As the first disk of the second Bodacious Space Pirates collection opens (available on Blu-Ray and DVD), Marika and the girls of the Hakuoh Academy Yacht Club are thrust into a complex and dangerous situation! Oh no!
With the crew of the Bentenmaru quarantined, Marika recruits the Yacht Club members to do some piracy, so the Bentenmaru can maintain its Letter of Marque. Of course the girls are more than up for it and, after a typical piracy gig, they take on an ad hoc project – one that is genuinely dangerous. Jenny Dolittle, former club president, is facing an unwanted marriage as a part of her uncle’s business strategy. Lynn asks Marika if they can ‘kidnap’ her – or, really, prevent her from being kidnapped by her uncle.
This arc rocks in a number of ways and sucks in only one.
Let’s revisit my interpretation of the phrase a “strong female” character. I believe that a “strong” character is a character who takes control of their circumstances, a character that leads, not follows. In this arc Marika, Jenny and Lynn show themselves to be “strong” by my definition. Rather than allowing circumstances to overwhelm them, they fight back with their brains, their power and their network of allies. A perfect example, IMHO, of female leaders leading. As a bonus, we are given a perfect Yuri couple, with *my* kind of service. Jenny makes a lovely princess to Lynn’s prince. ^_^
The only real negative in this arc is the animation. It completely falls to shit just when we might have wanted it to be at its most glorious. To be fair, the CGI is going to go through the roof in upcoming arcs, but darnit, it would have been nice of them to do some touch-up when Jenny and Lynn reunite. :-(
In the following arc, we again see something unusual – a minor character given a chance to shine. Once more we get a female character who is not overwhelmed by her circumstances. Ai shows us that she works hard and is able to retain control through good decision-making skills. A totally worthy conclusion to what is otherwise a silly arc.
There is some fanservice during the Nebula cup arc that may or may not annoy you. To give the creators credit, they”serve” up beefcake as well as more typical moe tropes.
As far as I’m concerned, this disk wins the universe. It has everything I’ve ever wanted in a series all at once. ^_^
Art – 7, but drops to like 3 just when I want it to be a 9. Sigh
Character – 9
Story – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 6
Overall – 9
Multiple named female characters that speak with each other about lots of things other than a man. Female characters with agency, with society, with smarts and friends and awesome personalities, allowed to shine. Bechdel Test and Friedman Addendum (as proposed here) passed with flying colors. This series *still* makes my Top List this year.