic powers and is clearly bitter over Momo’s previous dismissing of her psychic powers. When her grandmother tells her were Okarun is Momo rushes to find him eating in the shrine. She relived. After informing her grandmother that she has powers now, her grandmother reveals more information on the Turbo-Granny . Formerly called “100 KM/H Granny,” she used to terrorized Japan and Hoshiko investigated her inside the tunnel.
Hoshiko claims she couldn’t even get close to the tunnel due to strength of the presence. She explains that bound spirits “stay in a place they have some sort of strong attachment,” and are “strongest in their territory.” It’s foolish to take on a bound spirit inside their territory. According to Hoshiko, the bound spirit has fused with the Turbo-Granny. Even though her grandmother has warned her, Momo is still determined to rescue Okarun. Hoshiko tells her she will need to “play tag” with Turbo-Granny. It’s especially important that she get Turbo-Granny to leave the bound spirits territory. Once weaken, Turbo-Granny can be defeated more easily. Before that confrontation both Momo and Okarun need to get stronger. At the end of the chapter, we see that idol from earlier, Shouma-San is actually 27, has a love child, therefore proving Hoshiko is correct.
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.