Moretsu Pirates – 23

Captain Ironbeard introduces himself as master of the Galactic Empire pirate ship Parabellum. With a large light and weapons show, they scare off the pirate hunters, whose ship Ironbeard calls the Grand Cross. After evacuating and tending to the crew of the Big Catch, the Bentenmaru returns home, where Chiaki suggests they seek out the “Legendary Chef” who brought the pirates together long ago, and could again. They find his son, whom Marika knew from the times Ririka brought her to his restaurant as a reward. He activates the old-timey comms systems that all pirates keep aboard for such an occurance. As they prepare to head for the rendezvous, the Grand Cross appears again before the Bentenmaru.

With the exception of the first episode or so when Marika is being introduced to the pirate world, the series has focused more on the characters and their immediate exploits rather than the history of piracy itself. What we’ve known is that the pirates fought the empire in a war of independance, and Marika’s world (and the Serenitys’ too) were the benefactors. We’ve also known that the empire has traditionally allowed pirates to operate as long as their letters of marque are in order. With an imperial pirate hunter on the loose, all bets are off, and swift action is needed if the pirates’ way of life is to survive.

This week gave us new glimpses into the heroic, revolutionary past, when whole messes of larger-than-life pirates formed armadas that fought for their freedom…and because it was fun and exciting, no doubt. Marika and Chiaki determine the only thing to do is to call all the pirates back together and face their nemesis en force. The Parabellum, meanwhile, plays a cryptic role this week; clearly saving the Bentenmaru, only to vanish shortly thereafter…though we’ve probably not seen the last of them.


Rating: 3.5

Advertisements

Moretsu Pirates – 14

Marika leaves the bio-container delivery to her crew so she can catch up on her studies, but they open prematurely, infecting her whole crew with flu-like symptons and forcing them into mandatory isolation for up to a month. It falls to Marika to confer with their insurance agent Show, who gives Marika three choices: pray for her crew’s recovery, rescue them before they’re well, or assemble a new crew. If the Bentenmaru is out of action for a month, their license will be revoked, so she choses the third option. Gruier follows her in disguise, and after fashioning a disguise for Marika, they attempt to find new crew members with no success. Chiaki and her father Kenjo meet up with her, warning her not to pick random sailors, but to turn to people she can trust who were right under her nose all along: the yacht club, who are ready and willing to step in to help her.

Moretsu Pirates is about Marika leading the Bentenmaru and its gallant crew on piraty adventures, no? Well, what if you take the crew out of the equation, eh? This episode (or “sailing”) explores this, while introducing Marika to yet another of the less glamorous but still necessary aspects of her job: the business side. It’s a great concept that’s well-executed, thanks to help from Gruier, now a main character, and Chiaki, who suggests the most obvious course of action for Marika to take: recruit the Yacht Club. They have the skill and personality she desires in a crew, but unlike random sailors, she can trust them, too. It’s not surprising that the club president (and former hacker) Lynn Lambretta jumps at the chance to do some piracy; she’s always had that rebellious streak.

Would the academy really be okay with a bunch of minors turning to piracy so willy-nilly? We don’t know, but we do know the Yacht Club was the first thing we thought of when Marika told Ririka she needed to find a temp crew. That she didn’t arrive at that conclusion immediately shows that she’s still not perfect when it comes to running her ship and her business, and she still depends on friends like Chiaki and her dad to steer her to the right decision. While we hope the regular crew gets well soon, we’re looking forward to seeing what Marika and the Yacht Club crew can do in their stead.


Rating: 3.5

Moretsu Pirates 06

Marika is swept away from a relaxing day on the beach to sign all the necessary paperwork to recieve her letter of marque. Once she does, she has less than fifty days until it requires renewal, so she’s taken offworld to start her pirate training immediately. Aboard the Bentenmaru, she gets vigorous training and simulations in all the skills necessary for a captain, as well as little jobs (like laser-mopping). Chiaki joins her as a “propellant.” Marika launches her first raid as captain, taking the luxury liner Apricot Princess, and has to sword-duel with Kane, who infiltrated the ship beforehand. The first mission is a success, but she still has a long way to go.

Now this is what we thought we were getting into from the start. The excitement and glamour of astro-swashbuckling! Don’t get us wrong, the initial arc was very entertaining and a good way to introduce us to this world along with Marika, and it went a long way towards legitimizing Marika’s ability to take command of a ship. This week she blasts through more theoretical and practical training and takes the reins of her ship. Her first raid is a rousing one, and a testament to how good her crew is. Lest we forget, the Bentenmaru was responsible for stalking the Odette II the last couple weeks. These are pros, and it shows. The raid goes off without a hitch.

About that raid: these are vicious bloodthirsty pirates. In fact, since pirates are intentionally so secretive and rare in the Galactic Empire many still belive they’re only a myth, so it’s actually an honor and an event to be boarded and robbed – and insurance takes care of the monetary losses! We also like the element of theatre and stagecraft inherent in this raid: it isn’t by any means a no-nonsense smash-and-grab, oh no. Their victims are rich cultured people who deserve a professional but artistic raid and a good show, and they get a sword fight ended with Marika “killing” Kane with a bullet – just so they know she means business. Pirates are all about reputation. They’ve gotta act the part, ridiculous outfits, swords, hearty guffaws – all of it.


Rating: 4

Spring/Summer 2011 Wrap-Up

Out with the old, in with the new. This weekend RABUJOI said goodbye to the last of the Summer series and Spring carryovers, with one exception, Mawaru Penguindrum, which will continue into the Fall. In all, it was a decent season, with lots of variety. We love the sense of completeness that comes with wrapping up a season – two in this case. Here’s a list of who won what:

• Best Overall Anime: Mawaru Penguindrum. Every episode has been excellent, in our humble opinion.

• Most Gore-tastic Series: Blood-C…the censors were awfully busy.

• Best Series Dealing With Sudden Parenthood: Usagi Drop. Really down-to-earth, heartwarming stuff.

• Best NEET Detective Series: Kami-sama no Memo-cho.

• Best Life-At-An-Inn Series: Hanasaku Iroha, which finished very strong.

• Best Telepathically-Controlled Mecha Action: Kamisama Dolls.

• Best Period Mystery/Action Series: Dantalian no Shoka.

• Best Goofy Superhero Series: Tiger & Bunny.

• Best Series Set in Paris at the Turn of the Century: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée.

• Best High School Club Series: Sket Dance.

• Best Post-Apocalyptic Series with a Number for a Name: No. 6.

• Best Shounen Series Where the Characters Were More Fun to Watch Than the Action: Ao no Exorcist.

• Best Score: (tie) Kamisama Dolls and Mawaru Penguindrum.

• Best Female Seiyu, Spring 2011: Chiaki Omigawa as Minko Tsurugi/Minchi (Hanasaku Iroha)

• Best Male Seiyu, Spring 2011: Hiroaki Hirata as Kotetsu T. Kaburagi/Wild Tiger (Tiger & Bunny)

• Best Female Seiyu, Summer 2011: Marie Miyake as Ringo Oginome (Mawaru Penguindrum)

• Best Male Seiyu, Summer 2011: Hiroshi Tsuchida as Daikichi Kawachi (Usagi Drop)