Welcome to Winter Watch, a series of articles taking a look at some of the shows in the winter anime season. Bodacious Space Pirates is a futuristic adventure anime based on the light novel series "Miniskirt Space Pirates" by Yūichi Sasamoto.
Episode 2: My Power, the Power of a Pirate
Summary: "Marika struggles with her decision to become captain of the Bentenmaru. Her mom takes her out to the countryside and gives her a gun that can shoot through tanks, and an even greater power."
Run Date: Jan. 21, 2011
Run Time: 24:09
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.
The second episode starts off right where the last episode ended, with Marika having been “saved” by the mysterious Chiaki from a fire-fight. The surprise here isn’t finding out who tried to kidnap Marika (which is still a mystery) but that that our protagonist still has no idea why anyone would want to kidnap her. After all of this is said and done Marika’s mother, Ririka, decides to have a much needed talk with her daughter about everything that has been going with her life. This scene ends up being one of the more mature and tasteful mother-to-daughter scenes I have seen in an anime in a while. Marika is neither angry nor disappointed at her mother for not telling her anything about her father or linage. Instead she’s just surprised and numb at the sheer rapidity at everything that is happening to her. As for Marika’s mother we as an audience are finally treated to a strong and empowering mother figure in an anime who is: 1) not sick and or dead, 2) not ridiculous, 3) understanding of the situation her daughter is in, and 4) not a heavy handed overly strict matriarch.
The following scene between these two we find out that Ririka is to Sarah Connor as Marika is to John Connor. I say this because immediately following the heart to heart scene in the car Ririka takes Marika out to the desert and begins to teach Marika how to shoot a gun. When Marika finally pulls the trigger for the first time Ririka confesses that while it is Marika’s choice as to what she what will happen to her she has all of the attributes to be a good pirate captain.
With this in mind Marika continues to go to school, be the president of the yacht club, and put the lives of her friends and fellow students in jeopardy (I kid, but really come on). Our handsome libertine Kane McDougal (i.e. helmsman of the Bentenmaru) is to no one’s surprise appointed the new advisor of the space yacht club and decides that the first activity that they are all going to do is pilot a full on spaceship. Further research by Kane and his buxom assistant Misa reveals that the school’s designated practice ship for the club is a former pirate ship that fought besides the Bentenmaru many years ago. Besides being a convenient plot device this set piece serves an important purpose to the story in that we discover that Marika is an aggressive and smart decision maker that works well with Chiaki. While alone on the bridge with Marika, Chiaki reveals that someone or something is waging cyber warfare on the practice ship, and by working together they locate the attacks to another docked ship. Despite neither character understanding cyber warfare they both decide to counter attack. Unfortunately the episode ends on a cliffhanger right as they are about to carry out this counterattack.
With the second episode we get really good character development that avoids being sappy or heavy handed. Yes none of the set pieces resulted in epic scenes of swashbuckling or privateering that the show has been building up so far but this is of course only the second episode. Finally the ending for the episode shouldn’t have been as abruptly as it should have. It’s almost like someone didn’t realize that they had gone over the time limit for the episode and had to just stop it at an important moment mid scene. These contrivances aside this show continues to surprise me at its ability to convey genuinely good characters that behave in an endearing and charming manner.
Finally this is the point where it should be noted that this show’s title “Bodacious Space Pirates” is a complete disservice to what the actual story and characters are about. There is little to no fanservice and the one boob shot in my image gallery was all I could find in terms of traditional fanservice.
- ZombiePie is a professional voyeur sex pervert and is recognized as a registered sex offender in twelve of the United States's states. He is also a Giant Bomb moderator and runs their community twitter @GiantBombSquad.