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Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 8, 2013
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Series
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3/5]

Bodacious Space Pirates (モーレツ宇宙海賊; Mōretsu Pairētsu) is the anime adaptation of the series of light novels, Mini-skirt Pirates, by Sasamoto Yūichi. The story is set in the future where humanity has travelled into space and developed interstellar travel, colonizing worlds in other solar systems. Set a hundred years after a civil war erupted by the colonists of the planet Sea of the Morningstar in the Tau Ceti system against the Stellar Alliance, Bodacious Space Pirates follows the adventures of one Katō Marika, a normal, over achieving high school girl who discovers that her mother, Ririka, was once a pirate, and her father, Ririka’s husband, now deceased, was the captain of the famous pirate ship the Bentenmaru. The twist being that, during the civil war, in order to help bolster their military forces, the Morningstar government issued legal licenses to pirates, Letters of Marque, and the Bentenmaru is one of these “legal” pirate ships. Furthermore, the captaincy can only be passed down to a blood relative – Marika. So now, Marika becomes a pirate in training, juggling her school life with a life of legal piracy aboard a powerful pirate spaceship. Her adventures bring her new friends, namely Chiaki-chan, daughter too another pirate and heir to the ship the Barbaroosa, and the young, golden-haired Princess Gruier Serenity, whose friendship will lead Marika and the Bentenmaru on a dangerous mission to find a legendary ghost ship.

In essence, Bodacious Space Pirates is an interesting twist on pirate adventures, moving it from the high seas to outer space. Not that that hasn’t been done before either – I’m thinking now of the awful Disney film Treasure Planet – but, Space Pirates is pleasant, if not wholly convincing straight through. There doesn’t seem to be too much growth or even much in the way of action in these first thirteen episodes. The series also seems to just jump quite a bit, forgetting pieces along the way. The first quarter is strictly focused on Marika in high school and at her after school job, then we get a strong focus on her friendship with the mysterious Chiaki, then the shift to her training to be a space pirate, before the series shifts to her full-on pirate mode and relationship with the Princess. They seem to entirely forget the far more interesting character of Chiaki in favor of Princess Gruier Serenity, even once the ghost ship adventure is ended.

2D animation is fine, though nothing groundbreaking for sure, but the 3D CGI work really sticks out like a sore thumb, not blending in well at all. It could be due to low rendering resolution or just poor execution, but the CGI doesn’t work well here and the 1080i transfer (see below) seems to make matters worse.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Like the recently reviewed Penguindrum, this is another transfer from Sentai in 1080i/60. Encoded in the usual AVC/MPEG-4, the image is a bit soft, shows some combing artifacts from time to time, and has definite aliasing problems apparent in all of the 3D CGI animations.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The original Japanese soundtrack and English dub are are provided in in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). Although the dialogue sounds good and stereo panning is wide, dynamics seem squeezed, while the high frequencies of sound effects and musical segments sound a bit grungy and tweaked.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

This is a barebones disc with nothing but the usual clean opening and closing animations plus additional Sentai Blu-ray trailers and English Disc credits.

  • Clean Opening & Closing Animation
  • English Disc Credits
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Bodacious Space Pirates is a reasonably enjoyable anime series that could be better if the story were more cohesive and the characters given more room to breathe. I’ll see what happens in the remaining episodes to pass final judgement on the series as a whole.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009Q6F69E[/amazon-product]

Purchase Bodacious Space Pirates: Collection 1 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Series
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]



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