Mouretsu Pirates 23 and the realisation of what it means to be a pirate
June 13, 2012 Leave a comment
There has been an element of Mouretsu Pirates that follows the politics and importance of being a pirate. While the majority of the series has focussed on Marika, along with the Hakuhou Girls Academy Yacht Club, there has always been a significant political sub-plot to the series. What this final arc is doing is bringing together all the little elements that we have been shown throughout the series to give us some indication as to the importance and power that pirates truly hold. What is most significant however, is the appearance of the Galactic Empire, or at least two of its ships. Throughout this series the Galactic Empire has been an unseen, unknown presence, staying in the shadows as if it were waiting for the right moment to strike. We are told about it during the very first arc of the series, with Misa demonstrating its importance, along with its power.
As an empire it appears to have a significant lead in terms of technology along with military strength, perfectly demonstrated by its ability to stop the war of independence and swallow up all the various kingdoms and republics. It is clearly a big threat, but what is most worrying is the apparent lack of interest in the various systems that the Bentenmaru, along with other pirate crews operate. There is the implication that these systems are not worth their time, and that it is, in effect, tolerating the existence of other military forces, along with the Space Pirates. The appearance of these two heavily armoured, and incredibly powerful warships is therefore a clear indication that the Galactic Empire may not be entirely beneficent, and is perhaps a substantial threat to the peace of the area.
The so called ‘Pirate Hunters’, appears to be a single woman in the highly advanced ship known as ‘The Grand Cross’, a ship with superior technology and firepower. This is a particularly fascinating ship, partly because of its technology, but also because of the way with which it has been focussing on pirates, rather than military forces. Pirates, while spread out are nevertheless a formidable fighting force, and more specifically, one that is not bound by the rules and regulations of combat. If they were to ever together into a cohesive unit, the Space Pirates would create a force to be reckoned with, and in fact this has already happened. We know from the history of this series that Space Pirates were given Letter’s of Marque in order to bring them into the military.
The implications of this are therefore highly significant, suggesting that far from being random attacks; The Grand Cross is almost systematically attempting to destroy the pirate forces. There is the suggestion that the Galactic Empire have been actively developing a new class of battleship, with the ability to control gravity, and one with superior weapons, along with other systems. It is therefore quite possible that the attacks by The Grand Cross are part of a trial run, with the Galactic Empire using this chance to kill of the space Pirate forces, while simultaneously test their new ships. This then points to the notion that the Galactic Empire only left the systems that they conquered along because it was not the right time to attack. Rather they sat back, while steadily increasing their military might, in order to deliver a final hammer-blow to those they have conquered, wiping out all resistance once and for all.
It now seems clear why the Serenity royal family, along with their military commanders (or at least a significant group within the Serenity royal court) wished to split from the Galactic Empire. To them, the Empire is a repressive and oppressive master, one that only allows those it conquers to do what they wish because they are of no real threat. It is little wonder then, that such an Empire would fear the might of the Space Pirates, a group who work from outside, not bound by any form of power of loyalty. In a sense, it seems as if the Space Pirates are the one true threat to the Galactic Empire, thus The Grand Cross is in essence on a mission to eliminate this threat before it gains any real strength.
The Space Pirates must band together like they did during the war of independence, in order to once again fight for their freedom. Chiaki arrives as her fathers messenger requesting the assistance of Marika and the Bentenmaru. It is clear that gathering all the pirates together is not a simple task, especially when they are spread across the solar system living life the way they choose. Furthermore, they are all individual, with their own thoughts, ideas and ideals; it needs true leadership and charisma to gather such a group of individuals together.
What we are seeing in this arc is the culmination of all the links and fiends that Marika has made over the course of the series coming together to form something incredibly powerful and dangerous. The idea that she can have Gruier, the crown princess of the Serenity system happily serving her tea and even dressing up in a maid costume, not only shows us the true friendship that they share, but also the power that Marika wields. In essence, Marika is not a simple pirate captain, but someone who has links with all the major powerbases in the system. And while she may not have a direct link to military commanders, she has something far better, a group of friends who are willing to provide her with the necessary information.
Chiaki once again shows us her naivety, and in some respects her inexperience in such situations. She is mystified, or perhaps baffled by Marika’s calm demeanour and ability to happily drink tea or joke with Gruier at their home. To Chiaki, they must act now, rushing off into space to gather together all the pirates with the help of this ‘Legendary Chef’. There is no notion of calming down and thinking things through, she in effect lacks the knowledge and ability to make the best use of what is available to her. Marika on the other hand has seen what they are up against and knows full well the importance of what they are trying to achieve. She is however far calmer, and instead of rushing off, and is able to make the connections between her past, her present and the people she knows.
There are still many unanswered questions from this recent arc, particular surrounding the pirate Ironbeard. He is apparently a Galactic Empire pirate, and the technology that his ship possesses certainly demonstrates that he is not a normal pirate captain. His appearance and disappearance, along with his identity are as mysterious as that of The Grand Cross; furthermore, his part in this whole conflict is an ambiguous one. We know that he is an enemy of the person controlling The Grand Cross, but at the same time, he is not necessarily a true ally of the Bentenmaru, despite warning them. It will be interesting to see what part he plays in the arc as a whole, along with his relationship with the pilot of The Grand Cross and the Bentenmaru.
The other two characters that are of note, particularly from this episode, but also from the series itself are Misa and Kane. They are clearly famous pirates, with Misa fighting alongside Ririka and Marika’s father, but they have always given off an air of mystery. Misa’s reaction to hearing the name Ironbeard suggests that she knows him, and perhaps knows significantly more about their current situation than she is letting on. Kane has also been exhibiting some strange behaviour and actions lately, starting with his attitude towards Marika. His reaction to the appearance of Ironbeard and his ship Parabellum is one thing, but his reaction to the idea of finding the Pirates Nest is something else entirely. It is as if the Misa, and in particular Kane we have seen up until now may not be the whole story, as if they have been hiding something from Marika and the entire crew.
What we do know is that the Bentenmaru and its crew are immensely important to this pirate gathering, and that there is clearly something happening in the Galactic Empire. There are ambiguities surrounding the entire scenario however, with the suggestion that The Grand Cross may also be a rogue ship. What is particular interesting about this final arc is the way in which it is bringing together all the different groups and plot elements that have involved Marika up until now. It is also clear that she has finally recognised her own wishes and desires, acknowledging that she belongs in space aboard the Bentenmaru. It will be fascinating to see how this arc ends, although it appears that it will take the finally 3 episodes to complete.
On a final note, the preview suggests a bigger battle taking place, although not a decisive one, which I assume is going to saved for the final episode. I am quite curious about the blonde women shown in the preview (as many others may very well be), who I am almost certain is Coorie, or perhaps a sister. I am not discounting Jenny reappearing, but the hair colour and style dont match, furthermore, we have never seen Coorie without her glasses and her hair down, so it wouldnt surprise me if she was incredibly beautiful. Will have to wait and see I suppose.