At a press conference held on Sunday at Otakon, BONES president Masahiko Minami and Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) sat down to talk about their new Space Dandy project and answer some questions about what fans can look forward to.
Space Dandy is aiming to reunite quite a few staff members from past BONES projects, and during a press conference famed director Shinichiro Watanabe was on board to answer some questions.
How much did Space Cobra, among other 70’s anime, influence Space Dandy?
Watanabe: I enjoyed it quite a bit when I was younger, but I would say Space Dandy is more influenced by old sci-fi anime and movies, movies between Primitive Planet and the original Tron.
How much comedy will be seen in Space Dandy compared to Cowboy Bebop?
Watanabe: Whereas Cowboy Bebop was 80% serious story and 20% humor, Space Dandy will be the reverse. Cowboy Bebop’s ratio has been flipped on its head. It’s as far from a serious story as you can get. It will be more light-heartened in nature and more humorous as well.
What sort of music can we expect to see in Space Dandy?
Watanabe: There will be a lot of different musical composers on board for this project, but I can’t tell you any of them right now. I can tell you that they have all been asked one thing: not to use any instruments invented after 1984. I think the music on the show will make it feel a little old school and retro.
What was it like working with Yoko Kanno on Cowboy Bebop?
Watanabe: Let me go on the record as saying she does not compose exactly as we tell her to. She builds up her own imagery and comes to me and says “This is the song we need for Cowboy Bebop” and composes something entirely on her own. There were instances where we’d ask for songs from Bebop, and I would get inspired and make new scenes and show them to her, and then she would get inspired and make more music. For example, some songs in the second half of the series we didn’t even ask for. She just made them and brought them to us. Normally this is unforgivable, but with Bebop it was good so it was fine. So it was a game of cat [and mouse] between the two of us the whole time.
How did you decide to work with Thomas Romain (Basquash!) on Space Dandy for ship design?
Watanabe: I’ve been interested in his works for some time, but he actually belongs to another studio, Studio Satelight. For Space Dandy we begged and got special permission for him to help us out. The reason we got it is because he’s a fan of Cowboy Bebop.
You didn’t have a chance to talk about some of the characters during the BONES panel, what else can you say?
Watanabe: With the main character Dandy we were aiming for someone who has no worries. The main character for most anime worry about a lot of things with the main plot centered on them worrying. But what if I had a character with no worries? In everyday life we always have friction with other people and make ourselves worry about a lot of things. Dandy is if what if you had someone that didn’t worry about any of those things at all, sort of an ideal. He operates on the scale of the universe, so he doesn’t worry about such things.
Will the easter egg tradition of BONES continue with Space Dandy?
Watanabe: Of course!
Minami: We plan to still hide secret things, but if we told you what they were, they wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
How do you feel about the live action Cowboy Bebop that was in the works, but has been put on hold? And would you make a good Spike?
Watanabe: I’d have to go on a diet. Also, as for the live action adaptation…if I say too much Sunrise will get mad at me. Just know that it isn’t at a halt, but it also isn’t moving. As for how I feel about adaptations…it all depends on it. For example, there’s a certain Dragon Something that didn’t suit the style.
One last thing Watanabe did say about Space Dandy is that “in each episode the characters will be going to a new planet, so a new style will be used in each episode. Within the staff for every episode, there is a great creator that I respect, but unfortunately I cannot release the [names of the] staff [members] just yet. The creators and designers are usually very busy, but by asking for one episode you can usually get one out of them, so you will see great collaborations across the series.”
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