Sunday, 2 February 2014

Space☆Dandy - Episode 5

Eight million Woolongs is nothing to be sniffed at; who cares if the alien with that price on its head has made numerous other alien hunters look like absolute fools already?

Dandy certainly doesn't care, and so off he marches to find the subject of this hefty bounty - an alien known as a Gentooan, who turns out to be little more than a kid.  This is no ordinary kid however, as one touch from her antennae switches the mind of her victim into whatever other receptacle she desires.  It's thanks to this that Dandy temporarily finds himself jammed into the body of a stuffed penguin - the stuff of nightmares for many but not our titular hero, whose stupidity comes to good use for once as he carries on capturing his quarry regardless of which body he does it in.

Nothing is ever easy in Dandy's life, however, and so it proves here - he may have captured this rare creature, but he now has no ship to transport her in as it's been towed away for improper parking.  Without the money to pay the fine to have the ship freed, there's nothing for it but for Dandy to make the trek by land to deliver his quarry, agreeing to make a detour on behalf of the alien - named Adélie - in the process.  As they travel, this road trip shows us Dandy in a whole new light as he beings to sympathize with the orphaned Adélie, even going so far as to make his excuses to try and track down her grandfather before nearly having it all thrown back into his face thanks to his subterfuge while arranging to reunite her with her sole family member for the inevitable happy ending.

It feels really unfair to make this comparison but hey, I'm not a fair person - this was the most Cowboy Bebop-esque episode of Space Dandy yet.  Even outside of this comparison the change in tone for this week's episode was a breath of fresh air, pushing much of its comedy to one side for a surprisingly effective heart-warming story that paints a rather different picture of Dandy.  The resulting relationship between Dandy and Adelie was perfectly pitched throughout to make for an incredibly charming story that still felt genuine within the show's colourful world, and the entire thing was ultimately a short but satisfying and emotional journey that did a great job to show that there's potentially more to Space Dandy than just laughs.

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