Space Dandy: Episode 5

Slimy, yet satisfying.


Okay, now that the Noragami stuff is out of the way, let’s get back into the proper schedule. Ah, Space Dandy…what do you have for us this week, friend…

How cheap do you have to be to cut and paste a plot?

That’s what I want to say, at least. By rights, logically, this episode is a sell out. It takes the usual heart-of-gold-for-an-orphan story and literally does nothing new with it.

And yet I still rather enjoyed the episode. I don’t exactly plan to re-watch it anytime soon, if ever. But it entertained for its half hour and that’s really, ultimately, what it’s about.

So Dandy has found a new species of alien.  It has never been caught before, but that doesn’t stop  Dandy from just walking in the front door.  He finds a little girl of the species and turns out they have the power to transfer minds into the bodies of puppets.  Her puppet of choice happens to be a penguin thing.  Well, Dandy, never being one to consider consequences, subdues the girl while in stuffed form.  He’s going to collect the 9million dollar reward (or, space zeni or whatever the hell the currency is, I forget).

Only when he gets back, the Aloha Oe has been towed, and the crew can’t pay the impound fee. So Dandy must take the train.  Space train.  Cute.  She agrees to go quietly if he promises a small detour to a specific address. He agrees to the deal.

And you know how it goes. The girl turns out to be an orphan, Dandy gets attached to her, blah blah blah blah blah.

They even had a carnival ride.

But her grandfather isn’t where she remembered.  And so she gives up hope.

Dandy leaves her alone in the hotel that night, saying he’s going for Boobies.  He reminds her that he doesn’t do anything because ordered, he does whatever he wants to because he wants to.  Of course we see it coming from a mile away that he’s going to investigate her grandfather.

I think, ultimately, what elevates this story to be -slightly- above pedestrian is that while we all see it coming from a mile away, this isn’t a -consistent- trait of Dandy’s.  Look at Spike on Cowboy Bebop. He’s a “hard man” but would never, ever out and abandon his friends (unless they are Faye and she stabs him in the back first).  But he would always pull through.

With Dandy that is not as consistent.  He leaves Meow to die…several times. And when I see Dandy’s compassion on display this week, all I can think of is how last week he was clobbering zombies with QT’s body despite the latter’s protests.

So while Dandy’s change of heart, and willingness to give up on THAT MUCH MONEY is entirely predictable, there is a sense that it really IS getting past his emotional defenses, and not just something he will do because he’s Raishin and he just helps people (Wow, Anna, still bitter?)

So, I did like this week.  Space Dandy is still a “background noise” show, to me, but hey, at least it isn’t insulting us with how flippantly bad it is.

Did I miss something?

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