For the record, we still have no idea why the Gogol empire are chasing after Dandy, but the beginning of this episode does remind us that they are also fighting against the Jaicro empire, an empire which is equipped with space mechas and thus has the upper hand. Gogol’s are still unfinished and thus unstable, but in a confrontation they decide to send one in anyway. The resulting explosion sends a beam of energy hurtling through space where it eventually hits the planet Betelgeuse, where it has a very strange effect.
As it happens, Dandy and co have also just arrived on Betelgeuse – Meow’s home planet – in order to fix their breaking down ship, although Meow is quite reluctant to see his family. Betelgeuse is a simple and tiny planet with not much to see and do, and Meow’s only future prospects on it were to assist in and eventually take over his father’s metal-working job. For better or worse, the Dandy gang stay with Meow’s family until the new ship parts can be delivered. The problem is that they won’t arrive until ‘tomorrow’…and that bolt of space energy has somehow sent Betelgeuse into a Groundhog Day-style time loop in which ‘tomorrow’ never comes.

Meow’s little brothers are adorable.

This cat’s face makes me uncomfortable.

They’re all a bit slow.

I really can’t stand the movie Groundhog Day. Maybe it’s because the repetition in it drives me nuts, or maybe it’s because it seems to be on TV at least once a month. The ‘day that repeats over and over’ is one of my least favourite fiction tropes (Endless Eight, anyone?) so right away I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU SPACE DANDY for only showing the repetition once and not replaying the exact same scenes over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Basically, if someone had told me that it was possible to make a time-loop episode work without making me want to bash my head into a wall, I wouldn’t have believed them, but Space Dandy achieved just that. Well done!
Anyway, a big part of why this episode worked so well was due to Betelgeuse and its charming cat-like inhabitants. It’s kind of interesting that so far, this is the planet that most resembles modern (rural) Japan – there’s almost nothing futuristic about it whatsoever. The entire planet is basically just the one sleepy little country town that has nothing to do, but sure as hell has a lot of adorable Betelgeusean character designs. Meow even got a bit of character development in, and there was even some surprisingly heart-felt father-son moments. Meow’s conflict is a common one – the fear of disappointing a father clashing with the desire to see the world (or in Meow’s case, the universe and beyond) outside the confines of a repetitive job in a rural town. It was a nice little narrative to fit in along with the main one regarding the time-loop.  What’s with all these nice, thoughtful moments in Space Dandy lately? I’m not complaining though, I think they’re great.
There were some pretty funny bits throughout the episode as well though – the fact that no one noticed the loop at first because the days on Betelgeuse are so repetitive anyway, not to mention Dandy’s showdown against the calendar. Plus there was the vague attempt at exposition regarding the Gogol and Jaicro empires, even if we still don’t know what the hell is going on with them.

Father-son moments! Not exactly the kind of father and son I’d have expected but this is Space Dandy.

That damn calendar, thinks it’s so tough.


Out of 5,