Under Your Radar: Bodacious Space Pirates
Bodacious Space Symphony’s Movement VII “Infinite Love” (Mōretsu Uchū Kōkyōkyoku Dai 7 Gakushō “Mugen no Ai”) by Momoiro Clover Z
(translation provided below courtesy of Sentai Filmworks)
Even at the end of space, I’m still thinking of you
Wishing on a million shooting stars
I want to see you (I can’t see you)
So close (Not close enough)
Turns into a star (and disappears)
Fate? Destiny? Whose fault is it?
(I’ll give you everything I have…)
So explode! Burst!
I’ll turn into dusty stardust (Become a shooting star)
And I’ll keep loving you forever (I can believe)
My feelings (burn)
Are burning (burn hot)
Shining red, like Antares (Yes, forever and ever)
Even a billion light years away (there’s nothing to fear)
I don’t care! Yes, because I love you! (I can fly!)
My wish won’t (forever)
Disappear (for always)
The children of the stars will always watch over you
After… how long has it even been? Anyway, Under Your Radar is back! We resume with my review of Bodacious Space Pirates.
Bodacious Space Pirates (Mōretsu Pirates, more literally Go-Getter Pirates) is the 26-episode anime adaptation of Yūichi Sasamoto’s light novel series, Miniskirt Space Pirates (which received a manga adaptation as well). The anime will be getting a movie sequel in February. It takes place in the distant future, long after a major war involving legal pirates. After the father of ordinary high school student Marika Kato dies from food poisoning, Marika must take over his father’s role as captain of the Bentenmaru.
Now, I know what you may be thinking. You think the show’s about space pirate warfare out in the final frontier, following the growth of this new captain. Well, if that was what you were thinking, you were about 60% right.
There’s actually only one or two instances of actual combat involving weapons being used in the entire anime. Most of the time, focus is placed on avoiding unnecessary combat, whether that’s through secret negotiations, hacking into and disabling the enemy ship so they’re forced to surrender, or anything else that doesn’t involve fighting. Thankfully, aside from Marika’s clubmates and the fact that she’s still a kid and has to return home for tests, the series spares us the high school shenanigans, though it does note that constantly being on the move for work has dropped Marika’s grades from their great heights to barely passing.
That’s certainly a much different take on the situation than just about anyone would expect from the title and premise, which is fine. But there’s one really major problem with the show that prevents most from getting into it. To put it simply… the first several episodes are extremely dry and boring, mostly being a vehicle for worldbuilding. They will bore you to sleep. And I’m not sure the series is worth this barrier to entry.
Don’t get me wrong, the concept is amusing, that Marika ends up on speaking terms with two princesses to the point where one personally pours tea for her is hilarious, the art can be beautiful at times, and overall I enjoyed my experience, but it takes a certain kind of show to get past the hurdle that is an extremely boring first few episodes, and this is not quite on that level.
To make matters worse, Sentai Filmworks picked this up for a dub, and the dub is easily the worst dub I have ever seen in recent memory. It doesn’t even merit a full description, but let’s just say that, if you attempt this show, you should use Japanese voice track, not the English one.
On the adaptational end, the show is rather accurate up until where the original light novels were before the anime entered development hell, minus one change (replacing an orgy with armed anti-government rebels… it makes perfect sense in context). That said, the novels weren’t exactly known to Western audiences prior to the anime’s release, so I doubt anyone reading this review is reading it to see how the adaptation stands in comparison.
Bodacious Space Pirates is in a pretty terrible position. It’s an okay show with well-done artwork that’s hindered by terrible first episodes and a bad dub. Not to mention that the show you get after braving all of that is not quite what the title would suggest. If you decide to watch this show, you need to know what you’re getting into beforehand, or don’t bother. As such, the rating I must give it is obvious.