Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Space☆Dandy - Episode 10

In a new high watermark for unreliable narration, it seems that the universe of Space Dandy is a universe at war, with two factions - the Gogol and Jaicro empires - duking it out while trying to develop the super-weapons that will give them the upper hand in this conflict.

Not that any of this is much more than tangentially related to Dandy and company's adventures, as an issue with the Aloha Oe that is beyond QT's capabilities means they need to find a nearby planet to have repairs carried out... and whaddya know, they just so happen to be close to Meow's home planet.  Although he's hardly thrilled at the prospect of returning home, the prospect of free food and lodgings while repairs are affected means its a no-brainer for Dandy.

Thus, we get to see exactly why Meow left to adventure in space - although he has a lovely family, his home planet of Betelgeuse is a backwater with nothing to do but work dead-ends jobs, drink, settle down, raise a family and rinse and repeat that same story for generation after generation.  Ironically, this is exactly the kind of repetitive life that Meow and his cohorts are forced to "enjoy" as they become stuck in a temporal loop - a loop which reminds Meow of everything he hates about his home planet, but also everything he's missing from leaving it behind.

In many ways, this is a strange little episode to sum up - it certainly has its moments of comedy, but its prime goal seems to be to say something (or at least pose some questions) about the endless monotony of everyday life, and whether it's something to be run from or embraced.  Although neither this concept nor its humour stands out, the end result is a broadly enjoyable one that held my attention while also largely managing to be an example of a temporal loop in anime "done right" (yes, I'm looking at you, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya).  This won't end up being one of Space Dandy's most memorable episodes I'd wager, but it succeeded in what it seemingly set out to if nothing else.

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