Space Dandy Episode 5

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Recap

On the hunt for an alien that’s been taking down other alien hunters, Dandy tracks it down, finding out it’s just a little girl. Initially in it for the huge reward, he begrudgingly listens to the girl’s request before taking her to the alien registry.

Gee’s Thoughts

This week, we learn that the show is in fact capable of some dramatic gravitas. The “older cynical schlub has to take care of a small child” routine is a pretty well worn plot hook, but Space Dandy pulls it off with a wonderful sense of fun and heart to it. Dandy’s not exactly a paragon of morality, but he’s always seemed to be a pretty decent guy, as the conversation he had with the ramen shop alien in episode 2 showed. We get a confirmation of that, and both Dandy the anime and Dandy the character are depicted in a great light this week. Yeah, it’s kinda sappy how well everything works out in the end, but it works well in Space Dandy’s favor.

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The montage with Dandy and Adelie was also really nice as well. I’m a sucker for these kinds of musical montages and this one was no different, doing a great job at pulling at my heartstrings. Seeing Dandy acting like a warm (if somewhat crude) father figure did wonders for his characterization, and Adelie herself was the right mix of precocious and adorable to avoid the usual pitfalls of children in fiction. Additionally, we got to see some excellent world building in the form of the duo’s extended road trip through the galaxy. If there’s one thing Space Dandy has always manged well, it’s been establishing a sense of wonder and awe at the wildly fun and varied universe its created. While I’m thankful we’re getting a show like Space Dandy, it’s a shame there will probably never be enough of it to show the fascinatingly weird place it is.

Overall, this has definitely been one of my favorite episodes of Space Dandy. The thing I’ve really appreciated about the show so far has been its zany action and real knack for genuine humor, not just the usual trite jokes that anime likes to call humor. This episode managed to introduce some new elements into that equation, and the show is all the better for it. While I wouldn’t want every episode to be like this, I appreciate the effort to mix things up and keep things interesting. While I plan to grin and laugh my way through this adventure, I certainly hope there will be a few more episodes like this one down the line.

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Iro’s Thoughts

After four episodes of ridiculous, boobies-filled… well, ridiculousness, it’s nice to see a more subdued, dramatic episode of Space Dandy. We’ve caught hints that the show could get dramatic when it had to, most notably with Ramen Alien (RIP Ichiro Nagai), but for the most part it was all about the jokes and the questionable fanservice. But, as is basic writing advice, ratcheting the tension (or in this case, the comedy) up to 10 for too long means that it just ends up becoming a 1. Space Dandy would unquestionably grow tiresome if it tried to keep up the humorous pace of the first few episodes. It needs the episodes like these, that let the viewer sit back, relax, and really get a feel for the characters.

It’s a tried and true plot to give an otherwise abrasive character a morality pet for a while, and it works quite well considering the life of flippant debauchery Dandy has led so far. The large contrast between Dandy the creepy perv and Dandy the mostly decent fellow adds a fair amount of depth to his character, which is something the show sorely needed by this point. Was it sappy? Absolutely, but because Space Dandy has already shown us it’s an overblown show, it ends up fitting right in. I’m all for more episodes just like this one, and I hope Adelie makes a comeback further down the line. I just hope it isn’t as a buxom fanservice babe.

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