I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Junichi Sawabe and company -- All is All (Viva All)

It's been a while since I covered anything from the oft-fun and always way-out-there "Space Dandy"(スペース☆ダンディ). This time, my memories go back to that episode from the 4th season in summer 2014, "Tenkosei wa Dandy, jan yo"(転校生はダンディじゃんよ...The Transfer Student is Dandy, Baby).

The fans will know it. It's the one where Dandy heads to a spacy high school and ends up as part of a "Glee"-type musical. The guys behind this one went all out on this one: Dandy as the slick dude, a bespectacled young innocent girl, Freckles, struggling to fit in, the cool arrogant kids, and musical interludes.

Finally comes the big number near the end at the annual prom (of course) in which Dandy and Freckles show off and convince everyone that everyone is cool and fine and all that. Maybe that's why the song is called "All is All" but unfortunately I couldn't find out who created the tune.

It's pretty ambitious as well. The above video is a condensed version of the final part of the episode but the uploader does a good job in having "All is All" start off with a cute technopop number then morph into an 80s dance club bit before going quiet for Freckles' heart-on-a-sleeve ballad and before the entire cast goes into a barnstorming finale reminiscent of "Grease" and "Footloose". The only thing missing is the anti-grav car taking Dandy and the girl off into the wild blue yonder as it did John and Olivia at the end of "Grease".

"Space Dandy" has gone off into all sorts of musical directions so why not the high school musical? "All is All" would never have set off any Tony Award alarms but that wasn't the point. It was simply a nice affectionate poke at the genre and the songwriters and animators pulled it off. I even have a favourite point during the finale which is 4:20 of the video where Freckles and Dandy beam for the camera.. There was even a small part in me who wished that the lass joined the crew of the Aloha Oe but I figured that she earned her space in the high school community so why would she want to give that up?

All in all, "All is All" was another nice highlight from the series, and it's one spark that has me still wishing that a third season can be pulled off, or at the very least, a movie can be made of Dandy and his crew. That music is part and parcel of the experience.

I figure it would be nice to have the English version of the finale on as well.

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