Space Dandy Season 1 Review : Bright colors, weird aliens, and boobies

Space Dandy is an anime series from the legendary director, Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo). A sci-fi comedy, Space Dandy focuses on alien bounty hunter Dandy as he explores the galaxy collecting bounties. Dandy is dumb, selfish (he’s willing to sacrifice his crew), and obsessed with females. His crew consists of QT, a robot vacuum cleaner and Meow, an alien from Planet Betelgeuse. The main conflict in Space Dandy is an intergalactic war between the Jaicro Empire and the Gogol Empire. The militaristic empire is led by Admiral Perry who sent Dr. Gel to capture Dandy. According to Admiral Perry, Dandy is the key to the “future of the universe.” 

Dandy and QT bicker

Characters

Space Dandy features a plethora of dynamic and interesting characters. Dandy is modeled after Japanese delinquents or bosozoku gang members, sporting a Regent pompadour and a slouching posture. While Dandy can be selfish he has shown some willingness to help others. In episode 5, As Merry Companion is a Wagon in Space, Baby, Dandy helps Adelie, an orphan Gentooan girl reunite with her grandfather. In the eighth episode, Dandy becomes attached to a dog he names Pup. He uses a translator to communicate with her and when she dies, Dandy builds her a rocket coffin for her.

Meow’s real name is “Mymyamo,” but QT and Dandy can’t pronounce it and besides he looks like a cat, so they rename him Meow. He’s a sloth, spending much of his time playing video games and reading manga. Regardless, he has a deluded perspective of himself, believing that he’s a helpful member of the crew. He loves food, has poor hygiene (he hates water so he barely bathes), and is a pervert. Meow is also addicted to social media.

Meow is greedy, lazy, and perverted

QT is an “obsolete”, robot, but claims he’s a “high-powered machine.” Unlike, Meow and Dandy, QT is responsible and competent. Dandy likes to tease QT due to him being outdated, but it’s clear that they have a deep friendship. He gets along with Meow, but he thinks Meow is a “lazy moron,” like Dandy.

The world is populated with a variety of diverse alien species. Some of which resemble real animals like Meow (cats) and Dr. Gel (Gorillas), others that appear human. The main villains, Admiral Perry and Dr. Gel, are both very serious, no nonsense individuals. Perry has no sense of humor and according to Dr. Gel is very cheap. Dr. Gel is a brilliant scientists and can ignore his more important duties.

Dandy talking to the last Undie alien

Themes

Watching the first season of Space Dandy, several themes are repeated. One theme is the cost of poverty. Dandy, Meow, and QT are living paycheck to paycheck. Their ship, the Aloha Oe is constantly breaking down, with its warp core being broken, and it’s teleporter being extremely slow. In episode 4, Dandy, QT, and Meow are turned into zombies. They live off Dandy’s life insurance policy. The life insurance company tries to control the zombie population buy hiring zombie hunters. In the next episode, the Aloha Oe gets towed away for a parking violation. Dandy is desperately needs to make money to pay the fine, he considers turning Adelie in for the bounty.

Another theme was the destructive results of war and the frivolous distinctions people use to justify them. In episode 6, ” The War of the Undies and Vest, Baby,” Meow and Dandy each end up on the side of the last remaining members of the Undie and Vestian alien species war. The aliens reveal that “their races have been at war for ten thousand years because the Undies do not tolerate vests while the Vestians abhor underwear.” As a result, they are the last survivors. Dandy and Meow try to convince them to sign a treaty, but to do so requires the aliens to give up their most prized possessions, their clothing. Incapable of this act, the two aliens kill each other, destroying the moon with a weapon of mass destruction.

One of the many species of alien in Space Dandy

In episode 9, the theme I would describe as the consequence of sentience, is presented. A meteorite called Code D evolves the life found in Planet Planta. The plant life becomes sentient, with the more intelligent Vegims occupying the north and the less intelligent Movies occupying the south. It’s the Vegims that enslave microbes to do their manual labor.

