Adapted from the second novel (or the second arc of the anime), the manga rushes through Marika’s ascendance to captain of a space pirate vessel, instead focusing on the appearance of Princess Gruier Serenity and the search for the Golden Ghost Ship. Of course a few things are different than the novel and anime.
The story is rushed, and feels cramped as every character is squeezed in, in a way that neither the novel nor the anime had to deal with. Character designs are slightly different – IMHO, slightly blander – than the anime. Misa seems to have taken the brunt of the blow – she’s no longer sexy, slightly camp and up for anything. In the manga, she’s scolding and kind of a downer. Marika has escaped simplification to some extent and maintains her leadership skills, her down-to-earth personality and her ability to make decisions.
When Jenny and Lynn appear, they are draped unnaturally across one another (not really, but they are embracing in an awkward way in public) and Lynn maintains her hold on Jenny throughout. If you didn’t know they were a couple, you’d have to guess that Lynn had some possession issues. ^_^;
Marika throws herself at Chiaki a lot more often than she did in the anime. Which isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself, but it does render Chiaki down from being complex foil for Marika to merely there to being merely tsundere and not much else.
Service is almost non-existent until they get into spacesuits. NOTHING is that skintight. Not even skin. There’s at least one panel that made me shout in imagined agony at the idea of full asscrack-fitting spacesuits. Ow. Ow. Ow.
So, while not as fun as the novel or compelling as the anime, if you desperately want more time with the characters, this is as good a way as any.
Art – 6
Story – 7 (pulled up a point by being an echo of the more fleshed-out story we know)
Characters – 6 Everyone is a shadow of themselves, except Misa, who is completely different
Yuri – On it’s own = 3 Remembered from the anime – 5
Service – Those spacesuits. Ow.
Overall – 6
Sometimes translation isn’t your friend. For the title, they probably should have gone with “Miniskirt Space Pirates” rather than the “Space Pirates of the Minsuka” which they chose. I still prefer “Mouretsu Space Pirates”, or “Fierce Space Pirates”, or they could have stuck with the official English title, “Bodacious Space Pirates.” Gotta give ’em points for creative incomprehensibility, though. ^_^