Space Dandy’s Response to the Sci-Fi Tech Issue

When a sci-fi series in any medium tries to invent all kinds of everyday-use technology, it invariably ends up dating itself. A future filled with CRT monitors and gigantic cell phones is always going to mark itself as pre-flatscreens and smartphones, for instance.

Space Dandy, however, is atemporal. In its desire to be at once a futuristic sci-fi series, but also a throwback to the style of sci-fi pulp stories from the Space Adventure Cobra days, it elects to throw technology from different eras into a blender and create something that transcends time.

Dandy’s robot, QT, runs like an old, hunky PC, with limited battery life, outdated software, and printed-out punchcards. Meow uses a smartphone to take pervy pictures of the ladies in the Boobies bar, that seems to be running on a totally modern Android OS. Dandy’s ship can warp through space, but the teleporter is an “old model,” that takes about as much time to transfer people from one place to another as a camera did to take a picture in the 1800s.

The entire show is an anachronism. It’s digitally drawn, but Dandy looks like he walked out of the 70s. Aliens range from looking like menacing, planet-burrrowing space worms, to resembling adorable Pokemon. For that matter, it’s aspacial as well, with simultaneous releases in the US and Japan, each with their own dubs, so that it can’t be said where the show first aired. It’s an anime series which transcends space-time to occupy a totally unique plane of existence.

Now to watch episode two.

Kill La Kill and Nudity of Concept

Throughout the first two episodes of Kill La Kill, I felt that Matoi’s costume design was meant for something a little more than fanservice. It’s not meant to be a commentary on the audience; sure, everyone who ogles her is represented as stupid, and she usually kicks their asses, but Matoi is nonetheless embarrassed to wear it, and there’s nothing to actively punish the viewer for ogling it. The point is more about saying: it’s okay to have a sexy character design; and rather than be coy about it, it should be a matter of pride.

Kill La Kill is utterly absent of pretention. It seeks simply to be an incredibly badass technical action showcase, and it thoroughly succeeds. Hiroyuki Imaishi is perhaps the most influential and important animator in TV anime alive today, and his new studio, Trigger, has brought his style into its own life. Unlike his previous shows Gurren Lagann and Panty and Stocking, which felt like a blend of a huge number of styles from a large group of contributors, Kill La Kill feels focused and uniform in style. It’s also Imaishi’s best directorial work yet in my opinion; the pace is insanely fast, but it’s also very consistent, unlike Gurren Lagann which could feel all over the place at times. In every technical aspect, Kill La Kill is as good as it could possibly be.

The storyline is simple as they come, and the show pulls no punches in being as over-the-top with action and fanservice as it wants to be, not holding back anything for anyone. Episode three is all about embracing that naked, unashamed nature.

Matoi is embarrassed to wear her armor because it’s scantily clad, and guys are ogling her—but she always holds power over them. She knows that they don’t matter, but she lets it upset her anyways. This shame in the very thing that makes her powerful, ends up being her downfall. Not unlike a show or movie created to be an action vehicle, but bogged down in attempted realism or a pretentious/overwrought storyline, Matoi can’t be the epic fighter that she needs to be if she’s busy being ashamed.

The school president, meanwhile, doesn’t give a single fuck. She knows that she’s amazing, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says. She’s determined and true to herself—able to stand naked in her conviction and say, “come at me bro.” And in witnessing how the president’s determination trumped the opinions of those beneath her, Matoi is inspired to embrace the nudity that brings her power and fight with true conviction.

…did I just blog anime?!