Animation and Style

Watanabe is known for using genre and music in his anime. Cowboy Bebop blends cowboy western with film noir elements, with a jazz inspired score and Samurai Champloo is an historical anime with modern hip hop music. Space Dandy is a space opera whos music is primarily New Wave. The space opera genre is a subgenre of science fiction. Themes like space warfare, space adventures, and chivalric romance are common. They usually take place in fictional galaxies, and are populated by fictional aliens. Space Dandy adopts most if not all these themes and aspects of the space opera genre.

Space Dandy is beautifully rendered

The end of episode one really is a good display of this series animation. Here, Dandy and Meow encounter a number of large vivacious aliens. The animation kicks into high gear, as Meow and Dandy, run from impending doom. As the aliens fight and eat each other, our main protagonist are ignited by fire, then extinguishes themselves inside the liquid body of an alien, then they’re electrocuted by another species. The scene is chaotic and beautifully rendered. It’s a perfect representation of the creativity, as well as the series use of color and movement. Space Dandy is a series with spectacular animation.

Space Dandy is an entertaining series, that makes good use of the elements of space opera. Watanabe continues to excel at combining genre with musical era’s. With dynamic characters, important themes, and amazing animation, Space Dandy is an anime series with plenty to offer audiences. The B plot (intergalactic war) can get lost in all the ridiculous adventures Dandy and his crew get into, but hopefully Season 2 will remedy that.

Source: Space Dandy Fandom.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 17: Dinner with the Todoroki’s

After the last weeks filler episode, My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 17, “The Hellish Todoroki Family,” returns to the main narrative. Bakugo, Shoto, and Deku continue to chase after Endeavor. The number 1 hero challenged them to surpass him just once during patrol. The top three students from U.A High School are still league behind Endeavor. However, they refuse to give up. Back at the agency, Endeavor receives a phone call from his daughter, Fuyumi. She excited to hear that Todoroki and Endeavor are working together. Endeavor was an abusive father and husband. His abuse caused his wife’s breakdown and his children’s hatred. While they may resent their father, it’s clear from the reactions to Endeavor’s near fatal fight with Nomu that they still care. Endeavor is desperate to make amends. Will his sons lets him? Should they?

An Awkward dinner at the Todoroki’s

The next day, Shoto, Deku, and Bakugo are determined to “surpass” Endeavor. He tells them the more “experience you get, the more accurate you’ll be.” It’s important to observer you’re surroundings, look for evil. He argues that a hero is always looking forward. At sundown the three are exhausted. They haven’t surpassed the number 1 hero, but they are getting closer. Next, dinner at the Todoroki’s. Deku is his usual polite self and Bakugo is not. Shoto’s brother, Natsu, is in attendance. He has the most hostility toward his father. They make the meal awkward and Natsu leaves early. Despite sometimes feeling like her brother, Fuyumi thinks this is the best chance to reconcile. Shoto reveals that his mother has been writing him and has made enough progress that she can be released.

He still doesn’t know what to. Deku and Bakugo overheard the conversation. Deku is sure Todoroki is going to forgive his father because he’s “so kind.” I don’t think kindness is the issue here. The damage Endeavor has created is still being felt and until that subsides I don’t envision a change. However, spending more time with each other will likely help heal the relationship between Shoto and Endeavor. Natsu would be last as he’s the most hurt, however, he might feel pressure to forgive if his sibling both do so. Endeavor’s going to have to work harder and consistently to prove himself to his family. It still might not be enough and it will all be his fault.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8: Satoru Gojo and Suguru Geto escort the Star Plasma Vessel

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8, begin with Gojo’s Past Arc takes us back a decade to follow Satoru Gojo during his years as a second-year student. He’s given a mission along with Suguru Geto to escort the next vessel for Master Tengen.

