Okay so right off the bat you’re probably going to notice the format for this post is a little different from the norm. Instead of this post being one blob of text discussing all the episodes in general, it’s split up into 3 smallish sections, each about a different episode being covered. The reason for this strange set up is because of Space Dandy’s episodic nature. There is very little in terms of continuity in Space Dandy, so trying to talk about a few episodes as a whole would be rather difficult, and making each episode have its own individual post would be a lot of busy work. It’s due to these facts that I figured changing the format up a little would be the right thing to do. With that said let’s get on with the show, baby!
Episode 2: There’s Music in the Darkness, Baby
This episode strange, but not necessarily due to its content, which is definitely strange for Space Dandy. No this episode is strange due to the writer who worked on it, the famous Keiko Nobumoto. In case you don’t know, Keiko Nobumoto did the series composition for Cowboy Bebop, and wrote some of its best episodes, and she also created and wrote most of Wolf’s Rain. She’s an extremely talented craftsmen, but she’s been rather inactive since Wolf’s Rain, most likely because that was her passion project. However last season on Space Dandy she showed up to write episode 8, which sadly was one of the more forgettable episodes of that season.
You see Keiko Nobumoto really shouldn’t be writing for a comedy series, even though she usually works well with Shinichiro Watanabe. Comedy just isn’t one of her strong points. So as you can expect from that statement, this episode is not funny. It’s a philosophical, depressing, and a strange look at cold faced alien who’s searching for the perfect smile. The episode is creepy and unsettling, and while this would be good for an episode of Cowboy Bebop (In fact there’s an episode very similar to this in Cowboy Bebop) here it’s rather jarring. In fact it’s so jarring that it kind of ruins the otherwise decent experience, you just find yourself so out of it that the episode quickly becomes boring; and that’s a shame.
Overall, this episode doesn’t really live up to the promise that episode 1 gave to me. I thought this season was maybe going to be a little more consistent in quality, but sadly this episode has quickly ruined that hope. It was really interesting from a premise standpoint, and I’m glad to see Keiko Nobumoto still writing regardless of quality, but this really just didn’t fit the tone or image of Space Dandy at all. And that’s very saddening.
Episode 3: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Baby
Moving on from slow and depressing, we quickly enter the world of surrealist animation and strange storytelling with the next episode of Space Dandy. This episode of Space Dandy is directed and written by Masaaki Yuasa, who’s hot off the heels of his recent masterpiece that aired last season, Ping Pong the Animation. So how is the episode? Well it’s basically exactly what you’d expect from an episode of Space Dandy directed by Masaaki Yuasa. That’s a big shocker, I know!
Like Yuasa’s episode of Adventure Time, Food Chain, this episode doesn’t really have much of a plot. Basically it consists of Meow being really hungry and Dandy using a flashlight teleporter that lands him on a planet called Pushy Boyfriend. There he meets a rare fish alien who promises to go to the registration center with him, if Dandy can get him to his home planet, which is ironically named Girlfriend, before it gets burned in a fiery blaze. Weird events and animation ensue!
Now while this episode isn’t very funny, or plot heavy, this one is extremely entertaining basically entirely because of its style. The surrealist and messy animation can change on a whim, and while it may look weird it’s always a joy to watch. I especially like the scene near the end of the episode where Dandy and Meow try to capture the fish alien, who’s desperately trying to escape them. It just looks so weird and messy, and I love that! So yeah, this episode was pretty enjoyable. Not necessarily a great one, but certainly an interesting one; and that’s better than nothing.
Episode 4: The Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby
♫ All is all is all is all!♫
Oh Space Dandy, how you surprise me! So in case you can’t tell from the title of this episode, this is about Space Dandy transferring into high school a week before graduation. The reason he does this to find a rare cliptonian alien, but he instead ends up, and this is the real hook of the episode, trying to become prom king by out dancing and singing the popular kids. Yeah, apparently at this high school, best fashion or looks doesn’t dictate your social status. No, your place in the hierarchy of high school is determined by your musical skills, and it’s up to Dandy and his new nerdy friends to go from zero to Broadway in this fantastic episode of Space Dandy!
And when I say fantastic, I mean FANTASTIC! The idea of putting the idiotic Dandy in a high school was already a pretty decent idea, but with the addition of that ridiculous twist it makes things so much funnier. There’s training montages, Dandy cheating on tests, singing, dancing, and it all ends in one show stopper song about booties and all being equal. Even Meow and QT join the party!
It’s a gloriously fun ride the whole way through, and I just loved it to pieces. So yeah finally an episode I have no complaints about since Episode 1 of this season. It was only a matter of time I guess, but seriously this one’s definitely a keeper. It’s a ton of fun, and you’ll most likely get a few laughs out of it too. Check it out!