Mouretsu Pirates has a lot in common with it’s main character. Both are likable, attractive, and very capable. And they both want to have their cake and eat it too. Seems to me that what Marika is trying to do by being a pirate captain and a schoolgirl at the same time is a lot like what the series itself is trying to do in being a self-described bodacious adventure story without any danger, pain or negativity altogether, a place where bad things happen only in bad dreams. I can’t shake the feeling that both Marika and Mouretsu Pirates are just goofing around, having a good time, playing at doing something big and boisterous but actually never taking the training wheels off.
I have to give the show credit though, it has absolutely stuck to its guns all the way so far in refusing to divert from it’s incredibly low-key style. I couldn’t help but laugh when the caller ID on the pay phone Chiaki was talking to her father on showed his full name and a picture of him dressed in full pirate regalia – that sums things up pretty well. We had an entire episode devoted to doing the paperwork in making Marika Captain, and all of the jobs her ship does seem to be staged with the approval of the “victims” as an elaborate entertainment for their clients. It’s an amusing idea but not one that can drive two cours of anime, IMO, and I’m wondering whether there’s going to be any sense of imperative to this show at all.
If there is, I doubt it’s going to come from the plot twist at the end of the episode. For once the pantomime of the “pirate attack” didn’t go exactly as planned, and a stowaway found her way onto the Bentenmaru. But it looks to be an excuse to inject more of the same into the story – more politics and more moe, as the stowaway is a cute li’l pigtailed princess who seems to be fleeing from some kind of unpleasantness on her home planet (though that’s just a guess). There were several odd things about the whole attack, including the behavior of the escort ships and the fact that they and the luxury liner surrendered independently from each other, and the fact that these oddities were so conspicuously dwelt upon leads me to believe the whole thing might have been a setup, possibly to get the Princess onto the Bentenmaru.
I guess last week’s episode falsely raised my hopes that the series might have been shifting into a higher gear, but it’s right back into third, coasting along at about 35 MPH. It’s a smooth and pleasant ride, but about as exciting as a Saab 9-3 Diesel. To be honest I’m still not really sure why any of this is even happening, as things on the Bentenmaru seemed to be going perfectly fine with its capable crew, especially considering that we haven’t seen them do any “piracy” so far that’s more dangerous than forgetting to rotate your tires. Is there something hiding in the weeds, something to inject a jolt of consequence into Mouretsu Pirates? Maybe a betrayal by Chiaki’s father? I hope so, because I need a reason to worry for these characters and to really care about what they’re up to – and right now, I don’t.