Random Curiosity

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – The Ballad of Magic Jesus »« Free! -Eternal Summer- – For the Future!

Space Dandy 2 – Never-ending Dandy, Baby


A collection of tales about a Dandy Guy in Space

When it was announced that Watanabe Shinichiro was going to release another original sci-fi anime, I think most people were expecting the next Cowboy Bebop. But they got Space Dandy, for better or for worse. That’s the dangerous thing, I suppose, when big name creators are attached to a new series – the expectations and hype skyrocket, and when it turns out to be something unexpected, people dismiss it or claim it garbage. But after watching all twenty six episodes of Space Dandy (and if you, like I, prefer to consider it as one ongoing series despite it being split-cour), I must say I would not change a thing.

This final episode hit every note, providing us with a shocking twist in the revelation of little Bea, and tied everything together oh so wonderfully. We saw old faces and new alike, and the multi-verse Dandy theory was proven correct. And to top that off, our wonderful Dandy got the offer to be the God of a new collection of newborn universes. But of course, he turned it down. Oh, and also there was a 14.8 billion year timeskip – not something you see that often, is it? Overall, this finale was a celebration of what makes Space Dandy… well… Space Dandy. It was loud, it was over the top, magical, beautifully animated, and to top that all off it made sense – something that I think is genuinely impressive considering the bizarre nature of the series.

When looking at the series as a whole – due to its episodic nature of wild adventures – I almost like to think of Space Dandy as twenty six anime in one. Each episode was different from the next, with a number of famed directors, writers, and animators being brought in to work their magic. And because of the collaboration of alien ideas, artistic styles, and outrageous humour, it delivered. It may not have been the serious sci-fi story with the grandiose plot that (some) people were expecting going in, but it undoubtably proved itself in the end as a series bursting with creativity and imagination, whilst being spiced with arctic flair by the hands of veterans who were given free roam to shape Space Dandy twenty six times over.

When you sit back and think about what we have witnessed in each and every episode, it can only boggle your mind. Whether it be travelling to an alternate dimension with a lone Space Ramen store, having everyone and everything turn into zombies, or heading off to wonderful planets with changing artistic styles. It was all a roller coaster, truly. We got a fabulous space race to remember forever, an over the top musical episode, a Rock n’ Roll concert to shake the galaxies, a tense courtroom scene lasting an entire episode, and pretty much anything else you could imagine, really.

But whilst my praise for Space Dandy is high and mighty, I still have some minor gripes with the series. One of them being that, for me, the first four episodes were very much sub-par in comparison to the rest of the series, where it only grew from then on. Maybe that ties to original expectations coming into question, but I still feel this was a series that got better with time and patience. Another issue would be the simple fact that the quality of episodes didn’t exactly remain consistent. Most were good, some were great, and a few were incredible. As a result, it did show that as a whole the series was certainly not cohesive, and it had its moments where the quality (be that comedy, visuals, or episode plots) was not always at the same level. But then, I suppose that is to be expected of a series that effectively presses the restart button every week to allow for a new idea to take the forefront.

If I were to pick my highlights of the series as a whole (from both cours) it would be episode 5 from each. Funnily enough, both had very little comedy, and both focused on Dandy and a little girl. It was in these episodes that I knew that this series wasn’t just smoke and mirrors, but had the potential to deliver a simple, emotional, and altogether effective story. I’ll remember them as two of my favourite anime episodes of all-time, for sure. Another episode that I loved was: “The Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby” because it was essentially an even more hilarious version of High School Musical. I can still remember laughing until I could laugh no more. I really did have tears in my eyes with that one. I’m sure there is certainly an episode that stands out to you, or maybe a few, whether it be a pure-comedy episode, or one where the weird and wonderful elements of imagination were delved into, or possibly one of the more simple episodes with an emotional story to tell.

There is something for everyone in Space Dandy. And ending the series with ‘May Be Continued’ is only a good thing, no matter how you look at it. There is so much more this series can continue to explore, and I would absolutely be on board to journeying with our Dandy Guy in Space all over again.

September 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm
25 comments »
  • September 28, 2014 at 7:44 pmcshin9

    Space Dandy is a dandy guy in space.

