...I-is it okay? I mean this should be a total piece of garbage by all means, but there's no panty shots? No bungie cord titties flopping around? There's a shit ton of girls and even a maid cafe and a goofy pirate outfit, but... Why doesn't this show suck? Maybe because it's not trying to be BS, but trying to be a great space adventure with a great lead character.
*This review will be updated as I watch more episodes, it's up to seven so far.*
STORY: Moretsu Pirates or Bodacious Space Pirates, which ever sounds worse to you... Wow, even a terrible title, but this anime
still doesn't blow? Yep, from I've seen thus far, there's nothing but incredible potential in this anime, despite the gaggle of girls, the silly pirate costumes, and, from what everyone highly expected it to be, what it would have appear to be some sort of moe space pirates adventures in the promotions, this anime has real potential to be even this year's best, or at the very least, the best sci fi anime in years.
From actual character build up (Actual believable build up no less) to characters with personalities bigger than their cleavages (Despite that I haven't seen a single chest pillow peek out from any shirt, even though there's now seven episodes available), and great set up on the world of this anime, Bodacious Space Pirates is looking up to be quite the space adventure.
The main focus is on the series main girl and eventual space pirate captain, Kato, the daughter of the late Space Pirate Captain Gonzaemon Kato, who have only just learn about her pirate heratage from her mother and crew members of the late captain and is expected to be the next captain, and is even reluctant to believe it (Along with the news of them being legal pirates). Kato is a lovable main lead that has no where to go in her character but up, she's no typical "I know how to pilot a giant machine without any training" lead character, she's the kind who only grows, and this anime actually acknowledges that as she's not thrown right away at the future plot or the captain's seat right away, a seat that will obviously need an experienced leader and not an unrealistic teenager that magically know what to do in any situtation, she has to do some real learning of what's what, from learning what it means to be a pirate to shooting a lazer gun. And when she's finally a space pirate captain, there will be no moans and groans from me, the anime will have shown her development to that point, it will have shown her effort to become that space captain we will hope she'll become.
But, that's only little of what this anime has does right that others do so yawn inducingly lazy, the whole theme and world build up is done exceptionally well, the other characters are interesting (And though the first couple of episodes will obviously focus on our captain-to-be, the rest of her crew will undoubtly be fleshed out, I mean what's a captain without her crew? A school girl?) and even with only a few episodes in, there's a strong feeling that there's going to be grand adventures that would make certain pirates envious.
But remember, before any of the piracy can start, getting your bearing and settings right is first priority, Mouretsu Pirates has shown through it's character's space yacht exercise that the space battle and exporation portion of the series will be done flawlessly, and I'm glad to know it's willing to spend several episodes to do so (Despite the slow pace, which will be graining to some). However, once the outer space cruise is over, the anime almost seems like it's trying to make up for lost time by literally rushing Marika right into the captain's seat to the point where I wanted to say "Slow the hell down people! She's only a high school student!"
After such a strong string of episodes, it's almost head scratchingly odd to see the pace turned up to the max and have the lead character put to work so soon, especially after it seemed to be taking it's time to get there.
But, does it really hurt the quality of the previous episodes? Not so much, there's obviously going to be more build up for our trainee captain, just because she's leading already doesn't mean she's magically leader material, and it's good to know the anime knowledges that and that Marika is still trying to work hard (School, part time job and being the captain of space pirates? She's tired out for good reasons but doesn't let that stop her). If the anime can get itself out of it's pacing rut, the show can continue to shine bright as it has been so far.
ANIMATION: Superb animation that isn't wasted on what we feared would happen, as expected from Satelight (Ikkoku Meiro no Croisee, Hellsing Ultimate), chaarcter designs are very distinctive, even background characters look well thought out. The animation on everything just overall looks great, space, the space ships, everything that is supposed to look sci fi looks it, no complains from me, despite some goofy pirate costumes.
SOUND: Good, but not amazing, though the voice acting is great. While theme music, the opening is a touch annoying (But that's just me...), but the ending theme is among the best I've heard in a good while.
+ Not what was expected, being some ecchi harem BS that it looks like, which is always a great thing.
+ A great hard working central character who doesn't follow the cliches of most sci fi anime, she'll only grow to be a better main lead with time.
+ Great animation, everything looks well thought out.
+ Great world building.
+/- Ending theme song is great / Opening theme is a tad bit annoying.
- Pacing problems, might be too slow for some, then moves too fast.
As over enthusiastic as I seem, I'm still keeping a weary eye this one, it can be as great as anime can be as much as it can be a colissical let down, but for now, these pirates earn a much better word than bodacious with my expectations flying farther than any space ship can soar.
It is hard to explain the fascination we have with pirates in literature and film. In reality, they were not really romantic people, and their "adventures" more often ended in disease and death than anything else. No sane person would ever truly wish to consort with real pirates. They were undeniably brutal people who lived undeniably brutal lives. To say the least, they were not exactly what you would expect from the inspiration of so much romantic attention.
Despite the inconsistencies between historic truth and fiction, the fascination with pirates still exists. We see in their exploits a kind of freedom and nonchalance that
represents the fulfillment of an inner urge to see what lies over the next hill. The fact that they were also criminals, welcome in no port and embraced by no country, infuses them with an even greater share of this mystique. They were the outlaws of the ocean, battling waves and wind; making their fortune under the bright sun and salt-scented air. The deep blue of the sea and the glittering greens of tropical islands were their natural habitat, just as the deserts and plains of North America belong almost exclusively to the cowboys and vaqueros.
It would seem that space is our new sea. It is the next horizon to conquer. And as such, it is filled with the same kind of mystique and romantic draw that the ocean once held. It is no accident that "space pirates" is a theme that has seen plenty of use in science fiction. Mixing the debonair flair of the romanticized pirate with the natural mystery of the empty blackness of space speaks to an innate sense of adventure and wonder that resides in even the most timid of souls. Mourestu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates being it's English title) takes on this theme with the daring and high-spirited romping that it requires; and the result is an unexpectedly clean-cut gem of the science-fiction genre.
(((In the interest of historic accuracy, we should first clear up a misconception. There were "legal" pirates. Privateers, they were called, and they were basically sailors who were employed by one specific government to plunder the ships of another hostile government. Letters of Marque were issued by many European nations before and during what has become known as the Golden Age of Piracy. With these letters in possession, pirates did have some official backing. The show deals extensively with this specific aspect of piracy, as all the pirates in Mouretsu Pirates are basically privateers.)))
As to the show itself, is hard to pin down exactly why it works so well. The idea of a high-school girl becoming a pirate captain may seem silly, and it is a bit, but it makes sense in the context of the actual story. I usually shy away from summaries in my reviews, so I won't try to explain the exact situation, but suffice it to say that it is not so simple as: high-school girl by day, pirate by night. They do a fine job at melding the aspects of the main character's life so that school and piracy are, to her, intrinsically connected. One great pleasure I did have was in the opening arc, how they displayed the relevance of her involvement with her school's yacht club, a plot-line that continues throughout the show. Her skill at managing and captaining a ship is well founded, and unlike many other shows in the "suddenly thrust into a position of power" genre, she goes through a process of learning and becoming better throughout the story. It is always with some annoyance for me when the main character, with no experience whatsoever, leaps into a mastery of some new craft. Mouretsu Pirates avoids this pitfall deftly by both giving her ample experience with space-ships and by slowing down her development and limiting the scope of her earlier successes.
