Space Dandy Season 1 – Anime Review
Synopsis: Space Dandy is a dandy guy in space! This dreamy adventurer with a to-die-for pompadour travels the galaxy in search of rare aliens. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Space Dandy is one of the oddest anime to come out of 2014. From it’s very first episode the show’s bizarre, sometimes wacky, entirely oddball tone is set, guiding your expectations for the entirety of its run. While the first episode is hardly Space Dandy in its top form, it encapsulates the insane nature of the series that isn’t afraid to end in fashions entirely unrecoverable, leaving our heroes dead or the universe destroyed, only to reset back to square one in the very next episode. This haphazard anthology, where each story feels self-contained and unrelated, often standing on its own, also applies to the animation, as Space Dandy is constantly allowing directors free reign of their own, unique take on our heroes.
Linny: Space Dandy is not all insanity. There are some episodes that have a slightly dramatic and touching tone. However, there’s no denying that a lot of its episodes will leave you going ‘WTF did I just watch?’. It’s what makes the show so fun, this cast of oddball characters and parade of equally crazy stories.
Tom: Unfortunately its anthology nature means Space Dandy isn’t always at the top of its game. While one episode may hit all the highest points, another is likely to be all kinds of wrong. The effect of one off, disconnected narratives is both a blessing and a curse. If one episode doesn’t connect, don’t worry as we’ve jettisoned those ideas for an entirely new set of events and cast of additional side characters. Then again, if something hits and works well, that’s still all jettisoned for an entirely new plot line. The main cast always sticks around however, unlike a truly anthology focused series. In fact, Dandy himself is going to take a lot of getting used to if you don’t already take to his self-important, overly obnoxious persona.
Linny: Dandy, when described on paper, comes off as a rather appalling protagonist. He’s a slacker who works just enough to afford his next trip to BOOBIES, the fictional restaurant chain that’s a clear parody of Hooters, where customers are served by busty, well endowed female waitresses. Thankfully, the show tows the fine line between lewd and lovable well enough to have most viewers cheering for Dandy rather than outright disgusted by his sleazier characteristics. If you don’t find yourself particularly amused by Dandy, the good news is that a lot of the humour of the show comes from all the various aliens and creatures he encounters on his adventures through space.
Tom: QT and Meow, his robotic and feline companions make for ever the fun sidekicks. Coupled with the show’s insane humor, I often found myself looking forward to the next episode, even when the last failed to land. While this review is primarily for the first season of Space Dandy (Episodes 1 to 13) Know that unlike Shinichirō Watanabe‘s other work (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, etc.) there’s no subtle, connecting narrative, at least not in the same way. Space Dandy is an episodic, anthology-like anime that can be a ton of fun, but contains several misses that are likely to be disappointing.
Linny: Space Dandy’s chaotic and episodic storytelling is most definitely a mixed blessing. For better or worse, the plot and characters explored in the current episode are most likely going to be forgotten by the next. For fans of bizarre and outrageous humour, Space Dandy is a must watch. Just be prepared for some high highs and some very low lows.