Space Dandy 2 – 12

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Twelve angry… what, exactly?

I would say “that was a Space Dandy episode like none that’s come before” right here, but it seems rather redundant by now.  Still, even by Dandy standards that was a pretty singular episode – an interesting combination of outrageous alien designs and a murder trial that was played surprisingly straight apart from the sci-fi details. And perhaps the most important departure was that it offered a genuine, honest-to-goodness cliffhanger – along with a preview that really makes it sound as if next week’s episode is going to be truly final (though I won’t entirely give up hope).

Written by Satou Dai – his first story of the season – this episode is clearly here to set up the finale, but it has a strange and interesting story in its own right.  Dandy is on trial for the murder of Guy Reginald, a portly fellow who seems to have been killed by a baseball striking him in the head.  He also happens to have been a rare alien species called the “Lumetians” – one which would be worth a million Woolongs if registered (as Scarlet will later tell the court in her testimony).

This whole trial is most interesting for the almost surreal contrast between the almost dead-straight tone and the wildly bizarre alien designs of the judges, jury and audience.  I kept waiting for the dialogue to match the visuals but it never did, really – things do get pretty strange with the involvement of two fifth-grade boys, Hiroshi (Shirakawa Sumiko) and Skip Jack (Tominaga Miina) – who’s clearly a skipjack tuna, which is a nice gag – but mostly it’s a pretty straight-laced murder trial with the defense attorney trying to cast doubt on the wife, Rose (Ohara Sayaka) because of Guy’s 50 million Woolong life insurance policy, then seeming to buy into the idea that she and Dandy cooked up the plot together (she’s a late-night waitress at Boobie’s).

 

The funny thing is, this does get pretty tense.  All through the trial Dandy sits motionless and silent, seemingly defiant – except it turns out he’s actually asleep.  And Meow spots some suspicious messages in Hiroshi’s Chwitter account, which eventually leads to the revelation that it was he who committed the murder – except there was no murder, because Guy is actually just a very deep sleeper and a famous pro wrestler and (this is the important part) the reason Hiroshi’s baseball travelled through light years of space to get to Guy’s noggin was because of Hiroshi’s killing intent towards Jack for blocking him on Chwitter.  Why is that so important?  Because, as testifying expert Dr. Duran (82 year-old Kayumi Iemasa) – please note he’s a takoff on the character from Barbarella, who also inspired the name of the band “Duran Duran” – tells us, Pyonium may have the ability to respond to killing intent, and be drawn to stronger sources of Pyonium.  And who’s a stronger source if Pyonium than Dandy?

That’s the headline here – not only is Dandy a strong Pyonium source, he apparently has no DNA – which suggests he may in fact not be human at all, but entirely made of Pyonium (though that’s a guess) which would certainly explain why the Gogol are so keen to capture him.  And indeed, though Dandy (he finally does wake up) is acquitted, waiting for him outside the courthouse is what I assume to be a squadron of Gogol stormtroopers.  It seems we’ve reached the point of reckoning at last, and net week’s Watanabe-written finale will finally see all the mysteries of Space Dandy tied together (which is actually kind of sad).  If indeed this is going to be the final episode ever, I’m going to seriously miss this show – it may not be off-the-charts brilliant every week (I wouldn’t say it was here) but it’s arguably the most creatively ambitious and fearless series of the last couple of years.

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ED: “All ‘the thing’s i am… worried” by Mito

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11 comments

  1. j

    I am afraid that we've reached the end of the line of Space Dandy.

    Most of the mysteries and characters of the show may not have had the spotlight or number of episodes dedicated to then that we wanted but they were referenced in one way or the other during the course of the series.

    It may continue but as a movie or OVA (maybe a short OVA series) but as I see it the main story that Watanabe wanted to tell has been told.

    With said here is my take of the main story of the show followed by what the ending may be. Feel free to skip it if you want.

    Some years ago a young man appeared. He may be a Pyonium construct brought to life, a higher dimension being (even higher than Catherine) that decided to become Pyonium to be among us (or he might have been pyonium all along) or just a guy interested in science.

    10 years ago he meets and begins a relationship with a 4th dimensional being. She teases him to discover the secret behind warping.

    Some time later Dandy does a warp. It could have been an experiment or just a routine one. The point is, after this, there is friction between him and Catherine eventually causing their separation.

    Dandy discovers the secret of Warping and the way it connects the Multiple Dimensions.

    Now, here is where it gets tricky. It could be that due to his discovery Dandy tries to find a way to connect to the different him of alternate Dimensions and the end result is him becoming Pyonium. Or since he already is a Pyonium construct himself Dandy just realizes what this entitles.

    He also discovers that, as an after effect, if people interact a lot with him they also acquire awareness of the multiverse. It doesn't need to be a close or continues contact, just to be near Dandy is enough.

    Now here is my take of the ending:

    Dandy will try to fix something (multiverse collapse, universe implosion or something like that) and will become pure pyonium which may or may not cause his death. The point is that he disappears.

