Space Dandy: Episode 1

A facepalm…but an endearing facepalm.


Well, the introduction to Space Dandy was….actually, kind of exactly what I was expecting.  It is essentially Cowboy Bebop, with the action and comedy levels reversed.  Lots of comedy with a frame of action and drama (Bebop being lots of action with a healthy dose of comedy mixed in). That is, my friends, the truth.  Rose specs may blind people to thinking Bebop was this masterpiece of drama, but it really was very much like this series.  Only Bebop was this concept played straight.  In Dandy? There is nothing straight about this. Self parody abounds, self referential material, and a whole lot of “Really? You’re doing this?”  It is….it’s a “lame” kind of humor, but that kind of lovable lame, you know? Like when your girlfriend makes the most terrible, face-palming pun imaginable, and you want to weep that THIS is the person you’re spending your life with, but it’s just part of her charm, you know?  I feel the same way about the blunt humor in Dandy.

The animation is quite….fun. I wouldn’t go so far as to say stylistic, exactly, I don’t know if there’s an undercurrent to it all, but it’s gorgeous all the same with a beautiful flow that plays right into the slapstick elements of the show.  It knows how to handle both the parody scenes without being obnoxious, and the action scenes without giving them a lot of…I guess you’d say “heavy” consequences to them, so that while it still LOOKS badass, you can’t forget you’re ultimately watching a carnival ride.  I certainly loved looking at this episode.  Will that continue, or will the budget rear its head? Who knows.

When we meet Dandy, he is your typical delinquent hero.  He is casual, dresses extreme gaudy and peacock like, he has a voice that COULD be used for something professional yet his speech patterns make him sound very….being generous let’s just call it “street smart”.  And he justifies his life choices with cosmic platitudes.  And I do mean that in the truest definition of the word.  It is a guy who has learned to articulate “I’m bored” into a poem, and it likely took him ten years to perfect it to a state that you or I could do on the fly.

But he does have one saving grace, one truly noble trait.

He is an ass man.

And asses, as is scientifically verified, are where the action is.

“Anna…you are the worst lesbian.”  Yes, I know. I know.

I actually liked QT, Dandy’s partner robot.  He’s like if Ein could talk and was given jobs.  Or Jiminy Cricket with an ADORABLE voice box.  I am willing to bet in an early version of the script he was a buxom automaton, with personality in the style of Yaya from Machine Doll.  But that was wisely scrapped and the name just kind of stuck.  Either that or he was named by someone’s wife. It’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.

But that’s just speculation. Don’t quote me on that.

Like Spike in Bebop, Dandy is a hunter. Only he doesn’t hunt bounties, he hunts aliens and gets paid to catalogue them.  Yes, Dandy, for all his action hero savvy, is basically just someone taking a census.  The future of Jane Goodall types everywhere.

And where do you meet people? At…really? We’re doing this? We are, aren’t we? …sigh….”Boobies”.  This is basically space Denny’s.  And it drives the point home that every item on the menu has “Space” attached to the front of it, to make it science fictiony, of course.  I did really like that gag, as a Trek fan, where everything must have some alien adjective to it instead of being JUST tennis or JUST an opera or JUST a double headed dildo that lights up when you turn it on.

Turns out also there’s a galactic war.  Right on.  I do love the narrator voice, might I say.  It’s almost exactly like when you’re telling a story, and you say “Oh, right, I forgot, this also happened.”  It’s cute, and the crew’s interactions with the narrator were adorable.

So, this being the pilot week, I don’t want to give too much away.  I’ll be getting more in depth next week.

But for now, just, DON’T expect Bebop, okay? Love the comedy show for what it is.  As much as I draw the parallels, you have to take the show on its own merits.  It wants to be its own thing. THAT’S OKAY. No one panic.

I personally was not FUH-LOORED, but neither did I think it was BAD.  It’s a cute, fun little series.  Or so it seems *eyebrow*


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