One thing I always look for in science-fiction is how much science we are given. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it pseudo-science. Whatever we call it, there is a strange habit in most people of throwing any story involving space or technology into one wide genre. Many famous works of "science-fiction", such as the well-known Star Wars saga, are more fantasy than classic science-fiction. By this, I mean that the technology utilized by the protagonists and antagonists is just a setting in which these more fantastical works take place. Little attention is paid to giving some establishing basis for the way things work. Mouretsu Pirates doesn't go out of it's way to define every technological existence or breakthrough, but it does give ample focus to them. This adds to the flavor of the world and gives it a more realistic feeling. Some might be turned off by this, and expect things to just work without explanation, but I appreciate it when a piece of art in the science-fiction genre actually gives some focus to the scientific aspect rather than ignoring it.
One scene in particular, where the protagonist is on a cruise with her yacht club, stands out as a fine example of using exposition correctly and efficiently. Details are given in a realistic, conversational manner. Rarely do we have characters simply explaining things, more often we are expected to pick up on context clues and use prior revelations to make conclusions as to what is possible and what is going on. This kind of trust in one's audience is refreshing. I don't want ten minute speeches from one character to another explaining how the ship's guidance system works, I would rather figure it out on my own by listening to two characters who are already familiar with it speak on the subject. There are few: "As you well know..." moments in the show and the lack is definitely something to be noted with pleasure.
Another point of praise is that in this story with a female main character and a pretty wide female cast, none of the women feel objectified. They stand on their own, and the kind of mindless "fan-service" that one would expect is conspicuously absent. The result is that I respect the characters for their cunning, skill, and grace; not for their physical assets. This is not to say that there is not a kind of cuteness or that the show is entirely void of presenting attractive characters, but it is tastefully done. We don't get zero-g bosom bounces in this anime, and not once was there a hint of accidental nudity. In the place of such tropes was solid characterization and fresh situations. The females are independent, intelligent, and can stand on their own in the world of piracy; and most importantly: they are females, not bundles of masculinity and bravado who's only claims to femininity are giant boobs and sultry attitudes.
The pacing of the story is another high-point. Some might be turned off by the slow pace in the beginning, but I for one found it to be quite charming. The time is used wisely in setting up both the world and the characters, and is a nice contrast to other stories which jump right into the action without giving you a compass or map with which to guide yourself through the maelstrom. (shameless puns intended)
I don't know if I would go so far as to call it a flaw, but one minor issue with the show is that it never really coalesces into a specific story-line. It's not exactly slice-of-life, but it definitely hasn't formed a core, overall plot beyond that of becoming a pirate captain. The show feels like an introduction to a wider, more expansive tale. One that I am very interested in seeing. With the attention given to the set-up and introduction, I can only assume that the story itself will be handled with the same technical mastery. The direction and writing are solid, the story coherent, and the final execution shows a deep competence in all aspects. Rare indeed is the show that hits all cylinders, and Mouretsu Pirates is definitely a shining example of what a competent staff can do with the right resources.
As for the other, non-story aspects: all of it is very well done. The VA's fit the characters and give good performances. The music is an appropriate mixture of boisterous exultations and grandiose orchestrations; and the art-work is both clean and colorful. The general designs of the space-ships are beautiful in a utilitarian way, adding further to the realism of the overall story. The character design was original and attractive, with a wide variety of looks and outfits creating an assorted cast of easily recognizable characters.
At it's heart, Mouretsu Pirates aims to be a teenage girl's swashbuckling romp through space, and it succeeds at hitting the mark every time. I am surprised that I had never really heard much about it before this, and in fact kind of just stumbled upon it while looking for something else. I am very, very glad that I didn't pass it over. It is not a diamond in the rough, but rather an already cut, glittering jewel just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. I would recommend this show to everyone who has even the slightest interest in science fiction, and to general audiences as well.
"It's time for some piracy!"
Story: 9/10 -The premise may seem silly, but the execution pays close attention to establishing a very realistic scenario. The setting is incredibly interesting and the development of the plot-lines is well-paced.
Art: 10/10 -Beautiful in both it's simplicity and it's originality.
Sound: 10/10 -Everything you would expect from an anime about space pirates. Great soundtrack, great VA's, interesting sound effects.
Character: 9/10 -The cast is broad and likable, the development of the main character is visible and logical, and the characters are original. Minor characters don't go through as much development or deepening, but it does not detract much from the overall story-line.
Enjoyment: 9/10 -It works and it works well. If you absolutely HAVE to have action every single episode, than you might be disappointed. Otherwise, the show is surprisingly accessible and thoroughly enjoyable.
Overall: 9/10 -One of the better decisions I've made in a long time was taking the chance on this anime. Give it a shot, and I almost guarantee that you won't be disappointed.
For the past few years, the anime industry has been infested by tons of shows which focus on material which promotes sales. May it be adding Moe element, fan-service, over the top drama story and many others. Only few titles are willing to make a risk in order to bring new material to the table. Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Pirates) is one of them.
The story is simple. A normal high school girl living a simple life similar to these slice of life shows that you usually see. After a string of events, she was left to make a trivial decision to become a space
pirate as a descendant of her parents as a captain. In the course of the episodes, we get to learn more about how this space piracy works. The anime covers most of the technical terms regarding ships and how they work, may it be Cyber Warfare to overtake the systems of an enemy ship and whatnot. I personally find this interesting (who knew that making a Faster Than Light (FTL) travel at the most crucial time could be exciting).
Another major factor which makes the story so great is because of the characters most specially Marika and her decisions as a captain. Her decisions decides where the story will go and it made me ponder for a bit of what will happen on the next episode, which makes me more and more clung to the story.
There are some points in the story that wasn't that clever but good overall.
Art 9 / 10
The art for this anime is almost perfect. Sometimes i find the characters drawn in a simple way. As an artist myself, i find the character designs very pleasing and unique. Unlike other anime which character designs are stapled to one design and makes a difference only because of the hairstyles. Mouretsu pirates caters character designs which are entirely different to each other. In this anime's ED, you can see the profile cards of each character and from there, you can tell how original each and every character there is. In the course of the anime so far, i am yet to see any flaw regarding the characters and in their movements. I am typically hard when it comes to overseeing perspectives, movements and whatnot and i can guarantee that the art is constant, unchanging and well formed. If there's anything that would make me give this section a perfect 10, that would be adding more fluidity to the animation, but its not like Marika should be moving all the time when talking because the characters are only talking most of the time. This is not a shounen title after all.
The CG and effects for this anime is highly commendable. I am astound by the surmounting quality and design of the spaceships. I personally like the rendering and lighting used in space.
The Background art of this anime is one of the best. Each and every facility, object and even the user interface of the computers in this anime was designed intricately. Jogakuin is such a dreamland to tread with. I find the background for this anime a treat, very pleasing to the eyes and makes you want to live in the anime itself XDD.
Sound - 8
The music for this anime is good overall. All tracks are relaxing, some tracks are intense and fits exactly when the scene and event calls for it. It is hard to handpick a favorite track in the series because there are so many different catchy tracks and it is hard to differ.
The OP for this anime isn't really the best, an average score if i would rate. Some are annoyed because of the heavy guitar riffs and the overly cheerful voices of the singers which didn't really made a good mix. The ED makes up for what the OP lacks and that is its catchyness. The jump to the ED from the episode gave me shivers at times.
