Episode 12: Dandy’s Day in Court, Baby
This episode of Space Dandy is an interesting one to say the least. Not only is it the first episode to have a continuity with the rest of the series, but it’s also one of the few episodes that doesn’t really have much Dandy in it. By that I mean that a majority of the episode consists of his court case, but he isn’t speaking. You’d think this would be building up to something, but nope! It turns out he was just sleeping the whole time!
Anyways I liked this episode in general, but otherwise it was pretty eh in my opinion. It definitely isn’t the worst of the season or anything, but it seems like the episode was more intent on setting up the finale than anything else. Yep, while this episode is about Dandy in a court case, and it’s main purpose is to finally explain why the Gogol Empire has been trying to capture Dandy throughout the show. That reason being his massive amounts of Pyonium Energy.
Now they’ve been tossing around this term for a while now, but they’ve never really explained it very well, until now anyways. It turns out that Pyonium Energy, or the God Particle, is a particle that has the ability to bend time and space itself, and that Dandy, for whatever reason, has a bunch of it in his system. They mostly use this court case to explain that, and to show examples of how high emotional reactions with Pyonium can result in weird things like a baseballs flying across space into an ex-wrestlers head. It’s pretty interesting overall, but this exposition kind of lowers the other content in the episode. I mean when you finally are having a two episode arc in Space Dandy it’s a big deal, and while the court case is solved at the end, the whole time I just couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen to Dandy after this.
This especially true after the ending scene, where Dandy, Meow, and QT get surrounded by Gogol Empire forces. It left me on the edge of my seat, and when that To be Continued card popped up, I knew the show was serious. Overall, this left me feeling less than impressed with this episode, because it felt more like a stepping stone than its own original thing. Maybe it’s because I’m used to Space Dandy having standalone episodes, or maybe it’s because I’m just picky; but because of this I didn’t really love it. That being said I’m definitely excited for the grand finale!
Finale: Never-ending Dandy, Baby
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this finale is epic. Yeas, I know that word has probably just sent chills down your spine, I mean what word could be more overused and lame? But there’s just no other word for this finale besides epic. It’s one gigantic set piece after set piece, that just builds and builds up to the great psychedelic finale where Dandy refuses the offer to become God!
The whole episode is gloriously stuffed to the brim with references to previous moments throughout the series, and it’s here where all those standalone episodes come together into one massive blob which closes of the Dandy Universe… Maybe? Either way they spare no expense here, bringing back the Aloha-Oe mech, cosmic strings, using previous character developments for Honey and Scarlett to be in the finale, and ending the episode off with a montage of past events for the ending animation. They also did not spare a penny for the animation, which switches back and forth stylistically many times throughout the episode. It can be Yuasa like muddled animation one moment, but then turn back into its normal style in the next.
Another great thing about this episode though is how it finally wraps up Dandy’s story! Throughout the series many people began to believe that the whole Dr. Gel and Bea subplot wouldn’t go anywhere, but it finally comes to a head here in this episode. The Gogol Empire finally captures him and use his massive amounts of Pyonium energy to start up a machine that can warp all of time and space with the press of button. Understandably this is a little bit less than good, so all out war breaks loose between the Jaicro and Gogol Empire. Eventually Dandy gets freed, and the episode ends with him flying a Statue of Liberty mech into a hoard of strange inter-dimensional dragons, where he then jumps out of the mech naked and punches the evil machine until it explodes!
Overall, this episode is great! It’s a lot of fun, but then again this whole season of Space Dandy was. In pretty much every conceivable way this season of Space Dandy improved and raised the bar in terms of quality. Not only was each episode amazing, but even the weaker ones had interesting ideas and were much stronger than some of season one’s duds. The animation was still great, the characters fun and diverse, and the comedy stronger than ever, with great comedic concepts and timing all across the board. But the most surprising moments for me where the serious moments, which truly grabbed me and made me think. In those brief moments I got flashbacks to the days of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, and while I hate to compare them, I think Space Dandy holds up well against those classics!
In the end, I’m really going to miss Space Dandy! I’m going to miss it’s creativity, it’s energy, and it’s passion; but most importantly, I’m going to miss watching it every week! See you later Dandy, baby!