The War of the Undies and Vests, Baby
The human race has had its fair share of stupid wars. Oil, religion, the colour of our skin – They’ve all been fuel for conflict in the past, but only after the fact do we see how ridiculous and futile fighting over them really is. However, this week Space Dandy actually succeeded in making those wars seem reasonable in comparison to the 10,000 year battle that was raging on at their latest crash site. The great struggle between underwear and vests…
On their latest quest to hunt down an undiscovered alien, the crew of the Aloha Oe were blasted out of the sky as they entered a no-fly zone over the planet Eden. Accustomed to unexpected landings by now, Dandy left the ship and went searching for the aliens, forcing Meow to scour the surface as well. It was then that the alien hunters were ambushed by two savage creatures who dragged them back to their respective bases. When they had woken up, Meow and Dandy discovered that the two aliens were each the last of their kind. Lone survivors of a 10,000 year war between the factions of those who wear vests and those who wear underwear. One flourish of Dandy and Meow being morons later and they finally realised that they had no need to fight and they tried to call for peace between the two sides. It all went smoothly until the aliens exchanged garments at which point a fight broke out, resulting in the death of the two aliens and both of their last resort doomsday weapons plunging into the planet’s core. QT managed to escape with the ship, but just when it looked like he was going to abandon Dandy and Meow, he deployed the emergency surfboard and in the most spectacular piece of animation ever, Dandy rode the explosion into space and towards his next adventure.
I swear, Space Dandy is rapidly destroying any integrity I once had as a reviewer. There is no way that I should be enjoying this anime as much as I am presently, but the last few weeks have really made me regret not giving it my seal of approval after episode 4. It has started to gain some real traction now that the characters have established themselves a little more and I actually find myself liking the crew more with each passing week. Even Meow, who was merely an annoyance before, is starting to tickle my funny bone a little – Not quite as much as QT who I have loved from the very start, granted, but with a bit more screentime he could get there.
That said, the majority of episode 6 was fairly underwhelming. It was still consistently funnier than some of the earlier episodes, but the plot was extremely unoriginal which surprised me considering how off the rails Space Dandy is. The idea of two people single-handedly fighting a war against each other because of conflicting views is something that has been done in countless children’s cartoons in the west. One example that springs to mind is an episode of Spongebob Squarepants titled ‘The Battle of Bikini Bottom’ in which Spongebob and Patrick wage a war between dirtiness and cleanliness. Let us not forget, as well, the classic Spy vs Spy and most of the violent cartoons that ran on Cartoon Network well into the 90’s (Tom and Jerry for instance.) I hope the anime gods forgive me for this slander, but most of those western cartoons were and still are better in my books than episode 6 of Space Dandy. Admittedly, I don’t think that The Battle of Bikini Bottom ended with Spongebob riding the explosion of Patrick’s corpse out of the ocean and into space, but how awesome would that have been? Take notes Nickelodeon.
I am beginning to get curious regarding how Space Dandy is going to progress, especially considering that every single episode thus far has ended with a ‘To Be Continued’ card. Whether that means that each individual story arc will get a second episode at some point or simply that the anime as a whole will be continuing is anyone’s guess though. A number of episodes would benefit greatly from a continuation and I for one would love to see them carry on the zombie story or meet up with Adélie from episode 5 again. Space Dandy has such a strange, episodic narrative that it could go in any number of directions. Maybe the stories will even end up interlinking somehow? It’s a mystery that I am incredibly excited to figure out, but for now I am just looking forward to next episode. Before Space Dandy was released, I said that it looked like a cross between Cowboy Bebop and Redline. Episode 5 gave us a taste of Bebop and now it looks like it is episode 7’s turn to inject some gasoline into the mix as we gear up to head to the intergalactic races next week! Stay tuned!
Space Dandy is simulcasting in both subbed and dubbed formats and can be found airing on Adult Swim’s Toonami block or streaming on FUNimation in the US. UK viewers can catch it streaming on Wakanim and Australian viewers can catch it streaming on Madman with new episodes – both subbed and dubbed – up on the Madman Screening Room each Monday, at 1am AEDT.
For more impressions of winter’s best and worst, head over to our Anime Impressions page.
Check out more Space Dandy Impressions HERE.
P.S. I stumbled across the full version of Space Dandy’s amazing OP, Viva Namida, and, I have to say, the video is amazing. It takes the singer, Yasuyuki Okamura, and plunges him into the art style of Space Dandy, featuring all of the main cast and a lot of clips from the last 6 episodes. Check it out here!