These two songs are composed by Hyadain, so if you're a fan of him, and is the type of fan who would go as far as watching an anime because of his works. This review wasn't that useful huh. XO
Character - 8
The character progression of Marika overshadows most of the characters in the show. Even though some characters are bland and are just included to fill-in, this was never a hindrance to enjoy the show and if not, there wasn't even a single character in the show to hate.
Marika, as the main highlight of the show is very likable because of her straight-forwardness and cheerfulness. It is always nice to see how the show progresses because of the decisions she makes. 17 episodes in, i find more potential in the characters of this anime, most specially the development of Marika and her classmates.
Enjoyment - 9
What i love about this show is that everything in this anime is simple, but these simple aspects are delivered in a quirky fashion. I enjoyed the simple adventures that they partake but these adventures always end in a grand and lighthearted way.
Overall - 8.25
I was caught by surprise by this anime. The first few episodes were going at such a slow pace but later the story builds up to a grand scale.
So yea, to cut this review short. The story is lighthearted and simple but can take you by surprise at times as the story goes on. The character designs are okay and the Background and CG takes it to a different level. The OP is not the best but the music is variant. The character Marika is awesome and there is no character to hate.
Mouretsu Pirates is a good show to watch. If you're tired of watching anime titles which goes on a never ending cycle of following the Moe and fanservice principles. This anime is for you.
Mouretsu Pirates is effectively a slice of life show jammed into a space opera. Because of this, it feels in many places that the series is not entire sure in which direction it wants to go. This is amplified by the fact that the series takes the plots from several of the light novels without trying to tie them together. The result is a series of unrelated story arcs that begin out of nowhere.
Mind you, the story arcs themselves range from incomprehensible to interesting. In some cases, the conflict is resolved without fully explaining how the conclusion actually ties up the loose ends. In other
cases, though, everything is brought to a close while still making sense. The good stories keep my score in this category up, but the disjointedness of the series as a whole winds up removing quite a few points.
What can I say about the art? There are plenty of very pretty visuals, from the shots of Marika's Elaborate University High to all the little things like the omnipresent computer displays that float in the air wherever they might be summoned. I am not a fan of conspicuous CGI in anime, with the contrast between traditional cell shading and 3D action always feeling jarring to me. I recognize that it is sometimes necessary in this day and age, but I don't have to like it, forcing me to take a point off.
Not being an audiophile, I can't give an informed opinion about this aspect. However I do want to point out one thing that bugged me throughout the show: Why does the captain's quarters creak like an old-timey wooden ship?
The bridge crew of the Bentenmaru are all unique, each with their own quirks and all with very nice character designs that set them apart from each other. The mystery of whether Luca really has mystical precognitive powers or if she's just making things up as she goes along was fun the whole way through. And the reveal of why Kane's character often seems bipolar was quite delicious. But, for the most part, you hardly get to know anything about them. Why is Schnitzer a cyborg? How and why did they originally join the crew? And who the heck are all the guys you see sitting in the halls every now and then who supposedly run the ship?
As for the Yacht Club, the best one can say about them is that... well... they exist. There are a couple that come to the forefront eventually, such as Jenny, Lynn, and Ai. But, for the most part, they're just a gaggle of high school girls in the background who are there to go "Squeeeee!" when something interesting happens. They all supposedly have backstories and a number of useful skills (or so we're told by Misa) but we rarely get to see that in action.
Also, as a nitpick (and hopefully avoiding spoilers), I'd like to mention the end of Ai's character arc. Basically, at the end of it, she finally loses her protective puppydog hat, signifying major growth, on her part. However, in the next scene, she has her hat again, making it feel like all of the development was completely undone since then. It's almost like they preferred to ignore who she became, all for the sake of maintaining the original character design.
Mouretsu Pirates is an okay show. You do get pumped up when the opening starts playing and it's possible to ride that high for a little while. But, eventually, you either enjoy the events that are unfolding or you don't. The important thing is that you want to stick around long enough to find out whether you'll like it or not. Sometimes, you get bored out of your skull. Other times, you're hooked from beginning to end. That inconsistency can easily threaten your enjoyment of the show.
As mentioned above, it's an okay show. It is most definitely not some piece of generic schlock that you usually see littering the anime world. It instead has a great space opera setting with a fun story concept. Unfortunately, Mouretsu Pirates is lacking in execution. Marika, the central character, is not quite enough to link the whole series together. There needs to be a lot more to make it feel like a single story. And much of the world is either thrown in at the last moment or kind of glossed over with the hope that nobody will notice.
Having never read the original light novels, I can't say whether the problems with the individual plots were due to the adaptation or whether they existed from the very beginning. There are so many things that either didn't make sense or weren't given a sufficient explanation. The bits that worked did so very well, being interesting or at the least amusing. But the bits that didn't work... really didn't work.
So, in conclusion, Mouretsu Pirates is a nice little series that is great to watch once. Though I would not recommend going out and actually buying it.
I find this one of the most difficult animes to get through out of the list of animes on my currently watching list. Screw the helpful/not helpful rating on the reviews, that shit doesn't do anything to bring justice to what which animes are really worth it. Regardless of whatever future rating this review may have, please just read this before you just disappoint yourself watching this anime.
There is no story. There isn't anything. No character development, you won't know what's happening most of the time, you don't see what you think would make this anime progress towards the better ,you will fail to see
the purpose of why anything is happening and how this is entertaining you like a good anime should.
It's like the people making this forgot that anime was supposed to be fun.
They don't give us anything to laugh at, no heroes, no villains. The dialogue is a bunch of cheesy crap, space prate largo which feels really pointless and stupid at times.
You will not care for any of the characters, what their pasts are, what their motivation is. They're FLAT, and I mean, FLAT, they are the closest thing to non-existence as far as purpose goes. Why are they there? Because they need heads to make a crew for this retarded space voyage. People just come out of nowhere and expect to be some important part in the story, and in the end...
You just don't give a shit.
If they haven't deprived us of enough of our time, the biggest crime in this anime is that they have girls floating around in zero gravity, wearing skirts, but NO panty shots, or a smidgen of service to relieve our dry eyes.
The opening song is retarded, I'm on episode 11, yet I still don't give a crap and have not listened to the ED. I doubt I would bring trouble upon myself to put any of the music or score in this anime to put in my Mp3 Player.
The voice acting is disappointing given the roles we have here. We have Kana Hanazawa, yet her character hardly appears in the series and when she does it's an even further disappointment given that she plays almost no part in whatever the fuck is happening in this anime.
It still blows my mind to know that crap like this is allowed a full season (26 episodes) to melt the brains of the people who watch.
Since I pride myself in making through an anime no matter how much of a clusterfuck it may be, I can't drop this whether it's killing my braincells or not.
But you can still save yourself. Don't waste your time with this piece of crap, there are SO MANY MORE ANIMES THAT ARE WORTH WATCHING. WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE THE ONE TO KILL YOURSELF OVER?
*As the show is still going, this review is based on the first five episodes.
Are you tired of shows with excessive fan service and just need an anime with great story and characters with some depth on them? Do you love old style space opera akin to Space Battleship Yamato? Then hop on aboard to the ship known as Mouretsu Space Pirates!
