Space Dandy Episode 2



Hearing tales of a mysterious other-dimensional ramen meant to exceed all others in flavour, Dandy, QT and Meow set out in search of it.

Zigg’s Thoughts

After it’s bombastic opener last week, Space Dandy, as to be expected, slowed down a fair old bit this time round. On the surface, the idea of hunting for inter-dimensional ramen should be hilarious, but the result probably leans closer to mildly amusing than all out belly laughs. I think the first half of this episode in particular suffers from the fact that there’s only really one joke – the crew visit various ramen stores and Meow gives away their location via his space Twitter/Foursquare thingy. That’s not to say it’s unamusing, but it does meander a bit and there’s none of the wry knowingness or manic energy that characterised episode 1, merely a decently competent set of sci-fi pratfalls.


Where this episode really becomes interesting though is in the last 8 or 9 minutes when Dandy and Meow are sucked through the vortex into the other dimension and the entire show shifts in tone to some sort of weird, almost transcendent contemplation piece. The tale of the ramen chef is all over the place tonally, and it’s uncertain whether it’s meant to be funny, silly, wistful, goofy, or all of the above. But that’s precisely what makes this segment so fascinating – it’s a strange, disconcerting piece of storytelling that presses some buttons you wouldn’t expect this show to, and for that I commend it, even if it’s not the best execution of those ideas I’ve seen.

Visually, Space Dandy continues to impress, but this time it’s mostly a function of outstanding art rather than animation. The psychedelic ramen-themed alternate dimension is an obvious visual highlight and the sparseness of the planetoid and ramen shop set against the rainbow extravagance of the background really does well at selling the beautiful loneliness of the location. There’s clearly been a lot of love put into the various shots of steaming ramen bowls too. But there’s also some bad animation fall-off throughout the episode, never better illustrated than in Scarlet’s brawl, where she goes horrifyingly off model for much of the fight (although the choreography is great). I’ve got to emphasise, Space Dandy‘s still a good looking show, but this is a clear step down from the opener. Nevertheless, as a follow up that helped cement its style, tone and heart, this did the job admirably.


Random Observations

  • As expected, there’s absolutely no explanation as to how the crew survived the gigantic explosion that closed episode 1. I’m totally OK with this.
  • I absolutely adore Meow’s character design. I can’t quite say why, but there’s just something about him that’s really cute.
  • I’ll admit that ‘Gogol Street View’ is a pretty good pun translation team.
  • Er, not too sure about next week’s ‘fanservice’ episode…

One thought on “Space Dandy Episode 2

  1. I’m really enjoying Meow’s character design as well. I’m not sure, but I think part of the appeal there is because his character is relatively understated, art-wise. It’s not trying really hard to be cute and adorable, and it sortof becomes more cute to me because of that very fact.

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