First Impressions: Space Dandy

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“A Revolution in Anime!” “Cowboy Bebop reborn!” It’s easy to see quite a stir up in the communities over director Shinichirō Watanabe’s new work Space Dandy. Especially with such great work under his name like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. So when climbing aboard the hype train to see what everything was all about, it was rather shocking to be in such disagreement with so many people.

spacedandy1Space Dandy is a space hunter, a person who explores the universe in search of rare and unknown races of alien creatures for high dollar. While his goal is pretty clear, he’s often found visiting local entertainment hubs or arguing with his trusty (and very outdated) robot companion QT.

That’s about all I can mention about the story of Space Dandy. Even after peaking at the second episode, there isn’t much plot or development going on here. Space Dandy is very episodic and lacking any real depth to the characters or world. Which is harsh to say for a show about space exploration and alien species. That’s not to say it’s lacking characters or alien variety, but without interaction or examination it falls flat.

The reason why it seems to lack that focus needed is due to its random nature. Understandable in its desire to be action packed, or to fail at comedic value. It pulls off the action, often slick movement by Dandy leads to some amount of entertainment for a brief moment. However at other times it seems they just go too far to the point that I’m left wondering what the hell is going on, none of it makes sense, and I just want it to stop.

The other problem in this show having any depth is its episodic nature. Base off two episodes already, it seems that each is self-contained while only inheriting certain things such as characters. Which sadly shoots down any hope for this show being engaging enough to hold attention unless its humor gets better.

spacedandy2Which leads us to our biggest problem in the show. Unfortunately it seems the writers/directors have taken a western approach to the comedy and content. Moving to a crude and immature direction rather than witty and smart. This leaves anyone that doesn’t find hours of boob and butt jokes funny, bored and uninterested. Which is pretty much most of the show. Dandy seems obsessed with places like a “breasturaunt” as well as the female butt, while the show’s writers seem to still bring in plenty of boobs.

The art direction is a call back to the 70s and 80s, often reminding me of Lupin III.  An old school style with a lot of flare. An interesting direction that I was actually interested to see. The animations are smooth most of the time but rather sloppy during action scenes. Characters often turn to mere paint splatter and smears as things get crazy. Leaving me often wondering if they are all secretly blobs or maybe that the animators get lazy.

Overall I found nothing of value in this show. It’s biggest downfalls is that it lacks any smart humor, plot, or character development while focusing exclusively on sexualizing women and fan service.  It seems its focus is in western humor which isn’t what I come to anime for.  If this is the revolution of anime, I’ll gladly get off the train here please.

thumbsdown

THUMBS DOWN!

FIRST IMPRESSION VERDICT:

THUMBS DOWN! 

Bads:

  • Too much T&A  not enough anything else
  • Lacks plot, purpose, or focus
  • Crude western humor

Anything promising?

  • Interesting art direction
  • Meow is kind of cool

First Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.