June 25, 2013

Bodacious Space Pirates: "The Odette II Leaves Port"

Marika and Chiaki fend off the hackers from taking over the Odette II's systems, then take their yachting examination and finally set off with their class on a sail around Tau Ceti.

You're possibly waiting for a "and suddenly they are attacked by pirates", or somesuch; certainly I spent most of this episode waiting for the exciting action to kick in. It doesn't. This is an oddly sedate episode, spending its time on the characters in a more relaxed setting rather than filling the screen with explosions and chases. It isn't bad, it's just a bit unexpected. With another 23 episodes to go, it's probably a smart idea to ensure the audience really do know who the characters are and what they're like.

One thing that did strike me with this episode was a notable drop in the quality of animation. Bodacious Space Pirates was made for television and therefore lacked the budget to create too much stunning eye candy. I didn't really notice the limitations in the first two episodes: I suspect they had a higher production budget to impress a new audience. Now that the audience is (in theory) hooked on the show, there probably wasn't a need to throw so much money at it going forward. It's not ruining the series by any stretch, but it is something I noticed.

There are some genuinely funny highlights: I particularly adored the yachting class and their colourful space suits. If space travel becomes a hobby industry for teenagers, of course there are going to be glammed-up spacesuits in bright colours.

The cast appears to be growing rapidly for this series, and that actually is a problem. I am engaging with Marika, the series lead, and I'm getting to know and really like the deadpan Chiaki. Beyond them I find I'm labelling the cast by what pre-existing anime characters they look like, like "not-Rei from Evangelion" or "not-Sailor Moon". Getting an audience to remember and identify a large cast is a significant challenge and, so far, I'm not sure that Bodacious Space Pirates is managing it.

This is an enjoyable episode. It's not brilliant, but I didn't feel like it wasted my time. That gives this anime two good episodes out of three, bouncing the series up to 67%.

1 comment:

  1. The large cast could have been problematic, but later episodes actually manage this quite well.

    Chiaki-chan is awesome on many levels, as are certain members of the Yacht Club...

    The Odette II is one of my favourite anime space ships: such a pretty design, and you don't see solar sailers all that often.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.