Mouretsu Pirates 02 – Sunglasses, a ‘small’ gun, but alas no ukulele
January 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Mouretsu Pirates is still in the story building process, taking things slowly and introducing characters bit at a time, but more importantly, not rushing Marika into the captaincy role. It’s a very nice, quite mellow pacing that this show has taken, keeping things going, and actually drawing me in even more.
Some series try to through everything at you within the first episode or two, having the main character thrust into the action to get as many viewers within the opening two episodes as possible. Mouretsu does not do that; it doesn’t even do anything remotely ‘Bodacious’ yet actually. Instead we have a far more sedate pace, building up the characters and showing how Marika begins to come to terms with her who father is and inheriting the Bentenmaru, along with further developing what appears to be quite a unique friendship with Chiaki.
The major scene for this episode however was between Marika and her mother Ririka as they in a lovely bit of mother/daughter bonding, pirate style. I love how we got a nice sentimental spin on learning how to fire a deadly beam gun that can shoot holes through tanks, and quite probably a lot of other things too. It really is a wonderful parent/child moment, despite the fact that Ririka is teaching her daughter how to use powerful weapons, especially when Ririka provides what appears to be an honourable explanation as to why pirates do, what pirates do. This whole speech is a little preposterous, since it appears to essentially be saying that pirates are far more honourable and courageous than you might think, although she pretty much says that whoever has the biggest gun wins. It is as if they are pillaging and looting to help other people – a Robin Hood moment if you will – and yet this didn’t really matter. I’m not entirely sure what the series is trying to do with pirates, but it appears to be attempting to redefine them in some way. What came out of all of this though was a Marika who is far more determined than ever to choose her own path and decide on what she must do.
Marika’s mother is amazing, especially when it appears that she has a substantial stash of weapons in the garage that the police and military appear to be turning a blind eye to. This raises further questions, not only about Ririka, but about the Bentenmaru – if she apparently has enough influence to get the planets military and police to turn a blind eye to her stash of weapons that can probably blow holes in star ships, who on earth is she, and what on earth is the Bentenmaru? Her idea of family bonding is pretty crazy, and frankly amazing, but the question remains, what on earth does she do on full days out if this counts as a small outing? A little light pillaging perhaps, or even robbing a bank or two followed by kidnapping; questions that feel will sadly remain unanswered for the foreseeable future.
We have other mysteries and little hints placed in front of us during this episode. It is clear that Marika is an immensely important person – something that Chiki has already hinted at – and her inheriting the Bentenmaru is seen as such a major incident that special forces, police and spies are all after her. We also have the Yacht Club, and particularly the president to contend with. Misa and Kane realise that the Yacht clubs training ship, The Odette II, is actually one of the Original Seven pirate ships, Hakuchougou (Swan Model), something that is clearly significant to the story, especially when we are also told that the Bentenmaru is also one of the Original Seven.
We then move onto Chiaki, who hasn’t been as difficult as I thought she would be, being impressed at Marika’s decisiveness. This episode showed us the first sign that Marika will make an excellent captain (although we already know she is a genius at navigating space from the first episode) as she attempts to stop hackers from breaking into the control systems of the Hakuchougou before the club goes on a test cruise. I am not sure which way this will go, she could either fail, or succeed spectacularly, but one thing is certain, the relationship between Marika and Chiaki is developing at an excellent pace. It is even clearer now that this will be the central relationship for the series, and what impresses me so far is that Chikai clearly knows an awful lot about Marika and the significance of her being the next captain of the Bentemaur, but we aren’t being told a thing.
I’m not entirely sure which direction this show is going, but from what I have seen so far I like it. We are given small bits of information, but not many answers, and importantly the characters and plot are developing at a pace, which suits a 26 episode series. One thing is certain however; there are quite a few characters that know an awful lot about Marika and the significance of her inheriting the captaincy of the Bentenmaru. We also have the Yacht Club president Jenny Dolittle (what a name) who quite probably knows an awful lot more about whats going on, and especially about the Bentenmaru and Hakuchougou than she is letting on, one to look out for in the future I think. Also, I want that ukulele toting jolly roger back, it was sadly missed this week.