The winter 2014 anime season is now very much underway, bringing me the first of the shows I'll be watching throughout - and it's a big one too with a lot of promotion behind it, in the form of Space Dandy.
Although hunting for rare aliens in a universe packed with weird and wonderful creatures might sound like serious business, it really doesn't seem to be in Dandy's case - he's rather wax lyrical on the finer points of bums compared to boobs, while his preferred place to track down said unusual aliens is via a chain of breastaurants. With an outdated robot named QT as his loyal companion, you could be forgiven for thinking that Dandy isn't exactly serious about his job, especially when his attentions are caught by an alien whom he has confused as being a rarity simply because he has a sticker on his face.
Still, upon realising his error the creature in question - let's just call him "Meow" rather than his unpronounceable real name - promises that he knows just the place to find some most rare aliens indeed. Thus begins an adventure which involves quite literally messing with the fabric of time and space, the world's slowest teleporter, a decidedly ineffective ray gun and, ultimately, death.
Yes, the entire crew seemingly dies at the end of Space Dandy's first episode - not as some kind of Madoka Magica-esque twist, but more as a demonstration that this series is more concerned with having fun than providing a serious narrative. That said, there are some plot points that will doubtless be explored more fully in time - someone seems to want to turn Dandy from hunter into hunted - but this opening episode is really just an opportunity for lots of bright, colourful (and occasionally impressive visuals) and plenty of gags that either knock on the fourth wall or poke fun at all of the tropes of TV series set in space and the technology that is par for the course with such shows. As a one-off, its pretty fun stuff and decidedly entertaining, but with a full twenty-six episodes on the cards you have to wonder whether it'll manage to keep its ideas fresh for that long. Still, that's a question for another day, so for now this was an enjoyable way to open up my winter season's viewing.