Title: Dandadan Vol. 2
Author: Yukinobu Tatsu
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Publisher: VIZ Media
After the previous volume, Momo and Okarun face a mighty foe. Dandadan Vol. 2 has the duo looking for a way to survive the onslaught of the bound spirit, a giant crab. They may have defeated Turbo Granny, but peace and normalcy will still demand a lot of effort.
Momo learned to control her spiritual powers better, and now we see how her new understanding impacts her growth. Expanding beyond vision allows her to use touch to grab things that would otherwise be out of reach. Volume 2 does a fantastic job of depicting her progress in a meaningful but natural way throughout the chapters.
Funnily, the end of the first arc has two implications. While it means the two protagonists are now finally free from the risks, returning to normalcy, which could mean separating from each other. It may have been just a short time, but it was enough to empathize and bond to the point of missing each other.
They won’t say so much to the other’s face, awkward fellows as they are. Just like the closest friends or young lovers feeling too shy, they argue a lot, but it’s easy to see how they don’t mean to hurt each other. However, they soon find out things aren’t that simple.
Okarun isn’t totally back to normal, so they’ll once again have to deal with the occult to fix him. Unfortunately, these supernatural shenanigans happen at the same time some school situations arise, and it’s interesting to see how neither Momo nor Okarun is the same as they were before.
Meeting each other and experiencing such challenging situations in the first volume has impacted them and their worldview. Finally, they’ve found someone they truly believe can support them and can’t stand by and see others belittle someone they care so much about. It surprises them a little as they are only partially aware of those feelings.
Volume 2 may reduce the pacing, but Dandadan never wastes a panel, nor does it stop being entertaining from start to finish. Whenever there were action scenes or even smaller but dynamic sequences, it was clear how the movement flowed from one panel to the next. But even the slower bits of character interaction feels like a fantastic read as Yukinobu Tatsu knows how to make them funny banters that feel meaningful to develop the charismatic characters.
The chapters flew by, and I craved more once it finished. I’m also fond of how expressive characters are. They’re often making exaggerated reactions with their faces and bodies, so it’s easy to notice how they’re feeling at a glance, and it can get silly with how funny those are. But, on the other hand, it’s simple and clean, like how the action sequences easily connect across each page.
Dandadan Vol. 2 continues to be an entertaining shounen manga that knows how to offer what the reader wants while feeling fresh. Yukinobu Tatsu’s manga is the kind of whacky tale that feels fascinating to read for its unabashed fun of throwing things together in a pot and making them stick. I can’t wait to see what the charismatic duo of protagonists will have to face next.
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