Space☆Dandy S2 – 11

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Space Dandy is a dandy in…briefs.

It’s kind of sad to think that Space Dandy is ending so soon. The Fall anime season is promising lots of great shows (expect our season preview post to be up soon~), but there will always be a Dandy-shaped hole in my heart. I guess that would in the shape of a star? Or Dandy’s signature hairstyle? Or maybe just the words BOOBIES burned into my heart? …You know, I don’t think I really want any of those things in my heart.

My incredibly high expectations for Space Dandy made this episode seem rather dull. I’m so used to this show maintaining a high level of performance that even the slightest dip in quality is felt acutely. I was let down by the unfulfilled promise of unearthing Dandy’s love life and learning the vast secrets behind the interweaving, alternate dimensions. The answers to these questions were brief, as if to just give us a cursory explanation so we would be quiet about it and never bring it up again. All the juicy gossip and heartache we could have learned about Dandy’s ex-girlfriend from another timeline (a 4th dimensional girlfriend to boot!) was reduced to “yeah, they used to date. Now Dandy is different so reuniting is impossible.” The inter-dimensional travel was also reduced to “we can travel between dimensions through warping.”

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That’s what you get when you date a goddamned box: disappointment. Shoulda seen it coming, buddy.

Now, we’ve had hints all along about how Dandy has been switching from one dimension to the next. That is the perfect way to explain why at the start of each episode he’s alive and well – even if we clearly saw him die in the episode prior. It’s a cute way to explain the episodic nature of this show. But it’s been playing a bigger role lately. On Planet Limbo, he was given special treatment because all of the alternate universe Dandys were converged into one. It’s admittedly hard for me to wrap my head around, but Dandy’s stuffed toy analogy is the best way to think of it. Dandy is just jumping from timeline to timeline – as is anyone else who warps. But Dandy may be a bit special since he remembers, albeit vaguely, his relationship with Catherine. The way he was revived on Limbo makes me think that a lot of his “bad ends” get erased by warping him to another timeline as well. The warping thing isn’t too confusing, but trying to reconcile it with the events on Limbo into a coherent theory is a little challenging.

Perhaps we’re not spoonfed the answers so that we (the viewers) can come to our own conclusions. Still, the revelation is delivered so anti-climactically that it’s hard to get excited about it. I wish we had a bit more to go on since inter-dimensional travel and alternate timelines are really, really cool concepts. To just be explained away so simply makes me a little sad.

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On top of that, I wanted to learn so much more about Catherine! We’re told she’s a 4-D alien who exists in the 4th dimension, but we’re never told exactly what that entails. She doesn’t experience time the same way and she seems able to travel across dimensions, but other than that we really aren’t given much to go on. What a shame – the idea of being a 4th dimensional being sounds endlessly interesting.

How you could love someone in an entirely different world from yours is also really bizarre to think about. It would be the same as us falling in love and having a committed relationship to a 2D anime character. Wait…that might be a bad example for some of the more..uhh..”hardcore” anime fans out there. But even if you can imagine loving someone one dimension below, could you imagine loving someone who was 4 dimensional? It’s impossible for us to even fathom what that would look like. That’s part of what I liked about how they explained the relationship between Paul and Catherine. As QT puts it, it would be the same as us falling in love with a dot. The concept is just way too abstract for us to even try to relate to it.

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The irony of 2D anime characters freaking out over going into a 2D universe

I’ve been interested in the concept of “2D worlds” and “1D worlds.” A 2D world cannot fathom what a 3D world is like…just as we have no clue what a 4D world is like. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that it’s outside of our realm of understanding. Because of that, I really enjoyed watching Bea and Dr. Gel attempt to be the heroes and explore the 2D world. I almost wish they had a chance to actually prevail for once, but Dandy was ultimately the star again. Oh well.

So overall I feel like this episode had an amazing concept that just fell a bit short in terms of execution. They kept their cards a little too close to their chests in this one. But it still provided some interesting food for thought and a companion-cube character voiced by the lovely Miyuki Sawashiro. So it wasn’t that bad at all!

