The final episode of Pirates sees the fleet of assembled pirate ships face off with not 1, but 3 Grand Cross ships. Marika successfully guides the fleet through a complete tactical victory over the outclassed Quartz Christie. She then confronts her opponent and answers the question of why she is a pirate. Finally, Quartz Christie manages to escape with her pride in tatters before an epilogue that overtly hints at a future continuation of the story.
As far as the final battle is concerned, it was probably one of, if not the least dramatic conclusion to a series that I’ve seen. I’m almost tempted to say this was a transitional episode to the announced movie that will be coming out in the future. The tone was set pretty early on when the first of Quartz Christie’s ships was destroyed very easily. It was made all that much easier by the fact that she used the same exact attack pattern each time.The final battle features no one getting injured, and nothing resembling the threat of danger to anyone involved. Also, it was rather unfortunate that the electronic warfare became absolutely meaningless apart from filling time by the end.
In the middle of the battle, Marika appears to answer Kane’s question from the beginning of the arc of what she wants to be. She says she’s a pirate twice, which proved a grand effort to boost morale on the Bentenmaru. Then again, she changes her mind after the battle and says that she wants to continue being a high school girl pirate. Well done on the trolling Marika. Even in the confrontation with Quartz Christie, she states that she’s a pirate because she’s Kato Marika and vice versa. So when she thinks she can choose, she chooses to do both, but when it counts she’s just a pirate.
Now as for the epilogue at the end, Gruier managed to confirm my prediction at the beginning of the arc that Ironbeard was Marika’s father, though that wasn’t that hard of a prediction. Quartz Christie’s words at the end seem to want Marika to become a pirate who covers an area far beyond the frontier world she has stuck to now. Perhaps that’s why Gonzaemon left for the Empire. Also, Chiaki’s father allowed her to transfer in to Hakuoh for her final year of school. Marika also continues to inexplicably work at the cafe as a second job. Though it would be easy to say that’s just for the purpose of feeding Chiaki parfaits, and so Omigawa Chiaki can have more lines as Mami. Ultimately, I came away with the sense that nothing of importance really happened in this episode.
As for my thoughts on the series as a whole, it began as a promising story of a high school girl’s entry into a dangerous world that appeared to be wonderfully constructed. As the layers came off, it became much easier to see that there really wasn’t much beyond that. The danger never really appeared but twice (the first episode at the cafe and during the dinghy race), but each was rather easily resolved. At about halfway, the slogan for how the plot worked appeared in the form of “everything works out when you’re a pirate.” From that point on, the drama ended and plots that simply passed the time began. I’m also aware that the last 6 episodes were entirely anime-original material, but I think the story had lost its way far before then. In conclusion, by constantly avoiding anything that could disappoint its audience, Mouretsu Pirates became nothing more than a weekly running joke about easily resolved plots and wasted potential. I can only hope that the movie actually gives the story a proper conclusion that actually has a sense of drama.