I always figured that Watanabe would eventually get around to clarifying his… attitudes here, but nevertheless, SPACE DANDY #1 will always stand out as one of the most unintentionally hilarious moments in anime for me.
FUNi and Adult Swim strike this ambitious simulcast deal, very likely hoping that they’ve got the second coming of COWBOY BEBOP on their hands. What they got was a pilot which opens with a monologue about T&A, and ends with enough up-skirt shots to confirm plenty of creepy anime stereotypes.
So, with that in mind, there’s a bit more unintentional humor here. I’m checking back in a few months later, and I'm finding Dandy not only trying to clean up his act, but is also trying to settle down for love...?
The show always struck me as having a bit of a FUTURAMA vibe, and that continues here. Granted, the 'gag gun' hasn’t been set to rapid fire, but it still projects contemporary life into the far-flung future in about the same fashion. The set-up of lonely career girls going to a singles mixer in outer space is exactly the sort of shenanigan Planet Express’ crew would get mixed up in during some cold opening.
More relevant to my point, though, the perspective in those scenes at the mixer offer a necessary counterpoint to Dandy’s chauvinism. It looks more like a comedic foible (and less like a viewpoint of the protagonist's which aligns too much with the overall show’s). Maybe there’s a point to be raised about not judging a show by its first couple episodes, but… eh. That’s the price of serializing a story. And if Watanabe had planned to get at this all along, it really makes that pilot look even more hilariously bungled.
Watch "the Gallant Space Gentleman, Baby" and decide for yourself.