3 July 2017 | Samiam3
Cute with a few other qualities
Marika Kato, a high school junior and tea house waitress agrees to follow in the footsteps of her former pirate queen mother. She inherits a ship called Bentemaru and her crew of six oddballs. In this universe Piracy is a legal career. So called Pirates put on the same show as the actors at Las Vegas' Treasure Island hotel, by invading luxury interstellar cruises to the delight of the passengers. Alternitavely pirates can also be mercenaries, and Marika becomes one such after taking a job from a runaway princess.
Dazzling to look at, and exquisite in colour and detail, Bodacious Space Pirates dips into several anime genres without fully committing to any particular one making it a difficult show to market. It is part school drama, part sic-fi, part action/adventure. Subsequently, the series never really took off or accumulated a substantial fan base.
As far as storytelling goes, Bodacious space pirates achieves linearity by means of cheap contrivances. As a Pirate Captain, Marika is no more commanding than the head of a student committee planning the high school dance, but it helps that she never wallows in bubbling incompetence like Sailor Moon. She has enough winning charm and brains to make the show palatable.
What makes Bodacious a tough sell for its target audience of twelve year old girls is the science fiction element of the plot. There are numerous sequences of heavy computer/cyber jargon concerning how the ships are controlled. Even for older viewers, these scenes are a bit of a mind**k. Alternitavely, it's easy enough to argue that the cyberpunk, 'electronic warfare' aspects of the plot bring a necessary dose of science to a story that is part science-fiction.
Marika finds a friend in a new transfer student named Chiaki, who comes close to stealing the show. The daughter of a Pirate captain, Chiaki is composed and mannered to a fault, but she is a force to be reckoned with if you upset her. All the other girls in the show are virtually interchangeable.
Bodacious Space Pirates, would have gone further if it had fleshed out its characters a bit more, gets by on its laughs, street smarts, visual flair, and action. It can be enjoyed on its terms, as long as you don't take it too seriously.