Anime Vice News

SPACE DANDY #1 Isn't A Sexy Debut

Episode #1 -- Watch & Learn. 'Fan service' turns off a potential fan.

Eeesh. I would’ve hated to have been in the shoes of whoever was tasked with translating this…

SPACE DANDY sounded like such a guaranteed grand slam. A new series from modern deity, Shinichiro Watanabe, presented through the bold and unprecedented platform of a simulcast dub on American television? You simply couldn’t cook up better ingredients for a current anime to reclaim that ever-elusive mainstream attention.

Problem is, this all hinged on the hopeful expectation that SPACE DANDY would be the second coming of COWBOY BEBOP - - a cool, accessible series that otaku can easily share with the norms. Instead, literally right off the launch pad, it indulges in exactly the sort of skeevy ‘fan service’ that’s turned off so many potential viewers and grounded anime in a niche that American fans desperately want to get out of.

I hate to keep wagging my finger about T&A, but I still have to say it: abrupt, in-your-face panty shots in anime are exactly as titillating as some creep at a concert sharing the upskirt photos he just took on his phone while the girls ahead of him weren’t looking. Our former contributor, Alexei , spells this out more heatedly, but I’ll keep it simple - - it’s just not hot. We're talking about a macho space opera that makes COBRA look like a class act, here.

It’s immensely frustrating. SPACE DANDY should’ve been an easy crossover sell. Now, it’s very likely turned away a lot of casual viewers: novices lured in by solid marketing who'll walk away, shaking their heads over how it’s just one of those creepyJapanese cartoons. Now, it’s another anime I’ll have to put a bunch of provisos on if I ever have the inclination to recommend it. “Oh, it’s a lushly animated show, with great comic timing, and a charming wealth of imagination… as long as you can just get past the pervy stuff.”

Watch, Live With the Flow, Baby” and decide for yourself.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
The_Legendary_SuperSaiyan_Hulkon Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:39 p.m.

I personally loved Space Dandy, it was funny.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 10, 2014 at 3:49 p.m.

Ah well looks are only skin deep.Maybe judge a book by its covers might be more fiting.Bet ya watched the dub to./sigh

Ya might want to pop over here some info there in the comments might help lose the "T&A blues" if their is such a thing.

One question tho "it indulges in exactly the sort of skeevy ‘fan service’ that’s turned off so many potential viewers and grounded anime in a niche that American fans desperately want to get out of." um where was this voted on by amercian fans of anime?

Anime has as many themes an genes as any american tv network.To paint anime as only T&A is the same as saying American tv is only reality shows.Both are incorect statements.

Edit: On deeper refelction an reading the linked joint filled rant i would recomend those who are disaponted in SPACE DANDY not being the next coming of Cowboy Bebop ,really should take that dispointment an blame to the person who set up that soul crushing dispaointment.The one you see in the mirror.Cause many of us posted links to Shinichiro Watanabe interview how this was NOT COWBOY BEBOP!

We warned .You didnt listen.Nelson would probably have a few words for like Haw haw!


"In Space Dandy, I'm trying to challenge myself and do stuff I haven't done before. Firstly, this is a pure comedy series. Before, I would make shows that were relatively not-so-comedic. There would be funny episodes here and there, but it wouldn't be all silliness. This time, it is all comedy. I feel that current animation trends are a bit toned down. Things could be bigger and more extravagant in anime. That's what I'd like to express. I feel like I want to make anime that destroys the norms, something that would be strong even if it is unconventional. I want to do things that other people haven't done before, and not get trapped up in those "this has to be done this way" sorts of ideas. I'm always wanting to try new stuff. At the same time, I want Space Dandy to be something you can still have fun with and just enjoy as a comedy. Every week the main characters will go to different stars, but from star to star, entirely different themes will be explored, and that means we will completely change over the style of everything each time. There will be different art styles, different moods, different directing styles, all completely unique for each episode. At the same time, there will be aliens from other planets every week, but every planet has different designers, so there will be lots of varied designs in one place onscreen."

