Marika Katou, a third year student at Hakuho Girls' Academy, is a legitimate space pirate with a Letter of Marque. Between her studies, leading her school's space yacht club, working part time at Cafe Lamp, and being the captain of the space pirate ship Bentenmaru, Marika's days are very busy. One day, Marika gets a job to rob a high-class passenger ship, and she discovers that on the passenger list is Kanata Mugen, a boy who owns a "galaxy pass". Thus, an adventure featuring a hyperspace race between pirates and one young boy begins.
Abyss of Hyperspace is a serviceable addition to to the Mouretsu/Bodacious Space Pirates franchise that gives us just enough of what we loved about the series and wraps it around some forgettable but sizable additions.
The original BSP Anime series seems to be a “love it or meh it” affair for most people. I fall on the love it side, finding it to be a show that perfectly hits all of my buttons. When the announcement came that there was going to be a movie, a level of hype began to generate in my mind that most people would reserve for a religious out of body
experience. Nothing was going to live up to my dreams of a movie budgeted space adventure. Traveling with Marika and Chiaki as they rob luxury liners, crash pirate ships and get into a tag team match against Darth Vader and Ultron. Still, a failed attempt at the impossible would probably have satisfied more than what Abyss of Hyperspace actually achieves.
The movie is a mix between what you came to expect from the series and a very questionable attempt to appeal to a different audience. The whole cast returns, from Captain Marika and the crew of the Bentenmaru along with the Chiaki and the Barbaroosa, Lynn and the Hakuoh Academy Space Yacht Club and even Mami and the Lamp House. BSP had no lack of likable characters, for sure. So why then, when it came to the big screen, must it introduce generic moody shounen boy #789 as a co-star?
Co-star might be understating it, Abyss of Hyperspace is newcomer Mugen, Katana's story, so far as you can call this a character story. He's young, he's perpetually annoyed, he's got daddy issues and a pet robot parrot who constantly shouts non-sense (spoilers, it's not really non-sense). He takes up a lot of screen time but manages to not do much. His spoken motivations are undercut by his contradictory actions, or inaction, right up to the end. As he is a bit a younger than most of the characters, he only ends up truly bonding with one character, Princess Grunhilde. Humorously, I once thought of her as the Scrappy Doo of the original series, playing second fiddle to her so-so sister, Gruier. The royal sisters have grown on me in repeated viewings, but only long enough for Grunhilde to get her own Scrappy in Katana.
What ends up being very bizarre however, is that we don't really understand why these two end up hitting it off. In fact, we don't understand much of anything about Katana or why anything about him is happening. When Grunhilde and Katana meet, they stare each other down as if they already secretly know each other but nothing of this ever comes into play later on. There is an entire interstellar conglomerate that has put seemingly all resources into capturing Katana, but motivations for doing so are fairly sparse and mostly go unsaid.
Worse yet, much to do about the characters and the plot surrounding him ultimately goes unresolved as well. It's as if BSP was simply a landing spot for a part of his story. Or to put it in other words, Abyss of Hyperspace feels like a crossover film between BSP and a series that doesn't actually exist. We're treated as if we should know this new character when he arrives and should care to seek out what he's going to do after he leaves. Meanwhile, his presence detracts from the characters that got us here, most notably Chiaki, whose screen time is criminally short. Why couldn't we have a movie about Marika and Chiaki? Why couldn't Katana's scenes been Chiaki's? Why couldn't Chiaki faint and wake up confused, sleeping next to a sultry Marika??!? It's very perplexing that they would go the route they did, especially given that this movie is an original work despite there being no shortage of source material.
I only have conjecture, but the whole thing with the character smells like marketing. You can't put out a movie about a school girl space pirate and all her cute friends wreaking havoc on the galaxy's underbelly, that won't sell! We need a boy to get the young boys in the seats! He needs to be younger than most of the cast, kids can't relate to older characters! Let's give him a robot sidekick that constantly shouts, kids love annoying things! Let's make him grumpy and hate his father, grumpy kids hate their fathers! And he needs a mech, we got lots of mech toys to sell! Mechs are going too far? Okay, how about space diving equipment, there's all kinds of water/space analogies in this series right? Okay, good that works. Space diving equipment. That transforms into a mech!