Jujutsu Sorcerers protect the weak

In Hamamatsu City, Mei Mei and Utahime Lori investigate a cursed mansion. However, they get caught in the curses barrier. They deduce that it “overlaps space,” causing them to walk along a never ending hallway. None of the marker they placed remain and the walls are “squishy,” making them unbreakable. They plan on “splitting up and move unpredictably,” to break the curse. However, the mansion is torn apart by Satoru Gojo’s Cursed Technique Lapse: Blue. Gojo teases Utahime, asking if she’s “crying.” Suddenly, a giant curse appears behind her. A second later a n even large curse begins to swallow that curse. Suguru Geto appears and orders his curse “not to swallow it.” He tells Gojo, it’s “not nice to pick on the weak.” Gojo asks “who the heck would pick on someone strong?”

Gojo and Geto are both arrogant, but Geto doesn’t believe he is, whereas Gojo doesn’t care. Among all the excitement, they forget to erect a curtain. Without it the events at the mansion make the news. Masamichi Yaga questions the three students, Gojo, Geto, and Shoko Leiri. The latter two point to Gojo as the one responsible. Gojo believes curtains are pointless, especially considering that “regular people,” can’t even see cursed spirits or jujutsu. Geto argues that curtains “are important for citizen’s peace of mind.” We continue to see the gap between the two’s view on the “weak.” Gojo thinks it’s too troublesome to “look out” for the weak and Geto believes “society should protect the weak and keep the strong in check.” He believes jujutsu sorcerers exist to protect non-jujutsu users.

The two organizations that are trying to kill Riko
The two organizations that are trying to kill Riko

Master Tengen’s significance

Master Tengen is a character that was vaguely mentioned previously. He possesses the cursed technique of immortality, which fails to keep him from aging. Once he reaches a certain age, he forced to evolve. If he does he “will no longer be human and will ascend to a higher state.” Master Tengen is responsible for strengthening the barriers that protect both Jujutsu Schools, the Pillars of the Jujutsu world, and the assistant managers barrier techniques. Without him Jujutsu sorcerers would have a harder time completing missions. Furthermore, he could “become an enemy to humanity,” if he doesn’t merge with the “star plasma vessel and rewrite the bodies genetic information.”

So becoming MetalGreymon is fine, but it’d be a problem if he became SkullGreymon . . . so we reset back to Koromon, right?

Satoru Gojo

According to Yaga, the location of the vessel has been leaked a two groups are now targeting her. The first group, Q is an organization of curse users who aim to overturn the modern jujutsu world. If they can kill the vessel then Master Tengen would “lose all reason.” The second group, the Time Vessel Association, worships Master Tengen as a God. They believe if Tengen merges with the vessel he’ll become impure. Gojo and Geto have to escort the girl, protecting her for two days. As Geto and Gojo head to her location, she’s thrown out a window by the Q soldier, Kokun. Geto rescues her with a flying curse, meanwhile, Gojo briefly battles Q soldier, Bayer. Elsewhere, the representative of the Time Vessel Association meets with a former member of the Zenin clan, Toji Fushiguro.

Toji Fushiguro accepts the offer to kill Riko
Toji Fushiguro accepts the offer to kill Riko

Fushiguro places a bounty on Riko

After easily defeating the Q soldiers, Geto and Gojo meet Riko Amanai and her caretaker Misato Kuroi. The tendency of Gojo and Geto to rudely insult someone in their presences is humorous. Riko is an orphan. While she claims to have no issue merging with Master Tengen, Geto seems unsure she’s sincerer. Toji Fushiguro puts a 30 million yen bounty on Riko. His intention is to use the bounty hunters to “wear Gojo down.” Two Curse Users, an old man and a man with a bag on his head look to claim the bounty. Suguru heads to confront the intruders, while, Satoru and Kuroi go to find Riko.

Geto encounters the old man first. The two size each other up. The old man correctly deduces that Geto uses curse manipulation. The old man is too confident and assumes Geto is afraid of close combat. When Suguru attacks a giant worm curse, the old man falls for his trap. He avoids the curse by exiting through a window and re-enters a window next to Geto. Suddenly, the old man receives a flashback of his dog Tasuke, as Geto beats the hell out of him. Elsewhere, Gojo finds Riko in her music class. With the target in custody, Gojo flees with her. However, the Bag head curse user surrounds them with clones.

