What would you do if you discovered that you were more than you thought you were? “Bodacious Space Pirates” (or, “Minisuka Pairēts”, which translates out to “Miniskirt Space Pirates”. Uh, can we pick a title and stay with it?) tells the story of Marika Kato. She is a high school girl living a rather ordinary life as a member of the space yacht club and having a part-time job at a high-class retro café. Oh, it’s the future (couldn’t you tell? That really tall guy with the horns is not being Gene Simmons in a Kiss tribute band) and space flight is normal, like Greyhound Bus Lines normal. OK, you got me, bus lines aren’t really all that normal. Maybe space flight isn’t, either.
Then she learns a secret: Gonzaemon Kato, recently deceased captain of the pirate ship Bentenmaru, was her father. As his only living descendant (that we can prove. Pirates really can’t be trusted), she is to be the next captain of it. But she hasn’t even graduated high school yet and finals are coming up! And who will cover her shift at the café?
And what DO space pirates do? Well, these pirates terrorize luxury space liners, forcing them to heave-to while all the guests are relieved of their valuables…which is fully covered by the cruise lines. Yup, they are a Disney-version of what pirates and piracy is, so it becomes a rather jolly good experience to tell the kids at home. Even the pirate crew doesn’t look like a pirate crew (most of the folks to Marika’s right). What pirate eats space Pocky? Shiver me timbers….uh…meconium metal plating. See what I mean?
For the most part, this is a frivolous and frothy show. Even when they are in ‘danger’, it comes off not much different than the haunted house ride at the boardwalk. How can you be scared when prominent EXIT signs can be seen in the dark?
This doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. There are some entertaining moments in it, but if you want something with depth and edge (like “The Last Exile” or even “Vandread”), this show isn’t it. When the biggest fear is that the Letter of Marque might get lifted, as the regular crew is sick, and the pirates now become all the squealing girls on the right side (who dress in anime cosplay), it now looks like the “It’s A Small World” ride. Again, I would treat this as an Introduction to Anime show and nothing so hardcore in intensity.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (The girls are cute, the guys aren’t)
Plot 7 (Like onion-skin paper)
Pacing 7 (A few instances of ‘hurry up and wait’)
Effectiveness 7 (For what it wants to do, it works)
Conclusion 7 (Done, but not over, as the coupler is really obvious)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would “Gurren Lagann”)
Overall 7 (Nothing too demanding)
And remember, it’s first run until you see it. Time to heave-to!