Quick Notes on a Space Dandy Race (ep. 7)

Nothing in Space Dandy is written with clear enough intentions to be called a “deconstruction,” or anything like that, but the space race in episode seven is obviously playing with tropes. In countless death race stories, there are a bunch of exuberant characters cheating in their own unique ways, or just being imposing. Usually they try to capture the thrill and speed and passion of racing. Redline and Speed Racer are two magnificent examples.

Comparatively, Space Dandy only focuses on the silly aspects, putting it more in line with the likes of Wacky Racers. And in bit of a twist, Dandy himself actually cheats MORE than any of the others, even ostensibly murdering a lot of other racers in his desperation to win. His rival, the Prince, is hardly painted any better, resorting to his own cheats to try and beat Dandy. In the end, no one even wins. Space Dandy is warped into an endless wormhole of the highest-speed travel in existence and becomes the Buddha or something. I’m not sure if this is a bigger subversion of the racing genre, or just of the idea of narrative structure in itself.

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