Mouretsu Space Pirates (or MSP for review purposes) is a throwback to old style space opera scenario: A guy (or a girl in this one) with little knowledge of his/her own destiny and ability, is thrown into a grand scheme that pits him/her against
strong opponents and meet lots of new and interesting friends along the way. Sounds much like star wars? Well, in actuality, it's the premise of tons of other anime and stories as well.
Then what, do you ask, that makes MSP deserves a 9 points overall? The answer is simple: It keeps you glued to the screen and yearns for more.
MSP is one of those gem of an anime that manages to keep an interesting story while maintaining a good enough pace that keeps you from boring yourself out. The characters themselves are pretty interesting even if it's a little overwhelming at this point. While it is rather hard to see with just five episodes, there are some noticeable character development. Especially with the main character, Marika.
Therefore, here's my review for it:
What's in it : Spaceships, Techy Stuff, and Pirates!
What's to like : Good story and pacing
What's not to like : As per episode 5, none yet
Mood needed to watch : Need for something with a story and no fan service
Overall Score : 9 (Great)
In short, Mouretsu Space Pirates is an unexpectedly well made space opera for those who love to watch an anime with a great story, characters, and a steady pace. However, if you're looking for an anime with tons of fan service as the name might imply, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Hey guys, this is my first review and the only reason I'm writing one is because everyone else who gave this show a shitty rating like myself put little to no effort into it so I thought "It's 12:30am, I'm half asleep and I still think I can pull it off better than these guys!" So following that thought I pulled my ass out of bed, picked up my laptop and here I am now, about to deal out a review of a shitty show I had high hopes for. Oh and before I start I think you should know THERE WILL BE SPOILERS TO
THE BIG SPACE ADVENTURE OF 2012!!
Bodacious Space Pirates takes place in the future in a galaxy where the government allows piracy for some stupid reason. If I was able to actually focus through an entire episode I might actually be able to recall why but unfortunately for us all I can't. After our main character's dad kicks the bucket as Captain of the pirate ship Bentenmaru, Marika (I think that was her name if I'm wrong I don't want to be saying it through the entire review so I'm going to call her Main Character [MC]) gets contacted by the crew who decide that since she is rather smart and the former captains kid she should be a perfect candidate for Captain 2.0 even though she didn't know the fucker was still kicking until he actually did die.
So after a few episodes of her getting to know the two main crew members she finds herself in space on a ship with her friends from the yacht club and it's around here I started regretting pressing the play button every Saturday before I went to work. She spends a stupidly large amount of time with these broads so the one dude can get a sense of how good miss MC actually is at a job she didn't even know existed until a few days earlier.
After that yawnfest of shitty characters floating around in 0-G, pissing off other pirates and eventually getting their ass saved by the military we find ourselves with the next part of the show which I thought "hey, I bet now that she finally put on the fucking uniform shit is not going to be boring". I was really glad I was going to be able to put all that shittiness behind me... but unfortunately I fucking couldn't as she still dicks around all the time; being boring as usual only this time with princess Leia who in this case is just as boring. She says she wants to find a ghost ship and oh look my dog is rolling around on her back isn't that cu- WAIT REVAN your watching a show right now not your dog pay atten-
...oh sorry I fell asleep. Oh look the credits are rolling happiest moment of my Saturday so far. Maybe I should go back a bit and see what happ- OH LOOK Bakuman 2 is subbed already and not taking a week gotta take advantage of that!
So that's what happens in a nutshell of these episodes. Now I think its about time I addressed WHY I find it so unbelievably dull. You see the characters lack any emotion in their rolls as anime characters. If your character works at a maid cafe give her some typical tendencies of those types of characters. Better yet, give any damn tendencies because all she does is be nice to people in her flat toned manner. The only really nice thing about this show is the art and the music but that's definitely not enough to get a show going. I like to call it the Fable effect as Peter Moleneux (don't think I spelled it right either) thinks pretty backgrounds make games and the actual plot and gameplay mechanics are just extras. This show is beautiful to look at but hey you wouldn't go to the zoo every saturday to watch a tiger sleep on a rock for half an hour now would you?
This show could have been so much better and if it wasn't for Beelzebub's shitacular ending I would call it the biggest disappointment in anime of 2012 so far. Maybe it's for the best I drop it now as my brain has already melted from watching this. Here's a good example of why the story itself is boring. You remember how funny Azumanga Daioh was? That's because they did stupid things high school girls wouldn't do on a regular basis as well as the fact that the only male character with a name was a pedophile but that's another discussion entirely. Anyways, in this pile of shit they act almost EXACTLY like any random group of girls would act (personality-wise, not hobbies). If I wanted to see actual high school girls I would do so by looking through the hole in the wall to the change room as at least it would be fun to watch for 24 minutes.
What I got from this was a gaze at how shitty it must be being a high school girl as even if you put yourself in the position of Captain of a crew of bodacious space pirates you still would want to be a total hag to everyone you see.
All in all I think the art is great, music is pretty good, everything else is a floating pile of shit in a crapper which is why I honestly believe no one should watch this as there is no reason why Commander Shepard should need to die in order to blow up the mass relays, screw over the galaxy and destroy all the Reapers (I told you there would be spoilers to the great space adventure of 2012).
Even though Mouretsu Pirates doesn't deliver on the potential of its first few episodes, it still ends up being an enjoyable and light hearted show, even if it suffers from incredibly slow pacing and the loss of its seriousness and realism.
Despite the silly premise of a high school girl becoming a space pirate, the show was originally very grounded, the technology was not too farfetched and along with the bureaucracy of getting the Letter of Marque and the electronic warfare, it impressed me with just how realistic it was. Everything seemed to have procedure which compared to most futuristic sci-fi shows was impressive and a
welcome change. However, we come here to our first problem; part of the director's job is to edit out the unimportant sections from the original light novel to make the series concise, but in Mouretsu Pirates nothing was removed. Therefore there is a large amount of dialogue consisting of unnecessary technical talk which soaks up a massive amount of time, leading to episodes where very little is achieved. If you are impatient, watching this will be painful at times, particularly towards the end you start hoping that they'll speed everything up.
This pace also means that there is very little characterization and no character development, which is a pity because you'll want to find out more about the crew of the Bentenmaru who are instantly likable and are often a joy to watch. You'll wonder about the backgrounds of some of the side characters, but will never find out anything about them, at the end you may even wonder what they even contributed to the show. Of the two main protagonists, Marika was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting some moe character trope, and instead got a level headed protagonist that thinks things through, is responsible and has a flare worthy of a pirate, although things go her way far too much. Chiaki is a lovable tsundere who's love of parfaits will usually get a smile on your face, usually acting as the straight girl in the various frivolous situations at school and at the cafe.
As you get further into the series, the series becomes much harder to take seriously, not so much with the plot or the enemies, but conveniences like a major corporation not having good security on their data and recorded phone conversations, or a machine gun being fired at a bunch of high school girls but conveniently missing everyone, or even the fact that Marika has better pirating skills than those with many more years of experience. Nothing that the plot throws at the Bentenmaru feels threatening because you know Marika will come up with some plan and the situation will all resolve itself without much difficulty. This is problematic for the last arc where there's supposed to be danger and tension and you can't feel it at all, let alone take it seriously. This makes it all incredibly underwhelming, and without the music it would have been even worse.
