Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 27, 2013 by  


“Bodacious Space Pirates” is a fun, humorous and entertaining sci-fi anime series! A coming-of-age story about a teenager who must take over her deceased father’ job of being a Captain of a pirate ship.  Can she do it?  Find out in “Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1”!

Image courtesy of © 2013 Sentai Filmworks. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Bodacious Space Pirates Collection 1


DURATION: 13 episodes (325 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English


COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RELEASE DATE: January 8, 2013

Original Creator: Yuichi Sasamoto

Original Character Design: Noriyuki Matsumoto

Directed by Tatsuo Sato

Series Composition by Tatsuo Sato

Music by Elements Garden, Hitoshi Fujima, Junpei Fujita, Noriyasu Agematsu

Art Director: Akira Ito

Chief Animation Director: Hiroshi Takeuchi

Animation Character Design: Akira Yasuda, Hiroshi Takeuchi

Art Design by Masahiro Sato, Stanislas Brunet, Thomas Romain, Yann Le Gall

Anime Production by Satelight

Featuring the voices of:

Kana Hanazawa/Caitlynn French as Chiaki Kurihara

Masaya Matsukaze/Christopher Patton as Kane MacDougall

Mikako Komatsu/Luci Christian as Marika Kato

Shizuka Itou/Carli Mosier as Misa Grandwood

Ai Kayano/Margaret McDonald as Ai Hoshimiya

Asuka Nishi/Emily Neves as Ursula Abramov

Atsushi Ono as Jotoff Sief Sydow

Chiaki Omigawa/Brittney Karbowski as Mami Endō

Chinatsu Akasaki as Maki Harada

Haruka Tomatsu/Monica Rial as Princess Gruier Serenity

Hiroki Yasumoto as Shō

Hisako Kanemoto/Kalin Coates as Grunhilde Serenity

Kanako Nomura/Allison Sumrall as Shōko Kobayashimaru

Kaoru Mizuhara/Monica Rial as Luka

Keiji Fujiwara/Kalob Martinez as Hyakume

Kenta Miyake/George Manley as Schnitzer

Kiyono Yasuno as Aster Aruhanko

Maaya Uchida/Tiffany Grant as Izumi Yunomoto

Mariya Ise/Elizabeth Bannor as Natalia Grennorth

Natsumi Takamori/Tiffany Terrell as Sasha Staple

Rikiya Koyama as Narrator

Rina Satou/Shannon Emerick as Jenny Dolittle

Satomi Satou as Lilly Bell

Suzuko Mimori as Belinda Percy

Yōko Hikasa as Lynn Lambretta

Yoshino Nanjou as Yayoi Yoshitomi

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Greg Ayres as San-Daime

Yui Horie/Hilary Haag as Coorie

Yuiko Tatsumi/Hayley Adams as April

Yuko Kaida/Shelley Calene-Black as Ririka Katō

Most families have a skeleton or two in the closet, but Marika is understandably shocked to learn that what her family has been hiding is a skull and crossbones! While the revelation that her late father was a space pirate would have been earthshaking enough for most teenage girls, discovering that he was the captain of the notorious pirate ship Benten Maru will change Marika’s life forever. You see, pirating is a family business, and she’s just inherited the position of captain – and her father’s former crew is quite intent on making sure Marika accepts the job!

What’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re a high school student whose prior total naval experience has been working at the space yacht club, there’s really only one moral dilemma that has to be resolved: are pirates allowed to wear really short mini-skirts?

Yuichi Sasamoto’s 2008 light novel series “Miniskirt Space Pirates” is among the few light novels that received an anime adaptation.

Produced by Satelight, the anime series known as “Moretsu Pirates” (“Bodacious Space Pirates”) was aired in Japan between January through June 2012.  And with the announcement of an animated film scheduled for release in February 2014, “Bodacious Space Pirates” will be released in the U.S. on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sentai Filmworks in two parts, the first feature episodes 1-13.

“Bodacious Space Pirates” is an anime series written and directed by Tatsuo Sato (“Lagrange – The flower of Rin-ne”, “Cat Soup”, “Stellvia”), featuring art direction by Hiroshi Takeuchi (“AKB0048”, “Elfen Lied”, “Durara!!”), character designs by Hiroshi Takeuchi (“Shutsugeki! Machine Robo Rescue”, “Idolm@ster: Xenoglassia”, “Big O”) and music by Elements Garden, Hitoshi Fujima, Junpei Fujita and Noriyasu Agematsu.

“Bodacious Space Pirates” is an anime series that revolves around a happy teenager named Marika Kato.  She is someone that loves being part of the space yacht club at Hakuho Academy and working at the Retro-Maid Cafe with  her good friend Mami.

One day while coming home, she meets Misa Grandwood and Kane McDougal who has important business with her mother Ririka.  And that business pertains to her.

With Marika now an older teenager, the three reveal to her that her father was a famous space pirate and that both of her parents were space pirates.  And in order to continue the Kato lineage of captains of the Bentenmaru, she must become the Captain of the Bentenmaru.

At first Marika is not sure if she wants that responsibility but one day while working on a space ship for the yacht club, working alongside new student Chiaki Kurihara, both were put into a situation where they had to captain a ship and prevent problems from happening.  With Marika becoming successful, she decides to become the Captain of the Bentenmaru but relies on the crew in helping her with the job.

While on the outside, Marika may seem like a regular teenager, Bentenmaru medic Misa Grandwood and helmsman Kane McDougal observe and evaluate to see if Marika is up to the job.