Gojo takes on the Bag Head Curse user
Gojo takes on the Bag Head Curse user

The Limits of Limitless

The curse techniques of Jujutsu Kaisen can be difficult to comprehend. Gege Akutami seems to be inspired by complicated concepts. Gojo mentions that his curse technique, the infinity, is from “Achilles and the tortoise,” or the Zeno’s Achilles paradox. In the paradox, Greek philosopher, Zeno explains how it’s possible for a tortoise to defeat Achilles in a race:

First, the tortoise is given a slight head start. Anyone fancying a flutter would still rush to put their money on Achilles, but Zeno pointed out that to overtake him, Achilles would first have to cover the distance to the point where the tortoise began.

In that time, the tortoise would have moved, so Achilles would have to cover that distance giving the tortoise time to amble forwards a bit more.

Logically, this would carry on forever. However small the gap between them, the tortoise would still be able to move forward while Achilles was catching up. Meaning that Achilles could never overtake.” – britannica.com

I still can’t comprehend the paradox completely. Regardless, Satoru Gojo’s limitless technique allows him to slow things down, permitting “impossible situations” to manifest. Of course if they’re impossible then they can’t manifest at all right? Anyway, Gojo can create a magnetic effect. This process requires Gojo to use a lot of curse energy, which cause fatigue. At this point in Gojo’s life he’s still learning to master his curse techniques. He attempts to use his Cursed Technique Reversal of the Limitless: Red, but it fails. He ends up knocking the Bag Head Curse User out with a punch. Suddenly, Riko gets a text. The enemies have captured Kuroi.

Toji ambushes Gojo
Toji ambushes Gojo

Toji Fushiguro’s ambush

Satoru Gojo, Suguru Geto, and Riko Amanai pursue Kuroi. She’s rescued off page. First Year students, Yu Haibara and Kento Nanami provide backup at the airport. On the beach, Geto notices that Gojo has been using his technique since yesterday. The next day, they return to Tokyo Jujutsu High four hours after the bounty was lifted. Assuming the danger is gone and the mission is complete, Gojo finally releases his curse technique. Suddenly, Toji Fushiguro stabs Gojo through the back, shocking everyone.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 8 expands the Jujutsu World. We learn the significance of Master Tengen and how his curse technique functions. Suguru Geto and Satoru Gojo are two of the most important characters in the series. In the current timeline, Geto is a curse user, however, in this arc he’s still a Jujutsu Sorcerer. We know of his down fall, but we don’t know how it can to be. Gojo and Geto share similar qualities. Their both powerful sorcerer’s, that look down of those that are weaker. However, Geto has more sympathy for them than Gojo. Which adds to the intrigue. How did the more sympathetic sorcerer become the villain?

Check out my review of Black Clover Volume 3.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 16: Let’s go to the beach

After My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 16, I think I’m becoming disappointed in the fifth season of My Hero Academia. This season already displaced the Villain Arc and now we get a filler beach episode. In the anime community filler episodes aren’t well received. Most filler wastes time and space, providing episodes that add nothing to the series. Generally, they’re meant to help producers meet their contractual obligations. The most common reason for filler is when the anime threatens to overtake the manga it’s based on. This isn’t the issue for My Hero Academia. I’m perplexed why they bothered. To this point, if filler was necessary why not focus on something that matters? Now I understand you don’t want to interfere with Kohei Horikoshi’s writing and write the story for him. However, you could explore Class 1-B more. What hero work-studies did they all attend?

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 16, “Long Time No See, Selkie,” is a filler episode that blurs elements of the classic “beach episode.” This episode is also a prologue for the upcoming movie My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission. This episode focuses on Ochaco and her study at Ryukyu’s agency. She’s joined by Tsuyu Asui and Nejire Hado. Captain Selkie and his Oki Mariner Crew returns to investigate the use of the illegal drug Trigger. They pursue a ship carrying stolen Trigger, only for a member of enemy crew to use Trigger and create a smokescreen to hide the ship. They escape but the ship is believed to be hiding in the Verize Islands.

