This week I decided to try something I haven’t done before: Namely reviewing a manga volume. The manga in question is Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace: Volume 1.
The volume opens showing Captain Marika Kato of the space pirate--actually privateer--ship Bentenmaru raiding a cruise liner. There’s then a short section explaining the history of space piracy in the setting and that most current pirate activities are basically shows to entertain the passengers of cruise liners and such. Then there is a short scene with Marika discussing the job with her crew before returning home.
And a brief meeting with her mother, a legendary former pirate in her own right, the next morning Marika heads to school for a meeting of the yacht club which she is president of. After a discussion of possible upgrades to the school’s space yacht and ideas for recruiting new members. Marika leaves for another raid The scene then shifts to a young boy, Kanata Mugen, who receives a package from his father before being forced to flee an unidentified group.
Back on the Bentenmaru, Marika finds that the job has been canceled, one of many recent cancellations due to a rash disturbances in hyperspace. However, they are given a new job which involves staging the kidnapping of Kanata. The scene then shifts to an interlude where the pirate ship Barbaroosa is attempting to escape a hyperspace whirlpool.
The story then shifts to the raid on the passenger liner carrying Kanata where Kanata and Marika narrowly evade the agents pursuing him, and Kanata is revealed to be the son of a renowned hyperspace expert. But, shortly after leaving the passenger line,r the Bentenmaru finds itself being pursued by a trio of warships and is forced to make a risky course change while in hyperspace.
However the troubles of their latest job might not leave Marika alone once she leaves the ship…
I give this volume 8.5 out of 10. It is a good beginning to a story but I wish that the pursuit sequences and raid to retrieve Kanata had more action. Also, while the Barbaroosa’s crew includes my favorite character from the franchise, I still feel that the Barbaroosa scene could have easily been saved for a later volume as I believe that placing it where it occurs doesn’t really benefit what is happening at that point in the story.