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Bodacious Space Pirates (also known as Môretsu (Go-getter) Space Pirates) is a 2012 anime based on the novels, Miniskirt Space Pirates by Yûichi Sasamoto.

In the far future where space travel has become the norm, Marika Kato is a high school girl living a rather ordinary life as a member of the space yacht club and a part-time job at a high-class retro café. One day, Marika meets subordinates of her recently deceased father who reveal her father was a space pirate. By law, only direct descendants can inherit her father's spaceship, the Bentenmaru, which her father's subordinates ask that she takes over as their new Captain. Thus begins Marika's life as a Space Pirate.

The anime can be watched legally at Crunchyroll and The Anime Network.

Tropes used in Bodacious Space Pirates include:
  • Ace Custom: The Bentenmaru is highly modified but could be considered to zigzagging this trope as while the Electronic Warfare suite is highly advanced the engines are so old that one of them just barely works much of the time.
  • Ace Pilot: Kane McDougal, Bentenmaru's helmsman and Marika's new substitute teacher. Marika manages to impress him.
    • Ai Hoshimiya, new member of the Space Yacht Club and rookie pilot. In episode 21 Ai star-navigates by sight after her dinghy's electronics are knocked out. She also saves the Bentenmaru by predicting the wind currents to help them shoot down the enemy.
  • Action Girl: Jenny Dolittle in her wedding gown
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: "Legal pirates" seems ridiculous, until you hit the history books about Privateers.
  • Artistic License Gun Safety: Averted! It's not a perfect depiction of weapon handling by any means, but the characters display trigger discipline, weapons are unloaded prior to firing, and safety gear is employed during training.
  • Beach Episode: Subverted in episode 6. Marika and Mami start the episode getting ready to go to the beach... only for Misa and Kane to pick Marika up for completing all the paperwork necessary for the letter of marque.
    • They finally give us one in episode 20, but it's completely free of fan service. Well, save for a load of shots of Kane in a speedo. And a few shots of the girls' swimsuit clad behinds. Including tiny little Ai.
  • Beergasm: Or more accurately, Winegasm.
  • Beam Spam: The Bentenmaru fires off a particularly impressive spread in Episode 9. This being the type of show it is, though, they're communications lasers.
    • They do it for real in ep 10.
    • They do it by accident in ep 15!.
    • The mysterious ship that attacks the Bentenmaru in episode 22 utilizes this trope as well.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Do not fuck with the Hakuoh Academy Space Yacht Club. It's pretty likely that if the Odette II had been armed they would have blown the Lightning 11 out of the sky.
    • Exemplified by Jenny Dolittle being pretty handy with a pistol.
  • BFG: Ririka's gun range practice with Marika
  • BFS: Warships employed by the Galactic Empire and its vassal-states, the Corback-class destroyers and Talbot-class battleships, tend to resemble gigantic blades with engines stuck on the end. It seems to be an intimidation method
    • Maracot-class battleships (Queen Serendipity and Jabberwocky) are Dual-Wielding
  • Big Damn Heroes: The climax of Episode 21 has a bunch of these turn up in a row. First an aircraft looking to kill Marika appears and attacks the racers indiscriminately as they don't know which dingy is hers, she saves everyone by identifying herself while Chiaki leads the racers away. Then the race organiser appears in a dingy almost identical to Marika's, she gets shot down but the Bentenmaru drops into the atmosphere and puts the ship between Marika and her would be assassins and pick her up. Then just as the crew realises they can't manuver well enough to take out the aircraft Ai returns in her dingy to help them use the wind to shoot down the enemy.
  • Boarding Party: Bentenmaru deploys something that looks out of Pirates of the Caribbean for their normal jobs on liners. The Ghost Ship arc also shows that the same boarding party is quite competent at actual boarding operations a naval vessel would undertake.
  • Bottle Fairy: Both Ririka and Misa.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The book Marika read during the pirate scene of episode 6? The script of the episode itself, complete with the same subtitle. (Though it use the name of the Light Novel).
  • Call Back: A comically ironic one in the opening narration of episode 16: The narrator states that manuals exist for piracy, electronic warfare and FTL jumps. In the previous episode the Bentenmaru's regular crew just about had a heart attack when Marika suggests a practice jump, which isn't in the manual they wrote for the ship.
  • Cassandra Truth: When the second raid on the Princess Apricot doesn't go as smoothly as expected, the Captain suggests that maybe the crew has taken ill and been replaced by trainees. This is dismissed as a ridiculous idea.
