Critics have continuously compared this Madhouse series to Cowboy bebop. On the surface, the reason for doing so is obvious. It has a crew of individuals in space operating effectively as bounty hunters. The context behind the story telling is similar but the series are nothing alike beyond that. Cowboy bebop is a detail oriented view into a realistic future. The themes are heavy and the plot usually serious. Space dandy at its core is supposed to be a comedy. It too however has very serious undertones.
I do not have a strong negative or positive opinion on space dandy. The reason for this is that the show is not meant to be taken seriously. It abandons the usual significance of a plot driven anime to take a more western episodic cartoon approach to story telling. Cowboy bebop does this as well to some degree however Space dandy takes it a step further by illuminating continuity all together, There are several situations where dandy’s crew is killed at the end of an episode or their actions present irreversible consequences to the universe that is simply erased for the initiation of the next episode.
This format hurt the story telling of space dandy in my opinion. Each episode attempts an ambition narrative but never truly feels like it reaches maximum potential due to time constraints. At times the endings are abrupt and half baked. I do however appreciate the continuous foray into existentialism and being “Dandy”. I did not particularly enjoy watching this show but was compelled to watch every episode as each one offered a different experience.
Gun Buster is an anime OVA released in 1988 while interstellar is a movie which was released in 2014. These two dissimilar releases are very close in content. The only two media releases I’ve seen which covers the social and physical effects of space time travel.
Both series introduce a very interesting concept now becoming popular in modern physics; Time dilation. This concept extends from relativity such that time dilation is an actual difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers either moving relative to each other or differently situated from gravitational masses. This means that what may be perceived as a few minutes far away in space could be many years on earth.
Gun Buster is an anime which is popular for being one of the benchmarks for the space-mecha type of anime. It quite literally introduced bouncing cleavage in space to the anime community. It can be also viewed as the prototype for the later Evangelion series as it introduces many of the themes, concepts and environments that Evangelion later develops. The most interesting thing about this anime for me however was the futuristic approach it took in integrating realistic theoretical science into the progression of the series. The time dilation created very interesting and griping scenarios in the show. This is the primary reason for this anime being relevant now despite it’s age.
Similarly, the science incorporated into interstellar’s narrative makes for a gripping and believable display of fiction. The visuals are exceptional and the soundtrack is engaging. The acting is superb and the logical progression of the story is well crafted. Interstellar like Gun Buster heavily incorporates the concept of time dilation.
In both shows, the astronauts were aware of the consequences of their space travel and the ramifications were observed as great costs were paid. Time is seen directly as a quantifiable resource; not to be wasted. This fact is primarily why the concept appeals to me.