Space Dandy, From Cowboy Bebop And Samurai Champloo Creators, Will Air Simultaneously In The US And Japan
Thanks to the Internet and social media, the world moves at a pretty quick pace these days. In a very rare instance, a new anime from Japan will premiere in the United States before it airs in its home country. I don’t know what that says about American entitlement, but I’m happy to see a new animated series, Space Dandy, launch in different countries around the world at the same time.
As reported on Crunchy Roll, anime studio Bones will launch Space Dandy in January of 2014. Screenwriters Dai Satō and Keiko Nobumoto wrote the new show, which Shinichirō Watanabe will also direct. Yes, the creative team behind the widely popular Cowboy BeBop, and rarely watched Samurai Champloo, are at it again.
Bones released a new trailer for Space Dandy, full of eye-popping visuals and good ol’ fashioned anime fan service. The video looks amazing, with a catchy disco tune behind seizure-inducing images. Dai Satō, Keiko Nobumoto and Shinichirō Watanabe kept the same stylistic musical juxtaposition as Cowboy Bebop (space pirates and jazz) and Samurai Champloo (feudal Japan and hip-hop). Space Dandy seems to be going with a foppish space hero with catchy disco music behind him. Recording artist Yasuyuki Okamura created the song, “Viva Namida,” for the teaser.
The new series will air on Adult Swim a few hours before it premieres on Tokyo MX and Animax Asia in Japan. There will be two versions of Space Dandy, one in Japanese, and one in English for Western audiences. It’s doubtful that we’ll see the English subtitled version on Adult Swim. We’ll likely have to wait until it’s released on home video, which has already been licensed by FUNimation. While it’s unclear why Bones is producing and launching Space Dandy this way, it is believed that its dual launch will cut down on piracy via illegal torrents.
While anime in the States is, obviously, not as popular as it is in Japan, the genre is growing all the time with American audiences. Hollywood movies studios seem to be focused on adapting Japanese anime for Americans with Akira, Gaiking, Battle Angel, and now Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato) all in the works. In fact, a live-action American version of Cowboy BeBop was in development as far back as 2008, but it doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon. Keanu Reeves was at one-time attached to play Spike Spiegel, but recently admitted on Reddit’s AMA, “Cowboy Bebop does not look like it is going to happen with me in it.”
There is not much known about the series, but it follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is, oddly enough, “a dandy guy in the space.” He searches for aliens with his robot assistant QT and a cat alien named Meow. Sounds very Japanese. Crunchy Roll also posted a bunch of character art for Space Dandy. While the character info is in Japanese, the artwork itself is visually interesting and indicative of strange modern anime.