    • Of course, it helped that Show at the insurance company had warned the captain of the Princess Apricot that Marika's regular crew were all sick.
  • Captain Ersatz: Chiaki is basically Kuroneko + Futaba Aoi, with all three sharing the same seiyuu.
  • Catch Phrase: Marika: Saa! Kaizoku no jikan da! (It's time for some piracy!)
    • This seems to be a general pirate/Kato Catch Phrase as it's also used by "Blaster" Ririka in a flashback and Chiaki when she covers for Marika.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ai picks up a book on local constellations before the race in Ep. 21. This comes in handy at the end; when her navigation system is disabled, Ai pops the hatch and navigates by eye, using the constellations as her guide.
  • Cool Car: Misa drives a pink Rolls Royce with some lawyer friendly modifications.
  • Cool Ship: The Bentenmaru.
    • The Odette II appears to be a rather cool looking large yacht... and then it's revealed to have been an armed merchantmen, a pirate cruiser, and is one of the few surviving ships of the Original Seven privateers authorised by the Sea of the Morningstar.
    • The Silent Whisper that Jenny uses to make her escape in Episode 17: it's a fast, agile Space Fighter outfitted for recon and electronic warfare, capable of making FTL jumps. And it's worth more than the Bentenmaru. (Which is understandable - an F-35 costs more than a WW2 cruiser.)
    • The naval warships shown in the series look like massive blades.
  • Cosplay: The Girl's Yacht Club perform their pirating role in episode 16 in various cosplay costumes, provided by Mami. While it does surprise the guests of the ship they're pirating, it doesn't seem to affect the job too much, although Marika is clearly uncomfortable with the lack of seriousness the costumes present.
  • Dangerously-Short Skirt: Practically every Action Girl has one. The name of the original light novel is Miniskirt Pirates.
    • In episode 14, Gruier buys a business suit for Marika in an attempt to disguise her while they're trying find a replacement crew while the original is recuperating in a hospital. Marika laments that its skirt is so short, and Gruier immediately points out that pants on the Bentenmaru captain is completely unacceptable. Yay for Fan Service.
    • Episode 20 shows the the school uniform is not suitable for bike riding.
  • Darker and Edgier: Episode 21 starts to hint at this with the attack on Marika's escort plane during the race, and in episode 22 ships really start getting attacked and destroyed out of the blue, unlike earlier episodes where almost no one died or even had their ship disabled, aside from the Lightning 11 in the first arc/few episodes.
  • Designer Babies: Evidently the entire Serenity Royal Family is this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Chiaki. She's very important in the early episodes, and even gets some focus during the opening and ending intros. Then once Gruier shows up, she gets much less screentime and doesn't seem to be as important to the plot anymore.
    • However, she's comes back into the spotlight as The Lancer to Marika during the Hakuoh Pirates arc.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Misa, the school nurse/medic aboard the Bentenmaru. In episode 8, after arriving at the airport, both Marika and Gruier have a physically exhausted look on their faces. A short flashback then shows that they were screaming the entire drive there due to Misa driving really fast.
  • The Empire: The Galactic Empire, the most powerful faction in the series. Surprisingly, despite being an expansionist force that conquer other star systems, the Empire is rather benevolent to the planets they ruled, allowing them the right to self-rule and have their own defense force in exchange those planets swear allegiance to the Empire and their forces becoming a part of the Empire's forces. The Empire was the reason the War of Independence ended because their fleets were ten times bigger and overwhelm both the Federation and Alliance fleets.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Gruier and Grunhilde.
  • Evolving Credits: The ending for episode 9 is different from the previous episodes.
    • Episode 14's end credits reflects the modifications Mami makes to Marika's pirate uniform. In addition, the Serenity princesses are also shown walking alongside Marika, Chiaki, and Mami.
  • Expy: Marika and Chiaki are commonly compared to Kirk and Spock.
    • Princess Gruier Serenity is first introduced in a white gown and as being a member of the Serenity royal family, and is later reintroduced in the same episode as a junior high school student in a Sailor Fuku with her hair done up in twin odango with pigtails. Now, who does that remind you of?
      • As if that wasn't enough, Gruier's little sister Grunhilde, who greatly resembles her, starts wearing the exact same haristyle when she later joins the same middle school.