    • September 28, 2014 at 9:57 pmcshin9

      These are the spectacular adventures of Space Dandy and his brave space crew in space.

  • September 28, 2014 at 8:05 pmTrippwire

    Great reflection on Space Dandy, Samu. I agree; it had its ups and downs, but mostly ups, and a lot of those ups were VERY high.

    I loved how the show drew from elements of modern physics to fuel its crazy plot. The big bang theory, string theory, parallel universes, elementary particles… it’s enough to make your head spin. But it’s like you said:

    “To top that all off it made sense – something that I think is genuinely impressive considering the bizarre nature of the series.”

    I think you can sum up modern physics in very much the same way, haha. It seems bizarre, over-the-top, and random, but then when you really examine, the dots start to connect.

  • September 28, 2014 at 8:15 pmGoukaRyuu

    I loved how the whole thing with Bea and Gel is a shot for shot homage to End of Eva.

    • September 29, 2014 at 4:58 amJunglepenguin

      IKR

      Heck, the whole thing screamed EoE, along with a giant melting pot of references to a whole bunch of other series.

  • September 28, 2014 at 8:21 pmLaughingMan

  • September 28, 2014 at 8:37 pmAtalla

    The plant world was my favorite.

  • September 28, 2014 at 9:14 pmPancakes

    I cannot recall an anime of late that has been as imaginative nor unique as Space Dandy, it was just that much fun. Fully agreed the show had its ups and downs, but certainly more ups, and season 2 if anything was a full degree better than season 1 in terms of interesting episodes. The latter half here especially hit all the right notes IMO, throwing us everything from the metaphysical debate on death to more modern string theory, multiuniverse hypothesis, and what could be taken as pure quantum physics in all its probabilistic glory.

    I think I said it before, but Space Dandy has accomplished in more half hour spurts what other shows have failed to given a couple dozen episodes: provide interesting plot lines and leave a satisfying conclusion. What Dandy could’ve done if allowed to develop multi-episode arcs god only knows, but I’d like to think from what was shown that amazing things would have been possible. Whatever Dandy can be described as at its core it remains a product of much care and love, showing that when given creative freedom there are still many producers out there capable of giving excellent stories and characters not derived from LNs or manga.

    Dandy IMO fully deserves a “great” score (8/10) for its imagination, entertainment, and creativity which abandoned most of convention self restraining much of the anime community. Beyond its creativity Dandy has shown that anime can be economically viable when targeted past the niche otaku groups. IIRC the show largely flopped in Japan, but maintained ~1 million viewers for each episode in the US, which for a late time slot and its national origins is pretty damn impressive. It might not have “saved” anime, but Dandy has hopefully shown that taking risks in anime can pay off, once you get someone willing to push beyond the self-imposed boundaries and get imaginative.

  • September 28, 2014 at 9:57 pmberrish17

    I just watched one of the episodes on Cartoon Network yesterday night.lol
    It was right after Attack on Titans XD

  • September 28, 2014 at 10:46 pmchimpgoat

    Did Bea pulled a slaine there?

  • September 28, 2014 at 10:58 pmsonicsenryaku

    Supposedly i hear that the president of BONES is happy with the international success of Space Dandy and might want to continue with it in some shape of form like a movie. This finald encapsulated everything that is dandy about Space dandy. It was an excuse for key animators to go nuts and nuts they went with what ended up being a great display of varying animation. The standout for me as Usual was Yutaka Nakamura’s key work when dandy uses the statue of liberty mech to stop that evangelion-esque lance of longinus type weapon (hell they even had the yddrassil tree); BONES shows like these seem to really on him for some heavy-hitting animation sequences

  • September 29, 2014 at 3:38 amBROOKLYN otaku

    Though it wasent a show that screamed at me to be watched every week like clockwork from my que…i did really enjoy the sheer variety of it!! That and the production values were way up there….. definitely deserves a place in my archives

    • September 29, 2014 at 3:40 amBROOKLYN otaku

      And that rockstar episode was pretty damn funny.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:11 amShinwinds

    Space dandy is cool and over the top. And i like it very much. My favourite probably episode 13 when QT become the main character of the story. The last scene was superb and heartbreaking. I Almost cry when QT try his hardest to stop the female robot love interest. Wow that was such a heavy feeling.

