|I had to choose between blogging this or Sengoku Basara. I chose Dandy because it’s cool as heck and I feel like I’ll do a better job writing about it. My Sengoku Basara posts would just be me adjusting my (imaginary) nerd glasses and comparing it to both the game and the past anime series. That’s not that exciting to read and probably wouldn’t be all that exciting to write. But there’s nothing more exciting and fun than Dandy so here I am!|
I was a little worried because the first episode of season 2 was only alright. But now I know for sure that Space Dandy is back and it means business! I really enjoyed this week’s episode, how it played with a number of themes, and culminated in a really sweet surfing scene. Dandy always brags about surfing (and he’s done so once before) and now we get to see him strut his stuff. It’s very rarely that we get to see Dandy actually do something cool, so each time he pulls out all the stops you can’t help but take note. From start to finish, it was a wild ride.
I think Space Dandy is in top form when it chooses to focus more broadly on things instead of getting caught up on one theme. Last week they were too preoccuppied with just alternate universes, so we got nothing else. This episode bounces back and forth between Dandy’s meeting with an alien and how Meow and QT do their own thing to try and find him. There’s also a preamble about the alien by itself, which is rather neat. I liked the mixture of ideas because it kept things fresh and it never felt like they were picking up ideas from the bottom of the barrel.
Moving onto what actually happened that was so great! First of all, we see more about the unique kind of bonds shared between the Space Dandy trio. Dandy is extremely fickle, so he leaves in a fit of petulant anger and sets off on an adventure of his own. His comrades respond by lounging around the ship and idly wondering if Dandy will ever come back. They only decide to look for him to obtain the prize money for the smartly named King of Misunderstandings contest. They probably ate all his pancakes too. On the surface, it looks like this ragtag group of creatures don’t really get along very well.
Let’s also enter him in the Lowest IQ contest and the Best Pompadour contest
In reality, they really care for each other. It’s just that they only show that sort of affection in critical moments (ignore the one time Dandy almost left Meow for dead in season 1). Dandy is incredibly upset to see that his friends became statues, and he risks his life to surf on the river of time to bring them back. Likewise, QT and Meow grasp onto the past Dandy for dear life when he’s being pulled out of the river of time, causing the present Dandy to fade away. It’s dangerous, but they don’t let go. They’ve got the perfect kind of buddy-buddy relationship where they depend on each other but hate to admit it. It also shows in little, cute ways like Meow and QT joking with each other when they try to find Dandy. Of course they’re not gonna be all mushy about it and make friendship speeches all the time. But their actions speak louder than words.
As for the Ukeleleman alien, he was really creepy. It was like a classic horror story you tell your kids to get them to shut up and behave. An urban legend of sorts. Of course, with a show as silly as Dandy you never really feel any danger. But the way he floats, doesn’t smile, and just rattles around a few inches off the floor was oddly disconcerting. I feel like if I go back and watch that scene again, I’ll be frozen forever as a smiling statue. He’s definitely an interesting alien and I loved seeing him lure Dandy to his planet and got him to do some badass surfing. The way it ended with the Ukeleleman burning to death and his melted and cracked mask forming a twisted smile was the perfect way to finish things off. Not that we need to wrap things up with Meow and QT returning because hey! It’s Space Dandy! There’s no continuity so it doesn’t matter!
That is one fireproof ukelele
Next week will be directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the guy who brought us Kaiba and (most recently) Ping Pong. I tend to find his works to be a hit or miss. I liked Kaiba quite a bit, but the last time Yuasa directed a Space Dandy episode I almost fell asleep. It was my least favourite episode of the entire season and I’d be hard pressed to even tell you what happened other than “weird shit with plants.” So…we’ll see. But Yuasa fans, get hype!