        • This was probably intended as a reference to Sailor Moon's 20th anniversary.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The "Revolutionaries" in episode 18 fail to notice that the Bentenmaru has docked and they've been boarded until Chiaki starts shooting off her rifle and brings down a chandelier that's right above them while giving them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech!
  • Food Porn: Marika's chocolate parfait. Ririka's cooking also gets some inordinate attention. Episode 9: the melon.
  • Funny Afro: Show, the agent at the insurance company.
  • Genre Savvy: Many of the characters seem knowledgeable in anticipating what their opponents are likely to do, whether its the girl's yacht club, or Chiaki and Marika discussing electronic warfare, to the Bentenmaru pirates.
  • Great Offscreen War: 120 years ago, The War of Independence was fought between the Colony Federation; colonial planets who were fighting for independence and the right to self rule and the Stellar Alliance; the alliance of suzerain planets that ruled over the colonial worlds before they started to rebel. Not much is know about the war except the planet Morning Star issued Letter of Marques to Space Pirates to help the Federation's space fleets and the war ended in an unexpected way. The war ended with neither side winning because the Galactic Empire got involved and forced both sides to surrender and become part of the Empire.
  • Gunship Rescue: Bentenmaru, Barbaroosa, and several Stellar Alliance warships arrive while Marika is aboard the Odette II after their little fight with the Lightning 11 in episode 5.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. Marika is an honor roll student only because she puts a lot of time and effort into studying; when she tries juggling her pirate work and school, her grades take a massive nosedive, going from straight As to F.
  • Hero of Another Story: Chiaki probably qualifies. She has her ship that she works on with her dad, and does a lot things which often forces her to suffer from being Out of Focus. She also fills in for Marika's pirate role in some episodes while the real one is working on a more covert mission.
  • Hot Mom: Marika's mother Ririka.
  • Insistent Terminology: Chiaki really objects to Marika or Mami adding -chan to her name. It doesn't stop them from doing it constantly.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The series uses the English word "sailing" in place of "episode".
  • Is This Thing On?: This happens almost word for word when Marika raids the Princess Apricot, causing her to get flustered and botch her intro. Becomes a Running Gag as in episode 16 it happens again when she raids the same liner with the Yacht club members
  • Large Ham: Show, the guy at the insurance company. Kenjo Kurihara comes close, and Chiaki lapses into this during Pirate raids.
    • Kane does this when he shows back up at school as their coach in episode 20. To the point that Marika wonders why he's speaking in a normal tone at the end when he's simply piloting the Bentenmaru
  • Latex Space Suit: The female students wear them on their cruise. Kane notes that the guy who provided them must've done so on purpose. A more realistic one appears in the intro, and the Bentenmaru's own stock are about as un-latexy as you can get, resembling Mini-Mecha instead.
    • The one Marika wears in ep 12 is quite flattering, as is Misa's.
  • Lethal Chef: Ririka, when she first joined the crew of Bentenmaru. Fortunately, she got better.
  • Little Stowaway: Gruier sneaks onto the Bentenmaru during the end of episode 7, and is properly introduced in episode 8.
    • She does it again to get aboard the Odette 2 with Chiaki's help in episode 15, and brings her sister along too.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There's the girls yacht club, then there's also the Bentenmaru pirates. Fortunately they don't throw all of them at you at once.
  • Magic Skirt: The Yacht Club wears their school uniforms on-board the Odette II, with not a Panty Shot to be seen. Did we mention this happens in zero gravity?
  • Male Gaze: Pretty prominent example during the first ending credits with Marika.
  • Meido: Marika and her best friend work in a Maid Cafe at the start of the story.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the beginning of episode 13.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: It would not be a terribly large exaggeration to say the show runs off this, through everything from communications laser Beam Spam to extreme paperwork.
  • Mundane Utility: The Odette II is one of the legendary original seven pirate ships. It is now used as a training vessel for a high school's yacht club.
    • Marika's Silent Whisper, an FTL-capable electronic warfare/reconnaissance Space Fighter worth more than the Bentenmaru, ends up being loaned to the Yacht Club as another training vessel.
  • New Transfer Student: Chiaki Kurihara in the first episode.
    • Gruier becomes one in episode 8.
    • Grunhilde later in episode 13
  • Nice Hat: Marika has one when she's wearing her pirate outfit, and Ai Hoshimiya wears one with a hint of cat ears on hers.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Mami does one during one of Marika's Imagine Spot in episode 9.
    • Chiaki does this as well in the beginning of episode 10, in a very Large Ham type fashion while filling in for Marika.
