Episode 23: Lovers are Trendy, Baby
It’s not too surprising this series was capable of telling another romance story so well– but this one was great as it featured Scarlett so prevalently. It is about time we get an earnest view of her. In Episode 19 the plot transitioned from her finding love to Honey reuniting with her half-brother Gentle. We also had a well-grounded and relaxed backstory with Meow’s family around Episode 10. QT had an intriguing love story with a coffee maker in the finale of the first-cour that was reminiscent of the Brave Little Toaster. This cour focuses more on its side-cast and this episode was no different!
Even when the second half of this series started there wasn’t a well-rounded episode that featured a story about the main cast a whole lot. Rather it takes what we know from the first thirteen episodes about them and changes the pattern. Using a different theme that is a much more centralized look at who Dandy really is in all these other dimensions. This as we’ve seen generates a solid and sometimes very funny story around it- multiple Dandy’s, Dandy living out his high school life, creating a rock band, treading between life and death, and dancing until the world explodes. Stories that tell about the people in this show that drive the overarching elements– Jaicro Empire’s Johnny, half-cloudian Honey and the registration officer Scarlett. Overall he is having his very own adventures throughout space where QT and Meow are just along for the ride this time.
In a possible different version of himself he takes on the job of posing as Scarlett’s boyfriend to avoid the stalker Dolph– a previous ex of hers. Surprisingly enough, this guy looks remarkably like Dolph Lundgren. Space Dandy handles the use of tropes extremely well, and this episode had to be the best at delivering them. Taking seemingly overused romantic scenes and dismantling them with an ingenuous style of wit and often times slapstick humor. Thinking of the giant spider scene haha great moment there! The level of creativity doesn’t stop one bit with this show– Kunio Okawara [the lead designer of Mobile Suit Gundam] designed Dolph’s mech. This only adds to how awesome Space Dandy is at gathering a vast amount of talent for each episode.
A large element of what makes a Space Dandy series isn’t just the comedic trio but the narrator’s descriptions– from giving up on talking about varied aliens, introducing a Brestaurant, interacting with Dandy, QT and Meow over a time loop, and now this. This was written very well.The narrator is one the greatest aspects of this show– not only is he able interact with Dandy and the crew but he’s able to accurately describe a planet using slang. This was incredibly witty and well-written here. How the narrator pulled together tons of phrases to embellish Planet Trendy even further than just the incredible visuals that were thrown at us!
How long is this soundtrack going to be– there were tons of new tracks just for this episode, and every scene that featured these new songs were spot on with delivery! Space Dandy is an anime that experiments with everything it has to offer– animation, music, character designs and story! A little fun fact is that Dai Sato, the writer of the series had asked Hideaki Anno [creator of Evangelion] add his take on an episode but he declined. Not a lot of anime can tell a coherent story using so many different artists and animators- refreshing to see a spin like this on the episodic format of anime! Kawamoto did the character designs for so many awesome series in the late 90’s to early 2000’s— Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain to even the Towanoquon films! However, the designs in this episode looked very similar to Bebop than anything else he’s done. That Bang! scene where Dandy pointed his finger upwards was stolen from Spike Spiegel! Great to see another Bebop reference thrown into this show again!
So many of these stories about Dandy have been incredibly diverse and each one is just a step above its predecessor always improving upon the main cast and making them even more engrossing to watch. Dandy continues to hunt for aliens just as he always has been and now he’s doing it while on a date! Pissing off Scarlett to no end develops this return to the chemistry that she and Dandy have had since Episode 2. Too bad we couldn’t have the laugh track with low standards on this episode! Haha! Every scene the writers took here were very cliche– the skiing, the beach, the restaurant all are very typical in anime series. Though it had some very hilarious results– stealing kids’ skis, binoculars, blowing up buildings and I was surprised Dandy actually received wuulongs for the very aliens he collected on Planet Trendy. Really illustrates that when he isn’t trying he can catch aliens but when he’s serious about it Dandy isn’t able to catch a single one.
With only 3 more episodes left I will be sad to see this series finish its run and I hope that this can revitalize other anime to take more risks just as this one has.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10