Space Dandy(Japanese: スペース☆ダンディ,Hepburn: Supēsu Dandi?) is a 2014 Japanese anime series produced by Bones. The series follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is "a dandy guy in space", in search for aliens with his robot assistant QT and a space cat named Meow. The anime has been licensed by Funimation in North America, Madman Entertainment in Australia and by Anime Limited in the United Kingdom. The series premiered in the United States before Japan on January 4, 2014 at 11:30pm on Adult Swim's Toonami block. The series began airing in Japan on Tokyo MX at 11:00pm on January 5, 2014, followed by TV Osaka, TV Aichi, BS Fuji and AT-X. The series is also simulcasted in South East Asia at the same time as Japan on Animax Asia. A manga adaptation is currently running in Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine since December 20, 2013. The 13 episodes of the first season aired from January to March 2014 and the second half of the season premiered on July 5, 2014.
The series follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is "a dandy guy in space", in search for undiscovered or rare aliens with his robot assistant QT and a space cat named Meow. The trio are normally dimwitted and next to useless, despite their heroic attitudes and intentions. Throughout the series, very little continuity can be found, with main protagonists and antagonists dying, getting turned to zombies, or getting trapped in different periods of time or dimension, only to reappear regardless in the following episode. The show also frequently breaks the fourth wall, for the sake of humor, or has the Narrator interact with or scold characters during the series. There are also Easter eggs, in the form of references to older sci-fi anime for fans in the know.
Crew of the Aloha Oe
The Aloha Oe crew. From left to right: Dandy, Meow, and QT.
Space Dandy is a Dandy guy in Space. The main character, an easygoing and forgetful young man working as an alien hunter whose job is to discover new alien life forms across the galaxy and have them registered with the Space Alien Registration Center. He is the captain of the Aloha Oe(アロハオエ号,Arohaoe-gō), his personal spaceship. The cockpit of the Aloha Oe can split off into an escape pod dubbed the Little Aloha(リトルアロハ,Ritoru Aroha) and it displays the ability to transform into a robot called the "Hawaii Yankee" (ハワヤンキー,Hawayankī). Dandy regularly visits an intergalactic Hooters-type restaurant known as "BooBies" (ブービーズ,Būbīzu) where he indulges in his posterior fetish and dreams of someday buying out the chain.
A member of Dandy's crew, a robot that resembles and also operates as a vacuum cleaner. QT boasts being more intelligent and competent than its fellow crewmates, but its usefulness is stymied by problems caused by its outdated hardware such as memory shortages and battery outages. Despite being feminine in voice and some of its mannerisms, QT is referred to as a male by Dandy and Meow on several occasions. It is capable of feeling a wide range of emotions, but for the most part sees them as confusing, extraneous, and unnecessary for computing.
A dimwitted cat-like Betelgeusian(ベテルギウス星人,Beterugiusu-seijin) who is brought aboard the Aloha Oe after Dandy and QT mistake him for a new species of alien. His real name is Me#$%* (pronounced Merowmreowreow), and is called Mew by his friends back at home. His name, "Meow", is given to him by Dandy as neither he nor QT could comprehend his real name. Aside from lounging around the Aloha Oe, he aids Dandy by giving him advice on where to find rare aliens, to varying degrees of success. Meow comes from a family lineage of metalworkers, and was set to inherit the family company before leaving Betelgeuse to become an alien hunter.
The ruler of the Gogol Empire, which is at war with the Jaicro Empire for control of the universe. He sends Dr. Gel to capture Dandy, claiming he is the key to the future of the universe. His appearance is that of a skull with miniature "planets" orbiting it.
A scientist working for the Gogol Empire (ゴーゴル帝国,Gōgoru Teikoku), who pursues Dandy for unknown reasons. He resembles a gorilla and wears a G-shaped eye piece over his right eye similar to team Galactic from Pokémon. He also has the belt buckle in reference to Kamen Rider Black. His shoulder contains a shield in reference to the springs from Sonic the Hedgehog. His ship has a ball gagged head of the Statue of Liberty on it.
A blonde-haired "blockhead" waitress, or "Breast" (ブレスト,Buresuto), who works at the BooBies restaurant, or rather "Breastaurant" (ブレストラン,buresutoran), that Dandy usually frequents. She seems to enjoy Dandy's company since he visits all the time. Her real name is Lady Nobra and she's Gentle's younger half-sister, making her half-Cloudian.