    • Jenny does it in episode 17, but it isn't very convincing.
  • Non-Indicative Name: It's discussed in episode 6 that, at least From a Certain Point of View, the Letter of Marque mean the crew of the Bentenmaru are not pirates, they're Privateers of course the saying about "One man's freedom fighter" also applies.
    • That scene makes more sense when you realize that Japanese history contains many pirates, but Japan never had any equivalent of privateers.
  • Oh Crap: The regular crew of the Bentenmaru, confined in a hospital under quarantine, has that look/attitude as they hurriedly scramble to come up with an impromptu manual for the Girls Yacht club for the ship after Marika decides to use them in episode 15 for a pirate raid.
    • Robert Dolittle in episode 18 when Marika plays his phone recording.
    • Pretty much every single pirate in episode 22 has that look on their face at various points in time when a huge ship starts attacking them out of nowhere, including the Bentenmaru's crew.
  • Only in It For the Money: It seems that cruise-ship companies contract pirates to give their passengers a little excitement. Cruise liners have a "stage" on which the pirates appear, Marika follows a script on the Princess Apricot raid, and Kane even tells some of the passengers on the Apricot (while acting as a passenger himself) that the passenger line's insurance will pay for any valuables the pirates "take". In Episode 10, the bridge crew on one of the liners is shown relaxing during the raid that Chiaki is leading and looking forward to seeing the "new female pirate". This not only allows for the passengers to have a fun show (they cheer the pirates) but funds the pirates' activities as well. It's cabaret with lasers and swords.
    • It's also an easy way for the pirates to maintain a high rate of raids so the Letter of Marque doesn't expire.
  • Odango Hair: Gruier and Grunhilde after being enrolled in Hakuho Academy
  • Ordinary High School Student: Marika before she is recruited as a pirate.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Gruier's idea of a cunning disguise is outfitting Marika and herself in business suits with Cool Shades and really short skirts. Nobody is fooled.
  • Parental Abandonment: Inverted, as Ririka apparently left Gonzaemon herself, probably wishing a quieter life for Marika.
  • Pirate Girl: Marika and Chiaki.
  • Privateer: The pirate ship Bentenmaru is operating under a Letter of Marque, given to it during the War of Independence.
  • Playful Hacker: Lynn Lambretta and Courier. And Hyakume is no slouch, either.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The death of Gonzaemon, Marika's father and Ririka's husband, starts the plot.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Hugh & Dolittle Interstellar Trading Company has its own fleet of naval warships. It's worth noting that presently, Lloyds of London is preparing its own small escort fleet, and the East India Company had its own private navy.
  • Punch Clock Hero: In a literal version of this, Misa refuses to allow Marika or Gruier to stay on the bridge for longer than 8 hours a day due to child labor laws.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship/Ship Tease: No puns intended. Between Marika and Gruier. Misa at one point even sees them as prince and princess as they infiltrate the ghost ship.
    • In episode 19, it gets more blatant from Gruier.

Gruier: "We are bounded by fate, destined to meet one another in this vast universe."

  • Running Gag: Absolutely no one at all listens to Chiaki's embarrassed requests to stop calling her "Chiaki-Chan".
    • Marika making a certain shout when she is surprised, best transcribed as "!!!"
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Jenny and Lynn. They actually kiss in episode 17, and cue the girls' cute Squee.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: When Chiaki questions Marika's decision to take the job to save Jenny from an Arranged Marriage even though it could be dangerous and may cost her pirating license this is part of her justification for doing so, the other parts being she is the Bentenmaru's captain and it sounds like fun.
    • The real reason is that Marika's friend Jenny is in deep trouble, needs help, and can't wait. You don't turn your back on your friends.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections: It's stated at the end of episode 18 that Jenny's uncle will most likely escape prosecution and keep his job despite being exposed as a Corrupt Corporate Executive because of this.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Armalite, the company that designed the M16 and M4, makes the beam gun Marika uses.
    • One of the Space Yacht members name is Syoko Kobayashimaru. Anyone familiar with her surname knows it's a reference to the famous Kobayashi Maru test from Star Trek.
      • Made even better since the Kobayashi Maru and Syoko Kobayashimaru are both from the Tau Ceti system.
    • Jenny's "Fools!" message from episode 5 is a nod to the first episode of Uchuu Senkan Yamato or the famous "Nuts!" response from General Tony McAuliffe during the WWII siege of Bastogne.
