Space Dandy Season 1 Limited Edition Review (Funimation Exclusive)

| March 2, 2015

When it was announced last year that Shinichiro Watanabe’s return to the genre that made him famous, anime fans around the world were rejoicing. Cowboy Bebop was a worldwide phenomenon, one that has showcased what the anime medium is capable of, in the highest degree and here Watanabe is, placing Space Dandy in the same universe. With Cowboy Bebop, Watanabe was able to take a series that was supposed to sell toys and offer the anime world something that they had never seen before. A few years later, Samurai Champloo offered some incredible characters on a hip-hop odyssey, that was more interested in about the journey they took, rather than where they’d end up. Watanabe’s Space Dandy lies right in the middle of the two, acting as a ridiculous comedy, that straddles many lines, that people may like or dislike. For my own personal tastes, Space Dandy is a kaleidoscope of incredible animation and situational comedy that provides both laughs and spectacle, that both Watanabe and Studio Bones know how to deliver.

The opening in each episode of Space Dandy gives you everything that you need to know about the series. It’s about a dandy guy, in space, who’s in search for rare aliens, in order to collect large sums of money, to live out a carefree life. Dandy, along with his trusty robot partner (who is always mistaken for a vacuum cleaner) QT and Meow, an non-rare alien that decided to stick around and travel on their trusty ship, the Aloha ‘Oe. The trio manage to get into plenty of hijinks along the way and usually wind up at Dandy’s favorite establishment, Boobies, or an intergalactic version of Hooters for some downtime and a variety of leads for rare aliens. While in their pursuit of the good life, the evil Dr. Gel, of the Gogol empire, is in pursuit, in order stop Dandy, who holds the supposed key to the universe.

Where Space Dandy excels is the level of energy it invokes through its superb animation. With people like Shingo Natsume, Sayo Yamamoto, Michio Mihara and plenty of other highly talented directors helming key episodes, Space Dandy is infused with an energy and excitement that hasn’t been invoked in a series in a really long time. While there are some jokes, like the continuous references to Boobies, that fall flat, there’s still plenty of situations and character moments that are pretty hilarious. Some people may find that with different artists attached to every episode, might take away from the allure of what the show has to offer. Even though some episodes are really strange looking, the fact that it offers something for everyone is something that most anime shows can’t bring to the table. My favorite episodes were the one’s that offered a bit of character development for both QT and Meow. In Meow’s episode, it relies heavily a time loop gimmick, a la Groundhog Day, but we’re given insight into his carefree attitude, due to the nature of his friends and his family. QT’s episode has him falling in love with a coffee maker, but offers a ridiculous giant mecha battle by the end of it, that makes for some truly wonderful eye candy.




Funimation offered FilmMonthly one of the coolest collector’s editions that they’ve ever come up with for Space Dandy. Dubbed as, The Boobies Experience Collection, this set comes with the most ridiculous stuff I’ve ever seen in a boxed set. Along with the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, you receive three kinds of Boobies stickers, a Boobies trucker hat, a Boobies pennant, a Boobies calendar and to top it off, a Boobies rewards card that offers a discount the next time you get to one. As much as I hate fan service, I couldn’t stop laughing at all of this ridiculous swag that they offered in the set. I’m sure that there will be fanboy’s that get this stuff for the obvious reasons, but the fact that Funimation went all out with this set is both amazing and hysterical. This set is a exclusive, along with another edition, the Aloha ‘Oe Crew version, which is an exclusive. If you don’t want any of the swag and want to just own a regular edition, Funimation also has a normal boxed set as well.

The A/V quality on the Blu-Ray discs for Space Dandy are nothing short of amazing and demand to be seen on Blu-Ray. The video is presented in an AVC encoded, 1080p HD transfer, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Again, while the changes in visual style might not be for everyone, the quality of the animation is so damn good in this series, that it just leaps off the screen in this HD presentation. The colors are rich and vibrant, as well as the level of black, when presented in certain scenes. There are plenty of sakuga moments in the show and seeing them in action on this Blu-Ray just make this set all the worthwhile. The audio comes in two Dolby TrueHD tracks, the English 5.1 dub and the original Japanese stereo track. Both tracks are incredible, in terms of the voice actor’s and delivery, but with certain points of zaniness and insanity, the English track trumps the original. With the inclusion of the surround channels, Funimation’s mix offers much more depth and energy. In large action sequences, the LFE and surround channels are bursting with activity and clarity, that make it the go to track for Space Dandy. The extras on the disc are a bunch of Japanese promo’s, two episode commentaries, an interview segment with the English localization team, Funimation trailers and textless intros and outros. While it would have been nice to have some actual interview materials from the many talented creators from Japan, the segment with the English language team is pretty nice and offers a bit of insight to the adaptation process for the series. The inclusion of all the promo materials for the Japanese discs are kinda awkward, but its not something we see included on discs anymore, so that’s kind of cool.

Space Dandy is an engaging comedy series, full of astounding visuals and incredible writing by Shinichiro and Studio Bones and deserves to be in every anime fans collection. Highly Recommended! 

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
Filed in: TV on DVD

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