Aloha Au Ia O'e, Baby

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Context:

The Aloha Oe is the Hawaiian themed spacecraft that the main character of the Series, Dandy and his crew QT the robot and Meow, the alien cat monster, both pilot and live in. Within the context of the show the ship is usually used as a background element. During the rising scenes of the show it’s used as transportation the main set piece of an episode, whether that’s a particular planet or space station. Or after the climax of an episode has already taken place, the characters may return to ship during the falling scenes of the show, where we see how the ramification of an event effect their day to day lives. There’s an episode where in the climax they all become zombies and the rest of the show is them living with it. But what’s special about the ship is the insight it gives into the Universe the series takes place in as well as the minds and personalities of each of the characters living within the ship and how each of them relate to the larger universe.

Visual Description:

According to the space dandy wikia, the central shape is modeled after a kind of Canoe. But in addition to that central design, there’s a giant gyroscopic sphere near the back and two low thrusters to the sides of the ship. There are an array of weapons to both sides of the ship, and the actual cockpit sits near the bottom. Painted on the outside is a luau girl, who becomes a reoccurring icon. She stands as both a symbol of Dandy’s affinity for Hawaiian culture and also his attraction to near-nude women. The interior of the ship has a kind of sterile, clean, and classic sci-fi feel. There are long metallic corridors, segregated by automated doors. Large glowing buttons, as well as giant monitors that display indecipherable neon symbols are found throughout the ship, especially in the cockpit and the common rooms. The colorful glowing buttons and geometric symbol contrast well with the starry space beyond the bay windows. One interesting customization is the change to the steering wheel in the cockpit, that’s been switched out for a something like the handlebars of Harley motorcycle. The classic, sterile layer of the ship is kind of the base and above that are touches of the Hawaiian theme that coats the outside of the ship. But where the theme dominates the exterior of the ship, it only accents the interior in the form of artwork and trinkets. The luau girl makes a reappearance a few times, once as a painting on the door to the cockpit and also as a little statue on the dash of the ship. The Hawaiian theme is developed even more by neon ornaments and signs in the common, but also real trees, one of which may be a coconut tree.

There are three permanent residents aboard the Aloha Oe. Qt the robot, Meow the alien cat monster, and Dandy the human pilot. Some of the primary insights into each of their characters is in the visual designs of their rooms. While QT’s room is almost completely sterile, neat and organized, like the base layer of the ship, Meow the cat monsters room is littered with junk food, video games, and amazon prime boxes. Dandy’s is maybe the most consciously expressive of his interest. In harmony with the Hawaiian theme, there’s a hammock and a few palm trees, one in neon and the other plastic, as well as a Tiki totem and another luau dancer.

Color:

The exterior of the ship is a bright yellow, but it’s accented by some spacey colors near the back like a neon purple and sterile grey. The interior is almost exactly the opposite (for the common spaces at least) where the sterile Grey is the primary and the space age neon purples and reds are secondary and the bright greens and yellows that fit with Hawaiian theme are tertiary. In terms of color Dandy’s room is the most exceptional in that it’s so rich with shades of purple and blue and green and yellow, that there's not very much of either the sterile Grey or the glowing space age colors.

Resonance: Home and The layers of Affinities:

What resonates with me about the Aloha Oe, is first that it’s a spaceship and that conveys a real amount of freedom. If you own a spaceship you can go anywhere in any direction. But beyond that, the Aloha Oe conveys not only information about the main characters of the series but also information on the universe they exist in and the overarching morale of the show. Starting with the base layer of the ship, instead of evoking a more modern, grimy sense of technology like you might find in “Blade Runner” or even “Cowboy Bebop” (a major reference for the show), the ship and especially the interior pull inspiration from a much earlier idea of space travel. The feeling is closer to the 50’s or 60’s concept of space exploration where the sense of an infinite possibility and freedom are meshed with psychedelic visions of the great beyond. The corridors of the ship are clean and bright, the buttons are large and colorful and mostly purposeless and the way the ship travels looks much more like a psychedelic trip* than a mild warp through space. The rooms of the series main characters say a lot about how each character relate to this idealistic universe. QT kind of stands an avatar for the ship and for the show’s view of the space and the future in general. Qt is kind and mild mannered and helpful, but Meow and Dandy stand on opposite ends of each other. In the future where everything is possible and colorful and abundant, Meow is almost a kind of overindulgent hedonist. His room is littered with his vices and he consumes them without a lot of thought. Dandy’s room, on the other hand is a more conscious arrangement of what he loves. Every element of his room is a reflection of his character and his aspirations as pose to his vices. Finally, the Hawaiian theme that permeates Dandy’s room, as well as the ship also permeates the core theme of the show. The future these characters live in is beautiful and colorful and free, but in that freedom there’s a responsibility to find and curate what resonates with you in the unlimited space your given.

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What’s your Favorite Spacecraft in Animation or Video Games?