Moretsu Pirates 11 ~ this is all crazy to begin with
March 18, 2012
In episode 11 of Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates), the space pirate ship Bentenmaru travels through spatial anomalies and challenges a battle fleet to get access to the Golden Ghost Ship. This was an excellent episode from a number of perspectives. It certainly was loaded with space action, Kane had some particularly cool scenes, and there were those little details that make B-Space Pirates satisfying to SF fans.
In another example of the very careful writing we have come to expect from B-Space Pirates, Captain Marika asks Misa Grandwood to take the princess below to fit and train her for EVA. This gives Marika an opportunity to talk frankly with the rest of the bridge crew, but it also addresses in advance what otherwise would have become questions (So now she knows how to operate one of those space suits?).
While Misa and Gruier are below, the Bentenmaru makes another bumpy trip through hyperspace, this time arriving in the midst of a space-time quake. The ship is temporarily robbed of power, and they are struggling to bring systems back online. If you look carefully, you can see Misa is manually operating an emergency system to open the hatch to the bridge. I really like this detail, because it wasn’t even remarked upon.
Speaking of little details that were shown, but weren’t remarked upon: We haven’t seen too much of the non-bridge crew members, but this episode showed a couple of scenes, including when they prepared for the jump to FTL. Here you can see they cover the card table with a tarp, but in the background someone is taping a seam on the wall. I have no idea what the thinking is there, but they were very careful to show that. These little details give the impression that the setting was carefully considered, beyond whatever was necessary for the main storyline.
The Bentenmaru finds the ghost ship, but they are hailed by the Serenity fleet. As it turns out Grunhilde, Gruier’s younger sister is commanding the Serenity flagship. A lot of people (myself included) were prepared to find out that this was a clone, so kudos to the writer for keeping us guessing. There were several things I really liked about this section, but I’ll focus on two.
First, there was this interesting bit of dialogue:
Gruier: What is the meaning of that uniform, Grunhilde? You know what it means for a member of the royal family to fly a battleship in uniform.
Grunhilde: A ruler must lead from the front line.
Apparently Grunhilde has claimed the Serenity throne. I really like the way everything about the turmoil in the palace is hinted at, but nobody talks about it outright. Again this shows the very clever writing behind this series.
The next thing was also a great example of “show don’t tell”. Grunhilde announces that her guns are already trained on the Bentenmaru, so Gruier should just give up. We see Marika looking at a display showing the relative positions of the various ships, and the ghost ship appears to be shielding the Bentenmaru from the Serenity fleet. Marika then traces out lines of attack to confirm, catches Gruier’s eye, and gives the ‘all clear’ with just a smirk. Gruier responds that they are boarding the ghost ship.
The Bentenmaru manages to get into the ghost ship, but then the ghost ship unexpectedly jumps into sub-space. There are still a lot of mysteries tied up with the ghost ship, the most important of which is why are the members of the royal family fighting over it?
Bonus Service (Kane MacDougall):
Kane had some great moments in this episode.
This shot is awesome. I love the colors, the perspective, and the way much of it is almost a silhouette. It also kicks off my favorite sequence of this episode, in which the Bentenmaru outruns the Serenity corbacks to dock with the ghost ship.