Maybe just maybe some peoples expectations were set to wrong?

zaldaron Jan. 10, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.

A comedy though doesn't need panti shots. I mean I LIKE panty crunchyroll que includes queens blade....but I wouldn't use queens blade to introduce new people to anime and the idea is that either pokemon or queens blade is all the norms think of when they think of anime - yes it has as many niches as normal TV but most people don't know that and when a show that gets the norms excited then has panty shots - it makes that even harder to convince people of.

Lurkeroon Jan. 10, 2014 at 6:38 p.m.

I won't strain myself trying to get past T&A. The moment I was about to turn off Kill La Kill the show managed to let me know that there was something more to it than T&A, and I managed to keep watching. In most other shows that is not the case.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 10, 2014 at 7 p.m.

@zaldar: True. But the main characher starts off with a rant about how he likes butts.An they end up going to a place named Boobies.That was part of the joke.One of the animatiors did go on about how the dub did change what Honey said so in the dub she seemed kinda dumb.He also hinted they ( the girls of Boobies ) were more than what they seemed to.An it was not even half of the show.

An i agree you dont recommend a show with T&A unless you know the person would like it.The acid test would be could you recommend Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine to them or not.Same writer to an about the same as a R to PG13 rated movie these days.

Also if its a working relationship your better off not recommending any thing.Considering the pearl clutching this fairly harmless show has had an all.

Nightwolfon Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:29 p.m.

Fan service is the norm of most anime and people should just live with it or get out of anime.

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 10, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.

I really don't care for potential viewers, I only care for myself. If someone ask me what is a good Anime, I'll ask what they looking for and point them in the right direction, base on there taste. Not just hoping for the next big thing to come alone, since one show can't change everyone opinion about Anime.

I wasn't inspecting Cowboy Bebop, I was inspecting to be entertain and Space Dandy deliver it. Don't found the T&A to be a problem for me, it just part of the show and I accept that part of the show. People need to learn, that Anime have many of genres (like Music). Not everything can be mainstream

zaldaron Jan. 11, 2014 at 1:25 a.m.

@Nightwolf: Thankfully it didn't used to be and maybe we can go back to that....yes ghost in the shell had some but it was by no means the focus of the show...

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 11, 2014 at 9:59 a.m.


It always been like that, it just we didn't see a lot of it, because we didn't have the internet

Mutant_Godon Jan. 11, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.

I like it

Top8caton Jan. 11, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.

@Nightwolf said:

Fan service is the norm of most anime and people should just live with it or get out of anime.

Or we can just not watch anime that feature it. I don't like it either and rather not waste my time, if I really wanted it; well the internet for one. Maybe I just grew out of it, but I don't remember liking it as a kid(I could just tolerate it better)

takashichea moderator is online on Jan. 11, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

This show remind me of Johnny Bravo and Fooly Cooly combined, and I don't mind the fan service. It's not too forced like some shows. I enjoyed it.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Jan. 11, 2014 at 4:39 p.m.
KILL LA KILL #13 Greets the New Year with A New Look!
Episode #13 -- Watch & Learn. Explosive T&A!
SPACE DANDY #1 Isn't A Sexy Debut
Episode #1 -- Watch & Learn. 'Fan service' turns off a potential fan.

I find it very strange how you can rant and rave about Kill la Kill one moment -- a show featuring girls in the most ridiculously revealing "battle" outfits imaginable -- and then act disgusted by a comedy show that features a satirical riff on Hooters. The "panty shots" (which feature no underwear at all, by the way) are even justified in the episode, it's not like they were completely random. There was literally a narrative purpose to them. I can't say the same for some of the more... creative shots in many of the battle scenes in Kill la Kill.

Both shows are wacky, ridiculous, funny, high profile shows. Does Kill la Kill simply get a free pass because of its self-awareness? Or does Space Dandy have some higher "standards" it needs to live up to because it's airing on Toonami and is therefore more mainstream?