    • The challenge and response used by Ririka and the pirates in the first episode is the first line of the theme song for Captain Harlock.
    • The Original Seven privateers, of which Hakuchou/Odette II and Bentenmaru are survivors, are a nod to seven privateers paid for by George Washington during the Revolutionary War; while none of them survived, they were the first ships of what would become the United States Navy.
    • The Bentenmaru gets much of her work from the Harold Lloyd Insurance company, a play on real life Lloyd's and the silent movie star.
    • Princess Gruier Serenity's Odango hairstyle is a homage to another well known Princess Serenity.
    • The first passenger liner that Marika pirated was named the "Princess Apricot", obviously a reference to "Princess Peach".
      • "Princess Apricot" is also a character from the Wii game Little King's Story.
    • The emblem on the Bentenmaru marines' uniform is a hockey mask with crossed bones, a fairly obvious send-up to the Irresponsible Captain Tylor, whose Gunnery Sergeant was apparently no other than Jason Voorhees himself.
    • In the third major arc of the show, we encounter the hospital ship Ben Casey, named after the eponymous main character in a famous '60s medical drama.
    • Also, before they were sidelined by the quarantine, Bentenmaru was supposed to raid the liner Queen Esmeralda, a shout out to an OVA continuing the Harlock Saga.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Marika turns the Odette II's solar sails into a variation on this during the showdown with the Lightning 11 in Episode 5, blinding her optical targeting system and heating the hull. Lucky for them Marika decides to stop before melting their ship.
  • Space Pirates: The main premise of the series.
  • Space Fighter: Jenny grabs one, and later transfers its registration to Marika.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Arguably Gruier. She doesn't show up till about episode 8 (technically she boarded Marika's ship in 7 but we don't know its her at that point), then gets a lot of focus, and seems to end up replacing poor Chiaki. Even Marika's classmates nor Mami get to spend nearly as much time with her as Gruier does.
    • Justified since Mami never goes into space and Chiaki is most likely doing jobs with the Barbossa.
  • Squee: The Marika's class girls' reaction when Kane McDougal shows up as a substitute teacher and Chiaki Kurihara as a New Transfer Student.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: In episode 8, Gruier does this when she mysteriously appears in the backseat of Misa's car while they're trying to get to the airport and stop at the school gate. Marika is sitting in the other seat, and yet she's just as surprised as Misa to learn that Gruier has managed to get herself both into the car and belted in without notice.
  • The Stoic: Chiaki, until she encounters a chocolate parfait.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In one episode, Chiaki claims to only be at the cafe where Marika works for the parfait, until Mami mentions Marika's name, which causes Chiaki to stumble/choke a little bit.
  • Techno Babble: Oh yes, lots of it regarding space travel. For the most part it's correct, too.
    • Could also be considered a case of Shown Their Work since most of the tactics and strategies shown regarding space combat and orbital mechanics are spot-on, technically speaking.
  • Technology Porn
  • Tempting Fate: Several examples:
    • A passenger on a cruise liner states she is quite sure Pirates don't exist anymore, right before Marika appears and announces she's taken over the ship.
    • In episode 9, right before heading out to find the golden ghost ship, Marika says she hopes this doesn't turn into some kind of action movie. Then the preview for the next episode shows action movie stuff happening...
    • In episode 22, Marika offers to escort a pirate ship named Big Catch from a ship that's mysteriously attacking pirate vessels. The captain of that ship is rather bold and cocky, and thinks that anyone stupid enough to attack them will get quickly defeated by them. Till they actually see said ship show up...
  • Totally Radical: The title. The original novels take it even further. That said, Bodacious is an actual word, and a portmanteau of "Bold" and "Audacious", two things which pirates definitely are.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: Chiaki's comes with Zettai Ryouiki.
  • Unusual User Interface: The Holographic Terminals are par for the course, but some controls are based on a row of mixing desk faders.
  • Uterine Replicator: This is essentially how the entire Serenity Royal Family is born, from one aboard the Serenity Ghost Ship.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Marika's school grades take a big hit after she starts pirate captain training.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 22. Any semblance of a Slice of Life show about Space Pirates is blown away, along with the Big Catch's fighters - who, incidentally, give us our first confirmed onscreen deaths.
  • Wham! Line: Episode 16.

Lynn: I wish to kidnap the former president of the Hakuoh Academy Yacht Club, Jenny Dolittle.