20 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Space Dandy episode 1 – Butts

vlcsnap-2014-01-05-13h27m58s126Rolling in with a metric tonne of hype, here is the dandiest man in the space. Oh wait, I mean just plain old space. They fixed the rather great broken engrish from the original trailer, which is a shame for lovers of great engrish like myself. The ‘story’, for what little there is of it, is about space-faring David Attenborough with a pompadour travelling around the universe to meet interesting aliens. David travels around with an auto-tuned roomba and a talking cat. They are followed by Margrat Thatcher  who takes orders from Skelator. While not shooting nature documentaries they’re being ripped off at table dancing clubs with terrible food and depressed waitresses who wish nothing more than for you to shrivel up and die in a corner alone and unloved as they put on an airhead persona to drain the last coin from your purse. Then everyone dies at the hand of a surfer dude.

vlcsnap-2014-01-05-13h30m08s169There are a few problems with reviewing Space Dandy. The first is that it’s hard to take the piss out of something when it’s already liberally taking the piss out of itself. Dandy as a character feels like one of those wise-cracking self-serving male leads in the vein of Cobra/Lupin/Spike etc, but there’s a very strong feeling that the show is laughing at him behind their backs. The portrayal of his obsession with the chain Boobies (which I kinda love as the name of the bar for its deliberate bluntness) comes off as him being a shallow desperate man with little else to live for. His empowered speeches are dramatic but complete nonsense. Every action he takes just leads him into more trouble. He’s evidently not supposed to be a person we aspire or admire.

The other problem with reviewing Space Dandy is it’s not even remotely serious. There isn’t anything you could call a running theme, beyond perhaps its total deliberate lack of theme. Jumps in the story are done in a way that deliberately ignores story-flow. The whole subplot with them being chased by the most powerful army in the universe seems so much larger than the story involving Dandy but is ultimately totally inconsequential. If you’ve ever seen Pani Poni Dash, it’s like those aliens who observe the characters from orbit in something much larger and potentially world-destroying but ultimately is only there to add colour commentary to the main character’s actions.

vlcsnap-2014-01-05-13h29m41s144Space Dandy is wildly imaginative and looks great, but there’s also surprisingly little to it. It’s funny, but not especially so. The only part I laughed out loud at was the ingenious ending. I really hope the rest of the series ends every episode the same way. It’s definitely not the second coming of Bebop and honestly has very little in common with that. It’s very similar to Cobra except this time the show seems to be taking the piss out of the main character’s awful wisecracking, which I think I prefer. It’s much like how trying to play Duke Nukem straight in the 21st century when we as a society have moved beyond such a lead character. The booty chasing lead is now a sad man rather than your hero. I hope Space Dandy sticks to that portrayal of its main character.

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19 Comments

  1. Varyn
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Based on Dandy’s opening speech I propose we petition to change the opening theme song to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc2Va4K8DSQ

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t choose I like big butts and I cannot lie, so you win award for not going for obvious choice

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I think it was definitely a lot funnier in English some how. A lot of the jokes require on delivery rather than the jokes themselves, and Ian Sinclair does a fantastic job. The best lines were probably “Don’t you judge me you’re covered in hair!” and Dandy twirling his pistol only to miss the holster.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t find too many of the spoken jokes that funny. Definitely more of the visual gags worked for me, like Dandy pulling that cool pose to transport and having to hold it

      • Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

        What language did you watch it in Scamp?

      • Scamp
        Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Watched the english version. It’s all right, wasn’t terribly impressed apart from the auto-tuned robots

    • Pusswookie
      Posted January 6, 2014 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      I just watched it in English and he ain’t lying, Ian’s got the delivery down.
      The holster thing and “definitely a space cat” got some good lols from me.

  3. Leah
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Honey is the best character. I especially loved her line in the sub that Dandy’s an “ass” when he told her his job starts with an “A”. QT is pretty great as well. I really don’t like how Dandy was treating her, though.
    Dandy is a jerk and a pervert but at the same time I feel like the universe punishes him for it plenty, such as when he gets ditched by Honey, his semi-broken spaceship, the fact that he almost destroys half of the restaurant only to find out the cat he’s been chasing is just as much as a pervert as he is…
    Talking about Meow, I don’t really know what to think about him. He’s kind of… there. He doesn’t really have an interesting character shtick for now, he just… tagged along, I dunno.
    The japanese intro has rather melancholic lyrics at times, I wonder what’s up with that?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      I thought Honey was a non-character tbh but maybe we’ll see more of her later on. Except that they’re all dead so

  4. K
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The jokes were ehhh and more ehhhhh, didn’t react to them at all.

  5. jameskun
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    you actually described why the show is so great, original and watchable, after I read this part, the story started to make sense and I think we will discover more. Episode one seems to be bland, but there are hints that we are following an interesting plot as you mentioned here.

    ” Dandy as a character feels like one of those wise-cracking self-serving male leads in the vein of Cobra/Lupin/Spike etc, but there’s a very strong feeling that the show is laughing at him behind their backs. The portrayal of his obsession with the chain Boobies (which I kinda love as the name of the bar for its deliberate bluntness) comes off as him being a shallow desperate man with little else to live for. His empowered speeches are dramatic but complete nonsense. Every action he takes just leads him into more trouble. He’s evidently not supposed to be a person we aspire or admire. ”

    I will keep watching, thanks for the detailed review.

    • Yokoelf
      Posted January 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I also hadn’t thought of that until reading this, it makes sense. Dandy really seems a lost man.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I follow some english-speaking animators on twitter who worked on the show and they make it sound like Dandy being a loser has a greater focus in the show overall, which makes me excited and more hopeful for the future.

  6. Jaysus
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I liked it, but I tend to like shows that don’t take themselves too seriously. I watched it in glorious nihonjin, since Dandy is voiced by Junichi Suwabe.

    Am I the only one who got Super Milk-chan vibes? It’s probably because of QT and all of the pretty colors.

    • Gaffuwaffu
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Nihonjin is Japanese Person, not Japanese language, but I agree with the part about Junichi Suwabe.

    • Jaysus
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      It’s a meme.

  7. Posted January 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Space Dandy sounds dandy. Not dandy like candied brandy with a girl named sandy, but dandy.

  8. Ramiel
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    That animation tho…

  9. Ken
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    The fact that Space Dandy is being heavily marketed to the western audience makes me not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it also makes me think, while I’m watching it, is this what the Japanese think we like? To be honest, I’m don’t know how much I like this show yet.

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