The universe is a vast and strange place, full of even stranger beings. For a man named Dandy, his job is to travel around and register new species for a reward. What should be an easy job is made less so by a series of odd coincidences that happen along the way.
He’s a dandy guy, but this series isn’t for everyone. Created by the same guy as Cowboy Bebop, this bounty hunter-centric show takes a lighter, sillier, more perverted tone that can either be fun or annoying. If you are a fan, then these anime recommendations may be right for you.
For Fans of Bounty Hunters
In the distant future, humanity has, for the most part, abandoned Earth and colonized several different planets in the solar system. In order to keep peace in the galaxy, the Inter Solar System police was established, but they often rely on aid for bounty hunters, referred to as “cowboys,” to bring criminals on the run to justice. This is the story of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, a pair of cowboys that end up with a rag-tag crew of other misfits as they travel the galaxy trying to keep food on the table and their own dark pasts at bay.
When Shinichiro Wantanabe announced Space Dandy would be his upcoming project, people were excited. While it is not exactly Cowboy Bebop come again, it has a lot of the same influences, kind of like all the sillier parts of his previous projects were mixed together. For those unfamiliar with Wantanbe, a more basic comparison would be they are both shows about space bounty hunters with dysfunctional crews. The major focus of both series is on the “cool guy” of the crew as well.
The young Gene Starwind has always had lofty dreams of piloting his own ship out into the stars, but his dreams aren’t coming true. Instead of being a space pilot, he takes on odd jobs with his partner James Hawking. However, one day, when they accept a new job, it changes everything. They are tasked with protecting a mysterious girl and it takes them out into the universe aboard the advanced spaceship, the Outlaw Star.
Both shows are about a cheeky and often reckless protagonist that makes their living as a space bounty hunter. Of course, while it is presumed everything was normal before the series, you watch both shows detail the many struggles they face every day and highlight it with some great comedy.
The Great Kanto Desert is all the remains of Japan after the apocalypse. While barren and seemingly dead, many carve out a meager life here. One such person is the Desert Punk, a handyman with a legendary reputation for always finishing the job no matter what.
While Desert Punk doesn’t have the same sort of setting, it does have the same sort of main character. They are flippant, reckless, and very perverted in both shows, but both still also have a way of getting the job done.
For Fans of the Might Pompadour
In a universe full of aliens, only one person can be the best racer. To decide this, they all compete in a racing competition called Redline. This year’s Redline is particularly dangerous on its trigger-happy host planet, Roboworld. However, while most racers will be packing heat, the human representative JP will be going out without weapons.
Redline showcases the mightiest of anime pompadours, but the hair style isn’t the only thing it shares with Space Dandy. It also details a large variety of aliens in the universe. However, even if you do not enjoy racing, you should enjoy the amazing animation of Redline.
Rage of Bahamut
Thousands of years ago, ancient dragon Bahamut terrorized the world. However, when gods and demons allied themselves to prevent the world’s destruction, they sealed him away, splitting the key among them so he would be eternally imprisoned. After the dragon was sealed, humanity returned to normal. However, things are about to get very abnormal for bounty hunter Favaro when he meets a mysterious women that holds half the key to Bahamut’s seal.
Both shows have main characters that sport the pompadour. However, Kaiser in Rage of Bahamut is like the complete opposite of Dandy in terms of personality. Futhermore, while the setting and the pompadour-sporting character personalities are different, you find more similarities between Dandy and Favaro. He, while having an unfortunate orange afro, is a bounty hunter and just as much of a son of a bitch as Dandy is. While the plots different, if you like the characters as well as the flashy animation in Space Dandy, this can be an excellent anime to follow up with.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
In 1868, Dario Brando saves the life of English nobleman George Joestar. When Dario dies, George hopes to repay the favor by taking in his son Dio. Unfortunately, Dio wants the Joestar household for his own and tries to take it with the help of an Aztec stone mask with supernatural powers. This triggers a chain of events that will affect the Joestar house for generations to come.
Unfortunately you have to wait for Josuke to see the pompadour in Jojo, but it is pretty worth the wait. Aside from the hair style, what these series really have in common is the adventure. You watch both travel far and wide, meeting tons of completely unique characters along the way. Both shows go big in all things they do, and that is the best thing to do in an adventure series.
For Fans of Spastic Randomness
After his brother moved to America, Naota was left to his own mundane existence with his grandfather and father in his small town. However, one day while walking home with Mamimi, his brother’s ex-girlfriend, Naota is hit by a Vespa. Its rider, a crazy pink haired woman, gets off, kisses him, smacks him on the head with her guitar, and then speeds away. This marks the end of Naota’s boring life and the beginning of a never-ending string of weird events.
There are many times in Space Dandy that if you weren’t completely paying attention, you have no idea what is happening. FLCL turns that dial to eleven. Both have hugely energetic casts and occasionally bizarre plots, but that is all part of the charm, isn’t it?
Toppa Tengen Gurren Lagann
While digging around in his underground village, a young boy named Simon uncovers a mysterious object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient artifact of war. When their village comes under attack, Simon and his daring adoptive older brother Kamina use this weapon to fend off the invaders, discovering that there is a whole surface world above them in the process. With the sky now in plain view, Kamina and Simon set off on a journey that will take them across the galaxy.
Both of these shows take everything to the extreme, sometimes in a parodying way, sometimes wholly seriously. While Gurren Lagann doesn’t start there, it eventually ends up in space with Space Dandy. With both shows, they have their silly moments, but are also governed by larger, more serious plots as well.
After aliens invade Japan, they put a prohibition on swords. However, Gintoki Sakata still possesses the heart of a samurai. Taking on odd jobs alongside of his friends, Gintama follows Gintoki during his chaotic life as an errand boy.
Ah, what is an errand boy if not a bounty hunter with less freedom? The fun bit about Gintama and Space Dandy is not only do they share a penchant for completely frenetic randomness, but they are also both about interacting with aliens as well.
Did we miss any more good anime recommendations for Space Dandy? Let us know in the comments section below.