Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
From the people who brought us the masterpiece Cowboy Bebop, comes Space Dandy, a series about a space explorer looking to make a few Woolongs and watch some boobies jiggle.
In this volume, we start off with Dandy who is singing a vulgar song about boobs while he combs his totally Grease Lightnin’ do’. Upon discovering he is out of hair styling product and money, Dandy realizes he needs to get some Woolongs the only way he knows how – by registering unidentified aliens.
Space Dandy introduces a slew of characters but it is not at a pace that is painful for the reader. The characters come in at moments that make sense to the current adventure without any strange backpedaling or unnecessary history. You learn the name of the character, a few basic tid-bids, and your on your merry way to a new adventure.
Each of the characters below are introduced in chapters – so they’re not just thrown in like many authors seem to do these days. They are part of short stories that may or may not have a significance upon the plot as the main story advances. It is important to note that throughout each of these small adventures, Dandy is being chased by a well-armed group of people he seems to have pissed off.
Dandy, our main character, is a “dandy guy in space” who is young and easy going. He resonates well with people who like Spike from Cowboy Bebop. Dandy is the captain of his private ship, the Aloha Oe and works as an alien hunter who registers aliens at the Space Alien Registration Center for money. His source of income is similar to those of the bounty hunters in Cowboy Bebop. Dandy enjoys T&A and it’s very obvious from his frequency to a “breastaurant” called BooBies. In fact, he probably throws away most of his money on this Hooters-like establishment. Despite being a bit of a pervert, Dandy actually has a big heart. Often times his good conscience wins when he is torn between ‘doing the right thing’ or making money.
QT is Dandy’s robot and a functional member of his ship’s crew. He is capable of conversations and helping Dandy out; however, his usefulness is often crippled by outdated hardware. He finds Dandy’s woman obsession vulgar, but as a robot he doesn’t have much choice but to deal with it.
Princess Kikko is a round and bossy alien Dandy encounters when he tries to woo her more attractive friend. Upon realizing she’s an unregistered alien, Dandy attempts to have her registered so he could make a few Woolongs, but he gets some unexpected visitors who throw a wrench in his plans. She doesn’t seem like someone who will be a reoccurring character. Her purpose is to show us Dandy’s more redeeming characteristics so that we don’t think he is a complete sleaze-ball in the first volume.
Meow is a Betelgeusian that Dandy and QT encounter on their adventures – he gets picked up in the same way that reoccurring characters end up following Spike throughout Cowboy Bebop. His real name is incomprehensible to Dandy so he ends up being called “Meow,” despite protests that he is in fact, not a cat. Poor Meow gets left behind in this volume, but if we can look to Cowboy Bebop for any notion of how this series will play out, Meow will be back.
Jason is probably not a reoccurring character but he certainly inconveniences Dandy. Jason is an unregistered alien that looks a lot like a human baby. He is capable of adult thoughts and speech. He warns Dandy that nothing good happens to anyone who goes near him, but of course Dandy ignores Jason’s words.
Lynne and her “Father” are two people I sense we won’t see more of in the next volume but they’re worth talking about briefly only for the sake of brushing lightly upon what happens in this volume without talking about the story or revealing any spoilers. Lynne is an attractive human female who was adopted by an angry and rude alien after her parents died. The alien took over her family’s ramen shop and raised her as his own. Unfortunately he’s a terrible host who can’t stop being rude. It’s probably because of his terrible manners that the shop is doing so poorly. Lynne, on the other hand, dreams of having the best ramen shop in the galaxy but her “Father” will not let her work in the shop because she should marry and live a good life. In the hopes of successfully registering her father with the Alien Registration Center, Dandy comes up with a way to make them both happy.
I had understandably high expectations for this volume and I was not disappointed. Just when I was beginning to worry that the majority of manga being acquired and published in the US was junk filler for a catalog, Space Dandy came my way and made my day. Fans of Cowboy Bebop will NOT be disappointed.
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**This item was provided for review.