Greetings everyone! First off, a quick apology for the long delay between posts. All of us have been pretty overwhelmed by college classes and just general busyness, but we will definitely be back on a regular schedule in March. With that out of the way, today we are reviewing the first season of Space Dandy! Beware of minor spoilers, as always.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Space Dandy is a space hunter, someone who is paid to search for new, undiscovered alien species. It’s an industry where the prize goes to the person who finds aliens the fastest. Dandy searches unknown planets for strange beings with his companions, QT the worn-out robot and Meow from Betelgeuse. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by minions of the Gogol Empire, for reasons that are still a mystery. -Anime News Network
There are generally three categories of anime. First are the ones that are suppose to make the viewer think, and are general considered among the best anime out there. Second are the fanservice series, whether they be gore or sexual fanservice. Space Dandy flirts with both of these categories, but definitely belongs in the third series of being just flat out random. The anime itself possesses a very loose continuity, with most episodes being a self contained story. There are a few small subplot interwoven throughout, but these are mainly only resolved in the second season, unfortunately. Space Dandy is mostly just random and ridiculous, which while enjoyable to some, may frustrate others.
Space Dandy’s characters are arguably either its strongest point, or its weakest point. The plot is primarily character driven, and as such, the main trio has well fleshed out personalities. The anime make a point of keeping to these personalities, to the point that there is very little character growth. Some episodes do feature one of the main character undergoing some developments, but unfortunately, due to the lose continuity, frequently gets undone.
The animation for this anime is a little bit goofy compared to the typically animation style to most modern anime. Some episodes display a differing style to fit the themes of the particular episode. The series as a whole is very colorful and pleasant to view, though some viewers may be bothered by the animation styles.
Space Dandy has a well executed soundtrack that fits the sci-fi setting. Additionally, the opening and closing set the tone for the episodes extremely well, as well as foreshadow the goofy nature of the show.
As a mostly random and silly series, the number of deep themes in Space Dandy is rather limited. Instead, the series seems to be one big ode to the Latin phrase carpe diem. This phrase, generally translated as “seize the day,” is lived out by Dandy. He frequently does whatever he wants and is very much a go with flow kind of character. Even the story telling style of the show lives up to the phrase, being not afraid to make up absurd situations for the character to survive, or not survive. The show also makes many nods to various sci-fi tropes and series, as well as general pop culture. In this way, the show can be seen as a parody to the often serious tones of general sci-fi stories.
Final Score: 8.0/10
Final Grade: B
Space Dandy is an interesting anime to say the least. It follows several characters, but that is about the only constancy you will get in the show. It is one big joke of a show, but it embraces that and makes it very fun and entertaining to watch. The show has fun characters. However they do not have much depth to them. The animation is pretty stylized too and may not be for everyone. Also the show is a bit vulgar and has a lot of immature joke, so if you are not a fan of that then you may want to stay away. Over all this show is very funny and is worth a watch. Out of 10 I would give it a 7.5. It is worth a watch if you want a good and unique comedy, as long as you are ok with the immaturity of it all. – B-Ro
Space Dandy is a dandy in space, as well as a dandy of a show (for the most part). First things first, the aesthetic. I absolutely loved the setting/feel of the show. They took the cold, desolate vacuum of space, and made it cool. I completely ate up the retro sci-fi inspiration they were going for. The show itself, however reminded me a lot of what I said about One Punch Man. The show is so clearly a parody, and does so little to take itself seriously, that a lot of possible criticisms can be shrugged off as simply being “part of the joke”. For example, the cliffhangers at the end of some episodes that weren’t even mentioned at the start of the next. However, (unpopular opinion alert), I think I liked Space Dandy more than One Punch Man. Maybe it was the style of the show, maybe it was the creative and funny episode ideas, or maybe it was the really entertaining chemistry between the main trio, but it was probably all of those things combined. Nothing against One Punch Man of course, Space Dandy just suited my tastes more. Perhaps my main criticism for the show, however, is the style of humor a lot of the jokes presented themselves in. There was a lot of immature sexual jokes. I’m not mad at that type of humor being in the show, and it did fit in with the goofy feel of the show, but I felt that a lot of the jokes were way too childish. What surprised me, however, was the number of somewhat emotionally moving moments, such as in episode 5. It’s definitely a comedy through and through, but there were scenes that left me with a warm smile rather than just laughter (if that makes any sense). The music fits the style of sci-fi they were going for quite well, and the opening and closing themes stand out as absolute gems. The closing was actually performed by Etsuko Yakushimaru, who is also the frontwoman of the seriously excellent band that you absolutely must check out right now, Sōtaisei Riron. But anyway, if you can deal with some immature attempts at humor, and especially if you love goofy sci-fi, give Space Dandy a shot.
Final Comments: Not serious or even cohesive in the slightest, Space Dandy is a rocking adventure through a colorful universe, so long as you do not mind a very surface level series in just about every way.
Thank you for reading! As we mentioned before, we will be back to a regular schedule in March, where we will be reviewing Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou. In the meantime, be sure to check out our Anime Review Archive and Bonus Post Archive for more reviews and fun articles we have written!