Sunday, 12 January 2014

Space☆Dandy - Episode 2

The entire crew may have died at the end of the first episode but pay that no heed - Space Dandy is back for more and its titular bounty hunter and friends are very much alive and kicking.

The same can't really be said for their work however - times are tough in the alien hunting business, with rare species incredibly hard to come across, and anything that Dandy has managed to capture proves to be anything but rare.  With Meow eating him out of ship and home to boot, things couldn't get much worse, and when he takes Dandy's much-anticipated ramen for himself Dandy snaps and tries to flush him out of the nearest airlock.

It's a decision that it only rescinded when Meow mentions another incredibly rare alien of which he might have knowledge - or, more to the point, a particularly unique brand of ramen that is believed to be created by an alien.  Thus, the crew head off to sample the delicacies of as many ramen shops as possible in the hunt for this unusual flavour, absolutely oblivious to the fact that Dandy is still being hunted himself, aided inadvertently by Meow's over-eager use of Twitter.  It's an adventure that ultimately takes them into an alternate dimension, and an emotional tale of an alien's fall from grace.

Two episodes in, I'm still not too sure what to make of Space Dandy - it's certainly a visual feast that is worth checking out for its animation and visuals alone, a colourful and fluid affair that matches the show's particular brand of insanity perfectly.  That insanity itself is harder to pin down though - the show's comedy frequently lacks punch (made up for only slightly by its charm), and its story meanders in a not especially satisfying way from setup to conclusion.  It certainly has its moments, and bouts of self-referential fourth wall breaking help along those lines, but there remains a lingering feeling that the show needs some focus to really find its feet - focus that it certainly has the potential to grasp, if it so chooses.  For now though, Space Dandy is perhaps a little more fun to watch than it has any right to be, but not as fun to watch as I hoped (perhaps even assumed) that it would be.

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