Space Dandy Season 2 Episode 9
by Miles Nelson, Sep 1st 2014
“We're All Fools, So Let's All Dance, Baby” begins with a moment of total pants-on-head insanity, which promises the viewer one hell of a ride. Unfortunately, while some scenes maintain this level of entertaining craziness, Space Dandy Season 2 episode 9 is a disjointed experience overall, with the various ideas and scenarios not quite fitting together to make an entertaining whole.
The plot itself is simple: Dandy and crew travel to the Planet Grease in order to capture the rare Dancingians, aliens that only appear every 500 years and are said to be the greatest dancers in the universe. Finding the planet nearly deserted, Dandy is convinced by one of the few locals to pose as a Dancingian and hold a dance contest, only for the real alien to actually show up. The premise has a lot of comedic potential, but not much of it is realized. Most of the jokes come off as weird and nonsensical, but not in a funny way. The best parts of the episode are the interactions between Dandy and the Dancingian, but these scenes are relatively short and occur close to episode's end. Aside from this, Dandy isn't given any interesting new characters to bounce off of, which normally provides the show's best comedic moments. The ending of the episode is also a let down, with the twist about the Dancingian's true identity coming off as pointless and confusing. There may have been a deeper message that writer Keiko Nobumoto was trying to get across, but the episode's muddled narrative makes it impossible to identify.
While the episode's story is unfulfilling, the same cannot be said of its animation. While Planet Grease is drab and grey, the Dancingian and other dance contestants are interesting additions to the show's stable of alien creatures (although the MC Hammer-esque alien is uncomfortably close to a racist caricature). The animation style is very unique, depicting ultra-detailed, wrinkly close ups of characters in a manner reminiscent of cartoonist R. Crumb. The direction is excellent, with a highlight in one sequence where Dandy plays a vinyl record that warps time, with hilarious results. Speaking of records, the music in the episode is also good, consisting of funk and disco-style tunes. There are no problems with the vocal performances, though only the Dancingian (Kouichi Yamadera) really leaves an impression.
That's really the central problem with the episode: only one element leaves a lasting impression. The Dancingian is great fun, but the build up to his arrival could have been more interesting, and the overall story could have been more cohesive. While by no means devoid of entertainment value, “We're All Fools, So Let's Dance, Baby” is a step down in quality, and definitely the most unsatisfying episode of Season 2 so far.
Space Dandy Season 2 is currently streaming on Funimation.
Miles Nelson has been an anime fan since 1997, and has had several reviews published at My Geek Review.
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