, , , , , ,

Image sourced from TV Tropes

At 22 of (presumably) 26 episodes Bodacious Space Pirates is still much better than it has any right to be, but is now entering risky territory.

There hasn’t been a grand, overarching, story arc. Instead there has been a series of shorter stories of about 3 – 4 episodes each that have mostly worked well.  

These shorter stories have continued Marika’s development as a Space Pirate and as a Captain.  Despite the accelerated development I would now class Marika as a fairly reliable Lieutenant studying for promotion to Lieutenant Commander. 

The biggest weakness is that the infodumps that Marika needs to avoid disaster are consistently, and conveniently, turning up just as she needs them. On the other hand the world building revealed is generally interesting enough, and the infodumps are done smoothly enough, for me to not mind too much.

My earlier concerns about the loads and loads of characters have so far been unfounded. These have been well handled through A Day in the Limelight / Lower Deck Episodes that have fleshed out the minor characters naturally through the flow of the story.

One incredibly amusing aspect is the number of shout outs to other anime that have been stuffed into this show.  The Sailor Moon shout out through the Princess Serenity character is the most blatant, but there are cosplay scenes that deliberately reference You’re Under Arrest!, Card Captor Sakura, and several others that I didn’t recognise in the brief time that they were on screen [1].

However Bodacious Space Pirates is now entering risky territory where many anime have stumbled and fell. Key the Metal Idol, Witch Hunter Robin¸ Kiddy Grade, Last Exile, and Scrapped Princess are some examples of anime with a good set up at least partially spoiled by a bad ending [2].

As of episode 22 the stakes have been lifted dramatically, and Bodacious Space Pirates is clearly being set up for a big finish. I’m not sure that there’s enough episodes left to do it properly, or that this thus-far lightweight series can carry the load of the heavy drama ahead.

I’m willing, and hoping, to stand corrected but it will be about a month or so before I find out for sure.

But, overall, Bodacious Space Pirates is a fun ride up to episode 21, and recommended so far.

[1] If you don’t mind spoilers check out the Shout Out entry in the Bodacious Space Pirates TV Tropes page.  There are several that made me go “How did I miss that?” and other more subtle ones that triggered a “That’s so cool!” reaction.

[2] Solty Rei is an example of the reverse: a clumsy set up that got better as it went along, and ended strongly.