I love Shinichiro Watanabe. I love Cowboy Bepop, I love Samurai Champloo, I love Kids on the Slope, and I love Space Dandy (Also from the first episode of Terror in Resonance it seems like I’ll love that too). Yes Watanabe may not be the most consistently great director, but his mixture of American style and great music production always hits me in the right place. Even when the work itself contains some pretty apparent flaws. A prime example of this is Space Dandy Season 1. I’m not going to lie, I can see why Space Dandy would be a very valid disappointment for many anime watchers. People were expecting the new Cowboy Bebop, and Space Dandy isn’t that. It’s a goofy comedy anthology series that had a lot more misses and meh episodes than actually great top of the heap ones; it was a little bit of let down.
However I still thoroughly adored that first season, flaws and all, due to one reason: The show had passion. Even in its worst episodes the team of writers and directors that worked on the project were having the time of their life creating it, and the animation team was obviously also having an extreme blast. Every episode was a creative, messy, and an extremely interesting experience; even when the episodes weren’t necessarily good. It’s due to this very fact that I’ve been pining for more since the great finale of last season.
Starting off this episode you should know that pretty much nothing has changed in the world of Space Dandy over the past few months. The opening animation is the same, and Dandy and his crew are still failing at their job. This episode opens with the cold Scarlet telling the crew of the Aloha-Oe that they should get new jobs, which causes Dandy, Meow, and QT begin to ponder on what their life would be like if they were actually good bounty hunters. Strangely enough they get there answer when Dandy pulls a Cosmic String out of his pompadour, causing them to fly into another dimension with an alternate Dandy crew. It doesn’t stop there though, soon their hopping through hundreds of dimensions, and when this gets out of hand the many alternate-dimension Dandys, Meows, and QTs all get stuck aboard the Aloha-Oe, causing distortions in the universe. You can probably see where it’s going from here.
So you remember how I said Space Dandy had many flops in season one, well forget that because this is one of the best episodes yet! While the first season often struggled to get me to laugh at points, this episode was pure hilarity from beginning to end. Yes, the concept is admittedly overdone and kind of predictable, but the execution is as usual top notch. The animation and character designs are still incredibly beautiful and crazy to look at, the direction as solid as ever, and the comedic timing here is on par with the best episodes of last season.
This episode really cements it’s place in greatness when it finally gets to the riot of the closer. The Aloha-Oe is clogged with thousands of copies of Dandy’s crew, and people are at a loss for how to fix their problem. Then they find a depressed Dandy with a disturbing and terrifying version of Meow, and an old cranky codger version of QT. I can’t help it, but the introduction of this version crew was hilarious. You really have to see to understand, but the way the creepy meow goes, “MEOW, MEOW,” is truly a laugh out loud moment, at least for me. Then this leads into the great joke ending.
Now I’m not necessarily saying this will fix your grievances with season one. It’s still not Cowboy Bebop, and the silly over the top comedy won’t be for everyone. However, if you loved or even liked Space Dandy season one, you need to check out this episode right away. I don’t mince words when I say it’s one of the funniest so far, and it really is worth your time. I only hope the rest of season two has this level of quality