In regards to the music, it really grabbed my attention in the first few episodes, having some really notable tracks in a selection that really suited the setting of both space and the school well. I doubt I'll forget the lead track used in the preview and recap for some time. The animation is very good, with one of the best uses of CGI I've seen to date, as for the consistency occasionally the faces are slightly off model but other than that it's very stable, with no episodes that aren't pleasing to the eye. The art is very good, particularly that of Marika's home town, making me wish that more scenes had taken place there, as I feel it's a pity that it was mostly limited to the Bentenmaru's interior. The OP is energetic to say the least and you'll either love it or hate it, I liked the ED "LOST CHILD" by Momoiro Clover Z, being glad that it stayed for both cours.
Whilst it suffers from very slow episodes, on the whole the series is very enjoyable, and there is plenty to keep you amused, from high school girls pirating whilst cosplaying to surprise yuri, and dynamic battles to flashy outfits. There's plenty of funny moments, and many times where you can't wait to see how the arc will end, so overall, whilst Mouretsu Pirates is a very flawed anime, it's a lively and boisterous show that you'll appreciate so long as you have the patience to get through the slower episodes.
This show suffers from two major problems. First, it's ridiculous. While it manages to be pretty watchable anyway, a better show would been more believable. Prime example: the way the letters of marque work is completely nonsensical. That alone could kill the whole thing for some people. Second, as everyone knows, space opera is far more exciting if it ignores most of the boring realities of (possible) space travel. Most people are not that thrilled about ships using solar sails to favor energy efficiency over speed. It's the difference between Star Wars and 2001: A Space
Odyssey. While both are very good films, these days people are not willing to sit through something like 2001. (I've seen 2001 more times than I care to count though, so don't think I quit this show because I decided it was just slow and boring.)
As RevanFanatic said, in this show "the government allows piracy for some stupid reason". Well Revan, the reason you can't remember why is because they never explained it. Or so I'd like to say, but actually they did with some throw away line about the galactic empire respecting individual systems' autonomy. You probably missed it because it was short and, frankly, just plain stupid. That whole part was so ludicrous I actually laughed out loud. To my knowledge, there has never been a government that issued letters of marque for anything other than the express purpose of damaging its enemies. Even if you had such a letter, attacking vessels that were friendly to the government issuing the letter made you a pirate. Your own people would kill you. If the empire was any sort of sensible government, it would shut down the pirates immediately.
Or so I'd like to say. The piracy in this show is also ridiculous. They basically just take things. That sounds very piratic, but there is no threat at all. The whole show is just happy and amiable, and so are the characters. From what I can see, there is no effort to develop things further than that. You never get to learn why the characters are out there doing this job, and it probably doesn't matter anyway. It all seems about as threatening as a declawed kitten. When pirates board a ship I'd expect a conversation something like: "Give us all your stuff and we'll kill you!" "um, don't you mean or?" "Yes, yes. That. Give us your stuff!" instead of "Oh boy! You're in for a real treat!" "What's going on?" "We're going to get raided by pirates!" followed by "Okay, we're gonna take all your stuff now, but don't worry. The insurance company will compensate you."
I've been bored to tears with most of the anime space opera in recent years, so I had high hopes for this one based on the title alone. I'm okay with all the slow-moving space travel and ship-to-ship combat stuff, but let's face it: you can't have much of a pirate show without lots of Errol Flynn swashbuckling adventure. I thought there might be some real fights coming when her mom was showing her all those guns. I was wrong. When they board a vessel, the whole thing goes pretty much as I described in the previous paragraph.
There really is no part of this show that is very exciting. In fact, I can sum the whole thing up as "happy and amiable". Therein lies its strength. I could probably enjoy it they way I enjoy slice of life anime if I wasn't having trouble with the more ridiculous bits. I am having trouble with them though. If I wanted to watch a slow-moving sci-fi anime right now, I would probably rewatch Geneshaft. It actually requires that you have a brain to watch it. Someday, if I'm in the right mood for this kind of fluff, I may come back to Mouretsu Pirates, but probably not.
SAAAAAA, ORE NO MOURETSU PIRATE REVIEW JIKAN DA!!!!!!!!
Now that this 26 episode has ended, time to make my review, so what we have here is an anime with a adventure, comedy, sci-fi, space opera, school and shoujo genre, but it is some like of a "Pirates of the Caribbean" thing where the space opera is the main theme, however this is one wholesome anime with a pirate thing that kinda stand out. One thing about it is that it does have some historical factual element in it like the " Letter of Marque" and yes such thing does exist during the hey days
of piracy during the 1700's. So for the "Story", I'm gonna give it a "Fair" 6 since combining sci-fi with a wholesome pirate thing is kinda cheesy but still amusing.
Art: Mediocre 5.
All look the same to be, since I'm not much of an art guy.
Sound: Fair 6.
Let's just say that I like the ending theme.
Character: Fair 6.
I'd probably say the even thought I admire the main cast Marika Kato and I kinda find her cute, I really don't like the idea that she's a Captain of the space pirate ship "Bentenmaru," as for the rest of the cast, I think that the ones who should be having the role of the ship's crew should have been the Marika's fellow club member, let's not forget that this anime's title is "Mouretsu Pirates" which means Bodacious Pirates and it is a plural, however in this case it is a singular since it only Marika who is the bodacious one here, Chaki on the other hand should have been wearing the standard Hakuoh Academy uniform which I would never understand as to why the illustrator kept her from being in one. Though the cast did made quiet a performance, still the author Yuichi Sasamoto should have made the ship's crew to be compose of bodacious females than a mix bunch.
Enjoyment and overall: Good 7.
Ok, I would have gave it an 8 but unfortunately for this anime to be 26 episode long is simply too much, since there are episode that were merely fillers which were unnecessary to begin with, also the title itself is misleading in fact "Marika's Pirate Adventure " would have been enough, but then again the wholesome environment it provided prove to be worthwhile. Definitely this isn't for somebody who are expecting this to have some fanservice in it.
I have to say this Anime has everything a good sci-fi show needs, so it seems. A political unstable situation, kingdoms, empires, pirates, a talented new captain, companies and battles. But.............................. . . . . . . . . .
The story evolves around a teenage girl who one day is all of a sudden faced with the decision whether she wants to take on her deceased father's job as a captain of a pirate cruiser or if she wants to remain an honor student
at an elite high school. She takes on her father's job and becomes a so called legal pirate. The story is very slow paced and there isn't much development and no serious storyline. The next 18 episodes you will wait and wait and wait for a serious turn of events or a deeper story but this will never happen, instead you will see "the pirates" taking on one ridiculous job after another.
If you have seen Irresponsible Captain Tylor or Legends of the Galactic Heros and you expect something like that, you will be disappointed.
This story is about a crew of people who label themselves pirates and take on some missions in the name of an insurance company and thats about it.
The art was okay, nothing special. It fits the story.
The sound was refreshing and gives the show an easy touch, so you somehow can enjoy the flat storyline.
There are some enjoyable characters in this show but all in all u have your stereotypical Japanese anime characters. The main protagonist lacks deeper emotions and ambitions. She is talented and "a born captain".
But the show has no seriousness in it, it fails in showing deeper facets of the characters, there isn't any serious character development, because there arn't any characters only superficial stereotypes. The interaction between the characters is as if you were watching a big happy family.You have your typical anime stereotypical relationships.
If you are looking for nothing serious and nothing funny, than that's your show, you will have some interesting episodes and some u will probably skip.
If you are bored and Anime addicted its a show you will probably enjoy, or if you haven't seen many shows yet, this show might be somewhat special...
