Following on the tail of Disk 1, we reach Disk 2 of Bodacious Space Pirates, on which Marika sets out on her first piracy commission as captain of the Bentenmaru.
The deeper meaning of the Golden Space Ship and the part it plays in Serenity history is presented almost as an afterthought, because this is a space opera and we, like Bentenmaru’s San-Daime, want to see Marika be a cool captain. ^_^
The disk ends on a quiet note, but not really a filler episode, as we’re shown transition in Hakuoh’s Yacht Club and in Ririka’s life, as well as a welcome return to day-to-day life for Marika.
This disk pretty much has it all, adventure, friendship, leadership and other qualities I look for in a story about a “strong female” character. Bodacious Space Pirates passes what I call the The Friedman Addendum to the Bechdel Test:
Does female character have agency?
Does she have society?
Does she have personality?
Is she merely a female-shaped male hero doing male hero things while being female?
Bodacious Space Pirates passes with flying colors. Marika has agency – she is capable of and given the opportunity to make decisions for herself and others. She has society, the members of the yacht club, and especially her non-space-faring friend, Mami, who wants and needs nothing from her, and who is a very excellent friend.
Marika definitely has personality. We’re shown that and we’re told it. She is quick-witted, hard working, fair, decent, and just evil enough to make a fantastic pirate captain. ^_^
No she does not wear a bodysuit, but the miniskirt would realllllly toe that line except that the anime uses a fair amount of restraint in clothing design and perspective. It’s not that there is no service – the space suits don’t have to be formfitting, for instance, but compared to oh so many other series, the level of service is low.
Character – 9
Story – 9
Yuri – 1…for now
Service – 5Overall – 9
My hypothetical girl child, along with Legend of Korra and kung-fu lessons, gets this series as a present. ^_^