Mouretsu Pirates – 18
「打ち上げはジュース」 (Uchiage wa Juusu)
“We’ll Have Juice at the After Party”
If these girls keep up their successes at piracy, they’re going have to start intercepting some juice shipments to keep it flowing. I know Shou said that they would be a scary bunch in ten years’ time, but I’d argue that they’re a pretty formidable band of pirates already, if not quite intimidating.
The first thing that stood out to me at how composed most of the Yacht Club girls were throughout this episode, even though they only had one mission under their collective belt. Even first-year Ai, who’s too short for the ship’s wheel, didn’t even flinch at all. Normally, without extensive training, I’d expect high school students to panic under fire since they are unaccustomed to dealing with the distinct and immediate possibility of death, but it seems that the Yacht Club has trained them to handle dangerous situations with aplomb. After all, manning a space yacht is still a dangerous undertaking no matter how you slice it – one small accident, like a little rip in their spacesuits or a collision with a wayward meteoroid and the results could be catastrophic. That said, staying calm when faced with the inherent dangers of the cosmos is one thing, remaining composed during a pitched battle is another thing all together. For that, I would say the temperament of the crew mirrored that if their captain, who was admirable in her resolve and composure as the Bentenmaru flew directly towards Hugh and Dolittle’s Maracot-class battleship, the Jabberwocky.
The second thing I noticed was how as a whole, the girls might not be as coolly efficient or “professional” as the actual Bentenmaru crew, but they still bring their own unique skills and talents to the table. Several girls’ have already distinguished themselves, like Ai at the helm and Yayoi with the reactors, but this episode showed that there are other girls who Marika can luckily count on when the going gets tough. One girl whom Marika owes a lot to in this episode was Lynn, whose TV broadcast hijacking and ghost ship deception paid off. Two girls in particular have always reminded Marika that they would be useful to have aboard, and the princesses finally showed why! I was impressed with their ingenuity, such as Gruier’s idea to find a weakness and Grunhilde suggesting that they look at things from a new perspective, but I was also taken aback how easily Gruier was willing to cast aside her morals. These princesses may be young, but I wouldn’t ever want to cross them! Another girl I’d never want to get on the bad side of is Chiaki, especially when all her stress has been pent up and she has a large firearm in her hands. It was at once both frightening and hilarious to watch her turn the rebellion leader into a blubbering mess.
The decision to go after the weaknesses of Jenny’s uncle and her fiancé was not only good one, it was also necessary since they couldn’t shoot their way out of this situation. The Bentenmaru, like many pirate ships, usually works alone, so here it was badly outgunned and outnumbered and a non-violent resolution was pretty much the only option. This meant finding out Robert Dolittle (Tsuda Eizou) and Junigh’s weaknesses, and it was nice to see that both the girls and the original crew were on the same page, even if they didn’t realize it. After seeing how devoted and trusting the crew is to Marika and how they secretly helped her, I can see why Chaiki was a little jealous, calling her “spoiled.”
What I really want to know is whose idea it was to try and find Junigh’s weakness by taking advantage of the pirates’ experience in putting on shows, because that was pretty brilliant idea. These girls aren’t skilled in espionage so sneaking around his ship or his clandestine parties to get info was out of the question. Might as well let them do what they do best: put on a show for the world to see by filming it live and then broadcasting it everywhere!
I have to say, I was pretty satisfied to the conclusion of this arc, owing to its good balance between hilarity and believability. Sure, some aspects may seem a bit absurd, like a revolutionary group that doesn’t even realize it’s being boarded by a group of high school girls, but the underlying plot itself was very believable and not at all outlandish. Money laundering is commonplace, and sadly, so are companies wielding inordinate amounts of power and using it in ways that are questionably ethical. As this chapter of Mouretsu Pirates comes to a close, I hope we haven’t seen the last of the Yacht Club girls, because although they might not be as competent as the original crew, they sure are much cuter! And that has to count for something, right?