    Honey becomes an alien Hunter in order to find him. Scarlett may tag along or remains in the Registration Center but keeps close contact with Honey and crew.

    Of course this is only one of many possibilities. Dandy could always survive and keep his travels forever as long as there are multiple universes. Or the whole multiverse could combine into one with Dandy alive or not but still present in some way or another (maybe with a quick montage showing all the people that he interacted with and how they are doing).

    The point is that Dandy has been an awesome ride and have left us wanting for more. Even if the multiverse in Space Dandy disappears I have full confidence in Watanabe to make a full-fledged story with it. And if the multiverse still then there is always the possibility that Watanabe and co. may still pick up this psychedelic little project of his and give us another season.

  2. s

    I like your prediction about the ending; Honey becoming an alien hunter is pretty cool as i has been sort of alluded to this season in very subtle ways. Your theory about others being affected by Dandy's Pyonium could explain why dr.gel and Bee remember dying all the time

  3. s

    Oh and just because one of Space Dandy's main story arcs ( Some would probably gasp at the idea of space dandy having a main story arc) may get a resolution in the next ep, i wouldnt say that means that we cant get more space dandy. Space dandy has always prided itself as being a non-linear show; not to mention that its a sci-fi series a that. As long as science exists in our world, the creative team of space dandy can keep shelving out more stories as long as they're good and create new main arcs within those non-linear stories as they have done this season. With all the anime and live-action movies out there to parody, in combination with its sci-fi elements, Space Dandy could go on for years as long as it stays good and the budget can afford it.

    I think one of the highest viewer ratings id seen for space dandy on Toonami was 1.4 million, which is pretty high for that programming block. That means this little experiment with Space dandy to gain international revenue on tv is sorta working. Hopefully we get more; there's so much this series can do.

  4. j

    I agree. Space Dandy can actually do a lot more.

    Several people have mentioned how some episodes could become full fledged series by themselves. So is not that far fetched that they could still do some more.

    In the end is up to Watanabe and his sponsors. I can only shudder to think how he presented this idea to Bones in the first place but I guess now he should have less issues with getting a green light for another season or at least a movie with the support that Space Dandy is getting overseas.

    And about the Pyonium… I guess that also explains how Dandy and were the only ones unaffected by the Time Loop when they were in Meow's planet.

  5. What I think is a very realistic scenario – whether a hope or a worry is debatable – is that the show could continue without Watanabe's involvement. It's possible CN might want to contract for more, and Watanabe might want to move on to other things.

  6. s

    "Watanabe-written finale (also his first of the season)" didnt watanabe write the screenplay for the brilliant 8th ep this season as well? this would be his second written ep this season. But anyway, space dandy has been some truly good stuff this season (and last) As a whole, this was truly a memorable, psychedelic, and creative series that reminds me why i like the medium of anime so much. I will truly miss this series if this is indeed the end.

    On the subject of Dandy, it seems that he is the human manifestation of the higgs boson particle, which as we know, is the key to understanding why certain particles that should be massless have mass. Understanding of this particle could lead to an explosion of knowledge of everything we know about elementary physics, string theory and quantum mechanics, hence were dandy's time and space attributes seemingly originate. Essentially, Dandy could be God as in the alternate name for the higgs boson particle, the god particle.

    From the multiverse dandy ep, to the limbo ep, to the planet grease ep, the Catherine ep, and finally this ep, season 2 of space dandy has been one giant build up as to the nature of dandy and i truly appreciate how the series was able to do it in this non-linear, almost non-sensical storytelling fashion. The finale looks like a feast for the eyes in terms of animation and saturday/sunday cant come soon enough. Honey piloting Dandy's spaceship is also pretty badass; im telling ya, she should become a crew member.

  7. You're right of course – how could I have forgotten that gem?

  8. J

    I laughed for about a minute straight when it was revealed that the victim was just sleeping. As a great fan of the Ace Attorney series, I thought the ep was like entirely a set-up for that one "ridiculous twist!" type punchline. I did call Dandy being asleep in the middle of the ep though 🙂

    I didn't notice at the time, but I believe the two boys are references to Mother. A huge M is actually carved out onto the screen at the start of the baseball scene 😛

    No music used in this ep until the explanation of Pyonium.
    Ahh, I really am going to miss this show so much. I see Johnny in the next ep 🙂
    That makes sense since he's a prince – I don't know if I expect any other returning characters.

  9. s

    Johnny is the prince of the opposing Jaicro empire which is why im not surprised to see him return

  10. R

    I really would like Space Dandy to keep going. Even if the major plot threads have wrapped up, the show works great in an episodic format and if it's this creative, it could definitely keep running for quite a while.

    I think most of all I just want to see such a diverse and creative show rewarded, because there really isn't anything else like it in anime these days.

  11. H

    I found the episode a fairly bland (I haven't loved Dai Satou's work on this show). I think it's made more disappointing as a penultimate episode. Did it really need an especially bland ED?

    I liked some of the alien designs, and flickers of expressive animation. The courtroom scenes were really static though.

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