24 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Bodacious Space Pirates episode 1

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?

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24 Comments

  1. Moomba
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Oddly enough, for me, the first thing that came to mind after watching Miniskirt Space Pirates (I will continue to call it that until it gives me a legitimate reason to switch to the official title) was Sora Kake Girl. It’s probably mostly just the setting, slightly ditzy protagonist, high-school setting, myseterious transfer student, etc plus a bit of wishful thinking.

    I’d like to imagine that it’s just off to a slightly slow start since it’s a two-cour, but I guess we’ll find out. If Bentenmaru somehow turns out to have a self-aware and completely insane AI, I will call this my anime of the year 2012!

    • Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      The only thing missing in that comparison is the lack of anything like the episodic Kannagi fanservice in each episode. Otherwise it’s probably a good point of reference.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 9, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      But…but…but Sora Kake Girl was atrocious!

      • Moomba
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        But it had Jun Fukuyama using his crazy voice and a mostly female cast! In space!

  2. Alterego
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    The OP promised LOTS of characters, so I guess at least some of them will be interesting.

    I’m mostly just still curious about what the actual plot will be. They go to sape, and then…

    • Alterego
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      *space

  3. Adamar
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    First episode is rather promising, this looks to be a boatload (spaceshipload?) of fun. It seems to know just how seriously to take itself.

    You can keep your stripping catgirls, playing FFXI for any amount of time is enough to burn one out in that regard.

  4. Erif
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I usually don’t watch these sorts of things. I dunno, they aren’t really my cup of tea. But am I missing out? Should I lighten up a little a try out things like this and Ben-To, which have such silly premises that I couldn’t possibly take them seriously? The problem is I often do take them too seriously. I’m such a tightwad. :/

    • lmm
      Posted January 9, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Screw Ben-To, that’s not remotely the same kind of thing as this. Honestly there’s been nothing silly about Bodacious Space Pirates so far; I came hoping for another Lost Universe, but got something that looks more likely to be another Starship Operators. (Of course, it’d have to turn out very good for that to be fair)

      • Scamp
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Exactly. This anime takes itself seriously, which is partly the surprise it itself

  5. Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    “Bodacious” prompts me to think of surfing boards, but I guess stripping cat girls works too.

    But did Tank Police actually show stripping cat girls in episode one?!

    • Scamp
      Posted January 9, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      I think someone needs to rewatch Tank Police

  6. ペーパー先生
    Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    I’m still wrapping my head around the whole “Legal Pirate” thing. I don’t know exactly what a legal pirate does, seeing as most pirate pass-times involve doing not so legal things. Like pirating.

    • Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      Legal pirates with letters of marque actually did exist in our world, you know! During wartime a ship and crew could apply to Britain, for example, to receive a letter of marque, and then they would be permitted to attack Spanish ships and take prizes when the opportunity arose.

      It’s legal because they’re under British command/permission to do it. If captured by Spanish ships they were treated as prisoners of war because they were essentially working as a part of the British navy. Without the license they would simply have been hanged.

      The same thing is happening in this show, just with different adversaries.

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 1:50 am | Permalink

        Thank you for clearing that up. Now that I know that, this show doesn’t seem nearly as stupid.

      • Redcrimson
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

        It’s still kinda stupid. Technically, the show should be called “Bodacious Space Privateers

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

        The show is about a teenage girl who captains a (legal) pirate ship though space and the thing you find fault in is the title?!?!

      • Karry
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

        “Now that I know that, this show doesn’t seem nearly as stupid.”

        Does it bother you that YOU seem more stupid for not knowing elementary history facts ?

      • Posted January 9, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink

        lol karry.

        Pirates sounds a lot more dangerous and thrilling than privateers! So I can see why they would prefer that one.

  7. Thrashy
    Posted January 9, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    If I can find serious fault with this first episode, it’s that there was a complete lack of space piracy. Though that’s as much a product of 2-cour pacing as anything else, I wouldn’t have minded if we could have fast-forward to the titular space pirate action by the end of the first episode.

    As for Nadesico, IMO you’re honestly not missing much. I never understood the reputation that show had… though I did like their explanation for appointing a ditzy teenage girl as ship’s captain: “With the AI and tech we have on ships these days, the captain is mostly just a figurehead,” with the unspoken rejoinder being that said figurehead ought at least to be nice to look at!

    • IKnight
      Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      There was some space piracy, about three seconds of it just before the opening.

      As for Nadesico… well, not everyone is going to appreciate it. He said, adjusting his monocle.

  8. Posted January 12, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    You nailed it in your final paragraph. There wasn’t really much in the first ep that you could use to get someone else interested in the show. Not much really happened, atleast nothing that caught my eye.

    Oddly enough the character I found most interesting was the helmsman/teacher as generic as he was.

  9. Chipp12
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Heeeeey, I watched this episode only because of one girl who was voiced by the same seiyu who voiced the main heroine of Alien9!
    But I’ve waited for the whole episode and never knew when to start become interested!
    So only for this girl (who don’t even got her profile on anidb, fuck).

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