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Mōretsu Pirates

Entry updated 2 February 2017. Tagged: Film, TV.

["Mōretsu Pirates", with "Pirates" as the sanctioned pronunciation for characters that would otherwise be pronounced Uchū Kaizoku, literally "Vehement Space Pirates"]. Japanese animated tv series (2012; released in English as Bodacious Space Pirates). Satelight, Tokyo MX. Cast includes Kana Hanazawa, Mikako Komatsu and Masaya Matsukaze. Directed by Tatsuo Sato. Written by Tatsuo Sato, Michiko Ito, Shinichi Miyazaki, Kentaro Mizuno. 26 25-minute episodes. Colour.

In a Far Future setting where humanity is scattered among the stars, teenager Marika (Komatsu) discovers that she has inherited a letter of marque allowing her ancestors to function as privateers in a long-running space war. Reluctant to become a pirate, she accepts this new challenge anyway on the grounds that refusal would terminate the hereditary licence and render the crew of the warship Benten-maru jobless. Based on the Minisuka Pirates ["Miniskirt Pirates"] series by Yūichi Sasamoto, this oddly-paced, perky Anime series in the spirit of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (see Hitoshi Yoshioka) derives much of its Humour and strength from the gusto with which its unruffled heroine takes on her new role, drafting members of the high-school yacht club into a life of piracy, and brokering an elaborate deal with fellow privateers in order to form a coalition against their enemies. Presumably with a strong voting bloc born of its literary origins, it won a Seiun Award for Best Media in 2013. A 93-minute film sequel, Mōretsu Pirates: Akū no Shin'en ["Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace"] (2014) duly followed. [JonC]


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