Momo Ayase and Okarun in the main promo image for DanDaDan

‘DAN DA DAN’ Is About to Be Peak

The writing’s been on the wall for some time now: the next big anime series is going to be Dandadan. And I mean big-big.

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The world premiere of the first episode dropped at Anime Expo 2024, and the reactions were seemingly unanimous: Science Saru has struck gold once again. DAN DA DAN is incredible. It looks incredible. Fans of Yukinobu Tatsu’s manga were thrilled. Newcomers were awestruck. We’re in for a treat.

Tatsu notably began his career as an assistant for Chainsaw Man‘s Tatsuki Fujimoto, so that’s the lineage we’re talking about here. The DAN DA DAN manga is beloved. Everything about Dandadan is promising. Here’s what you need to know ahead of its release.

What’s this thing about?

The quip was passed around Anime Expo that DAN DA DAN is kind of like “anime X-Files.” Er, it’s like The X-Files if there was a very sexy granny in it.

High school student Momo Ayase believes in ghosts, but not aliens. Her classmate Ken Takakura—aka Okarun—believes in aliens, but not ghosts. Turns out, as X-Files would say, the truth is out there, and there’s both aliens and ghosts. Mayhem ensues.

Who’s making DAN DA DAN?

DAN DA DAN is being helmed by Science Saru. According to me, Science Saru is the best studio in the business. Founded by the visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (the Inu-Oh director who semi-recently left), their parade of hits includes Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, Devilman Crybaby, and more.

Science Saru basically made its name for making anime that looks unconventional and makes delightfully weird decisions that blossom into some of the most incredible animation in the business. In other words, they’re perfect for an anime about the eccentric, like DAN DA DAN.

DAN DA DAN makes Fuga Yamashiro’s debut as a series director, but he’s worked as an episode or assistant director on Science Saru’s best works: Eizouken, Inu-Oh, Tatami Time Machine Blues, and The Heike Story.

Rather fittingly, considering the manga’s lineage, composer Kensuke Ushio also scored Chainsaw Man. Aside from his career as a rock and EBM musician, you might also recognize his work from Science Saru’s Devilman Crybaby.

The voice talent is even more incredible. Okarun, the male lead, is voiced by Natsuki Hanae. You know Hanae, because he voices Tanjiro from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba. We got Tanjiro, guys! I feel like I also have to mention that Hanae is a truly adorable man. Meanwhile, our female lead, Momo is voiced by Shion Wakayama, who’s best known for playing Takina Inoue in Lycoris Recoil and Azura in Dr. Stone.

But I really need to talk about the antagonists. Because the freaky aliens and such are being voiced by absolute legends who have strong associations with ubiquitous characters. First off, we have Turbo Granny, voiced by Mayumi Tanaka. That’s the creepy lady saying “Let me suck on your weenie” in the trailer above. Next, we have Serpo, the creature asking for “your ‘banana’.” Serpo is voiced by Kazuya Nakai.

If you don’t know Mayumi Tanaka and Kazuya Nakai by name, I promise you know their work. Because they’re Luffy and Zoro. Respectively. You know, from One Piece. Yes, that’s the voice actress who has been behind Monkey D. Luffy for 25 years saying, in a not un-Luffy-like voice, “Let me suck on your weenie.”

To round out the cast, we have Ayane Sakura (My Hero Academia‘s Ochako Uraraka) as Aira Shiratori, Kaito Ishikawa (Haikyuu!!‘s Tobio Kageyama) as Jiji, and Nana Mizuki (Naruto‘s Hinata Hyuga) as Momo’s sexy grandma.

DAN DA DAN is already amazing.

When and where can I watch such peak media?

The first thing you need to know is that the first three episodes of DAN DA DAN are getting a theatrical premiere. DAN DA DAN: FIRST ENCOUNTER will hit North American theaters starting September 13, courtesy of distributor GKIDS.

Which is a wild thing to do, right? For the first round of episodes of a manga series with no prior hype or name recognition? To pull out a theatrical tour of a brand new series like this, DAN DA DAN must truly be something special. As we all guessed by now.

After the theatrical premiere, the full season will roll out as normal starting in October, along with the rest of the fall season anime. You’ll be able to watch DAN DA DAN on both Netflix and Crunchyroll.

Get ready.

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.