Red at night, sailor’s delight. Dandy in the morning, sailors take warning.
|BREAKING NEWS: Space Dandy is still fantastic. I keep thinking they can’t possibly have this many knockout episodes in a row, and I keep being proven wrong. I have never been so happy that I was wrong.|
Space Dandy isn’t exactly known for having any sort of continuity between episodes. This is a good thing since many episodes end with the crew dying or getting hopelessly stranded somewhere. But season 2 does give some nods towards the events in season 1. For example, Dandy’s love of surfing and QT’s fishing obsession are revisited. Fishing in particular is the main time sink of this episode. Although QT was the one who went fishing crazy before, now it’s Dandy’s turn to devote his life to casting to reeling. Or at least a few days. It’s kind of sad that QT and Meow have been taking the back seat lately, but the formula of Dandy infiltrating planets by himself and interacting with the locals is working so, so well. I really can’t complain.
This week’s planet is full of water and mud and…not much else. However, it looks amazing because of how distinctly foreign it is. The only surfaces the residents live on are strange rocks that jut out of the water at dangerous angles. You wouldn’t think a planet full of dull greys, browns and blues could be a visual treat, but it is. Dandy slowly explores the planet with his newfound companion, Erssime. Sometimes in complete silence, sometimes talking to locals and learning the secrets of fishing. There’s a wonderful sense of atmosphere here. It’s intensified by how Dandy completely embraces the planet’s culture – donning fisherman garbs and spending all of his time with a rod in his hands. You would peg Dandy for a city-slicker who would want to keep his hair groomed and his body clean. But when Dandy gets into something, he totally goes for it. When he’s not hitting on girls, you start to realize he isn’t as shallow as he seems.
In fact, this is one of the few episodes where Dandy doesn’t chase after any girls. He dreams about a mermaid for a few seconds, but otherwise, he’s totally focused on getting that big fish. It’s so much cuter when Dandy is babysitting a little kid instead of hitting on girls! He’s just a giant child himself, so he gets along well with kids just by being himself. It helps that the kid is cute as a button. Although they don’t speak to each other all that much, it’s easy to see that they become close after spending so much time together. Heck, even old man D’Elise comes around at the end and starts respecting Dandy.
Dandy needs to quit his job as a bounty hunter and just open up a daycare
All in all, this episode is a wild ride starring the ever-loveable Dandy. The more I see him, the more I love him. He immediately comes across as an idiotic narcissist with more concerns about money and smacking asses than being a decent person. And yes, those things are still true. He’s a big dummy who cares a little too much about pretty women and catching aliens. But he’s also incredibly open to the cultures he encounters on different planets, a hard worker and very protective of his friends. He’s the kind of guy who isn’t very skilled, but tries very hard (and tries not to let you know he’s trying hard so he can look cool…baby!). It’s a very endearing mix of character traits that make you tempted to admire the guy. Tempted! But maybe not quite there since he did win the contest for being the King of Misunderstandings. For every victory, there is a loss…
Aside from making me love Dandy more, this episode really was just another barrel full of fun. We got to explore a really cool planet with crazy fish and witness an epic struggle against a sea monster. There have certainly been a lot of surfing/fishing/water episodes lately. But they’ve all been so wonderful and so incredibly different in what message they’re trying to convey. Space Dandy continues to be bursting with fresh ideas and exceeding my expectations. This is excellence in anime. If you know a friend who isn’t watching Space Dandy, go beat them over the head with a surfboard and make them watch it (once they regain consciousness).
And by the way…next week looks great as well. Scarlet will finally get some air time!