Space Dandy follows an episodic format. There is absolutely no continuity in Space Dandy. Zero. The main characters might die at the end of an episode and then it will casually roll the credits before showing them alive and healthy in the next episode. Which means the character development is essentially slim to none. Dandy and the rest aren’t characters that you will ever find yourself emotionally attached to, but that’s actually okay. Focusing solely on the comedy is what allows it to work. Drama would never be able to exist in the bizarre world of Space Dandy- at least not without seeming entirely out-of-place.
Everything about Space Dandy oozes charm. The setting is reminiscent of a 1950’s vision of the future, with ray guns, greaser slang and antiquated technology. The episodes themselves deal with every prominent sci-fi trope in a fun manner. There is always something different each episode, though some are certainly much weaker than others. A few of them are honestly dull enough to put the viewer to sleep, while others, like the episode involving Meow’s family, are nothing short of greatness. There’s unfortunately no consistency to the quality of the episodes- an issue that seems to be common in episodic comedies.
The shameless fanservice is the show’s one major flaw. There’s nothing wrong with an adult character having an interest in women, but Dandy’s obsession verges from perversion to outright debauchery. An equivalent to Hooters, named “Boobies” in the show is frequently present. The fanservice has its place, but there is no reason for it to exist to this extent. It’s just uncomfortable.
Space Dandy has some of the best art seen in a television anime for years. The first episode looks absolutely stellar, on-par with big-budget series such as Shingeki no Kyojin and not too far behind films such as Redline. The animation does take a dip in the later episodes but its quality always remains well above the average anime. Space Dandy gives a great deal of attention to its action scenes by animating them in full. Most anime studios decide to take the shortcut approach with panning shots, which makes Space Dandy’s visuals all the more commendable. The animators could have taken the lazy way out, but they did not.
The sound is average; nothing noteworthy. Most scenes are accompanied by ambient sounds in order to convey a distinct sci-fi atmosphere. A few scenes, like the battle between QT and a giant robot, and Dandy taking care of an alien child, have more noticeable music, but these moments are all too rare. The opening track is much more interesting, performed by what I would describe as “Japanese Bloc Party”. It encapsulates the quirky charm of the series.