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Shonen’s Huge Romance Flaw is Fixed In Jump’s Wildest Series, Dandadan

Chapter 50 of Shonen Jump’s Dandadan continues the pattern of revisiting strong romance-centric storylines after every battle.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Dandadan chapter 50!

Aside from the fact that some of the most popular and successful fighting manga completely disregard romance at the detriment of their own series, Shonen Jump’s  Dandadan continually proves that a perfect blend of both can successfully circumvent the possibility of any lulls between arcs.

Major hitters in the manga industry including One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen neglect romance for a variety of reasons. But, as a result, this limits the full potential of what their characters can attain, no matter how complex their other relations might be. In chapter 50 of Dandadan, mangaka Yukinobu Tatsu continues to explore the budding feelings between Okarun and Momo Ayase after their latest epic adventure and brawl end in the latest chapter of Dandadan, and what transpires from their adorable interaction is enough to carry the series’ latest installment despite just lasting for a few panels.

Related: The Wildest Shonen Jump Manga Is Only Getting Stranger, & Better

After temporarily sealing the Evil Eye yokai that possessed Momo’s former boyfriend Jiji, she and her friends must now learn how to fully exorcise the yokai. But first, they must go see Jiji’s parents whose earlier hospitalization sparked Okarun and Momo’s participation in their last adventure. This plotline, while necessary, could have dragged on for obvious reasons, but the romance between Okarun and Momo has been so compelling that not only are the flirtations themselves enough to captivate readers but the prospect of them occurring keeps fans’ eyes peeled for any inkling of their feelings bubbling to the surface. The latter occurs because the two can only explore their relationship after a battle.

Momo Ayase holds Okarun's hand in Dandadan chapter 50.

This latest chapter continues this satisfying pattern. It’s quite pivotal as well, essentially proving for the first time that Dandadan‘s Momo has romantic feelings for Okarun because she puts her hand on his in the back seat of a van as they go to see Jiji’s parents. The two’s 50-chapter journey has been quite the experience as Okarun, who’s the type of nerd who would fall in love with his super attractive and popular friend Momo, was just so excited initially to have a friend when they began hanging out that he didn’t even look at her that way. And Momo is the type of girl who likes bad boys, and only enjoyed hanging out with him at first because she actually has real conversations with him. But their relationship is also much more nuanced than that, and this latest chapter not only confirms Momo’s feelings for him, but adds a weird quirk to her overall personality in how she expresses herself, to the point where Okarun is even confused by her actions.

Although well-executed comedy also plays a role in boosting these potentially lackluster instances, it’s the romance between Okarun and Momo that truly drives the overall story in Dandadan, as well as the incredibly unique and entertaining battle sequences. If other manga series attempted to incorporate these critical types of relationships then Shonen Jump offerings, including Jujutsu Kaisen, would be much stronger than they already are.

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