Anyway I wont recommend this show to anybody, if you have something else you want to do, do it...
Space pirates! Since the first episode, we are introduced to them. Sadly, it is over before the main character gets to experience it.
She is introduced in a rather unique way, having all sort of unique friends, which was okay.
Sadly, the story quickly becomes boring, choppy and hard to follow, also, nothing like piracy ever happens in the show. The best description would be actors playing pirate in a space opera... with a highschool girl as captain.
Good drawings and effects. Not a fan of CGI or other stuff, but, fairly good.
I always give any anime I see one chance with the intro and ending. If I
like it , then I will listen to them every time, if not, fast forward to where the anime begins. For this anime, not to my liking. Also, why does a space ship creak like an old wooden ship? Maybe some pirate fans may like... but, I don't.
Apart from the main characters, zero character development. Adding a ton of unique characters with unique personalities and doing nothing to explore them, means boring 2 to 3 characters growing.
... None. I was bored from beginning to end in almost all the story arcs. It also feels really forced the way Marika is thrown into "piracy". I refuse to call it actual piracy because they are hired actors to go show off, steal insured stuff and go away. No fights, no close calls (as far as episode 17 which was the most I could bear to... "watch"). therefore, ruined enjoyment completely.
Only recommended to those whose patience is godly. I couldn't bear to watch some high school girls ... "cosplaying" pirates with no actual clothes of a pirate trying to show off and scare people... The setting at first promised a lot, and for the first 5 episodes I scored it at 7. Then, the story went and forced itself on everything. Not worth watching. Maybe I do not have the right to say this without completing this anime, but, it's not worth even doing that.
At the time of writing this show is at 12 of 26 Episodes
Firstly I feel I should put out a warning, if your here because Mouretsu pirates has PIRATES in the title, you may want to look elsewhere, in fact a more suitable title would have been "Mouretsu Privateers", however even this conjures more images of dastardly rogues then this show provides
Mouretsu pirates is very slow, normally in a show like this there might be a forgivable trade off in terms of great action sequences, perhaps a long build up to a unforgettable action sequence, however this would imply that Mouretsu pirates has action.
Short of the pirate outfit, this pirate show has suprisingly few elements that one would actually associate with piracy, in fact what the crew has done so far has often been above board and problems are often solved in a diplomatic peaceful way. Therefore i can say with certainty if you're looking here for action you're looking in the wrong place.
Secondly Mouretsu pirates has no romance or Fanservice, perhaps a surprise coming from a show where the premise is essentially schoolgirls crossed with pirates. Whether this actually works in the shows favor is debatable given it's slow pacing but again I can easily say if you are part of the crowd that enjoys these elements you're not going to find them here.
So who does this show cater to? The best i can come up with is fans of the space Opera genre, perhaps this shows strongest point is it's world building, something the slow pace allows considerable time to do. Even here though there is often unexplained factors, such as the way the characters move through space(which is often quite unnatural for a 0G environment when the characters have no obvious means of propulsion), whether this is some unexplained tehnology or merely a stylistic choice is unclear, but it seems to detract from perhaps the shows strongest point in it's favor.
I have pretty much no problems with the sound for the most part, the voice acting, background music and ending theme is fine, the only potential problem i see for many is the OP which for many may be quite irritating.
Mouretsu pirates is primarily about Captain Marika and the show makes great strides in developing her character, we see her rise from a simple high school to be the captain of her own ship. There is simply no doubt, that as a character Marika is developed well, why then does Mouretsu Pirates deserve only a 5?
The answer lies in the other characters, a captain can only be a captain with a crew and thus the character development of the crew is important where theres going to be a large amount of interaction between the main character and these characters. So then, Why is that cyborg a cyborg? He wasn't born that way(or was he?) so why? Why does that navigator act like a fortune teller? What about the hacker/security specialist, whats her story?
These are all examples of where mourtsu pirates ultimately fails to deliver, while Marika is a very well developed character, many of the supporting characters are little more than scenery, we may get a sentence or 2 that provides an interesting tidbit about their past but beyond that little is explained about them, given the shows slow pace, this might be remedied in the second half of the season but having reached ep12 and still not knowing how these people ended up even being pirates isn't encouraging.
What you may like:
World Building, flashy space shots, Marikas character development
What you might not like:
Supporting cast with little to no character development, A complete lack of action for a show about pirates, slow pacing, no fan service, no romance elements
I love this anime it was very fun to watch. The real pirates were not near cute, they were brutes, vicious... but this is after all set in future and in anime, so everything is possible.
Story arcs are good, very good i would say, however end is little weak, i would be nice if Marika in the end meet with her father. But even if its not, it is still good.
Art, overall i like it very much, it is nicely done, ships are nicely designed, featuring old with new, grand cross on the other hand, zig-zaging which i hardly believe that would be
possible in real life, but nevertheless.
Sound, i love sound in this anime, it has that pirate flavor mixed with irish music, although i didnt like the opening song much.
Characters, Marika and her gang of pirates were nicely done, and all other side characters, all are good
Enjoyment, i really did enjoy
overall it is good but not good enough to deserve 10, nevertheless 9 is fair score for Mouretsu Pirates, and it is one of animes that definitley deserve second season, and i really hope there will be the season 2,
I think that your little sister will be delighted by this series (if she is 13 years or so). Everything is very nice, beautiful, and represented in pink. However, this series will make older viewers frankly bored.
This is a very girly and beautifully drawn anime with great soundtrack and cute characters. Kind of a "Outlaw Star" for younger ones. You can safely recommend this series to your friend's young relatives.
And do not look for fan-service here, Mouretsu Space Pirates is just a naive touching anime.
The show is beautiful...and that's about where the good parts end.
The entire show is a shallow teen girl fantasy. The long and short of it is a bunch of teen girls play around in space with ships that people just give to them for no explainable reason with a few shoujo guys. The characters are all bland, there's no character development - a bunch of teen school girls are just automatically great pirates from the start -, there's no plot, there's no danger or excitement, there's nothing. The entire show is as if the author just took a teen girl's daydream "well,
when I was 13, I wanted to have a pink pirate ship (yes, a squad of teen schoolgirls have a pink pirate ship) I could play on with my friends" and then made that into an anime.
Lion Tamers, I have a new review, of a great Anime: Mouretsu Pirates.
To begin, I wish to clarify a point other reviewers have made, that speaks to their ignorance of history. That term is 'Letter of Marque'
The following link on Wikipedia will make everyone much more cognizant of this term. Read folks, this is the way it really was:
Now that I've cleared that up, let's get into a great anime. I fear that rehashing the basic plot will damage the show, so I'm going to try to stay away from plot spoilers, but folks that have read my reviews know that I just can't help
This show is basically a "girl makes good" adventure. The twists are numerous, but I'd like to list the higher pointed ones, just for openers;
1). Father dies, daughter takes over the family business.
2). Mother leaves to return to her own place in the same profession.
3). Daughter, subject of the entire show, is the outcome of both parents being spacers and pirates, after an enormous line of spacers and pirates in both parental family lines. Girl is born with excellent genes.
4). Girl enters into her profession as a candidate/trainee, only for the crew of the ship she inherited, to discover this girl has the 'right stuff', and proves a very able captain and high-grade strategist and tactician.
5). Girl proves over the course of several multi-episode threads (something I personally like) that she can face almost anything and win.
