Category Archives: Space Dandy

Space Dandy Episode 18

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Episode 18: The Big Fish is Huge, Baby!

I admire the amount of creativity Space Dandy has put into this episode! Initially I thought Masaaki Yuasa directed this, it looks so much like his animation.  I was entirely wrong here- ended up being  Kiyotaka Oshiyama.  This guy has done a ton of stuff in the animation department for Space Dandy, I can clearly see now how his vision works with this show.  This episode was great- and very different!

Watanabe must have some kind of passion for fishing because this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the crew of Aloha Oe embark on a sailing journey with poles and lure.  The character designs look so much like Miyazaki’s, it was enthralling to see!  Erssime’s eyes were right out of one of his films and her personality was genuinely compassionate for all things unusual.

Oshiyama did an amazing job at producing a cozy story and and artwork for this episode!  Would have been even more appealing to see where the other villagers lived on this oddly-designed planet.  This single episode improved the overall quality of Space Dandy.  Collectively this show has been about Dandy finding rare aliens and getting money yet over the course of the adventures its not even about that- more consideration is poured into its side-cast.  This reminded me a lot of a Mushishi episode- how there is this mystical  atmosphere that draws you in with the backgrounds and its people.  It would be awesome to see Nagahama and ARTLAND do an episode for this series.

Erssime a young whimsical and energetic girl believes the stories she’s told that here is where we see craves adventure.  L’Delise is a crotchety aged-man with values and morals of a long-forgotten past and set of traditions- which is why he probably holds the legend of the Munagi so tightly.  It’s incredible how much this one episode pays tribute to Daniel Wallace’s book, Big Fish- adding in a quaint spin on a mythical story.  Did anyone notice how the tracks they chose here and the order in which they were played were very similar to Episode 5?  Interesting.  An hour-long feature of this story would have been very pleasing to see.  Space Dandy is getting better and better in its second half!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

Space Dandy Episode 17

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Episode 17: Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby!

Chwitter! Hahaha! Best line in the show: When you get home you need to smack your parents! This had to be the best episode of the second half!  If there would be an episode to show a first time viewer of Space Dandy it would quite possibly be this one!  Out of the entire season I’d put this episode second best right below Episode 5.

The story was fairly straightforward: Dandy decides to become a transfer student in order to find and capture a rare alien plus score him some high-school chicks.  Not only was this episode extremely funny but it delivered an entire parody of the modern day american high-school system.  Managing to make absolute fun of shows like Glee and the film series High School Musical. Space Dandy was at a comical peak with this episode!  Which blasted off to a great start and ended on a high note!

There were so many cameos in this!  The slime from Ghostbusters, the fly machine in reference to the 1986 film, the Iron Man-like security guard, the Hulk turning Queen Bee goons. Was it just me or did Queen Bee and her sidekicks remind me of Satsuki Kiryuin and her minions from Kill La Kill?  This episode also proved once again how much of a pervert our main character really is- especially when he attempted asking girls out to prom.  The musical numbers that showed up here paid tributes to the film Grease and all those Disney tv series.  Was that training session between Dandy and Freckles homage to Rocky?  All the songs were original and hilarious!  Hope to see another Dandy episode break the mold just like this!  Great work here! I would also like to mention this episode was so humorous in english than it was in Japanese.  The Japanese cast adds in the comedy so subtle whereas the English adds more exuberant dialogue. The english dub cast did an incredible job at re-creating the lyrics for these insert songs! Just as good as their Japanese counterpart if not better!  That booty song! Haha! Great stuff!  The animation was top notch here too! That final song scene featuring Freckles has to be one of the highest quality scenes that this series has done so far!  So awesome!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

Space Dandy Episode 16

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Episode 16: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Baby!

Ah yes! Yuasa Masaaki’s episode has finally aired! This was much better than Kidokoro’s episode last time! As soon as I heard back in April via his twitter feed that he would be directing an episode for Shinichiro Watanabe’s Space Dandy- I was overjoyed!

This happened to be a very strange episode: Dandy loses his head from a flashlight that teleports objects to another area in space, where he arrives on a planet with a talking carp.  Space Dandy does an astounding job at designing entirely different aliens for each episode and this story here was no different! Yuasa’s imagination was great for the plot that they decided on running with here!  Varied wide-angle still shots of Dandy and his crew, running down cliffs, falling transparent holes, flying a ship through a water-like stream.  Every scene was so imaginative!  Pushy Boyfriend ended up being a desolate wasteland while it’s orbiting planet Girlfriend looked like backgrounds out of the old science-fiction flick Metropolis.  This episode just proved even further how well Yuasa is at combining his art with strong characters and a creative plot to deliver a vastly different and obscure episode.  This episode highlights just why this guy is one of my favorite directors in the industry: He has created a unique artistic style that dismantles every anime technique out the window.  Kemenozume, Kaiba, Tatami Galaxy, and the more recent Ping-Pong The Animation. Each one of these series were strongly intriguing in how their plots moved along because of how un-stylized or rather out of the norm the animation was.