Here's a quote from your Kill la Kill #8 Watch & Learn:

"I think the amount of… healthy bad taste has evened out enough in this show that our earlier… concerns about the T&A don’t seem to stick out as much."

Maybe you should give this show a chance like you did with Kill la Kill, instead of judging the whole episode over one aspect you didn't like. Maybe instead of focusing only on the T&A issue you could have actually commented on the "lushly animated show, with great comic timing, and a charming wealth of imagination" which you instead only briefly mentioned right at the end.

I have mad respect for you Tom, but I have to speak up when I think you're giving a show an unfair rap!

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 11, 2014 at 5:31 p.m.

I just rewatch Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and that have T&A in it and people like it (it got 98% on rotten tomatoes). So, I don't think Space Dandy will scary people off just because it got T&A. (it probably will scary people off if it was underage girls T&A).

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 11, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.

@Daniel_Newton: I agree with what ya lay out there.

The bugabo seems to be cant recomend this to "people" .Now those same "people" probably find Wrestling ( keep in mind some of our reviewers are big fans ) to be crass entertainment to.So if you cant talk to them about that, then this would be off limits to.Seems much to do over what others think an less to do about what one enjoys.

Then again i could be wrong, it happens every day.

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 12, 2014 at 6:06 a.m.

@Destinyheroknight: Agree with this. T&A exists in the real world. It's funny to me when people act like it will ruin it for everyone and that it's a blight on anime or something. Then I go watch football on Sunday and before the commercial break there's some cheerleader in a bikini shaking her tits at the screen and football is like this family friendly super popular thing. Sex appeal is not an anime only thing and it's kinda silly to suggest that sex appeal in things immediately ruins it, regardless of any other aspects. The real world doesn't bare that logic out.

zaldaron Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:43 a.m.

@Destinyheroknight: There used to be shows where it wasn't the entire point, I haven't watched this one (anime comedy hardly ever works for me - shows about feels with comedy works but straight comedy really doesn't) so I can't say if it is the entire point but it wouldn't surprise me. difference though in amount in football and the fact the cheerleader is still completely covered. This show is I doubt dance in the vampire bund or astrolottes toy (oh what tom would do with either of those shows HA) BUT given when you talk about anime with non-anime people that or pokemon is what they think of AND this was supposed to be the show that changed that hence the problem.

To summaries tom since some people seem to have missed it. This was supposed to help bring anime to the masses and make it more popular, the masses when they think of anime think of pokemon or maybe naruto things equal to Saturday morning cartoons for young children OR drawn porn or things the masses put equal to drawn porn like vampire bund or astolotte's toy. Thus ANY sexual innuendo is likely to turn them off. This had it front and center, and so lost the chance to help spread anime to the masses.

Fact it had enough of it and enough to make Tom uncomfortable (which I agree is likely to easy...he spends to much time on Jezebell I think) is a separate point.

@Daniel_Newton He did have some problems with the T@A in kill la kill but it was the fact the show had other things it was talking about and that the T@A was part of a larger thematic point. See above though as it was more what other people would think rather than it being bad in and of itself.

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 12, 2014 at 10:09 a.m.


It not the point of the show, it was just a scene. It not like Queen's Blade were you see boobs for ever few second. In the recent episode, we have a lady wearing a mini skirt fighting Aliens, there was no panty shot

I find this really to be a double standards, Space Dandy is wacky show that can't get away with one T&A scene, but Animaniacs can have lots of it and no body say nothing about

The masses will always think that, even if Space Dandy didn't have T&A in it. Let Space Dandy stand on it own two legs, don't worry about the masses and what would they think about it

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 12, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.


I sorry forgot to reply to the other part

Anyway, T&A shows that all about T&A have always been there. It isn't some new thing that just came up, T&A shows will always be around. And also there are still shows that isn't all about T&A, because Anime have different genres in it and people can find shows that don't have T&A in it

zaldaron Jan. 12, 2014 at 3:52 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight: Oh it is certainly a double standard because you are trying to change perceptions - double standards exist in almost every part of life. Race relations, gender relations, law, politics...

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