And now for some interesting show creations, that point to the authors really thinking about presenting something totally new;
1). This show is presented in a future time, so far in the future that the average Man never uses the word 'Earth'. Not even as a slang term, to mean dirt. This is extremely unusual, and nails a creative element so outrageous; that a totally unusual form of galactic life is required. And the authors do not disappoint.
What a wonderful world, where the culture on 'Sea of the Morningstar' is ebullient, charming, quirky; and the people, as a whole, have a positive attitude. This works well, for Marika Kato, because she finds her positive drive a real asset, at those times when creative problem solving is exactly what is needed.
2). The authors present a world where "starTrek' style technology is partially there, and partially missing; in a fashion that explains why ship crews are relatively small, and ships are fairly large and powerful. When you don't have replicators, you need to carry a lot of food cargo (explains why the cargo bay on the Bentenmaru, is quite large); and not just for commercial cargos. And also explains why, when there are no transporters, one is forced to use space-shuttles.
3). While many viewers might have a problem with the anime starting off, like so many others, from a high-school (gee how original), the authors gave us a fresh look at this launching pad, and created a tale where our protagonist (Marika Kato) actually ends up not only forced to use some of her high-school friends in one of the story arcs, but then creates an unusual situation where her original crew become strong believers in these teenagers. After all, no serious damage is done, and some become highly trusted on the bridge of the Bentenmaru.
While many viewers might not catch its significance, the adventure that requires Marika's friends, ends up the the most lucrative commercial enterprise in Bentenmaru history. This occurred because Marika and a friend name Jenny Doolittle create a service contract that brought about not only a multi-billion dollar deposit in the form of a 'Silent Whisper' spacecraft, but also 10% of the gross income in a business making 50-trillion credits per year, for the next 10-years. And would probably mean more, as the business expanded, the show pointing out that this business was in a fast growth mode. This event alone will create the richest, most profitable Pirate Captain and vessel in the whole quadrant at least.
4). While I partially agree the story has spots that could have been improved (a reason for replicators and transporters being absent would be nice), in the main, the adventure presented in Mouretsu Pirates is fresh, peopled, charming, funny, thrilling; and generally exactly what we should be getting in real-life drama on TV in the United States, and is totally absent.
Is the show fanciful, and lacking reality? Surprisingly no. Lots of teenagers inherit companies and are thrown to the wolves. Sometimes they succeed, overcome problems, defeat true threats; and become successes. While we all tend to believe that will never happen to me; in a less astronautical way, the opposite is true, and happens every day in real life.
But like Marika Kato, luck has little to do with it. All the luck, is in realizing that one has this gifted person in our midst, and all we need to do is get out of the way. Some of these gifted people are us. Look in the mirror, people that can see a bright future and don't rest until they get it; are all around us. And some of us are these people.
I tend to like themes and memes that present a World where the best of us rise to the top, and defeat evil; building a better World, and dragging us all kicking and screaming, along for the ride.
Look at the work expended on producing this Anime.
The soundtrack is done by the excellent Elements Garden. The Opening and Closing Music (most of it) are done by Momoiro Clover Z (while these folks do J-Pop, something I generally despise; in this particular case, the stuff is so high quality that the opening theme actually sounds like pirate music). WOW! While the lyrics are very over the top, the fact is both of these main musicalities are exactly what the doctor ordered.
The artwork is stunning, although a little inconsistent. This is because while the peopled artwork is fairly ordinary, the technical and machine artwork is designed by the great technical artists: Suzuki, Masahisa, Washio, Naohiro, Kawamori, Shoji. Their collective artwork has been seen in shows like: Ariel Visual, Canaan, Chrno, Girls Bravo, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's, Asobi ni Iku yo!, Heroic Age, Mobile Suit Gundam 00; and dozens of others. You may not appreciate the anime listed, as a whole, but no one can doubt the technical artwork quality. While most shows might have one of these artists, this show used all three. And they were needed, because so much of this richly drawn and accurately actioned anime needed some inventive and skilled artists.
While some call the story line weak; I dispute that strenuously. The plot suggested in this anime is nothing less than epic. The epic nature is all developmental, and needs a second season we will probably never see; but epic this show is. All the makings are there. Marika Kato is one of the most pleasant, funny, creative, and optimistic characters in any anime, or any other art form. She is a heroic figure, who never lets upsets get her down, and always tries to find a solution for problems; never surrendering. She is a true positive role model for young people everywhere.
I realize that anime is a form of escape, for most young people today, but the garbage my generation has foisted off on the young people of today; should not be a symbol for your own surrender. You all should see it as a challenge, because there isn't very much farther for us all to descend. We can only go up hill. Because of the optimism and unstoppable sense of enterprise of all of us; that better world we want is epitomized in stories like this, and characterized in people like Marika Kato, and all of her friends.
I am 62 years old, and I never saw that promised "World of Tomorrow". But you have the right to it, and maybe you can win it for yourself; just like Marika Kato. I hope you all succeed.
Bodacious Space Pirates is among the rare shows which take genre conventions and spins them into something fresh. It takes elements of space adventure sci-fi anime and combines them with elements of moe school life anime. The result is an incredibly fun and surprisingly smart show with a fantastic female lead.
That female lead is Marika Kato, a high school girl turned space pirate captain. She became the captain of the legendary pirate ship Bentenmaru, after a few of her mom's old friends (members of the Bentenmaru's crew) come to her house with the news that her father, the Bentenmaru's captain, has died and that she
has inherited the ship. Although at first reluctant, Marika decides to take up the position of pirate captain after avoiding some unwanted attention with the help of transfer student and fellow pirate daughter, Chiaki Kunhara, but still wants to continue her high school education at the same time. The show follows her adventures as a new pirate captain, as she learns about the her role in a world entirely new to her.
There are a lot of things that make Bodacious Space Pirates work so well, not the least of which is the universe it is set in. There is a remarkable amount of thought that is put into the setting, especially considering how silly the show can be. For example, as ridiculous as it sounds that Marika is learning to be a space pirate and attending school at the same time (especially considering that her being a pirate is a well known fact), there is actually a reasonable explanation as to why she can do such. At some point in history, pirates had been recruited by the Sea of Morning Star (Marika's home planet) in their war for independence, and so these pirates became legally sanctioned privateers rather than criminals if they possessed a Letter of Marque, which the Bentenmaru does. So despite being a pirate, Marika is not a criminal, and thus can attempt to balance her life as a pirate with her life as a high school student, as she does. Then there is the surprisingly intricate sci-fi elements, the campy but believable pirate society, and dozens of other details that come together to construct a very well fleshed out universe.
Just as important to the show's success is its likeable cast of characters. The cast is a gigantic cast of colorful personalities. From the eclectic members of the Bentenmaru to the gaggle of strangely talented high school girls in Marika's yacht club, all the characters are very likeable. Admittedly, the show does go for large quantities of characters rather than extensively developed ones, but given the show's loose and silly nature, this is hardly a problem. The cast is developed well as an ensemble, the group dynamic is fantastic at any given time; it is honestly very easy to see both the crew of the Bentenmaru and the yacht club as a surrogate families. It is just plain fun to watch them play off each other. In fact, the fun chemistry between the characters helps some of the sci-fi exposition go down easier, which is great because it prevents the show from feeling overwhelmingly talky. One standout character is Marika's mother Ririka, a strong female character on her own right; watching her gives you an idea of how Marika turned turned out to be the hard working optimist she is. Chiaki is also really cute as the hard-nosed tsundere.
