(Please, don't point out the fact that I haven't written up a proper 'initial thoughts' post since Nyanpire in 2011. It's painful. Yikes. I really have switched to mainly manga, haven't I?)
I've been eagerly anticipating the season two premiere of Space Dandy for months, but I didn't even bother trying to guess what the first episode would be like. Space Dandy has always been unpredictable if anything, and its continuity is nonexistent; hitting the universal reset button is par for the course for every episode.
Having said that, if I had made up a list of things I expected Space Dandy season two to open with, a cow would not have been on it. And what followed the cow was one of the most clever, hilarious, and entertaining half-hours of Space Dandy since the series started.
In "I Can't Be the Only One, Baby", following the trail of a loose hair sticking out of Dandy's signature stylish pompadour leads Dandy, QT, and Meow into an alternate universe where they run into... Dandy, QT, and Meow. Only this version of Dandy and company are quite different from the versions we are used to.
And then they pull another string, sending our hapless Aloha Oe crew into the next over universe, with its own version of Dandy, QT, and Meow. And so on. And so on. And so on. Until finally, the original Dandy and QT and Meow are back in their own universe—joined by all of the alternate versions of themselves that they ran into through their interstellar journeys. Naturally, it becomes a cosmic case of "too many cooks" and the universal balance falls into disarray from a dangerous dynamic of Dandys.
The biggest laughs from "I Can't Be the Only One, Baby" are the alternate versions of Dandy. If you don't find them funny, this episode will fail for you. Which would be a shame, because they are a delight to watch interact with each other. A lot of them are blatant cultural references in Dandy form; the Michael Jackson Dandy was especially memorable. And then there is Emo Dandy, with the cybernetic Meow who legit scared me with its robo meow. Like, don't even play that clip around me, I'll kick you.
I also have to get voice actor Ian Sinclair major props for this episode. He voices every single version of Dandy, such as Alison Viktorin voices all the QTs and Joel McDonald voices the Meows, but I didn't realize that until the credits. I legitimately thought the science nerd Dandy was a different voice actor. That's the acting ability of Sinclair shining through, thanks to the script which hands him opportunity after opportunity to show off how many different voices he's capable of.
I gotta shout out at the alt-verse versions of Doctor Gel and Bea, in which Gel is a monkey and Bee is a carrot man. That brief cameo between alternate universes really sealed the deal for me on this episode as a whole. Hilariously, the ship stayed the change. You really just can't beat a floating Statue of Liberty head with a BDSM ball gag, no matter what universe you're in.
All in all, that was a brilliant way to kick off Space Dandy's second season. It's also a great way to introduce new viewers to the world of Dandy and company. Honestly, at this point, if you're not watching Space Dandy, you are really missing out on a true treat. And Bea will find you and punish you with his sick beats. Or the Cyber Meow, augh.