3: Space Ace

Notice a pattern yet? A lot of these posts have been about watching anime with someone else. This time here’s a show Kitty got me to watch (instead of the other way round).

Actually I did try Space Pirates myself, but after a few episodes I just gave up. It was dull. It said it was about piracy. I didn’t have a problem with the paperwork stuff; it was the schoolgirl stuff that bored me. The show doesn’t do the whole school thing very well, and so in the first few episodes it really seems to want to focus on it. I bounced.

Kitty insisted it was great. After arguing about it (not as seriously as some events, but my joking and cavalier attitude came off as dickish; lots of life lessons in these posts this year) I tried it again with her. We made it through the last episode I watched, and then on into an actual storyline. And boy this show is great.

So they’re based on some light novels that are hard SF, and therefore the show works a lot to make the setting sensible. I would be comfortable with less of that, but it usually remembers to make that an opportunity to talk about at least one of the characters. We learn about traditional security systems hidden in signet rings, for instance, at the same time that we learn about the main character’s tendency to just do stuff without thinking of how hard it will be (she cleans out the entire spaceship while everyone else is gone).

I think some people got the “cute girls doing things” vibe out of this show, but that’s not all there is to it. First, there are men, and they don’t fade into the background. It was refreshing to see a nice mix of characters, though the school club that’s involved is all ladies (I believe the main character goes to an all-girls school). But the crew of the ship is really the best set of characters, and that features the cyborg guy with the horns because, well, he can have horns.

It’s just a good show with some strange plots I hadn’t seen too often in space opera, combined with some of the most traditional bombastic space war stuff. And this moment is one where I learned not to joke about things so hard I convince myself I don’t like them. We are what we do. Even if we think we’re just being sarcastic, we can convince ourselves of things if we say them enough.

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