    Thanks for everything Dandy. I Will miss you.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:20 amwhemleh

    “This Pio-what’s the stuff? See I can’t even say it. Now, if you wanna talk about booty..”
    – Space Dandy

    That was an excellent finale. I was smiling from ear to ear the whole time. For me, the best episode has to be the Limbo episode, but this was a perfect way to cap it all off. Space Dandy was a fantastic series, and I’m grateful it exists. Oh, and LOL at Dandy rejecting godhood in the name of Boobies. =3

    Glad to see you enjoyed it as well, Samu! I’d certainly be pleased if they make good on that ‘May be continued’ tease at the end.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:48 amfabuleux

    Space Dandy is a unique experience, certainly in this anime climate. It’s wild, carefree and obsessed with the word ‘entertainment’. Its a museum of animation’s great creative minds with a talented production team at its spine. Unfortunately the glaringly weak link for me was the characters. They weren’t particularly fun or interesting in their own right, merely ciphers in a grander scheme (or orgy) of ideas week-after-week. QT, Meow, Scarlet, Honey, Dr. Gel – these characters should feel iconic, irreplaceable. But unfortunately that aspect of this otherwise successful show always leaves me a little empty.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:15 amJunglepenguin

    The world can say what it wants, but to me, [I]Space Dandy[/I] has come to stand along side [I]Cowboy Bebop[/I] as a classic.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:49 pmfatalogic

    Not sure if it is only me, but:
    Each of the episode from season 2 talks about the same topic as their respective counterpart episodes from the season 1….except for episode 13 from each season. Episode 1 from S1 and S2 talk about introduction, ep 2 from both seasons talk about past, ep 3 from both seasons talk about THE rare alien, ep 4 from both seasons are parodies from something famous, ep 5 from both seasons talk about partnership with someone younger than you, ep 6 from both seasons is similar in a way the main casts of the Space Dandy is being separated by some conflicts not theirs, ep 7 from both season feature cool guys like Prince and Johnny, ep 8 from both seasons feature otherworldly journey, ep 9 from both seasons talk about finding something mysterious, ep 10 from both seasons delve deeper into the background story of the main casts of the show, ep 11 from both seasons talk about something very artful in term of science (IMO), ep 12 from both seasons are the same like ep 4 from both seasons: parodies.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:39 pmAbsaroka

    Apparently Dandy reached the top of the Dark Tower. For Ka is a wheel. Look it up…

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:54 pmstarss

    So wait… the new world billions of years later has no God? Then how come it suddenly looks the same as it did the previous time around, with the exception that Dandy now likes legs?

    How did Dr. Gel know why he was trying to capture Dandy when in an earlier episode, neither he nor Bea knew why?

  • September 30, 2014 at 1:13 amPorter

    I agree with most the things you said except that I think every episode was incredible. Especially the ones that gave that sad happy feeling that good anime’s usually give. Gay article I really enjoyed reading it.

  • October 1, 2014 at 4:24 amGuren

    Nice way to wrap things up, so each episode was kind of a different dimension, all that Zombie-Dandy, lovey-Dandy, dancing-Dandy was (now definitely) separate from each other.

    The only thing that refrained me to call this a masterpiece is that they didn’t bother trying to put some hints of what might happen in the end, it got kinda like “Hey, let’s wrap things up? Yeah, sure!!!”, and then…The end.

    The end?

  • October 1, 2014 at 7:59 pmsealouse

    I really liked the very first episode. That whole sequence when they were on the planet was awesome.

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:01 pmAnanas

    Bones is doing far better when they drop their attempts at overarching plot for self contained episodes and letting the animators run wild.

  • October 5, 2014 at 8:38 amRiktol

    The finale was good, but personally I thought the first season was better than the 2nd.
    I think this is becuase I liked the first few episodes from S1, especially 4 and 5, whereas I thought the first couple of episodes from S2 were sub par. Season 2 definitely picked up towards the end but I guess that the first few episodes put me off a bit. Although I was under-enthusiastic about quite a few shows this season so maybe it’s just me.