Steven says that though the show doesn’t pass the refrigerator test he likes it anyway. That sounds about right to me. I found that I was able to relax and enjoy it once I accepted that this is basically a high-spirited children’s show.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly this is much more interesting than most American children’s cartoons, not to mention better written, better acted and better drawn.
Unfortunately this has what may well be the worst English title for any anime release ever. (I know that the competition for that award is very fierce, but hear me out.)
The Japanese title is Mouretsu Pirates. The word mouretsu literally means “fierce”, but idiomatically calling workers “mouretsu” implies that they are gung-ho, enthusiastic, full of company spirit. So “Gung-ho Pirates” would be a good translation of the title. Or, since it’s half-English anyway, leaving it untranslated would probably be fine.
Instead the marketing geniuses at the Japanese production company, no doubt eager to show off their mad English skills, came up with “Bodacious Space Pirates.” I’m not sure whether they understand that putting “bodacious” in any title implies that it is a sleazy sex comedy.
Now there are plenty of anime series that are indeed sleazy sex comedies (and one or two are actually funny) but that is not the case here. This is a totally innocent story about going on adventures after school and committing acts of piracy without hurting anybody.
This may not be a big deal as long as the series is just streaming on Crunchyroll but it it ever gets a North American DVD release it could be a big problem. Anyone who buys the DVD based on the title is likely to be very upset. Meanwhile the people most likely to really enjoy the show will probably not be allowed to watch it.
The moral: as with all translation decisions, the final decision about whether and how to translate the title should be made by native English speakers.