Having its share of laughs tampering with the flashlight: the plot here ended up in its later half quite dismal.  This paid off extremely well- the sun revolving closer and closer to both planets wiping out every living being.  THIS is how to transition between comedy and serious, unlike the previous story.  If I had one gripe it was that we did not get to see more of the lifestyle on Planet Girlfriend.  That would have been interesting to see explored.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Space Dandy Episode 15

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Episode 15: There’s Music in the Darkness, Baby!

I was hoping that this would not happen- Watanabe is working on two series at the same time. Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Tokyo] and Space Dandy.  I can tell how much stronger the first half was than how much this second half is turning out.  Zankyou no Terror has been amazing and he’s directing and writing that show.  Here- Watanabe serves as General Director in which he oversees the entire production that the various episode directors, animators, screenplay writers, and other artists develop each episode.  He has free creative realm on both series yet here it’s open to the episode directors.  It is really neat for the anime industry to have a series like this that is so mixed in picking a crew to design an individual episode looked at by one of the best directors in the anime world.  In some cases though putting together a production team can completely change the original idea of an episode. Previous episode with the numerous Dandy’s and crew were so original and extremely funny but what kind of episode was this?  They tried to be serious here, and it just got very weird. A plus here was the animation was still fairly consistent.

Interesting choice to pair Toshiaki Kidokoro as episode director with Keiko Nobumoto. Kidokoro has been across the board when it comes to episode directing.  There are some bad series in his list of works. Ben-To and Hayate Combat Butler. These shows had more fan service than actual plot.  Amnesia was a train wreck from the get-go based on an otome visual novel series.  Where he did it right was with Knights of Sidonia and Samurai Flamenco’s episode 11.  As for the writer, Nobumoto helped with the screenplay alongside Satoshi Kon for Tokyo Godfathers! Such an amazing film!  Not to mention my favorite series Cowboy Bebop and she was the one whom originally created Wolf’s Rain.  The would have paid off much stronger I think if the production for these two roles had been switched.

This had been a serious episode following Ukuleleman’s obsession with Dandy that quickly escalated into a desire to capturing people’s smiles by turning them into statues.  I was pretty displeased by how the end came off here.  He gets lit on fire and dies and what about the other inhabitants of the planet?  I will say that the plot was very creative in that- Ukuleleman decides to find a Dandy from another time and steal his smile pulling him from the River of Time.  Very clever here in how they continue to use time as a theme just as the parallel dimensions are the overall theme of this series.  It was in its delivery that this episode was not as strong as it could have been.  The background designs were quite varied here and it would have been refreshing to see more.  It was nice to see that Dandy and his crew’s comedic routines didn’t bite the dust here.  I just hope that next episode is a lot better than this.  Cannot wait to see what Masaaki Yuasa has in store for a Space Dandy episode!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10

Space Dandy Episode 14

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Episode 14: I Can’t Be the Only One, Baby!

So I’ve got to say I am still quite surprised that Watanabe is working on two entirely unique anime series in one season. Space Dandy has a been a wild ride since it began its first half in January and with its return here I can see how well he can pull together talent from every side of producing anime to tell a story. Allowing so much creative inspiration from music artists to key animators can create a strong comedy series that doesn’t let up!

On the other series, Zankyou no Terror which begins its airing tomorrow it is going to be on the other end of the spectrum! We’ve got Space Dandy the comedy show that has surpassed every comedy series that the Winter 2014 season offered, and now this. A drama. I have been waiting for Watanabe to unveil something serious. I will be curious how well this show will pan out. A psychological thriller series that puts the story in Tokyo about a terrorist bombing ignited by two teenage boys. Not to mention the protagonists in the story will be the terrorists! Sounds crazy already! I’ve seen the two trailers that are out so far and this screams Noitamina and just goes to show Watanabe is one of the most talented directors in the entertainment industry.

Now onto talking about Space Dandy’s recent episode.

I am really glad this series is back. I remembering reading an interview back in summer 2013 that Watanabe said they had so many alien and character designs that they could do well over 100 episodes. This episode just fueled that quote quite a bit. I can now see once again how and why this series caters to an american audience. After viewing every episode of this series so far in English first and then in Japanese its no wonder how much translation adversely effects the detail portion of an episode. There were so many simple minded jokes thrown in here, that even in the Japanese version a lot of the dialogue had been more subtly rather than being vigorous.

From seeing all of his animated works so far I can only guess that Watanabe learned from Cowboy Bebop’s Japanese airing. It had been a failure one in which that he needed to find a little bit more influence from the show’s background. Finding an american audience first and then to go on experimenting with it. Interesting to see how much this director has grown after that series.

