The 22nd episode of Pirates dives straight in to the next plot in dramatic circumstances. Marika’s future still remains an open question even as she was made the new president of the yacht club. In the meantime, she has to maintain the pirate license for the Bentenmaru, take exams for school and much more seriously deal with a rumored pirate hunter. In the process of trying to take care of 2 of those 3 situations simultaneously, she learns more about the pirate trade and those involved. The Bentenmaru ends up escorting another pirate fleet when they encounter the pirate hunting ship, and this time things may not work out so well.
The narration at the beginning of the episode had not been relevant in a while, but it was very much needed in this episode. It was a simple summary of the Sea of Morningstar’s revolution against the Alliance and how they utilized pirates to supplement the military. That system had worked for a while, but now that may not be the case.
The narrator placed population growth at the center of why there was a rebellion in the first place. More people wanting to determine their own future meant it was inevitable. Hyakume’s words on the bridge also foreshadowed the pirates situation. The only reason the Sea of Morningstar tolerated the pirates continuing to exist and making sure they register regularly is to make sure that they do not band together and demand more rights of their own. Coorie cheers for a potential Pirate Empire, but it’s something that could enter the minds of someone in government.
There was also a question of Marika’s future that came up throughout this episode. She has one year left in school and there are still questions as to whether she still wants to be a pirate. Kane presents it to her in a couple of ways. First is in the way that he talks to here, which remains formal no matter what the setting is, but also highlighting how Marika isn’t as consistent. He can remain the same person even if he chooses between different roles (except for the last arc which he himself dismisses). Then, he suggests that she get a shuttle license so she doesn’t have to rely on him for rides to the Bentenmaru. Which leads to the question of whether she will commute from home or become a sailor. He’s trying to keep her options open longer, but it all relies on how Marika feels.
Which is where her chaotic life at home is becoming more settled. She was made the president of the yacht club for her final year in school, Ririka now spends more time away from home and she seems to be able to perform to an adequate level in school now that she’s found the balance between work and school. For the first time, it looks like she has everything where it needs to be.
The pirate hunter seems to destroy all of that though. She learns early on that the Bentenmaru is about the least equipped any pirate crew can be and be a viable operation. Other pirates have entire fleets to support them, one of which is chosen by Show for the Bentenmaru to escort. The giant hunter ship indiscriminately destroys the fleet with the Bentenmaru only serving as a bystander. The firepower is simply so vastly superior to what Marika and her crew can serve up that they are left helpless. Then, another ship arrives to hopefully save them.
I can’t help but think that the pirate hunter exists for the government of the Sea of Morningstar to eliminate the pirates. It’s just as the narrator said, if too many people get together and demand rights, there will inevitably be conflict. That said, I think the end of the episode was a bit over the top in how good the pirate hunter ship was and the captain of the other ship was silly too. It was almost like they tossed out the bits of realism they’ve been using just for dramatic effect.
Next week, it looks like it gets silly with masked pirates and flashbacks to Marika’s childhood. Hopefully this isn’t heading to a Marika’s father wasn’t really dead and Ririka is piloting the hunter ship conclusion. I think that would just ruin things immensely.