Space Pirate Mito
Aoi is a fairly typical teenage Japanese boy whose father has passed on and whose mother works as a model overseas. Except that, well, his mom's job is a complete sham, and in fact, his mom isn't even who he thinks she is.
The tall, slim model is just a cover for his REAL mom, Mito, a fearsome space pirate stuck in the body of an elementary schooler. But despite her reputation and her pint-size appearance, all she really wants is to be with her beloved son, and if it means taking him along on an intergalactic goose chase ... oh well! What's a working mom to do?
There is simply no way to pretend this is anything but a kid's show. You can't take any bit of Space Pirate Mito seriously, or you will severely hurt your brain trying to answer questions like, "How did a grown woman, alien or not, with the body of a six-year-old manage to have a biologically half-human child?"
Instead if attempting to visualize the impossible in your head, you should probably just focus on the impossible images on the screen. Space Pirate Mito is escapism at its silliest, pitting cartoon space pirates against cartoon space marines, all in this aggressively colorful style that all but screams "kid show". While the animation is no better and no worse than anything else in that genre, it certainly fits, especially when inept detective siblings Mutsuki and Masatsuki show up in their Mecha-of-the-Day. If anything, it's in the occasional serious bits where the too-simplistic art style seems to fail just a bit.
After all, it's not JUST fun and games - there's actually a romantic subplot involving Aoi and Mutsuki, and there's a few gender confusion issues thrown in just to be weird.
And there's the inherent problem with this show: too much emphasis is placed on doing stuff just to be weird, and not nearly enough of the plotting revolves around developing the characters or their motivations. Everyone seems stereotyped and one-dimensional, and it seems the creators really had a hard time deciding when Mito was going to be her "cute" self or her "serious" self. At least Kawakami Tomoko as Mito manages to keep herself in character for the most part, but admittedly it's hard NOT to be cute when you're this little girl who wears ribbons on top of her ribbons!
Compounded upon the silliness is an English dub in which Aoi becomes "Owie", which I guess pretty well answers the childbirth question I asked in the first paragraph, but really just plain sounds bizarre and painful. Some Japanese names simply don't scan well in English language dialogue, and Space Pirate Mito shares this exact problem of vowel-butchering with Ai Yori Aoshi. I recommend sticking with the sub track on this one, though I doubt kids would care either way.
Seriously, from the opening song all the way through the run of the series so far, Space Pirate Mito is obviously just another show for younger audiences. It's too superficial and weird to please a lot of adults, and while I was able to get into the mood and enjoy this DVD while it was running, I really didn't find myself immediately compelled to pick up any more.
Space Pirate Mito is best left to younger anime fans, and I don't really see this getting more than a minimal cult audience among traditional fandom. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: There's silly mecha battles, flashy light saber duels, and a lot of phaser shots being thrown around. None of it is taken seriously, and it's fine for most kids.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Partial (5/13)
Space Pirate Mito © 1999 Mito Project / Bandai Visual / TV Tokyo
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