Bodacious? Really? I still preferred it when they were originally calling it Mini-Skirt Space Pirates. At least that’s actually a more accurate representation of the anime in question. There was a rather sad lack of bodacity if you ask me. Anyway, let’s put the perplexing title aside and talk about the anime in question.
Since I am an utter failure at being a complete elitist with a vast knowledge of all the greatest anime ever created, I haven’t seen Nadesico so can’t do the obvious comparisons between the two. Instead I’ll pick another title from that era that Space Pirates reminded me a lot of: Irresponsible Captain Tylor. It generally has a very old school feel to it (old school apparently meaning mid-90s now) with these slightly camp and semi-serious sci-fi stories. A huge amount of thought has gone into the setting, which was probably the best thing about it. So many shots were devoted to showing off various pieces of future gadgetry, and as a sci-fi nut I enjoyed seeing these. Asides from the info-dump done at the start, the setting and plot were integrated well with character interactions. It’s very cleverly put together and has much tighter scripting and directing than Captain Tylor does.
Where Space Pirates falls down in comparison to Captain Tylor though is in the main characters. Our main character in Space Pirates is good-natured, a teensy bit ditzy, goes “eeehhhhhhh” when she’s surprised and basically is the same female lead character from every single anime ever. She’s certainly no Tylor, who single-handedly carried that show. In general there seems to be a problem with every character being a touch too nice at the moment. I know popular opinion isn’t with me on this one, but I like my characters to have some obvious baggage when we meet them. It gets me interested in where that baggage came from and gives them room to develop because they start with obvious flaws. The uppity transfer student was a relief in that sense, because we finally got ourselves someone who did appear to have an axe to grind.
My real main problem at the moment is there’s a lack of spark. Sure, it’s very competently executed and well written and all that, but it definitely lacks an edge. There’s no aspect to this I can lift out and show to someone as an example of why they should watch it. It’s like the difference between Dominion Tank Police and the sequel, New Dominion Tank Police (turning out to be a good post for referencing random 90s anime). Sure, New Dominion Tank Police is competently written and executed with decent characters and all that. But it doesn’t have phallic anti-tank mines or stripping catgirls with machine guns. So I suppose what I’m asking for is where is Space Pirates’ stripping cat girls?