Space Dandy 2 – 09

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This week’s episode, centered on an intergalactic dance contest, doesn’t come close to the greatness of last week’s mind-bending adventure, and it was never going to. Granted, I watched this episode in English, which makes the dialogue sound more forced to my ears, regardless of the language it just didn’t have as strong a story, and seemed more annoyingly self-referential than usual.

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As usual, things start out small, with QT learning about said contest, with a first prize with far too many zeroes in it to be considered legit. Dandy likes to dance, so he doesn’t need much convincing, so off they go to “Planet Grease” (groan), which seems to have fallen on hard times. The only store that looks open in the central ghost metropolis is a record store, where Dandy buys Chekhov’s LP.

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Then they find the Planet Chief, who laments that there’s been no contest for centuries,ever since the crucial “Danceinians” went AWOL, and his own ma has been in a coma since that time. The Chief gets a look at Dandy’s ass and convinces him to pretend to be a Dancinian to draw a crowd for a new contest, which they’ll fix so Dandy wins, precluding the need to pay out the prize they don’t have.

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The ruse only attracts a half-dozen strange alien dancers of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. It also attracts “Tom Travolta” (groan), a gold-plated, afro-adorned alien with a ring-shaped ship not unlike those of the Danceinians of yore. He steals Dandy’s thunder, and Dandy decides to play Chekhov’s LP (ingeniously using QT’s wheel and Meow’s claw as a turntable). The very un-disco like orchestral music has the affect of accelerating time to a ridiculous degree, until Dandy & Co. are dancing bags of withering bones.

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The lichens (first explained early on by the narrator) then start to dance and grow themselves into giant glowing rings: turns out the Dancinians weren’t aliens at all, but a natural biological function of the planet. When their energy merges with Dandy and Tom’s dance-off basically obliterates the planet (and Dr. Gel and Bea in orbit); the episode isn’t really interested in explaining it further than it’s another example of the ever-turning wheel of birth, life, death, and rebirth. But hey, Dandy at least managed to wake an old lady up and bring a smile to her face; in that regard, revering to amoebae isn’t that big of a deal.

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Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 03

While recovering from her fever, Rokka reminices on the night she met Atsushi, and ended up in a bed, with him doting on her. She faces a similar situation in the present, with Hazuki taking care of her. They share a passionate embrace as an increasingly bitter Atsushi looks on. He starts to shake the room and throw objects at Hazuki, who insists he go rest in peace and leave him and Rokka alone. Even if he’s Rokka’s second choice, he only wants to make her happy. To that end, he asks her out on a date to a theme park; the same place she last went with Atsushi and Miho before he was hospitalized.

Here was another gorgeous and affecting tour-de-force, laced with bitter, sweet, and bittersweet moments. First  of all, who would have thought Rokka’s first night with Atsushi was spent throwing up in a toilet and then passing out drunk? Our ghost is starting to show signs of becoming a poltergeist, which is not a good sign. Atsushi is resorting to violence, and even warns Hazuki he may end up killing him if he doesn’t leave. But Hazuki won’t be cowed so easily. You see, he’s fallen for the super-cute Rokka, and fallen hard. Who can blame her? Those friggin’ eyes; that pixie cut; she’s a beautiful human being inside and out. Hazuki’s challenge is to help both her and Atsushi  to move on. But how?

While at dinner after a day of filling in for Rokka at the shop, Miho tells him about her and her family’s concern for Rokka; they don’t want her to be alone, toiling away at the flower shop the rest of her youth – they’d like to set her up with someone, and maybe even get her out of that shop, or sell it off. Miho tells him Rokka may need a push to move on, so a push he gives her. As for Atsushi; Hazuki’s point about cut flowers being like ghosts created selfishly really resonated with us; it was a great analogy that summed up the situation pretty succintly. In the circle of life, flowers separated from their roots should go to feed their forebears. Even if his mind is still in the living world, Shimao is no longer part of that circle. His continuing to interfere with Rokka’s life does nobody any favors.


Rating: 8 (Great)