Mouretsu Pirates 06 – Hilariously Dying in Vain

Beach episode? I think not.

The 6th episode of Pirates takes Marika from a promising day of fun with her closest friend from school to learning how to be a pirate in the space of a few days. Marika has to go through the bureaucratic chain of agencies just to be able to obtain the certification that allows her to go pirating. With a time limit of 50 days to begin pirating as one of the conditions of the letter, she gets to work with the crew of the Bentenmaru about learning what goes into it. Finally, she’s given an easy first mission in which to learn how to be a pirate captain.

Just sign your life away here, and here, and here.

One of the things that I was interested in was the background that went into making pirates into the privateer role they became in the modern day.  Misa went into some of the background on the history of how piracy got to its current shape. Essentially, pirates were drafted in to add to the size of the Galactic Federation forces during the colonies’ war for independence. When that was over, Letters of Marque were given to some pirate ships which would officially be part of the Federation’s forces, but were really just pirating as before.

You managed to work through the bureaucratic red tape in one day. I would hug that too with that amount of effort.

I think this is probably the best case for the Federation in general. If there is a need for people to pirate, they may as well give a small number of ships the right to do so and hope that the pirates would be self-policing. Those who didn’t have the Letters of Marque would be fighting both against pirates and the Federation if they were doing too much pirating. This allowed the Federation to better expend their ships without having to deal with the root causes that lead people to piracy in the first place.

I think Misa had far too much fun preparing this lecture.

To get a sense of how much the Letters of Marque mean to the Federation, Marika ran the gamut of agencies in the government just to get approval to become captain of the Bentenmaru. Her activities are going to have an economic activity of some sort when she does pirate, even if they are covered by insurance. Therefore, it makes sense that if the government is signing off on something that has an impact in those areas that she needs to go get approval from all of those agencies. Even the time limit on piracy that Misa points out makes sense. You do not want a bunch of potential pirate captains to suddenly take up piracy years after they’ve been approved and not know the potential impact. It also keeps the number of Letters of Marque that are legal to a much lower number.

Reading from a script on how to act like a pirate is the easy part.

Then onto Marika’s own character development in this episode. The previous episodes had focused on how she had already fit the profile of someone who belonged in space based on her ability to act quickly when needed. This episode was about her own need to develop into a pirate captain. The early part was pretty much about learning what could potentially happen as a captain, whether that was forays into open space or hand-to-hand combat.

Actually fulfilling the role of captain is an entirely different matter.

She did well at those tasks, but the real question was about whether she could handle this in a real scenario. The idea conveyed by the rest of the crew was that it was easier being an honor student who just has to know thing than a captain who has has to use that knowledge in the real world. The mission that Kane arranged actually works out quite well for her. She’s able to lead the team on an actual pirate mission, while learning about how to be a captain. Obviously, the most striking part of this was her exchange with Schnitzer who told her just to be her own captain rather than trying to be like her mother. It all worked out in the end, even if a girls high school student isn’t the most likely person to take seriously in that scenario.

Just a standard friendly greeting in a one-sided relationship

Finally, Marika’s relationship with Chiaki becomes an issue again. It seemed like the two of them had bonded quite well, but this episode marked a return to it being one-sided. Chiaki entered this episode more as an encouragement factor for Marika to continue to learn how to be a captain. The conversation when both were out in space was rather interesting in how Chiaki saw Marika. It seemed as though Chiaki had viewed Marika as someone who put up the act of a light-hearted high school girl as an act, but she was really a determined captain all the way. The fact that Marika was apologizing for acting like she normally did seemed to offend Chiaki as it didn’t fit with her own image of a captain.

After the cruise ship mission, Chiaki was quick to leave without saying anything to Marika. Their relationship continues to be ever more confusing in many ways. Chiaki still seems to refuse to acknowledge any actions Marika takes that do not fit into her own concept of how a captain should act. She’s willing to embrace the Marika who acts decisively under pressures, but not Marika as a whole. However, she isn’t quite able to abandon the feelings of fondness when Marika was treating her like a friend. That presents a conflict that will have to be resolved at some point in the future.

Chiaki can't throw away the memory of her time learning how to be a captain alongside Marika.

This was a surprisingly entertaining episode. I probably would have wanted more of an introduction from the crew of the Bentenmaru, but there’s no need to do so yet. I think full-blown introductions probably would have interrupted the flow of this episode anyway. I believe next week will see Marika thrown into a much more perilous position as captain of the Bentenmaru. It can’t get any easier than stealing from people who would be paid back by the insurance companies anyway.

12 thoughts on “Mouretsu Pirates 06 – Hilariously Dying in Vain”

  1. This episode also seems to raise the question as to how much piracy is even taken seriously—at least on the ship they boarded in this episode, it’s almost like dinner theater, complete with a staged duel and a promise of recompense for all the customers being “looted.” Which, of course, was absolutely hilarious and delightful. This was the true “coming out” episode of this show and was worth the weeks-long wait to get to this point.

    1. I’m pretty sure piracy is given the wink-wink by the official authorities. The people on the ship wanted some level of excitement, just as the girls on the Odette II had wanted on their journey. So when Kane brought up the fact that insurance would cover all of their losses, it became a no-lose scenario for the passengers. It still is rather odd how there were no people who attached sentimental value to what they were handing over, though.

  2. Well, you and this episode helped clear up some of my confusion about the actual point of having pirates in space. It still feels a little surreal and dubious to me. Maybe it was just this mock-raid and Marika’s attitude that threw me off. I’m still looking forward to seeing the Bentenmaru “in the shit” as it were, but it’s starting to look like that may be further off then I was hoping. Marika still has much work to do.

    1. It’s still all rather easy at this point. Then again, it makes sense to give someone with no experience in piracy the easiest possible entry point to get some grasp of what it’s like without much risk. Things will pick up, otherwise there was no point to the shooting range bonding experience in the 2nd episode.

  3. Everything you said. EVERYTHING.

    Here’s my contribution: the world crafting is top notch for sure, but the delivery of all this takes on a life of its own. There’s just so much character in it, all flamboyant in a charming way:

    The back alley trips to get the documentation
    The historical presentation (crafts!)
    The training montage
    The declaration of attack
    The farce of the duel

    Amazing stuff. I could go on an on about all the above but I’ve no energy to blog this show. But fuck yeah what a treat.

    1. Misa really does know a lot about how things work in that world, even with the ridiculous outfits she wears. I think this was also an episode where world crafting was important, but the direction was smart enough to make it secondary to the plot in this episode.

  4. The conversation when both were out in space was rather interesting in how Chiaki saw Marika.

    Yes, I loved that part when the two were floating out in space.

    I think full-blown introductions probably would have interrupted the flow of this episode anyway.

    I have a working draft for my post and this is exactly the case. I called it perfect for saving introductions. There is something great about that director or composition decision.

    1. Space is a very philosophical thing to think about. One can think that they are never alone because somewhere in the infinite reaches of the universe there must be another person. Yet, it’s far too easy to be stranded with literally nothing for thousands of miles. As far as the character introductions, the rest of the crew are doing there duties, and there has to be a barrier between a captain and crew. She may not get the introductions until she asks for them.

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