It’s hard to talk about anime this season without mentioning one of Studio BONES offerings, Space Dandy. With Shinichiro Watanbe behind it and BONES with their sights firmly set on giving the series a worldwide release as it airs, the show has certainly been a note of interest in the industry.
Six episodes into Space Dandy the series isn’t being talked about quite as much as it once was. The series has, admittedly, not done as well as viewers and critics alike may have hoped. Despite all the hype around it Space Dandy just hasn’t proved itself all that well. Perhaps with stiff competition from the likes of Studio Triggers Kill la Kill, and the second season of Silver Spoon’s anime run along with many other top quality shows this season, the fact Space Dandy hasn’t done as well as many expected won’t come as much of a surprise.
Yet, although the series is definitely rough around the edges, I find it hard to outright drop the show altogether. I’m not the type of person who will continue a show if I’m not really taken with it, especially not a series like Space Dandy which is due to run for 22 episodes or so. Having said all that though, there is something about Space Dandy which just draws you in and firmly keeps you there. This easily makes it one of the most enjoyable shows of the season before you even realise it.
Space Dandy follows the adventures of Dandy, Meow the cat like alien, and QT, Dandy’s out of date robot friend. Dandy is an alien hunter who earns his living by finding new and unregistered aliens, who he then captures and registers to earn a reward. It’s a fun cast of characters; Meow and QT are somewhat brilliant characters who offer us a lot of comedy value in terms of not really liking Dandy and just coming along for the ride, which leads to some fun exchanges. Dandy is a money, and perhaps women, obsessed guy who isn’t all that great as a main character, but can be surprisingly sweet as proven in the second and fifth episodes. It’s not the most brilliant cast of characters in anime history, or perhaps even this season, but they’ve all proven loveable in their own way.
Of the six episodes we’ve had so far episode one was just crazy, episode two is better and manages a rather sweet moment, episode three is not memorable at all and I’ve completely forgotten it for the most part, episodes four and five are pretty brilliant, and episode six is boring for the first half and much better in the second.
Yes, Space Dandy is definitely a huge mix in terms of the quality of its episodes. However, with that said the series can’t be faulted on doing its best to try out a wide range of ideas and genres. Episode five for example pokes fun at the much overused zombie genre and runs with it for a brilliantly funny episode and my highlight of the series so far. Each episode does something different with the characters and setting and perhaps this is the key to the show staying so fresh and keeping you interested. Perhaps to help it in this regard, the series so far doesn’t seem to have any big over-reaching plot, so each episode stands on its own rather well. You could easily skip the third episode for example and not really lose anything of any real importance, which is definitely a plus point for anyone interested in rewatching the show beginning to end.
Space Dandy is a lot of things. It often falls flat with its comedy, manages to bore us with the first half of its episodes now and again, and yet the series actually can be a joy to watch. It shows off some rather excellent animation, as we’ve come to expect of Studio BONES, as well as being backed by a brilliant soundtrack. If you can ignore the high expectations we once held for the series, overlook its few faults, and just kick back and enjoy the ride the series is a brilliant one. It’s not the best series this season and perhaps won’t be remembered for the years to come, but it’s brilliant in its own way and definitely the most Dandy show airing right now.