Everything about the character ultimately comes off as cynical as the above and very insincere. On the other hand, the parts that manage to not be so much about him fit like a glove. Marika is growing up and is preparing to become a senior at Hakuoh Academy. The Yatch club is, as always, preparing absurd gimmicks to recruit new members, scaring away far more than they are bringing in. Chiaki is moving up the ranks under her father and on a clear path to becoming a future captain. Mami is preparing the Lamp House to compete head to head with the new family chain that opened across the street, with the addition of some new side-kick coworkers (probably her harem, if we're being honest). Marika's mom, Ririka is just being a general badass, as always. And of course, there's the 7 ft cyborg we know as Schnitzer, who spends most of the movie wearing a navy blue rider's jacket, reading what appears to be some sort of emotional shoujo manga. Awesome, every little bit of it.
The movie manages to do what BSP the series always did exceptionally well, taking a mundane sounding premise such as a conspiracy involving an anti-virus software suite and somehow making a thrilling scene out of it. Start those Irish violins and have the girls start hacking away at their virtual keyboards and it'll get you every time. These are the scenes that remind you why you came and the ones you don't want to leave the screen.
Animation differs from the series in a few ways. The girls all appear a bit older, which given that they are, it isn't too strange of a decision but may take a while to get used to. The set pieces are a bit more detailed now and the inside of the Bentenmaru looks as if it's been completely remodeled, but someone might have forgotten to put in some light fixtures. The movie has a few interesting pieces of animation throughout, where different techniques and dare I say, bodacious directing is utilized. The very opening features Katana running away from some goons in a jazzy stylized sequence straight out of a 1960's British spy movie. There's variety among these pieces, the “Trojan Marikas” is sure to be a fan favorite, and they never over stay their welcome. It's a contrast to the relatively grounded series but a good use of the big screen.
Abyss of Hyperspace gives us all another glimpse of a cast full of characters that fans on the “love it” side have fell in love with. In some sense that is enough, but it is kind of the bare minimum requirement to hit the serviceable mark. The movie could have been much more, even if it failed just trying to be more. Instead, it gets mixed up with someone else's story, be it a marketing team or someone's self-insert fanfiction. I've seen some say that the movie feels like a glorified arc of the series, which is a bit funny, because I always considered the arcs of the series to be a collection of unglorified movies.
Did I enjoy it? Ultimately, yes. Was I disappointed? Sure. Would I recommend it? To anyone who enjoyed the series, I think it is worth a watch. It's a mere 90 minutes long and the characters you already like will make you smile, seeing them again. Of course, the real joy is just rewatching the series, which this movie did make me want to do again. If you were already on the “meh it” side, I wouldn't bother unless what you thought was missing from the series was a shouting robot parrot. Somebody out there did, at least.
Mouretsu Pirates is one of those easy Sunday afternoon shows. Watching Marika shoot around the galaxy in a miniskirt and a smile is a lot of fun. So why when making the film did they decide to replace the main character with a dreary, dickless little shit? Kanata Mugen hates his daddy, lives by high morals, and loves nothing more than a good frown. This archetype ringing any bells? He barges his way into the show and finds himself surrounded and pampered by cute girls. This self-insert hero fantasy would be bad enough as a sideplot, but the omnipresent
barnacle manages to squeeze his way into every fucking scene adding nothing but irritation and gloom. KILL HIM!
Aside from this show ruining character the movie adds nothing to the franchise. The animation quality has dropped since the series, the story seems drawn out and simplified at the same time, the Sci-fi elements are unimaginative, and rather than make new music they rehashed the old Momoclo song.
So, i like the Mouretsu Pirates series, this movie was not bad at all,but unlike the seires it doesnt deserve 9, rather 8 instead. Still i after watching i could say that it was relativly good.
Characters were as in series good, art and sound very good, story not so much, it was weaker then in the series but nevertheless enjoyable,
Mouretsu Pirates Universe is nice and it would be nice if there is more of it, and i really hope there will be as it deserve second season and lot more, i hope producers will see that and give us more of M Pirates,
June marks the beginning of summer and to celebrate we are revealing Right Stuf’s Top 15 best-selling anime titles for the month. From hot new releases to anime classics, this list has a little bit of everything. Will your favorite titles make the Top 15?