Episode 5: The Big Fish is Huge, Baby
Well, I guess it didn’t take long for Space Dandy to get back to an episode with slightly surreal and messy animation. Yep, only two episodes later and we are at another Yuasa like episode which, coincidentally, also has fish in it. Though this time instead of the story being about getting that fish to its home planet, it’s about catching the legendary fish called the Munagi, which resides on a tar covered planet.
Now this episode mostly suffers from just being too similar to Masaaki Yuasa’s episode, and from having a rather unsatisfactory ending. Throughout the whole episode we get a bunch of aimless wandering about with Dandy and a nameless little girl, mostly just letting you stare at the pretty backgrounds. So you’d hope in the climax Dandy would, you know, catch the fish. Well it seems like they will, as soon all the planets residents are trying to capture the Munagi, but of course they don’t.
Instead what we get is a climax similar to episode 3. Waters are raging, Dandy is flying around holding onto a rope, the animation is very stylistic, and it ends with the fish escaping them in a similar fashion to the way the fish in episode 3 did. It’s too similar, and it just isn’t that interesting because of it. Sure the animation is, as usual, nice to look, and yes, the episode is well executed and fun to watch. But in the end, I have a hard time really loving this episode because of how derivative it is from an episode we saw literally two week ago. Not only that, but by the ending nothing’s really been accomplished. There’s usually some type of closure at the end of each episode, whether it be a joke ending, or a message you can glean from the episodes content. Let’s hope for a more interesting episode next week!
Episode 6: Gallant Space Gentleman, Baby
This is the kind of episode of Space Dandy that I wish I liked more. There’s a ton of potential here, the premise is interesting, the focus on the female side characters is nice, and in general this episode should be pretty good. It isn’t though, thanks to a combination of rushed writing, a predictable execution, and one very annoying gimmick. In fact this is one of the few episodes this season that I can say I genuinely didn’t really enjoy that much, which is kind of weird considering episode 2 was much worse than this.
Anyways this episode is about Dandy trying to capture a Cloudian named Gentle Nobra, a well mannered alien who collects data by traveling across the universe and wooing woman into extorting information. He’s captured Scarlett, who is currently in desperate search for a relationship, and it’s up to Dandy and his crew to rescue her! There’s also some stuff about Honey in there, which is not only way more interesting, but also feels barely connected to the rest of the stuff that happens in the episode.
Okay so let’s start off with the positives, aka everything in this episode that has Honey in it. Now Honey has always been a bit of a one note character, despite showing up in almost every episode of the show. She’s the big breasted hottie who works at Boobies and occasionally makes a few snarky comments about Dandy or joins Space Races. Throughout the whole show there’s been hints there’s something more to her behind her cheery facade, an intelligent and deceptive nature. However the show has never really explained this, instead opting to keep her on the side lines along with Scarlett, the other female side character. In this episode Honey gets her time to finally shine, and we learn she’s a half Cloudian related to Gentle, and we see her extort information from Dr. Gel in a hilarious fashion. These are some of the funniest moments in the episode, and learning about Honey is quite fascinating.
They also try to give Scarlett a similar treatment in this episode, but there attempts at expanding her character are rather weak and petty in comparison. She’s searching for a boyfriend, and apparently might be in love with Dandy? Well that’s at least what I got from the few scenes she had in this episode, for all I know she’s still the same cold woman she’s always been. Yeah, in comparison to Honey’s development she’s uninteresting and boring. I hope she’s gets better treatment in the upcoming episodes.
Otherwise this episode is just kind of rushed, they try to shove all the Honey stuff in along with the Dandy’s storyline, and it kind of comes out jumbled because of this. This episode also features one of the most annoying gimmicks I’ve seen in Space Dandy yet. Now I’ll make this clear right here and now: I hate laugh tracks. But do you know what I hate more than laugh tracks? Laugh track gimmicks! They’re not funny, and they just add annoying sounds in the background that distract from the experience. In the end this episode of Space Dandy was pretty unsatisfying.
I wonder who wrote this episode… Oh, it was Keiko Nobumoto. Big surprise there! Look, I love that you’re still writing, and Wolf’s Rain and Cowboy Bebop are amazing, but you really need to work on a different show.
Episode 7: Rock n’ Roll Dandy, Baby
Only a few episodes after the brilliant school musical episode, Space Dandy decides to take a stroll down music lane by entering the land of rock and roll! This episode features the classic set up of Dandy and his space crew creating a band, and joining them as the guitarist is Johnny, the secret commander of the Jaicro Empire. Together they’ll argue, and bop their band Dropkix to the top of the charts in one crazy gig; but will Johnny’s empire duties get in the way of their gig. Is this episode awesome?
Well to answer that last question, I’d have to say yes and no. I was actually pretty excited for this episode due to the fact Kimiko Ueno, the best writer on the show’s staff, was writing this episode, and Sayo Yamamoto of Michiko and Hatchin fame was directing it. Sadly this episode isn’t all that interesting, but it’s definitely not bad either. The music is fun, and the animation and story are entertaining to watch, I just had higher expectations than I should have.
Then again, I was genuinely pleased by Johnny’s character. For the little time the show had, they gave him a pretty interesting back-story and a fun personality. It’s funny to see him wait in a park hoping a masterpiece of a song will descend on him, and the fact he didn’t know what french fries were was also kind of funny in a stupid way. So I guess the episode wasn’t very bad, but it’s just not very interesting. Anyways, I’ll see you next time, baby!