Space Dandy Episode 1 Notes – Beware the Flashing Lights

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but 0-2 episodes per week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

So, I’ve been hearing good stuff about this, let’s see what we’ve got here.

Mad-cap Observations:

1) The Narrator and the Fourth Wall:

  1. That narrator, the intonation, very reminiscent of 80s sci-fi shows. Heh. I wonder how the Japanese version will have it, I’ll make sure to check later.
  2. “These are the brave adventures of Space Dandy and his brave crew, in space.” – Yes, this is some JoJo/MT3K-level stuff right here.
  3. “Why are we even talking about this? Can’t we let the narrator do the prologue first?” – Very much KLK, but also Samurai Champloo episode 1 with the “rewind”. 4th wall? We don’t even know what walls are!

2) Breasts and Butts Aplenty:

Space Dandy anime Episode 1

  1. “Breastaurants”, someone here deserves some sort of prize.”Breastaurants are [space restaurants] where zero-G meets double D.” – Erm, yeah, to quote the narrator, I think I’m done :P Give someone a prize here for these lines.
  2. “Nothing trumps the rump!” – This man knows how it is, he sure is dropping some knowledge-bombs here. Heh.
  3. Yup, when we have boobies, the narrator cares, we’re all for racial equality here!
  4. Booze and hot waitresses with jiggly breasts, as the droid had put it, what else can one ask for? Ah, yes, butts.

3) Being Dandy, Space Dandy (And Shiny Colours):

Space Dandy anime Episode 1

  1. Registering new aliens, this is like taking pictures in Beyond Good and Evil :)
  2. Going against the flow? That just means you’re swimming in place!” – Space Dandy 2014, 2deep4me.
  3. Striking a pose as I’m getting beamed down to the planet? Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just being dandy.
  4. “Robots don’t get depressed, even the obsolete ones.” – That passive aggressive guilt tripping, he’s like Marvin! (The paranoid android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) Also, his face is blue, he’s probably a depressed droid.
  5. So colour, much action, wow.
  6. That’s a very geometric robot, as if it’s been left behind by a movie with no SFX money in the 60s ;)

4) Just Your Average Nefarious Space-Villains:

Space Dandy anime Episode 1

  1. Space Dandy foiled by a sticker, after his rambunctious mayhem landed him a useless catch, it’s time to introduce troubleI mean, how else will people know you’re up to no good without styling your space-ship after thorns and skulls, eh?
  2. Also, a gagged statue of liberty? The symbolism is so strong here :O
  3. “No scheme is too underhanded.” - Flaming skull, a weird salute. Just ye olde space villains.
  4. “Your excellency, we lost him. But worry not, we’ll find him again soon enough. Will sometime next week work out for you?” – You know, some might say it’s a parody on the shows of my youth, but I think it just might be a homage. Starski and Hutch and all those shows from 70s-80s really did like their boobies like that, and all the cartoons of my childhood, including stuff like Samurai Pizza Cats, Thundercats, Poke’Mon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and others, the villains did have this sort of ridiculous self-deprecating humor, this is just continuing in the same vain.

Misc:

  1. OP – Short! Just music! Stills and psychedelic colours. Reminds me of shows from the 70s. Everything here is crafted very intentionally, one can draw some parallels to Kill la Kill.
  2. ED – More mad colours, more of that electric beat.
  3. Well, next episode’s preview shows us a woman who looks like a female Dandy. Guess we’re going to pick up a couple more members to our motley crew.
  4. Ok, watched the full ED and OP, which the dubbed version had cut – they’re both some jazzy-electric mix-up.The OP is quite energetic, both in sound and in visuals, while the ED is pretty relaxed and trippy. I actually didn’t personally like either of them, while I did like the cut-versions better, and also thought they fit the whole “homage to the 70s” vibe, so I’m not at all sad they’ve been cut. But hey, that’s just my music taste.

Post Episode Notes:

Yeah, the English translator/whoever came up with these puns (could have been the original crew) deserves some sort of medal.

Honestly, this had a lot of colour, a lot of movement, and quite a bit of 4th wall breaking, and homage to older stuff, all over the place.

I don’t have much more to say, at least for now we’re in deep spectacle mode, maybe later on we’ll settle down for a more serious tale, or at least one which is a more consistent story, but that time is not yet.

Sub Versus Dub:

Note, this is only going by the first ten minutes of the episode. The dialogue is much more fluent and fluid in the original Japanese script, and Dandy is a bit more clever/witty there. I also like the voice of the villain, Dr. Geru considerably better in the Japanese version

However, the silly puns work better in English, the narrator’s voice is a much better fit, and in general, it’s more “fun” and “cheesy”, which fits the mood of the show better, especially when you consider that the show already pays homage to such a degree to the cartoons of our youth, where such cheesy and somewhat “messy” lines were quite common.

