Bodacious Space Pirates Anime, Disk 1 (English)

January 22nd, 2013

“In a world where pirates are hired by collateral insurance companies….”

High school student Katou Marika learns that she is the only child of a Space Pirate Captain and, additionally, learns her mother was a famous pirate. Simultaneously showing natural talent at leadership and decision-making and working her ass off to learn how to be a space pirate, Marika makes it look like any of us might be able to do it, if we just apply ourselves. And who among us hasn’t wanted to be a space pirate?*

Joined by the experienced crew of her Father’s ship, the Bentenmaru,  and assisted by the members of the “Yacht Club” of her elite high school, Marika takes on any number of surprisingly fun adventures.

For anyone who has not yet watched this series, let me address the title issues: The word bodacious was probably a 19th century neologism formed from “bold” and “audacious.” Linguistic drift has added the usage of voluptuous, or even more crudely, large-breasted. The original definition certainly applies, but the latter definition is rather more inapplicable. Marika is indeed bold and audacious. This series has some, but not very much, and relatively mild fanservice. With a name like that you’d be sensible to think it was far worse than it is.

In short, this is a fun space opera that stars high school girls taking control of their circumstances, learning to make decisions, carrying out plans and building a future. All things that guarantee I will enjoy a series.

Several people have pointed out Sentai Filmworks’ salacious and irrelevant marketing copy in their reviews, but as this is the company that has always insisted on translating “Yuri” as “girl-on-girl” despite many protests, I feel that complaining that the copywriters and translators are Fanboys is redundant. Yes, they are, and that will not change because we find it annoying. As I said recently, being critical about translation choices is the least clever thing you be on the Internet. It’s Sentai, it’ll be skanky. If their ad copy makes you sad,  write them – again – and give them guidance on how to be better at their jobs. ^_^

I purchased the Blu-Ray for the series because it was a mere $4 more than the DVD. Clearly I am broken, because I genuinely do not see the difference. Well, occasionally the CGI looks worse than I remember it being when I watched it at lower resolution. ^_^

For fans of space opera, I strongly recommend this series. It’s just a whole lot of fun. ^_^ Available on DVD, Blu-Ray or legal online stream for free (region-blocking may apply.)


Art – 7
Character – 9
Story – 9
Yuri – 1…for now
Service – Despite every effort, a mere 3

Overall – 8

*Well, okay, actually I haven’t ever wanted to be a space pirate, because I’m pretty sure I’d get sick in zero-gravity. ^_^;

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4 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    I fully intend to buy BSP ASAP but there was one thing that really nagged at me when I watched this simulcast enough that I did not continue after episode 13. Even though that is when things get really good.

    It just seemed all through the first 13 episodes Marika tires her absolute best to be as good a space pirate captain she can be. Not to mention she has to balance piracy and school. Yet some of the Bentenmaru’s crew (especially Misa) seem to wail on Marika the moment she says anything that is not at her usual 110% amazing gutsy-ness.

    I’d understand if she made a bad decision or was a real moper but Marika is an exceptional teenager. For a teenaged girl Marika is incredibly positive and driven especially when she so often stands next to Chiaki. But people seemed so predisposed to snap at her simply for speaking. This really made it difficult for me to enjoy the show that was otherwise superb.

    Do the characters ease off or am I simply imagining this negativity? Because I do not remember anyone else ever mentioning it.

    Sorry for the long comment I just really hope that I have made a mistake when I fist watched this series as I want to get back into it.

  2. @Mara – Interesting perspective. I didn’t get that at all from them. I did see them training her, giving her guidance, but not making her decisions for her. In fact, one of my favorite moment, is when Coorie says what is going on, then asks (as a teacher might) for Marika to explain it and the rest of the crew smiles.

  3. BruceMcF says:

    I think I must be on the other side of the language divide on bodacious, when it still meant what it says. The transition therefore happened sometime in the late 80’s or after.

    I blame Pauly Shore (a phrase usually used to describe why a comedy movie is disappointing).

  4. Candy says:

    What I found after watching the 13 episode series is that this is honestly a rare gem when it comes to female leads. Even Sailor Moon doesn’t do it like this. What I realized after watching the first 13 episodes is that you could honestly change Marika’s gender and the show would have continued on without much of a hitch. She may have been female but it didn’t matter to the PERSON she was. It’s as if all the other animes I’ve watched being female was your person.

    I also hate Sentai’s marketing. It’s like they automatically go for the ‘sex sells’ marketing for nearly everything they put out. Some of the advertisement on the back of the blu ray case just made me roll my eyes and go ‘if you’re buying this for those statements you’re going to have a bad time’.

    “Well, if you’re a high school student whose prior total naval experience has been working at the space yacht club, there’s really only one moral dilemma that has to be resolved: are pirates allowed to wear really short mini-skirts?”

    And all of us who actually know Marika laugh at that because the length of her skirt had nothing to do with why she choose to be a pirate. Blah Sentai. You’re becoming one of my least favorite distributors here in the US. It’s not only this, it’s their packaging decisions as well. I HATE stack packs and if you buy something of theirs with more then 3 disks you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a stack pack case.

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