As fun as the rest of the cast is, Marika really is the star of the show. Cheerful, level-headed, and optimistic yet a bit naive; she is an easy character to cheer for. Despite not knowing much of what being a pirate captain entails, she full-heartedly commits to the role once she decides to take it up. She puts a lot of effort into learning about her position as a pirate captain, her ship, and her crew; this coupled with her resourcefulness and positive attitude make her capabilities as a new captain very believable. She isn't perfect and makes some very silly mistakes, yet works to resolve them quickly. These qualities are what make it so gratifying to watch her take on challenge after challenge. Unlike so many other protagonists, Marika succeeds through her own capabilities (namely being a good leader), and the abilities of her crew, rather than succeeding because she is the main character.
It is a good thing that Marika takes things in stride too, because as I've said before Bodacious Space Pirates is a silly show at heart. Sure the show has well developed sci-fi elements and solid story arcs throughout, but the show's defining trait is its light-hearted sense of fun. Much of the fun comes from playing with common genre conventions and tropes in anime. The show is chock-full moe moments, cosplaying, and even some yuri. Characters overact when eating good food, girls fawn over how cute other girls are, and a one point the pirating job is done with the entire crew of the Benenmaru (at the time Marika's Yacht Club) in cosplay. Don't mistake this as mindless pandering, because it isn't. The show is very self aware of what it is doing without openly saying it, and as a result the show seems to be playfully poking fun at the tropes it revels in. It is neither idiotic pandering or biting satire, but rather a teasing homage.
On the technical side of things, Bodacious Space Pirates is spectacular. The character designs are lively and colorful; they're just filled with life. Of special note is Marika in her fabulous captain outfit. Even more impressive are fantastic spaceships, charming European like cities, and grand stretches of space. The settings of the show are absolutely breathtaking. The spaceships in particular are extremely well done CGI, and in the colorful star-filled depths of space, they are a sight to behold. It is also amazing to see them do battle with each other. Just as impressive is the soundtrack by Elements Garden. It is a unique blend of electronic beats with orchestral and wind instruments that perfectly embodies the space sci-fi odyssey and pirate theme of the show, and fit the slice-of-life moments just as well. It easily ranks among the best soundtracks of 2012.
Bodacious Space Pirates is a refreshing take on commonly used anime tropes.The way the show juggles high excitement sci-fi action with laid-back slice-of-life, while it playfully pays homage to both is absolutely inspired. On top of that it has a fantastic female lead in Marika. Yes, it does meander in the middle and isn't the deepest of shows, but such flaws are dwarfed by the amount of fun the show packs. It is weird to think that tech-heavy science fiction juxtaposition with high school girl shenanigans and more tropes than you can count would make for a satisfying show, but Bodacious Space Pirates manages to do it; remarkably well, too.
TL;DR version: A compelling and highly innovative series in terms of strategy and characterisation but struggles to make its genre identity known. Unexpected genre changes from space combat, to comedy/slice-of-life is seen which is rather unpalatable in the first half. This is rectified in the second half where everything starts falling into place, and a good, clear balance is found. The series is more for those who like deeper thinking and strategy, instead of the average shounen battles.
The story is deep and intriguing, with a wide variety of piracy missions requiring different skills and tactics. What is emphasised greatly is that
preparation is key before engaging in any kind of mission or battle. The show, for the most part keeps the viewer informed how and why a ship's crew has taken a certain course of action.
Unfortunately, the preparation aspect is over-emphasised in the first 4 episodes which really broke the pacing and turned off a lot of potential viewers. The show does redeem itself in the 5th episode when all the preparations go into action. The highly tactical nature is gripping, and is upheld throughout the rest of the series during engagement with enemies.
The end of the first episode was also awkward, as we are abruptly introduced to the political nature and hazards of being involved with piracy, without any follow-up. The best way to describe it is a shoddy attempt to include action and suspense which was counter-productive in the bigger picture. The later episodes do give us a quick rundown, and the viewer is also able to naturally gain a good idea of the setting as events unfold, which makes the awkward first episode sequence necessary.
The structuring of the arcs also took some time to get used to, as the "Mission"-centric episodes bore the hallmarks of a Space Opera while the "In-between" episodes between the Missions were closer to slice-of-life and comedy. The change of pace is totally unexpected and rather confusing at first. The "in-between" episodes show improvement as the series progresses, and successfully provide a good relief from the serious parts.
What the series excels at is how it handles the characters. We have a large cast, but only the important ones get the focus. The viewer develops understanding of the characters through the way they act, rather than empathy that is seen in most other series. This feels rather impersonal as the viewer is unable to directly connect to anyone, and is left as the third person observer. The total opposite happens in Code Geass where we are always with the main lead, going through his thoughts and the fairly minor characters also have their day in the spotlight. Not so in pirates, as we appreciate the excellent supporting cast through observing what they do, and how they do it. The story gradually reveals the characters, rather than the characters revealing themselves.
Remarkably, this is handled in an excellent fashion as we see a very natural progression and development from our main heroine, Marika. Her piracy skills and confidence show a natural growth from experience and the subtle changes over time is just pleasing to see. At the same time, she is no superhuman and has her insecurities. A reluctant leader who becomes a beast of a leader when the switch goes in. The writer of this review has the same experience, being in a zombie-like state outside work, but task-orientated and focused while at it.
The BGM is very good, and supports the different moods, from mission planning sequences to high-stakes battle action. There is a noticeable lack of variety at times, and repetition through the episodes can get a little tiresome. It is a case of quality over quantity, although a little more of the latter would be welcome! The insert songs and a special ending theme sets a good feel-good and concluding mood, while the regular ED sets a tone of anticipation with the lyrics giving an excellent portrayal of Marika. The OP is a matter of taste, which in itself is an excellent example of Bodaciousness and pirates by their nature are just that.
General sounds are also great, and really reinforce aspects of the story. The various pirate ships are a century old, and have undergone custom modifications throughout the years. While the external designs have similar roots, the differences in customisation is apparent. Such is the attention to detail in that each ship has its own unique warning siren.
The general character art and animation is very average for a televised series. Character detailing is usually good, but there is some inconsistency across different episodes. The animation is decent to good most of the time, but there are the rare exceptions where framelag is highly noticeable. The CGI on the other hand is outstanding. The detailed designs of the pirate ships, and the large amounts of different shading that is used is exceptional. The movement is extremely fluid, with extremely accurate thruster deployment as a ship changes direction. Zero-G environments and physics are excellently represented in both "ordinary" and "CGI" sequences (technically, it's ALL CGI but you get the gist) with floating characters having to kick objects to change direction, as well as going "upside down"
At the end of the day, Mouretsu Pirates is a highly compelling show that dared to do things differently. Tactics instead of pure action. Third-person character development instead of through first-person empathy. It even throws in comic relief in this highly complex execution. Even the producers seemed to struggle, as seen in the first few episodes but they learnt from their mistakes and each successive arc improves upon the previous ones. While the end results were far from perfect, they gradually become close enough. This is certainly a show which a patient viewer with an interest in space would enjoy.
The characters are diverse and believable. At first the main character might come off as unlikable, but you end up loving her in minutes. Its not the typical situation where the character is thrown into a situation not know what to do then learns (not that that is bad) but She actually knows what she is doing. It's like taking a breath of fresh air.