Mouretsu Pirates 07 – Optional Extras, Space Warfare, and Stowaways
February 21, 2012 Leave a comment
I feel that this week’s episode title ‘The Peace Does Not Last’ is telling of what is to come, and more importantly how Marika’s current world and way of doing things is due to be shaken up in a major way. What has also become abundantly clear in this episode is how few people truly understand Marika and why she does what she does. This week showed us how much pressure that Marika is currently under, with Kane and Misa showing how far her current grades have dropped. This is largely due to her now double life of being both High School student and Pirate ship captain of course, but neither Misa nor Kane seem to understand why she insists on continuing with her High School life, instead of packing it all in and becoming a full-time pirate.
What we also saw this week is Marika’s constant need to please everyone and not only be a good pirate captain, but also a good student, something that is essentially impossible right now. I think it says a lot for Marika’s character that she would put this much effort into essentially leading a double life, both onboard her ship, along with at school. But it is only a matter of time I feel before the workload gets too much and Marika will become a full-time pirate. Although I also feel that there will be a serious of other circumstances that lead Marika to become a full time captain. In many ways it looks like Marika is more at home on board the Bentenmaru – learning the intricacies of its crew and how pirates do business – than she is on solid ground. We see her unable to fully pay attention in school – largely because of her workload – but, not only that, she dreams of taking on daring solo scouting missions – that go horribly wrong I might add. Her grades are clearly suffering, and Misa in particular cannot understand why Marika wants to properly graduate from high school when she is already a pirate captain.
With Marika out on another mission, we have a fascinating little scene involving Chiaki and Mami. It’s great to see Mami get a little more screen time, especially when she is teasing Chiaki about her reasons for visiting the café – it is obvious that Chiaki has come to see Marika, although she claims in that wonderful way Tsundere’s have that she is only there for the parfait. Mami clearly understands Marika very well, explaining that because Marika can do everything s well people assume that she is a genius – however, she puts a lot of effort into everything she does. Mami also explains that Marika aims to become someone who can stand proudly beside her mother, rather than overtake her. Ririka is described as the mountain that Marika is aiming for, something that is truly admirable, but also suggests that Marika in some way feels as if she has yet to achieve anything of note. What was particularly interesting here was Chiaki’s answer to this, immediately talking about ‘Blaster Ririka’, the name Ririka was known by when she was a pirate. To Chiaki, Ririka is still that famous pirate, however, to Marika she is her mother, someone who is amazing, strong, courageous, mysterious, but also a legendary pirate with a fearsome reputation. It is something Marika seems to want to live up to, but importantly, no one else really knows how this feels, Chiaki certainly doesn’t given her response. And perhaps this is one of the reasons why Marika has gone to space, she wants to learn more about her mother, not only as the legendary pirate, but as the woman she knows and has grown up with.
This episode in a sense demonstrated how much pressure Marika is under; from those around her, as well as herself – she perhaps feels as if she has to live up to the incredibly reputations of her parents, along with the reputation of the Bentenmaru itself. What was interesting about the entire conversation however was how Mami suggested that Chiaki is taking her place while Marika is in space – Chiaki must become the person to guide and help Marika as she grows as a person and a pirate. Mami, while a little vauge seems to trust Chiaki enough to ask her to look after Marika, which demonstrates, in some small way, how much Chiaki and Marika have grown since they first met each other at the beginning of the series.
This week was also another look a the pirating business, that at the moment has more in common with show business than it does with anything particularly piratical. Marika is throwing herself into the fray, doing as best she can with a ship and crew that are fitting their work around Marika’s already busy schedule. It wasn’t explicitly stated, but it has become clear that certain clients hire the Bentenmaru to stage elaborate piracy ‘shows’ on board luxury cruise liners, for the customer’s entertainment. This week the client elected to pay double for the optional extras for a ship-to-ship battle. The battles were great to watch, and it was a nice introduction to the workings on board the Bentenmaru’s bridge during such moments, along with some great space laser action. It was also an interesting little introduction to the Bentenmaru’s capabilities, although I’m sure that we were barely shown even a fraction of what the ship is capable of when called for. It was great seing the ships electronic warfare expert Coorie, who spends more time eating snacks than she does actually hitting keys – I dread to think what her work station actually looks like with all those crumbs flying around. We were also introduced to Luca, who looks to be the navigator, along with potentially being a psychic, and also incredibly vague about everything.
This week was another excellent week introducing us to the work of space pirates, however it may have disappointed some people due to its light tone. I liked how the main characters are constantly growing, and learning new things about each other everyday. Seeing Marika get so into her role as a pirate captain that she even puts on makeup, and has some spectacular lines when boarding ships was also a treat to see. The end of the episode introduced two plot elements that suggest things may gradually start to get darker and more serious as well. Chiaki was given a warning (we don’t hear it) by her father Kenjo, and it appears that the Bentenmaru has a royal stowaway, whop miraculously snuck on board during the cruise ship performance. Both of which suggest things may start getting a bit trickier for Marika, especially now that she is the official captain of one of the Original Seven pirate ships, something that I still think will become significant later on in the series.