Set in the distant future when space has been colonised; this series is set far from Earth in the Tau Ceti system. Life there isn’t totally different though; our protagonist Marika is an ordinary schoolgirl at the Hakuho Academy and she has the usual student worries about exams and such like… she also learns that she has inherited the captaincy of the space-pirate ship the Bentenmaru! She doesn’t take command straight away though; she has school work to do and take part in the space yacht club; an activity that will stand her in good stead when she takes command of her own pirate ship. Space pirates aren’t the villains we think of today but respected people working with permission of the government; mostly putting on shows by ‘attacking’ space-liners. Over the course of the series they will come across real dangers though; some that they face alone and others that requires them to team up with other pirates.
The series actually finished off rather well and stayed true throughout the anime series without falling into being either dark or too serious with its storyline. If you’ve seen or have anime series Kiddy Grade/Galaxy Railways/Tenchi Muyo GXP/Tenchi Universe then this series is a nice addition to those. The animation and soundtrack fit nicely together and the video quality was clear and sharp. Another enjoyable part of the series is the array of many characters with their quirks that make the series so entertaining to watch as almost all of them are endearing and the voice cast for both the subbed and dubbed did a terrific job in their character roles. This anime is well thought out. The backdrop is a really giant interstellar world, with lot’s of history, nations, and possibilities. The production quality is top notch, as I mentioned before. There are lots of great voice talents. Luci Christian, Chris Patton, Hilary Haag, Monica Rial, and Brittney Karbowski are all among my favorite voice actors, and play major roles in this series.
Most of the scenes are animated in a classic cel shaded style, but the space stuff is done in 3D, making good use of high-contrast light and shadow. Apart from Marika’s dodgy pirate outfit, the character design is pretty decent. Schnitzer, her armaments officer, is a looker – a giant cyborg with a head like a metallic animal skull. Although most of the girls sort of blur together to start with due to numbers, they begin to be used more towards the end of the run, so it’s not a problem. If you’re wondering, there’s not a lot of fan-service here, which is appropriate for the majority of ages depicted, so don’t look to this show for that. I didn’t expect to care for this series too much, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to it continuing. They are making a movie to expand on the conclusion, and I hope it proves successful enough that they shoot for a second season.
In the end, Bodacious Space Pirates delivers a good opening and a very memorable theme song. But it’s potential bottoms out towards the end. It is worth a watch, but by the end, you might just stop caring. I personally, cared more about the events that happened before this show than I did for Marika. The backstory involving the war seems so much richer than this show. Overall this is interesting till you realize they are not real pirates. These are just entertainers.
Watching Marika as she balances being High School Student and a Space Pirate Captain at the same time and all her adventures are part of makes this series so interesting and fun to watch. It was good enough to have me anxiously waiting for a new episode. But the faults that appeared later in the series completely undid that feeling by the end. Give it a shot, stream it if you can. You might like it. I’m just giving you a heads up to not judge the second half based on the premise of the first half. I must admit that I didn’t expect too much substance from this anime. I have actually used my brain a little bit while watching. the story and mystery are pretty interesting and kept me wanting more. No worries though as pretty much the rest of the dubbing cast were talented in their roles so for fans looking for a good comedic action sci-fi series or just a good anime in general here’s a good one to look at.