Moutetsu Pirates 15 – Beware princesses bearing parfaits
April 16, 2012 5 Comments
One thing that I have always enjoyed about Mouretsu Pirates is its pace – rather than throwing the cast into what may appear to be a never-ending series of missions, each one crazier than the last – this show has opted for a far calmer approach, choosing instead to build upon what has come before with plot and character development rather than big flashy effects. This episode is no except, instead of thrusting our stand-in Bentenmaru crew into the fray and effectively force them into a piracy job, this episode acts as a transition, allowing the makeshift crew to get used to their new roles, along with the ship.
It also helped to underline how much confidence and trust the crew of the Bentenmaru have in their captain, along with demonstrating how close Chiaki is to Marika, even if she is unwilling to admit it. It was, however, incredibly entertaining seeing the Bentenmaru’s crew start to panic once they knew what Marika was up to. But, it was also fascinating to see Misa call Marika, but not question her about what she was doing, instead choosing to allow Marika to do what she wants. Of course, while the Bentenmaru’s crew trust Marika, they aren’t exactly pleased to find out that a bunch of High School girls will be flying their ship, and more importantly, actually engage in piracy.
Watching the crew swing into action in order to write an instruction manual on how to fly their ship was both incredibly entertaining and fascinating. In many series, more specifically mecha anime, there will almost invariably be a protagonist who can apparently fly or sue any machine or mecha pretty much as soon as they touch it. While the Yacht Club clearly know their way around a ship, many of them are of course experienced in other more specialist fields, they cant quite get the Bentenmaru to run properly. It’s nice to see a series that allows the cast to fail from time to time, and while they got it working pretty quickly once the instruction manual had been delivered, it was not the prettiest of starts.
The difficulty that Marika and the Yacht Club had in starting the Bentenmaru, not only underlined how complex the ship really is (apparently all the systems are customised, and are in no way similar to even the Barbalusa), but also shows how much Marika takes the skills and knowledge of her crew for granted when it comes to apparently simple operations like flying a space ship. Marika naturally takes the captains role, and while she has to do a lot more than normal, her latent ability to make on the spot decisions, along with command her own ship once again shines through in this episode.
Her lessons as captain finally pay off of course when the Umi no Akeboshi military are alerted to their presence (due to a students mistakenly firing the main cannons) and come to see what is going on. This is largely the fault of the Yacht Club in a sense, since they start pushing buttons, showing that they have yet to grasp how powerful and dangerous the Bentenmaru is. Watching Marika swing into action and safely make a FTL jump, demonstrates that while she may take certain elements of the ships operations for granted, she is an intelligent person who notices things that happen around her.
There were one or two surprises in this episode however, courtesy of Chiaki, Gruier and Grunhilde. The two princesses stow-away with the help of Chiaki, apparently wanting to take part in the practice cruise and piracy, much to Marika’s dissatisfaction, although she does give in. When the princesses suggest that they do not care about their royal duties and just want to help Marika with her job, she is shocked. It’s fascinating to see that while Marika views them as friends, she nevertheless maintains a certain distance between them, suggesting that pirates and royalty cannot coexist. Of course, being princesses, they do not really have any expertise with the intricacies of space travel, and instead become the purveyors of fine snacks, along with the almighty chocolate parfait that Chiaki loves so much.
For Chiaki’s part, it is great to once again see her working alongside Marika, something that has not happened nearly as often as it perhaps should during this series so far. There are good reasons for this of course, since Marika is the captain of her own ship, whereas Chiaki is the daughter of another pirate captain and will eventually inherit the Barbalusa. But, she clearly holds Marika as a close friend, and although her Tsundere personality wont really allow her to admit it, she goes out of her way to help Marika, and maintain her pride as a pirate captain. Finally, we had a nice short scene involving Ririka who appears to be going ahead with her proposed career change. When she talks to Mami, saying that she was proud of Marika as a mother further demonstrates the ability of these characters to grow. She is no longer Blaster Ririka, but as Misa in a previous episode, Ririka Kato.
Overall it was an excellent episode, one that demonstrated the abilities that make Marika such a fascinating character to watch. As usual we had some great humour, and good character development. It was particularly nice watching Chiaki, Gruier and Grunhilde find the camera that the crew had been using to spy on the Yacht Club, and keep it to themselves. It showed that they hold Marika close, and want her to keep her pride, rather than find out that she has done nothing to get the Bentenmaru moving. Next week looks set to be proper piracy, with Marika leading the Yacht Club on a daring space Cruiser raid.