14 episodes into this series and every person that has been shown on screen with lines has been original both in animation and personality. I would put this as the most bizarre episode of Space Dandy to date. Finally we’ve got some development in alternate universes! This was hinted at in the ending of the first half. Alongside the fact that characters were dying in episodes and coming back up in the next one! Each segment that showed parallel Dandy-like characters were directed by entirely different people, and this showed through quite a bit! This is one of the reasons why I enjoy watching anime so much! Being able to construct a story without any sort of guidelines to follow. Any animation whether its anime, CG or however to get the point across is so boundless! This episode displayed that extremely well!

Varied directors pulled in tons of parodies to other television shows and tropes! This was hilarious! There was the Michael Jackson/Goku Dandy, Space Inspector Dandy, the titan Dandy that eventually led to Emo Dandy. It wasn’t just Dandy who was parodied here. The rest of the crew followed with some nicely acted comedic moments. A grand way to bring back this series after a season break! I can also see how well the craziness continued throughout this episode. Kimiko Ueno wrote this. She wrote episodes 3, 4, and 7. All those episodes had so many unique ways in delivering its comedy. Not a single episode ended up being repetitive in which very many cases happens in the delivery of lines, scenes, and how people are portrayed in comedic anime shows.

As for the episode director Mukai did better work on the comedy here than he did on Level-E. I praise that series for the way it stuck its characters into the plot rather than around it. So many series suffer from that mindset of writing. This episode of Space Dandy managed to deliver a continuing parallel dimension story at the heart of all of it! This is while still keeping up with the classic humor this series had set for itself in the first thirteen episodes. Great work here!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Space Dandy Episode 13 [END]

 

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I posted more screenshots this episode, because this was one of the best if not THE BEST animated episode thus far! I loved every minute of this! This was an interesting episode to choose as the final episode to air of the season. When I saw the preview for it I wondered if it was a backstory of how QT lived his life before alien hunter in the same vein as Meow’s story, but it was not. This was just another great push in QT’s character, in his ability to developing human-like emotions. According to the narrator this is not an uncommon thing…

Continue reading Space Dandy Episode 13 [END]

Space Dandy Episodes 11 and 12

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This show reminds me so much how I rate my Top 10 Best Anime Series, I am not going to jump the gun right now and say this is in that list, but it is in the Top of best anime to air this winter season. Great way to start off 2014! It is a shame we have to wait until July for the second season, but that just makes this series that much sweeter when it arrives! I typically enjoy a series if I know that I can re-watch episodes and still find it quite enjoyable. Space Dandy is that kind of series, whimsically funny, smart yet it still maintains a string of episodic stories that bridge together quite well. The series is crafted together so well, and episodes 11 and 12 continue this feeling somewhat….

Continue reading Space Dandy Episodes 11 and 12

Space Dandy Episodes 9 and 10

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It is a sad that the season finale is airing this week, because the comedy in this series has been astounding! Nice thing is Space Dandy was announced over the weekend to have a second season starting in July. This will be the first time in Watanabe’s career that he will be doing two anime series within a year, and both in one season for that matter! The other series he is doing is Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Tokyo]. The only information that has been given about this series are the three main characters and that its about a terrorist attack on Tokyo. Yoko Kanno is teaming up again to do the music, which I know hands down will be awesome, especially after seeing that short PV on the official site. Oh and MAPPA, the same animation studio behind Kids on the Slope [Watanabe’s most recent completed work] will be doing the animation. So I really hope for a great summer season this year! Soon I will put up a post about what I will be covering this coming spring and summer seasons. I will try to cover Episodes 11 and 12 in the next few days. Now onto some Space Dandy!

Continue reading Space Dandy Episodes 9 and 10

Space Dandy Episodes 7 and 8

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I have decided to try something a little bit different on series that I haven’t covered in a while. I will stick with reviewing only two episodes per post if I have been behind on episodes. Instead of giving a overview of the series as a whole I want to try and dive into each individual episode within the summary of the post. Let me know what you all think. Space Dandy you rock! This show blows me away every episode! I am really enjoying the English language track on this, Ian Sinclair has a deep voice that really captures Dandy’s attitude greatly! Having watched the English version and the Japanese version of this series as its airing is intriguing to me because I can really see culturally the differences between American and Japanese media and what enhances each countries likes and dislikes. Dandy’s behavior in the English version is more stupid than his attitude in the Japanese version. What is a big difference is Honey’s character. We aren’t aware that she can be smart in the beginning episodes in English, but the Japanese version delivers right off the bat that there is a hell of a lot more to her character.  Now let me dive into these 2 episodes….

Continue reading Space Dandy Episodes 7 and 8