The 15th episode of Pirates sees the yacht club take control of the Bentenmaru before they run into the problem of actually making it work. The yacht club sets off initially in the Odette II with a pair of stowaways before they break off for the Bentenmaru. The actual Bentenmaru crew realizes what the yacht club is up to and then scrambles to prepare manuals on how to operate the ship. Even after they get those finished in time, Marika and the yacht club are forced to improvise on one last important piece of operating the ship.
Rather than forcing the makeshiftBentenmaru crew into immediate action, this episode was more of a transitional one before they actually need to get into the piracy.
Let’s start with Gruier and Grunhilde’s roles in this story. In this episode they effectively said they didn’t care about royal duties and just wanted to help with the job. It also highlights a separation that Marika tries to maintain between the three of them. They are princesses and she is a pirate. They can’t coexist at the same time while on a piracy job no matter how much the younger girls want to be friends. After this initial clash their only role is to provide snacks and maintain Marika’s pride in secret.
Chiaki also returned in a significant way, though she didn’t contribute much more than the princesses. The Bentenmaru sure is different from the Barbalusa. Also, that face when she saw the sweets.
On more plot relevant points, I did like that Ririka felt proud as a mother that she was able to pass on her knowledge of being a captain onto her daughter. I think it humanized her even more as a character. She’s first and foremost a mother now, and not tied down to a job or her past as a pirate, even if that did define her in the past.
Of course the big issue in this episode was the lack of manuals on how to operate the Bentenmaru. It’s nice to see that even in a crew as competent as they are, group think still exists. They never consider the possibility that someone else may have to fulfill their jobs because they’ve always been there to do it in the first place. The fact that they are able to scramble and provide manuals to all of the functions that they could shows just how well they do know how to work.
Fortunately, the yacht club is made up largely of a mixture of students who can fit in like for like with the Bentenmaru crew. The princesses can take on Misa’s role. Chiaki fills in for Hyakume. Maki tries her best impression of Schnitzer when firing the cannons. Lynn is a natural replacement for Coorie. Lilly takes on Luca’s role in navigating. With the manuals they all eventually figure out basic functions.
Where Marika’s lessons as captain come into play is when they have to make an FTL jump without a manual. She has to go purely off of memory and the feedback she gets on the engines on which ones to use. They succeed on the first attempt and the crew can celebrate because of what Marika had learned from her crew.
Other points of interest came when the camera was discovered. Chiaki wants to keep it secret because she probably doesn’t want it to seem like they are getting help from the other crew. It also probably explains why the crew went through the insurance agency to get the manuals sent rather than directly to them. Next week, it looks like actual piracy and the other girls dressed in pirate outfits as well. I don’t think we’ll get dual Chiaki/Marika pirate action though.