This week, perhaps the best named Japanese anime EVER – Bodacious Space Pirates! Or Moretsu Pirates in the original Japanese.
Bodacious. Space. Pirates. What more is there to say?
The story plunders (ho ho) from historical pirates, but is set IN THE FUTURE, where humanity has spread out into the stars and lives on many colony planets. In the last intergalactic war, fleets of space pirates came to the aid of the government to help them win, and in return, were granted “letters of marque” – permission to operate legally as pirates as long as they continue to operate a specific amount every month. A lot of this seems to involve “raiding” massive cruise spaceships and basically acting as mid-flight entertainment – while taking their money.
Cut to Marika Kato, pretty, energetic and enterprising teen and new member of her very posh all girl school’s very posh space yacht club (yes, I said space yacht club). It turns out that her father, who she never knew, was a Space Pirate, and has just died. If the crew wants to keep being pirates, they have to cope with having a pretty little teen telling them what to do.
The story at first switches between the high-class yacht sailing, with pretty young anime girls in pressed sailor uniforms learning to float around in low gravity and eating strawberry parfait, to a dark gritty pirate ship, where Marika seems massively out of place. But she’s a fun heroine – she’s tough, dedicated, and can think outside of the box, meaning you end up rooting for her against rising challenges.
The show is light-hearted fun, but does a great job of throwing in just enough danger, mystery and drama at the same time. There is a lot of “unknown” out there, and it’s fun to watch these girls explore a much larger universe than they knew before. It’s much too complimentary to compare the show to Star Trek, but it has something of the same story spirit, with them sailing the galaxies to communicate with the unknown. As the story progresses, you learn just how outclassed and how backwater these local pirates are, and how it’s a real struggle to survive out there.
I was never sitting on the edge of my seat waiting every week for the new episodes (as I am with No Game No Life and Kuroko no Basuke, for example), but the show just brings a smile to my face. And, for once, I actually commend the intro tune. So often, an anime’s intro song has plot revelations or has nothing to do with the tone of the show – this time, it’s a nice one. If you want an anime that’s light entertainment for a hungover Sunday morning, then Bodacious Space Pirates might be the one for you. And, if I haven’t sold it enough yet, I’ll just finish by telling you that the show also features a golden ghost ship, princesses, lesbian lovers, a kick-ass pirate queen, faster-than-light travel, hacking and a cyborg. Consider yourself told.
Bodacious. Space. Pirates!