So, to summarize – the Japanese script is better, but the English dub is more fun/true to the dubs of our youths, and the worse script is a part of that.

Return to the Space Dandy Episodic Notes page.

6 comments on “Space Dandy Episode 1 Notes – Beware the Flashing Lights

  1. dyingearth says:

    Not sure why Cartoon Network doesn’t use the Japanese opening credit, which is well done. Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXudf2zBVag

    • Guy says:

      Apparently the shorter OP/ED used in the English dub version are the versions supplied to them by the original station airing the show.

      I see and can appreciate the full-versions, and their jazzy natures, but I actually like the shorter versions better, and they also make me think more of the 70s-80s’ shows.

      I edited the entry above to reflect my impressions of the full OP/ED.

  2. Aeternix says:

    The phrase ‘Style over Substance’ comes to mind when I think about the first episode of Space Dandy. I’m completely fine with this (I just finished Serial Experiments Lain, so I need something to just watch and have fun), however I agree that there could be a deeper thematic statement beyond that it is a homage to classic Western Sci-Fi.

    So far, I think the only complaint I have with the show is the opening for the English dub. It pales in comparison to the opening that the Japanese have (thanks to dyingearth for the link that showed me the original op). I can’t fathom why they would want to change the opening, maybe shortening it for the broadcast? I watched it online, so maybe Toonami aired the original opening. Funimation on their website only has the subbed version and that has the original opening, so maybe they will continue that with the English Dub they release with the DVD.

    Either way, I’m certainly interested to see where they will take it.

    • Guy says:

      Style over Substance

      It’s important to remember this is only the first episode, and from people who are masters of having interesting style (I mean, Jazz in Kids on the Slope, or all the hip-hop culture in Samurai Champloo, contrasted with very beautiful traditional Japanese music?).

      Also, considering the provenance of this show, it wouldn’t surprise me if the show is “slower”, or more “episodic”, though the best term is “Less plot-driven” for the first half, or third of it. That’s just how most 2-cour shows are, or at least used to be. Gonna have to give it some time.

      OP/ED, I don’t know if they asked for shorter versions (say, to have more commercial time), but people say the versions they are playing had been supplied by the Japanese team. I for one actually don’t like the full OP/ED, so I’m fine with it.

  3. Sejin says:

    You might find this interesting: http://geektyrant.com/news/japanese-animator-trashes-english-dub-of-space-dandy-on-twitter

    From what I’ve read (I haven’t seen the episode in Japanese), the modification that Bahi JD is referring to is a change in dialogue in the scene where Dandy is talking to Honey at Boobies (it feels weird to say that word and have it mean the name of a restaurant…). I don’t know if this was within the first 10 minutes that you said you watched in Japanese, so I apologize if this is redundant. Anyway, when Dandy asks her to guess his profession, in Japanese he says it starts with a “u” (uchuujin hunter). She replies “ujimushi” (maggot). The impression that was supposed to give in Japanese is that Honey (and I think at least some of the other waitresses at Boobies) isn’t just a dumb girl with a hot body, that she’s just playing dumb because her job requires it of her and she needs the job to get by, and that she’s insulting Dandy with her reply. In English, as you saw, she replies with “asteroid belt”, which gives the impression that she really is a dumb girl with a hot body. The change in implication from the Japanese dub to the English one takes out something that shows more of Honey’s character.

    I don’t know how important that really is to the show as a whole, but the fact that someone working on the show made the comment makes me think it’s something of some importance that will come back later. The other thought I had was that the English dub could still bring that up when it’s needed, making it a surprise to the viewer as well as to other characters in the show, with the reasoning being that she was just acting very convincingly. That would keep the overall character trait intact, although I can see that feeling forced to some people if it’s handled like that.

    I don’t know if you’re planning to watch the whole show in both English and Japanese, but it might be something to take note of.

    • Guy says:

      I’ve seen it, and he and I actually tweeted some stuff about the nature and structure of the plot. I did see the above sequence in both languages.

      While I think there could be relevant differences in tone between the sub and the dub, such as Dandy coming off as a bit more of a cold-hearted jerk in the original Japanese script, I don’t think this was a big example of a meaningful difference.

      But, since Japanese viewers got to watch it with the full Op where Honey appears, they probably gave Honey more consideration and thought, knowing she’s going to be a recurring character, whereas the western watchers of the dub simply wrote her off, more or less.

      There will be slight tonal changes, nothing to be done about it, but I really don’t think this was a material example of such.

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