Moretsu Pirates – 02

Rescued by Chiaki from the numerous groups that meant to kidnap her or do her harm, Marika meets up with her mother, who takes her to an isolated space graveyard to try out weapons. She and Chiaki then head up into orbit with the Yacht Club to start up their ship, the Odette II, for a practice cruise under Mr. Kane’s supervision, which Marika finds suspicious. While sitting on the bridge, Marika notices Chiaki working vigorously at her terminal. It turns out another ship in the port is waging electronic warfare on the Odette II’s systems. Chiaki suggests they cut the cable to kill the network, but Marika decides they should fight back, despite their dubious skills.

Last week we were a bit surprised Ririka never told her daughter that both she and her father were pirates, and that Marika was the heir to her dad’s ship. This week, she explains: she was going to tell her when she graduated, assuming her dad would still be alive. That makes sense: let her have a more-or-less normal high school life. The thing is, this series’ idea of a normal high school life includes a club that has their own frikkin’ spaceship. We especially love how this spaceship has such a long and illustrious history, from a prototype to a transport to an explorer, and even served as a pirate ship during the revolutions. One nitpick: how exactly do miniskirts not cause mayhem in zero gravity…?

In any case, this episode introduced Marika to a little more of her pirate future (the mother-daughter gun session was pretty cute) and got her into space, where she immediately starts to assert herself with the e-warfare incident. She and Chiaki look like they’ll work well together, even if Chiaki may harbor a little envy towards Marika. We’re just glad they’re letting Marika dip her toes in the pool with this practice cruise rather than immediately heaving her into the deep end. She’s definitely not quite ready to take command of the Bentenmaru, but she’s getting there.

Rating: 4

Persona 4: The Animation – 14

This episode rewinds back to the beginning of Summer vacation, only this time tells it from Yu’s point of view. A fox directs him to a part-time job tutoring a smart but unsociable boy, which leads to a job assisting with daycare, in which he accidentally breaks a $800 mecha toy he must then pay for. He also takes an mugged elderly woman to a hospital, where he meets a flirty but jaded nurse. He helps all of them in different ways, which explains all of the mysteries introduced in the last episode.

We were left last week with more “huh?s” than “ohs”, so we’re glad this second part explained everything that went on with Yu. It was quite a summer vacation, in which he touched the lives of numerous people for the better. Action, comedy, romance, drama…mom-on-mom smackdowns – all were on display in a very dense and bustling episode. As long as you’re okay with the fact this two-parter had next to nothing to do with Persona and could have been a part of any slice-of-life non-fantasy anime series, it was very well done. It all holds together brilliantly, and even if a few details are a little absurd, they were fun rather than dubious.

This episode didn’t forget about anything that happened last week, and wove all of the storylines he creates as summer progresses with surprising deftness. Every person he meets and who and what they are matters, and none of it would have worked without him knowing them. But on top of all this excellent weaving is the conclusion that all of this was a means for the fox to replace the umbrella Nanako lent him, which was destroyed by wind and a truck. The Fox met Yu, got him to take the job, and everything was set in motion. This was definitely a case of the means being more entertaining than the ends we saw last week.

Rating: 3.5