Ochaco takes the lead

Selkie, Froppy, Ryukyu, Nejire Chan, and Uravity search for the ship. When the targets see Ryukyu they once again inject Trigger and create a smokescreen. However, the smokescreen helps conceal the approach of Selkie whos able to take the criminals by surprise. Meanwhile, a plane takes off carrying the cargo. Ryukyu tries to catch the plane but is too slow. However, Uravity with the help of Sirius reaches the plane by riding on a harpoon. Using her Quirk to make herself weightless, she successfully boards the plane. Uravity quickly uses her Gunhead Martial Arts: Gravity Plus to knock out the smuggler.

Uravity still has one problem. She can’t fly a plane. She can’t abandoned the plane to explode in the sea, fearing the possibility that Trigger leaks. Ryukyu tells her to “make the plane weightless.” Despite being unsure if she can do it, Uravity manages to do so. Meanwhile, Ryukyu uses wind tornados to propel Nejire towards the plane, she then uses her Gring Wave to slow the plane down. The plane stops in midair, allowing Ryukyu to land the plane safely. After the credits we see a preview of the main villain from the movie, Flect Turn. The next episode of My Hero Academia will return to the main storyline, which is a relief. As fillers go, Episode 16 wasn’t that bad.

Check out my review of My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 15.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 15: Endeavor step up to teach

Endeavor teaches Deku, Shoto, and Bakugo how to be heroes in My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 15
Endeavor teaches Deku, Shoto, and Bakugo how to be heroes

My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 15 opens with Hawks debriefing the board of the Meta Liberation Army on his progress in spreading their propaganda. The League of Villains Dabi, Toga, Twice, and Spinner are present. Hawks is praised for his understanding of the “words of Destro.” Anyway, after Hawks leaves the room he uses one of his feathers to eavesdrop on the conversation. Himiko is heard saying that in four months “everything will be destroyed by Tomura.” This is what Hawks coded in the book he gave Endeavor. Furthermore, we learn the work studies were reinstituted to prepare the students for facing the war. Despite his apprehension, Endeavor decides to train Deku, Shoto, and Bakugo specifically for this reason.

Endeavor begins to assess the Quirks of the trio. Deku tells him an in-depth analysis of his Quirk. He comically rambles, irritating everyone. However, Endeavor seems to understand every word. Basically, Deku wants to learn to master his now two Quirks. Bakugo only wants to learn “what he can’t do.” He explains he learned “that just being strong isn’t enough to make someone truly strong.” If Endeavor can become a role model for Bakugo I think he would be better for it. Endeavor is a hothead who’s capable of compartmentalizing when to go off and when to think and focus. Bakugo needs to become like him. Shoto still hates his father but has come “to use you him.” Considering how terrible Endeavor treated his wife and children, I don’t blame him. However, he does seem bitter and that can’t be good long term.

Hawks continue to trick the League of Villains

Endeavor explains the keys to being heroes

Endeavor explains the three basic types of hero tasks, rescue, evacuation, and fighting. Endeavor’s agency focuses on all three, whereas, other agencies focus specifically on one of the three. Endeavor tells the trio that he makes sure to know every inch of the jurisdiction and rushes to the scene of any incident or accident faster than anyone. It’s important to be quick to keep casualties down. According to him, you need experience. He challenges them to “capture a villain faster than him once.” One of the main themes of My Hero Academia is learning. To become a hero you first learn (informally) from watching your idol on t.v., then if your lucky you can learn from a specialized high school, then you can learn on the job.

Endeavor makes it clear that “this isn’t class.” They won’t lose points on their grade if they fail, however, they could lose “a person’s life.” He gives Shoto and Bakugo homework learns to “condense their power.” For Deku, he must learn to use “Air force without thinking.” The concept of “parallel processing” is introduced by Endeavor. He explains that “everyone uses it . . . subconsciously.” The example he gives is a man driving a car. He had to learn how to “turn the wheel, press on the accelerator, and brake pedals” and then do them all at the same time without thinking. If Deku, Shoto, and Bakugo can do this with their Quirks then they will become more effective heroes. Endeavor may not be teaching in a class but he’s still a teacher.