Sunday, August 11, 2013

Space Dandy Spazz

Original Article: Anime News Network

Wait..wait..WAIT..before I can collect my thoughts, allow me the freedom to celebrate like a madman, for I cannot verbally describe just how excited I am for this piece of confirmation (KYYYAAAA!!!). Bones (or Watanabe rather) finally drops the bomb after remaining disconcertingly silent for almost a year, which mind you, is nerve-grating on those of us eagerly waiting for the official announcement since its first mention last October. If these is such thing as starvation strategy, Bones sure as hell applied it to max effects. What initially revealed to be a Fall series is postponed to the Winter season – kind of what I've been expecting after hearing no wisp of anything throughout the past few months. But FINALLY, it's here, with its glorious staff in tow (oh so glorious I can overlook the super late release). 

Bones is founded by the very people who gave birth to Bebop, arguably one of the most innovative anime I've seen to date, and I can't think of anything more gratifying than seeing the team reunited after 15 or so years. Frankly, I would jump to anything with Watanabe or Dai Sato's name attached, but this brings another level of anticipation when the great minds are joined. Now, I believe there is one more name we should be seeing on there and that's Yoko Kanno – it would be quite odd and hugely upsetting if she's not part of the all-star cast. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. In terms of plot, from what I can gather, it rings with as much flamboyance as Star Driver – almost teetering on the verge of being ridiculous – and I suspect no speculation at this point will do the eventual release justice. Though one thing to be said, comedy is not the easiest element to manipulate and using it as a selling point is a risky move, in spite of Bones' unabashed daringness. Good news for me is I've always liked Watanabe's unpredictable sense of humour and it's one of the few times comedy clicked with me as far as anime is concerned. No question about it, Space Dandy, with its pompous name and even more pompous art design, stems from the very spirit of Bones, a studio who doesn't have "low-key" in its creative vocabulary. The show feels retro, very retro, and Americanized like Bebop, so I think I have already succumbed to the nostalgia assault. 

To be honest, this whole shebang almost seems too perfect to flop – I just don't see any room for it to go down that path with regards to the staff. Neither Dai Sato nor Watanabe has ever dished out half-hearted work in their respective career and they have every motivation to pull off something spectacular here. One thing we have to take note is Space Dandy is not Cowboy Bebop, while it's inevitable to draw comparisons, at the end of the day it's a different adventure altogether and one that demands to be viewed through fresh lenses. If it does fail to live up to expectation, I have a feeling Watanabe's "not an anime to be taken seriously" remark will be liable on one level or another. I, myself, is a little wary of Bones going unrestrained like they did with Star Driver. Yeah, it was a fun show (and utterly ridiculous), but definitely not my favourite offering from Bones. Any concerns aside, I haven't felt this excited for an anime in a long time; a large part of it has to do with the old team steering the ship and it's a ship I don't intend to miss.