The 7th episode of Pirates is an adventure in time management for Marika as well as having to deal with the consequences that emerge as a result. Marika’s performance in school has declined greatly as she tries to balance going to school and being a pirate. In the meantime, Chiaki pays a visit to the cafe and walks around with Mami to talk about Marika, where she learns more than she can really process. Finally, the Bentenmaru gets to pirating another cruiser as Marika learns more while on the job.
This was an episode that was more about Marika’s development as a character than anything else, so this post will be devoted to two conflicting parts of her personality. Those would be the desire to do what she wants, and the desire to be seen on equal footing with her mother. Let’s start with her own desires.
It’s fairly obvious to me at this point that if Marika really was forced into a choice between being a student and a pirate, that she would take being a pirate. This is obvious both from her words and her actions. The episode begins with her dreaming about doing reconnaissance as a pirate while she’s in class. Then, there’s the fact that she’s gone from a model student to being late and failing quizzes.
Added to that fact is that she’s clearly getting more into the piracy act. She’s able to lead a group of pirates, and engage in the acting portion of being a pirate more often without there yet being a threat to her safety. She also is allowed relaxation time in her quarters that she wouldn’t normally have between missions. Most importantly, she’s getting good at it, just as her mother was.
This is where Chiaki’s conversation with Mami comes in. They both do play the same role with regards to Marika, just with different versions of her. The important thing that came out of this was the drive that Mami said Marika had to be seen as equal to her mother. Everything to do with the piracy question had to do with her mother, which makes it easier for her to understand why Marika doesn’t simply quit school.
Ririka was able to balance holding down a job and raising her, while at the same time being highly respected by everyone around her. That dual role is probably what drives her to try to fulfill being a student (including the part-time job at the cafe) and a pirate at the same time simply because Ririka could do it. There’s just a small problem with that, which is where I think the series will be heading soon.
The fact that Marika was dragged out on this mission highlights a very important aspect of piracy; income insecurity. The best compromise between Marika’s dual roles for the Bentenmaru‘s crew was to engage in frequent, smaller acts of piracy because they did need a source of income. The simple fact is that there is not stable schedule for piracy because it’s dictated by whenever opportunities are available. There’s a good reason why Ririka quit doing it to raise her daughter, and that fact was probably it.
On the other hand, there are Misa and Kane who are fairly close to filling the same roles (both working at the school and crew members on the Bentenmaru). Kane simply can’t believe that Marika would want to continue going to school. After all, he’s only done pirating and it’s been lucrative for him. There’s just a couple of things that make their experience different. One is simply experience. Since they’ve been around long enough to balance pirate activities with other things, they are able to know how much to put into each. The other is the simple matter that neither has the level of responsibility that she has. While Kane has to manage the Yacht Club at school, and Misa maintains some responsibility for day-to-day functions on the ship, neither has to make decisions that are critical.
Next week will see Marika having to deal with the stowaway. There was probably a good reason for the abnormal surrender pattern of the ships involved that allowed her to get in. Regardless, it showed a need to not let up concentration until the mission was really over.