Moretsu Pirates 9 ~ only those directly involved know the truth
March 4, 2012
Episode 9 of Mouretsu Pirates (AKA Fierce Pirates, AKA Bodacious Space Pirates) continues the rising action phase of the Golden Ghost Ship arc. I am amused that this show continues to generate antipathy from anibloggers, while I find it to be well constructed and engaging.
The previous episode left us in a bit of a pinch. The Bentenmaru was supposed to rendezvous with a ship from the Serenity Stellar Monarchy, but when it arrived it was under attack by five other Ships — from the same Serenity Monarchy. At first it looks like a gun battle will break out, but Marika manages to defuse the situation without firing a shot. In part this is handled by misleading the Serenity ships into believing that the Bentenmaru is under the direct command of princess Serenity. I want to point out that this matter of Gruier wanting to wear Marika’s outfit was a topic of discussion by the highly intelligent commenters on my blog. Nothing gets by them.
After commanding the Serenity warships to stand down, a message is received from the first ship that the princess’ dress is ready. When the pirates attach to the ship, they are met by two members of the royal court who claim to be insignificant and say that the palace is a very peaceful place. Nope, nobody has been murdered or anything like that. They turn over the package and return to the home planet. Meanwhile Princess Gruier turns the package — encrypted data about the Golden Ghost Ship — over to Captain Marika and her crew.
Marika is surprised to find Chiaki in the Space Yacht clubroom. Chiaki reveals that her father’s pirate ship, the Barbarossa, has also been contracted (via some shady intermediary) to find the Golden Ghost Ship, and to destroy anyone else who is looking for it. I can only assume that Chiaki was cleared by her father to share this information. Otherwise she probably could get into a lot of trouble. How much of a threat is the Barbarossa to the Bentenmaru and her crew?
The princess arrives at the Space Yacht clubroom, as does Jenny Doolittle and her crew. It turns out the princess has some information that the Space Yacht club is the place to go when you need some help beyond what the law allows. This was a cool way to address an issue that I and others have had some concern about: is Marika going to keep pirating after school and weekends, or will this job force her to go on a longer journey?
Gruier is made a member of the yacht club, and a club trip is hastily scheduled (so that it won’t conflict with Marika’s exams), thus creating a cover for Gruier’s absence from the school while she joins the Bentenmaru in hunting the Golden Ghost Ship. This is a good example of the very methodical story telling that we saw earlier in the series. I’ll get back to this below, but where others see this show as “slow” (or even “boring”) I see it as being very carefully crafted. Other shows might have ignored the question of how they could take off on a journey without someone noticing, but here we have an explanation being put in place.
Later Marika and her mom, Ririka, go out to eat. They go into a room underneath the space port, where an old man cooks. That dude looks like he could kick Schnitzer’s ass! Well the other pirates and Gruier are there as well, and they find out what was on the data cube. The Golden Ghost Ship is actually an ancient colony ship. Since it predates Faster Than Light (FTL) travel, it is equipped for “cold sleep” and is huge, so it probably was conceived as a generation ship, that is, one where those who arrive at a destination are the descendants of those who began the journey. The normally reticent Luca commented that the ship has been traveling in places that are very difficult to navigate “overlapping black holes” and so forth, which explains why it keeps disappearing, like a ghost ship.
The story then time skips to the Bentenmaru taking off on the voyage to find the Golden Ghost Ship of Serenity.
So this week’s episode brought us through a tense encounter with Serenity battleships, the retrieval of the data cube, information from Chiaki on a rival contract for the Barbarossa, the development of a cover story for the princess, the decoding of our first real information about the Golden Ghost Ship, and the departure on the hunt for the ghost ship by the Bentenmaru. In preparing for this post, I thought I would see what others had written about it. I found someone saying they were dropping the series, and this review at Spark Blog:
This episode is just another filler that leads to search for the ghost ship. Sadly, we don’t see any action and for once, I actually got quite “bored” and thought there was going to be action. But, there is really nothing much but the episode just focuses on the relationships between the characters and some certain scenes got boring. I’m mentioning “boring” a bunch of times because it’s overall, boring. I don’t really recommend anyone to watch this episode and it may be skipped unless you want to watch the entire series still or something to waste time on.
Sometimes I wonder if I am watching the same show that other people are watching.