A collected, no nonsense inspector at the space alien registration center tasked with evaluating the aliens brought by Dandy and paying him accordingly when he brings her a worthy specimen. She is also a skilled fighter and can easily see through Dandy's tricks when he attempts to deceive her.
Each of these characters only appear in one episode of the series.
A young woman the Aloha Oe crew encounter on a hostile planet, she is actually a Deathgerian (デスゲリア星人,Desugeria-seijin), a multiple-breasted ravenous monster that assumes a human-like form. But when hungry, she assumes her true form with her size depending on how much she has ate.
An orphan girl Dandy meets on one of his adventures, she is a Gentooan (ジェンツー星人,Jentsū-seijin) whose kind can momentarily switch the consciousness of another person into the body of a stuffed doll that they keep on their person. Dandy initially tries to hunt her, and the two bicker constantly, but eventually grow attached to each other before leaving her with her grandfather.
A handsome, blue haired racer adored by young women throughout the galaxy whom Dandy competes against in the Magellanic Nebula Grand Prix (マゼラン星雲グランプリ,Mazeran Seiun Guranpuri). He becomes Dandy's rival patron at BooBies, later developing an attraction for Dandy when the alien hunter accidentally hits him from behind.
A female Laika that Dandy found abandoned on a deserted planet. Having spent her life not knowing why she was abandoned, Pup is able to enjoy her last day of life before she died. To honor Pup, Dandy built her a large rocket coffin and sent it into space so that she could rest in peace.
He is one the Vegims from the northern hemisphere of Planet Planta, originally a plant before he and his kind underwent a forced evolution by Code D. He works as a scientist for Cocamuka, and later solely for his interests.
She is the Great Librarian of the library planet Lagado. She is a book-like parasitic alien that feeds on information gleaned from the memories of other living beings, resulting with the beings having amnesia.
He is a toaster robot. He like many other robots, was dumped at Dream Island due to developing some form of an emotion that made him unable to do his job. He later became the leader of an attack on Deathroid city.
He is a puppet-like alien with green lips and a top hat, he also always keeps his ukulele with him at all times. He tried to steal Dandy's smile and failed. Dandy punched him and he bursts in flames, his mouth cracked and it appears that he died smiling.
A fish-like alien from the planet Girlfriend who was stranded on the planet Pushy Boyfriend. He discovered a sun comes every 1000 years and burns the planet. Fearing for his home planet he returned but, learned his girlfriend had moved on so he tried to let the sun burn him but, was rescued by Meow. Too burned to go to the alien registry, Dandy and Meow ate him.
A homely female student at Andromeda Academy's Baberly Hills School. Dandy uses her to try to find the unregistered alien species on the planet, unaware that she is in fact said the Pureness Alien he seeks.
Sofia is the most popular student at Andromeda Academy's Baberly Hills School, and makes the student body break out in song and dance to cater to her whims. She is the "Queen Bee" stereotype of the high school
The anime is directed by Shingo Natsume, with Shinichiro Watanabe serving as general director, and produced by Bones. The anime began airing on Adult Swim's Toonami programming block in North America on January 4, 2014, one day before its Japanese premiere on Tokyo MX on January 5. The anime has been licensed by Funimation in North America, Madman Entertainment in Australia, and by Anime Limited in the United Kingdom. The series' opening theme is "Viva Namida" (ビバナミダ,Biba Namida, "Viva Tears") performed by Yasuyuki Okamura and the ending theme is "X-Jigen e Yōkoso" (X次元へようこそ,Ekkusu Jigen e Yōkoso, "Welcome to the Xth Dimension") performed by Etsuko Yakushimaru.
The Adult Swim broadcasts initially used an instrumental track for these sequences due to licensing issues, but the eighth episode onward featured "Viva Namida," as have subsequent rebroadcasts of the first seven episodes. The English version is produced by Funimation in Fort Worth, Texas using its local acting talent pool. The series' ADR voice directors include Zach Bolton and Joel McDonald. The series is also simulcasted at the same time as Japan by Animax Asia in South East Asia with both Japanese and English audio.
A manga adaptation began serialization in Square Enix's Young Gangan magazine on December 20, 2013. The first tankōbon volume was released on March 25, 2014.
A beta version of the Space Dandy game was released in early 2014, with the full scale release to happen August 6, 2014.
Alasdair Wilkins of the A.V. Club gave Space Dandy a B+, calling it a "proudly frivolous show".