With part one of “Bodacious Space Pirates”, the series focuses on Marika’s training as the new Captain of the Bentenmaru but also being hired by Princess Gruier Serenity of the Serenity Royal Family to find a Golden Ghost Ship, a first-generation colony transport ship whose descendants became the first settlers of Serenity.  But most importantly to find the Artificial Womb room, a lab that genetically creates and births children for the Serenity Royal Family.  But due to political turmoil in her country, Princess Gruier wants to destroy the Artificial Womb.

But wanting to stop her is her youngest sister, Princess Brunhilde.

Will Marika succeed in her first major job as the Captain of the Bentenmaru?

“Bodacious Space Pirates” features the following characters:

Marika Kato – A student and member of the space yacht club at Hakuho Academy and also works a part-time job as a waitress.  Marika lives with her mother Ririko, who she refers to her with her first name.  Marika suddenly learns that her deceased father Gonzemon Kato was a pirate and since she is the descendant, she is the new captain of the pirate sop, the Bentenmaru.  Trying to divide time with school, her job and her duties as a pirate, Marika must train and continue her father’s legacy.

Chiaki Kurihara – A mysterious girl who transfers to Marika’s school and sees herself as a rival to Marika.  She may seem cold and not wanting to be near Marika, but she is deciding if she wants to become a space pirate as she is the heir to the Barbaroosa.

Misa Grandwood – The sexy medic of the Bentenmaru and the doctor at Hakuho Academy. She is responsible for watching over Marika’s progress as Captain of the Bentenmaru.

Kane McDougal – The helmsman at Hakuho Academy and the adviser of the space yacht club but also Marika and Chiaki’s teacher.

Hyakume – The Bentenmaru’s radar and sensor specialist.

Coorie – The Bentenmaru’s electronic warfare specialist.

Schnitzer – The Bentenmaru’s tactical officer and a cyborg.  A good friend of Marika’s mother, Ririka.

San-Daime – The Bentenmaru’s engineer who has an obsession with teddy bears.

Luca – The Bentenmaru’s navigator and psychic.

Ririka Sato – A former pirate of the Bentenmaru and mother of Marika.

Mami Endo – Marika’s best friend and co-worker at the retro-maid cafe.

Jenny Doolittle – President of the space yacht club and heir to a major space shipping conglomerate.

Lynn Lambretta – The vice-president of the space yacht club and a skilled hacker, also Jenny’s girlfriend.

Gruier Serenity – The Seventh Princess of the Serenity Royal Family of the Serenity Star System who’s father was good friends with Marika’s father.  She hires the Bentenmaru pirates to find the Golden Ghost Ship.

Grunhilde Serenity – The eighth Princess of the Serenity Royal Family of the Serenity Star System.  She and her sister Gruier have conflicted feelings of finding the legendary Golden Ghost Ship and is trying to prevent her sister and the Bentenmaru pirates from achieving their goal.


“Bodacious Space Pirates” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  While a series that displays a lot of color (primarily when they are in Earth), there are some noticeable banding with areas with a lot of red, in space.  While character design and mechanical design look very good and sharp, for the most part, this is is a colorful anime series.


The lossless soundtrack for “Bodacious Space Pirates” features an English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack. While the series is front-channel driven, both are equal when it comes to the use of the front channels. As for voice acting, both are also well-done and acting from both the Japanese and American talent will satisfy viewers.  If there were two key difference between soundtracks is the audio presentation for Misa Grandwood and Chiaki Kurihara.  For the English dub, Misa’s presentation has that raspy sexy adult voice which fits the style of the character, while the English dub version of Chiaki features more of a monotone direction, as opposed to a more livelier version in the Japaneese soundtrack.  But for the most part, fans should be happy with both lossless soundtracks.


“Bodacious Space Pirates: Part One” comes with the clean opening and closing animation.

I am a big fan of sci-fi anime especially if driven with an all-female cast.

In the ’90s, probably the best known anime series to feature all-female characters and the concept of space pirates was Katsuhito Akiyama’s “Sol Bianca” series.

While “Sol Bianca” is old school anime and a more serious storyline, “Bodacious Space Pirates” is spunkier, humorous and fun thanks to its high school characters.  You have Marika Kato, a regular teenager just wanting to have fun and be with her friends but now her life has changed drastically when she finds out that her parents were space pirates and as a descendant, she must continue the Kato line of being Captain of the Bentenmaru.

And we watch as this teenager who has a smart but spunky, yet vibrant side to her as opposed to another teenager, Chiaki Kurihara who is the opposite.  More cold, more observing and just nothing like Marika.  But yet both must fulfill their duty as captains of space pirates for their own ship.

From learning the basics of combat and teamwork, to reading a script and playing a part like an actor of trying to steal jewels from innocent civilians, but also a kindness that makes her different from other pirates, but her willingness and passion to be in space.

The first half of the anime series focuses on Marika’s training as the Captain of the Bentenmaru but also working together with Chiaki.  While the first half features episodes that deal with Marika’s first major job as she is hired by a princess to find a mysterious ghost ship.

Like most sci-fi anime series, there are many characters but in this case, the crew of the Bentenmaru are not as focused on as other series tries to integrate many crew members.  If anything, your mind is focused primarily on Marika and a few key characters who are trying to make sure their new Captain does the right thing, or try to support her as best as they can.

As for the Blu-ray release, the series looks vibrant on Blu-ray.  There are a few banding issues but nothing terrible.  The soundtrack is primarily a lossless 2.0 front-channel driven soundtrack but dialogue is clear and it’s an interesting direction in which the English dub does something different than its Japanese counterpart.  As for special features, you get the usual clean opening and ending animations.

Overall, “Bodacious Space Pirates” is a fun, humorous and entertaining sci-fi anime series! A coming-of-age story about a teenager who must take over her deceased father’ job of being a Captain of a pirate ship.  Can she do it?  Find out in “Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1”!

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