Captain Marika continues to positive think her way through the universe to excellent results.
What They Say:
Marika is finally settling in to her role as captain of a pirate ship and earning the respect of her crewmembers. Just when things are looking jaunty, the crew of the Bentenmaru is struck by a mysterious epidemic and Marika has to fight to complete her contracts and keep her Letter of Marque.
If that wasn’t bad enough, pirate ships are being destroyed. Entire ships with their crew and cargo blown into space dust, but who’s responsible? What are they trying to accomplish? More importantly, will the Bentenmaru be docked for good? Will she join the Lusitania in the annals of sailing lore, or will Marika be able to keep vessel and crew together?
Contains episodes 14-26.
For this viewing, I listened to the English 2.0 track. The Japanese track is also available in 2.0. There’s nothing technically wrong with the mix as there is nice directionality with the sound effects and no dropout on either channel. However, I will say that there is enough action in this series that a full 5.1 mix would have been nice. That’s just me being picky, though.
The visuals for this series are really nice. The colors are bright, and the lining solid. There are no technical issues that I noticed; it is all clean and clear. There was some soft focus in a few minor areas, but nothing particularly noticeable.
The three discs come in a single-wide amaray case with center insert to hold two of the discs. The front cover has a nice picture Marika and Chiaki. They are set against a pink background which covers an image of space. On the back is a picture of Brunhilda in her space suit set against the series summary and screen shots. It is nice and compact, and it all fits really well with the theme of the series.
The menu for this set is really simple, but it’s perfectly fine. The same image from the front cover is along the right side of the screen, and the selections are on the left side of the screen along pink bars. The selection cursor appears as a little pink heart, again a nice touch on the attitude of the show. Though the cursor is also pink, it is light enough compared to the rest that it shows up fine.
Other than clean versions of the OP/ED, there are no extras on this release.
Firmly entrenched as the captain of the Bentenmaru, Markia has started to find a balance between her school life and her duties to her crew. But just as things seem to be settling down, the entire crew come down sick and need to be quarantined. Without a crew, and needing to continue pirating to maintain their license, Marika turns to the members of her high school yacht club to fill in. Wacky hijinks ensue.
The crew ultimately returns with no long term issues, and everything is all fun and games until a strange ship appears and begins destroying pirate ships. For the first time in a generation, the pirates are facing true danger and debate reforming the pirate’s council. Having not worked together for so long, there’s a mistrust amongst them, and it’s up to Marika to find a way to bring them together.
I saw the first season of Bodacious Space Pirates a few weeks ago, and going in, I figured I would enjoy it. What I didn’t expect was to enjoy it as much as I did. So I was very happy that I didn’t have to wait long for the second half to be released, and I found I enjoyed this one just as much.
What Bodacious Space Pirates does well is character. Marika really did a great job of carrying the first thirteen episodes, and that doesn’t change here. What is really fun in this set is that we really see her grow into the role of captain. By the end of the first set, she was only just established as a space pirate. By the end of the series, she is firmly in command of the Bentenmaru and has earned the respect of pretty much everybody in the galaxy. And through it all, she never loses her positive outlook and bubbly demeanor.
Last time, I considered her to be basically a female version of Captain Tylor, and I definitely feel that now. Early on, Tylor is seemingly inept, but somehow has a stunning record of success if only because he doesn’t panic and isn’t willing to accept anything can go wrong. By the end of the series, we can see he’s a genius and he’s accepted by everybody as the best. The same is true for Marika. She even has Chiaki to act as her Lt. Yamamoto-esque comedic foil.
But it’s not just Marika. The show is filled with great secondary characters, starting with Marika’s mother, Ririka. Ririka is a former crew member on the Bentenmaru under Marika’s father, and she’s a deadeye with any type of weapon. We don’t get to see that expertise much in this series, but it’s her attitude and willingness to let Marika follow her dreams that gives Marika her own confidence. She’s not much of a stereotypical mother figure (Marika even calls her Ririka-san rather than mother), but she’s perfect for what Marika needs.
It’s good that Bodacious Space Pirates is good with character, though, because it is otherwise lacking on plot. There are a few multi-episode arcs here and there but nothing one could consider an overarching storyline. But really, it works out fine because it really is a series about the characters, and any intrusion of serious storytelling would have been out of place. Even the final story, setting up the battle between the pirates and the pirate hunter, never gets away from the light hearted atmosphere the rest of the series sets up. As such, you never really fear for Marika’s safety, and that’s fine.
What is there to say about Bodacious Space Pirates? It’s a completely charming show filled with terrific characters and a lot of great humor. If you are looking for a strong storyline, then you’ll need to go elsewhere because Bodacious Space Pirates pretty much ignores the concept of long term storytelling. But a series long plot would have just gotten in the way of what’s important: watching Marika grow into her role as captain and refuse to quit when the chips are down. If all you want is to just have fun for 26 episodes, then Bodacious Space Pirates should be for you. Recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Sony PS3 w/HDMI Connection, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System