First Impressions: Bodacious Space Pirates!

Hey, when did those assholes from that popular videogame series turn into cute girls?

This is perhaps one of the few series I’ve gone into completely blind. I knew next to nothing about this series (other than it being about pirates, IN SPACE), and out of the blue, a friend tells me I should watch it because he felt it was right up my alley. So I watched it, and after I was done, I couldn’t help but hype it to some of my close friends. I later did some research, and found out that Satelight is producing this show: they have quite a bit of experience with shows set in space. With that in mind, and the second episode watched, this is definitely a show I’m sticking with for the long run.

I like to think of this as the female version of JAM Project. Having Marty Friedman on board certainly helped them quite a bit.

The plot involves a girl who inherits a pirate ship and crew from the pirating days of old (I don’t mean now, by the way). And aside from a few occurrences here and there, that’s it. You can probably tell that the plot hasn’t really gotten anywhere yet. So why do I like it? Well, for one, it has promise. From what was shown in the prologue, and from the subject material itself, I can tell that Space Pirates will ramp up to something very entertaining, at the very least. Additionally, one thing that I give the show praise for is its pace: the main character, Marika, is already getting some training (at least, indirectly). I half expected the plot to meander with Marika outright refusing to become a pirate based on the morality behind it (though they partially took care of that little snag early on). Though I can’t say it won’t happen later on, I’m expecting it to be some form of drama, rather than a way to draw out the plot to fit twenty-five or so episodes. We also haven’t gotten a good space opera in a while, so that’s a definite plus. Overall, Space Pirates’ plot shows potential, one that I certainly hope they don’t squander.

Because let's face it, an entire show about PIRACY would be highly entertaining.

The characters are, so far, half stock high school characters and half veteran pirates. While we haven’t seen any sort of depth, many of these characters have plenty of room to grow. The main character may seem a bit of a waste, as she is a normal high school student, but she juggles quite a bit of activities. The other main character, meanwhile, is a cold and sort of emotionless girl voiced by Hanazawa Kana (sound familiar?) who has many aspects of her character heavily obscured. However, these two characters share a certain dynamic that, while not too far from the “veteran/rookie” type, is still interesting to watch, as we’ve seen a few scenarios where the veteran gets flustered and the rookie knows what she’s doing already. And to prop the characters up more, there hasn’t been a single sign of angst yet. As I’ve said earlier, while it may show up later, by not throwing some in now, the show can hook a wider variety of people and move along quite briskly.

While it's easy to tell who here is the veteran and who here is the rookie, the one with the most confidence here is a nice surprise.

The art seems rather generic so far. The designs for the high-school characters seem like a standard style designed to accentuate general cuteness. I don’t know if this is how they’re trying to advertise the show (the light novel is called “Miniskirt Pirates!” after all), but as I can sometimes think of the show as moe + pirates, that style works rather well. Interestingly, the style also makes many of the pirates look rather eccentric. To be honest though, the designs work, and that’s good enough for me. The animation, so far, has been at the very least average, as well. While the show hasn’t showcased the need for some heavy duty animation yet, it’s been doing a decent job so far, making scenes feel a bit more lively than the average show. I figure that once the series starts showing some more action, we can count on the series looking pretty good (this is a Satelight show, and Macross Frontier did look pretty good in action, CG notwithstanding).

I like the space opera designs like this quite a bit though.

The music has been pretty okay, so far. While I don’t cringe at the background music, I don’t particularly like it, either. The show has an average soundtrack, so far. However, the OP is really memorable, as I’ve described above, as is the ending theme. The sound effects are similar to the standard sci-fi sound effects we know and love (pew pew lasers, and all), and that happens to be a plus in my book. The voice acting has been pretty good, so far, but not really outstanding. What’s particularly notable is that Hanazawa Kana has been using a different voice than her standard voice, and while it sounds closer to her cold, emotionless voice, it’s still quite different. That’s definitely a surprise. While I can’t say the other cast members have done anything that memorable, they’re all doing great jobs, as well.

Overall, Bodacious Space Pirates has a few things going for it so far, but a lot of promise. I can definitely see this show becoming very entertaining if it continues to build up and eventually use its excitement well.

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A mad scientist who's so cool!

Laevatein

A mad scientist who's so cool!

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