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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7 Responses to “Space☆Dandy S2 – 11”

  1. belatkuro says:

    Aren’t those boxers? I don’t think Dandy is a briefs person.

  2. Sumairii says:

    The easiest way to imagine what a four-dimensional being would be like as three-dimensional beings is to consider the point of view of a two-dimensional being.

    As three-dimensional beings, we can traverse one more spatial dimension than a two-dimensional being can. Thus, we would be able to reveal ourselves to and conceal ourselves from said two-dimensional being at our discretion by simply traversing along the third dimension that it does not comprehend. To the two-dimensional being, this kind of movement is inexplicable: one moment we are there, the next we are not.

    More practically, imagine an ant and a worm on an apple. The ant is content with walking along the surface of the apple. But the worm is more interested in burrowing into the inside of the apple. When the worm burrows into the apple, it has traversed a spatial dimension that the ant has no concept of; the ant has no idea where the worm has gone (disregarding the hole left behind in this example).

    So it is easy to see that to us, a four-dimensional being would be one that can seemingly come into and out of existence. In this way, I imagine being in love with a four-dimensional being is much akin to being in love with someone who never settles down. They come and go as they please without explanation, and you have no idea where they go when they leave. So in some ways, things might not be so different from being in love with a typical three-dimensional being.

    • Overcooled says:

      The only way I can wrap my head around it is through these kinds of examples: looking at how someone in a 2D realm would view something 3D. We know that third dimension is possible, but to someone in a 3D world it’s impossible to fathom. I imagine it would be exactly as you said, and we’d just see someone moving in the 4th dimension as just “disappearing” since we can’t really see it per se. That’s really cool to think about though!

  3. Sumairii says:

    To understand how a four-dimensional being might physically appear to a three-dimensional being, we can again use an analogy in lower dimensions.

    Imagine the interaction between a one-dimensional being and a two-dimensional being. To make this simple for us to comprehend, imagine the one-dimensional being inhabits the x-axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. A two-dimensional being in this case would be any vector that lies in this plane. Now it becomes trivial to see how the vector can appear to the one-dimensional being.

    Generally speaking, the one-dimensional being perceives the vector as the intersection of two lines: the vector itself and the x-axis which the one-dimensional being inhabits. Anyone who has taken any kind of elementary math knows that there are three solutions to this problem: a point, a vector, and nothing. The final solution represents the case when the vector does not cross the x-axis, and is analogous to the two-dimensional being traversing the second dimension that the one-dimensional being cannot comprehend. We have already established this so there is nothing new here.

    More interesting however, is the consequence that there are two non-null solutions. Either the vector is not parallel to the x-axis and thus appears as a point, or the vector is parallel to (and coincident with) the x-axis and appears in its entirety to the one-dimensional being. We can then extend the analogy to three and four dimensions.

    There are two possibilities regarding the physical appearance of a four-dimensional being to a three-dimensional being. Either the four-dimensional being must be physically described in four dimensions, in which case we can perceive the four-dimensional being as any three-dimensional projection that it chooses to show us. Or, the four-dimensional being can be physically described in only three dimensions, in which case we perceive it in its entirety when it so chooses to reveal itself to us.

    • Sumairii says:

      In this episode of Space Dandy, we see that Catherine is a four-dimensional being whose physical appearance must be described by all four-dimensions. Thus, she can select any three-dimensional projection of her full appearance to show us at her discretion. The episode uses the visual example of the tesseract, which is arguably the most well-known example of a four-dimensional object. Most likely this was done to stress her four-dimensional nature.

      • Overcooled says:

        Whoaaaa cool! I was wondering about why they chose to make Catherine look like that. As a 4D being, that would mean her entire physical existence has 4 dimensions and that would be very, very difficult for us to perceive.

        Science, man. I’ve never even heard of a tesseract before.

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