Mouretsu Pirates 19 – Bonds and Friendship
May 17, 2012 1 Comment
Throughout this series various characters have gathered around Marika, she is an excellent captain with a certain charm and charisma that draws everyone to her, be they friend or foe. But, while she may be able to make on the spot decisions, along with having an excellent tactical mind, she is not perfect, far from it in fact. While she may be brilliant at bringing the best out of her crew, Marika has a terrible tendency to try and do things on her own. This is perhaps related to her wish to stand shoulder to shoulder with her mother Ririka as someone who is strong, capable and kind, unfortunately this can lead to trouble and the consequences that follow.
We have already seen Marika working herself too hard during this series, attempting to juggle her life as a pirate, along with the life of a normal high school girl. While she did not fail at the time, it was clear for all to see that she was pushing herself to hard, trying to do everything almost perfectly, which lead to mistakes and trouble for her and those around her. After all the action, danger and mystery over the last few episodes, this episode at first appeared to be a chance for everyone to relax. However, it was far from that, with the yacht club deciding to clean the Odette II, making sure that everything was in working order.
Marika decides that while she is in space and at the space dock it would be the perfect chance to clean up the Bentenmaru before the crew are discharged and return. As usual, she is taking on twice the workload of anyone else, and even when Gruier offers to help; Marika graciously declines, seemingly unwilling to get the Yacht Club involved in the affairs of a private anymore than they already are. The problem with this is that Marika is doing too much work when she is already incredibly tired, thus allowing for mistakes to be made and other problems to occur. She seems to have the idea that as the captain she must continue to work for the crew without and outside help, as if it is her duty.
She Marika puts to much extra work on, not only demonstrates the capability of the Bentenmaru’s crew, but also how much they, and in particular Misa help to control her. Marika is an incredibly impulsive girl at heart, and Misa has done an excellent job up until this recent arc of controlling her behavior and impulsive ways when aboard the Bentenmaru. Without the crew around Marika isnt set any limits, and in a sense doesn’t know when to stop, pushing forward despite the obvious damage that she is doing to herself. That she is doing two jobs instead of one quickly shows, with Marika making silly mistakes and even losing her control ring onboard the Odette II.
Marika is very much like Chiaki actually, they are both lone wolf characters, often attempting to do things on their own rather than rely on the group all the time. This is perhaps why they get along so well (despite Chiaki’s protests and denial), and also why Marika makes such a good pirate captain. She almost appears to be very similar to Ririka (what little of her pirates days we know about), having a strong will and wish to carry out her duty no matter what the cost. But, she is in a sense blinkered, only being able to see what is in front of her at times, thus ignoring all those who are around her and care about her. So, while Marika has many friends, she doesn’t appear to really understand them, or at least thinks that she has to do her duties without relying on anyone else.
Grunhilde also appears to think in a similar way to Marika, suggesting to Gruier that as a Princess of Serenity she has become too close to a space pirate for her own good. Like other more character driven series the main characters have to learn and grow as the series progresses, only be understanding the value o those around them are they able to move on and mature. But, you do tend to have specific characters that act as a catalyst, forcing through growth, or frequently demonstrating to the main character that they possible knew all along but had never really noticed.
Gruier can be see as that character in Mouretsu Pirates, she is the one that comes to Marika’s rescue after losing the control ring, while also demonstrating to her sister Grunhilde that simply because they are princesses, does not mean that they cannot be close friends with a space pirate. These two things are not mutually exclusive; equally, it is perfectly possible to be a pirate captain, while also being part of, and relying on a space yacht club. The Yacht Clubs intervention, and rescue of the Bentenmaru helps communicate the importance of relying upon, and trusting others, while simultaneously teaching Marika that she cannot do everything on her own.
It also established the Yacht Club’s position as capable space pirates, with the ability to not only work the Bentenmaru’s systems, but also work as a cohesive team. This was one of the clearest examples of teamwork in Mouretsu Pirates, showing that while Marika may be an excellent captain, she is not alone, and furthermore, she cannot be alone. She must learn to rely on others, and acknowledge that the only way a ship can be maintained and move is through the work of the entire crew. There is also the suggestion that like her father Gonzaemon and her mother Ririka, she was born to be a pirate, being more at home in space than on the ground as a high school student.
This episode could be viewed as more of a filler episode, and in many ways it is, however, like the rest of Mouretsu Pirates, there are no wasted episodes. Even without lots of action, intrigue and political dealings, Mouretsu Pirates still delivers some interesting character progression, demonstrating that even when they aren’t flying through space shooting lasers, pirates still have to work to maintain their ship in working order. It also showed Marika to be a far from perfect person, someone who makes mistakes and takes on too much responsibility, believing that it is the only way she can be a true captain. And once again, it was an excellent example of the complicated lives that space pirates lead. They may live in a strange place both inside, as well as outside the law, but at the same time they have to make a living, and have to keep their ship clean and tidy. It’s the representation of pirates as a normal company with bills to pay, rather than the rogues that get drunk all the time, which we often see depicted in films.