As much as I love most things deriving from my second home, The Land of the Rising Sun, the one thing that I simply haven’t been able to get into is Anime.
Well, let me clarify that. There was a time when I was younger before I even met my first Japanese friend that I was into Anime for a bit. Series like “Project A-ko”, “Dominion: Tank Police” and of course, “Sailor Moon” were great ones for me.
Even after having fallen out of that short phase, I was pulled back in briefly with “Moldiver”.
But after that brief stint, I was done. Even with occasional coaxing from friends and the curious look into a hyped-up new series, I wasn’t able to jump back in.
But a few weeks ago while watching a show on Cartoon Network, I saw a promo for a show called, “Space Dandy”, that was airing that weekend.
The show is about an alien hunter who searches for unregistered aliens and turns them in for a big pay day.
Nothing about what was said in the promo caught my attention, only the beauty of the animation itself hooked me in. From the short promo alone I could tell that this was going to be a high-quality production. I immediately set my DVR.
It wasn’t until the first commercial break that I realized that what I was watching was the world premiere of the series and after further research I discovered this first episode was premiering in the U.S. BEFORE it premiered in Japan. That is unpresedented in the world of Japanese productions. Suddenly, I felt as if I was in some VIP screening room.
What’s interesting about Space Dandy to me is that it’s not the type of show I would have watched a few years ago. The stories are all over the place, full of fan service and there is absolutely no continuity – but I LIKE it! In fact, one of the most recent episodes was a bit more subdued than the others and actual had a followable plot. The story actually made sense and was easy to understand – and I was BORED! It was a good episode, but the reason why I like the series is because it’s so different from anything I’ve seen before. I wanted the strange, uncanny wackiness to continue (and it did in the subsequent episode – yay!).
Also, the music is GREAT – think ’70s funk meets ’80s synthesizers. The show has a nice and relaxed feel to it and never takes itself too seriously. Also the voice acting is fantastic. It is one of the rare times where I prefer the English voice actors to those of the Japanese.
This series is already getting critical acclaim so I’m happy that something that I am thoroughly enjoying is being enjoyed by others – unlike other shows (I’m looking at you, FOX – please don’t cancel “Almost Human”).
So if you’re in the market for an anime that gives you a different feel from the others, definitely check out, “Space Dandy”. It airs during Cartoon Network’s Toonami on Saturday nights.
It’s one heck of a show, Baby.