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「海賊狩り」 (Kaizoki Gari)
“Pirate Hunting”

Turns out life as a pirate still involves the risking of life and limb, as Mouretsu Pirates begins with its final story arc with a bang. Literally. As in explosions.

The beginning of this episode probably had more death and destruction than we have seen in the entire series, even if the battle itself occurred off screen. The sheer size and armament of the mysterious ship definitely gave the impression that whoever this pirate nemesis was, they were a force to be reckoned with – especially when a ship seemingly as well-armed as the Silver Fox was utterly decimated like it was. Although this didn’t bode very well for the Bentenmaru, which was revealed to have the bare minimum armament required for maintaining a Letter of Marque. I actually found this revelation quite refreshing, as far too many times we’ve seen the spaceship or mecha of the main protagonist to simply outclass its enemies by either having the latest and greatest technology, or by fielding the largest number of guns or the biggest one.

With the option of fighting their way out no longer on the table, any resolution to this latest threat would have to fall on the shoulders of Marika and her best-in-the-business crew (which is also the best looking one, at least compared to the crew of the Silver Fox and Big Catch). And once again, she did not disappoint me in the slightest, as our lovely captain uses her wits to do what any crafty high school student excels at: killing two birds with one stone. Like Misa, I too was surprised at Marika’s ingenious plan of escorting the heavily armed Big Catch and thereby fulfilling the work requirements of their Letter of Marque at the same time as better protecting themselves from the pirate hunter. Just goes to show that she has come a long ways as a captain, and is now expected to be on top of everything even more than the adults in her crew.

However, even the best laid plans cannot truly account for every possibility that might arise. Despite the Big Catch’s fleet of support ships and its overconfident but seemingly capable captain, they were no match for the offensive onslaught of the unknown pirate hunter ship. I liked the fact that for once, there was a situation where Marika found herself powerless to affect. Then again, what can you do against a ship that seems like it uses never-before-seen technology from a completely different universe?

I’m very much looking forward to learning exactly who the pale-skinned lady inside of the pirate hunter ship is as well as who the knight pirate in shining armor the mask is. I don’t really have any theories about who the former is and where she’s from, but I do have some theories about the latter. It’s fairly obvious the Kaburagi T. Kotetsu lookalike is the hooded man from two episodes prior, but what I’m actually curious about is his connection to both Kane and Ririka. Compared to the rest of the crew, the Bentenmaru helmsman was suspiciously calm at the arrival of the second unknown ship, something that Luca appears to have possibly picked up on. My guess is that he and the unknown captain have already worked something out, which is why he knew they would be coming. As for Ririka, with her many absences away from home and the recent acquisition of a large ship piloting license, she could very well be the one behind the helm of the new ship. There is also the theory that the ship’s bold captain is really Gonzaemon, Marika’s father. That said, while I admit this could very well be the case, I would actually prefer it not to be, because I think that her journey to find out more about her father would be resolved too quickly, too easily, and too cleanly if this turned out to be true. With so many new questions to answer, this last arc should make for an exciting conclusion to what is turning out to be one of my favorite shows of this season and last.

Additional thoughts:

  • The scene in the shuttle between Kane and Marika was a little awkward to me. For a second, I definitely felt like there could be a possible romantic future between the two, but then the whole teacher aspect really put a weird damper on things, so looks like it’s back to the Marika x Chiaki pairing for the time being.
  • Another angle that I would love to be covered if this show possibly gets another season are the issues around Marika being a female captain in a profession that is dominated by ultra-masculine male captains. Sure, many other shows have had ships captained by females, but I can’t really recall one where the focus on the show was on the captain herself, so I think this is an area that is ripe for some good storytelling, even if it might be a little too serious for the likes of Mouretsu Pirates.

Full-length images: 01, 02, 04, 04.5, 05.5, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 34, 35.

 

Preview

Mouretsu Pirates   22   Preview 01 Mouretsu Pirates   22   Preview 02 Mouretsu Pirates   22   Preview 03
June 8, 2012 at 3:00 am
23 comments »
  • June 8, 2012 at 3:40 amjreding

    Re Marika x Kane: I think so, too, Marika was hitting a bit on Kane. Maybe she’s fed up w/ the constant implied yuri overdose. My favourite would still be Marika x Gruier, though.

    I wish, they would spend the last episodes on some fluffy slice-of-life instead of pirating!

    • June 8, 2012 at 4:03 amJohn Hayabusa

      Well my fave couple here is Marika x Chiaki, though I may go for the Gruier x Marika x Chiaki OT3.

      Anyway, that pirate hunter ship is one of the coolest spaceships that I have ever seen.

      Also, I have a feeling that the ship’s pilot could be a relative of Misa, judging from her lipstick.

      Next week, Chiaki returns for the 100th time. And as an added bonus: Gruier in a maid outfit!

      • June 8, 2012 at 9:29 amj4c06

        could be a relative of Misa

        or a clone?

    • June 8, 2012 at 6:06 amSon Gohan

      I didn’t get any romantic vibe between the two of them.
      It seems to me more of a big brother / little sister relationship.
      Also, Kane clearly doesn’t like younger girls otherwise he would be happy to teach at Hakuoh Academy.
      Marika was just unsure how to address Kane since at school he is her superior but at work she is his captain. I like this kind of conversation because it’s something that adds to their characterization.

  • June 8, 2012 at 4:17 amShadiic

    Masked dude could be Marika’s father. Or not. Could be her fiance? or not? Though it was somebody that is going to affect the story one way or another.

  • June 8, 2012 at 4:21 amgandalf8

    Actually, I think the masked man holds a bigger resemblance to Villagulio, the charismatic leader of KISS in Rinne no Lagrange, another Tatsuo Sato directed series from the winter 2012 season. So, does KISS have any ulterior motives in entangling themselves with the space pirates while on a vacation from trying to destroy the Voxes? Are they looking for some allies after the decimation of a lot of their forces in that battle above the skies of Kamogawa? I guess we’ll just have to tune in and find out next week! [well, in a day's time actually] :-)

  • June 8, 2012 at 4:22 amJiCi

    The addition of a villain is great… but it’s kinda dull when there are like 4 episodes left til the end of the season.

    If there’s one thing I would have loved to see is Marika getting to know better her crew members, you know, like getting a good 5-6 minute of backstory. Aside from what they do, we barely know who they are. So far, only Misa and Kane has gotten some sort of development, but the rest is pretty much obscure.

    I like the episode though, but I just wished they could have gotten more into development with the secondary characters.

    • June 8, 2012 at 2:49 pmU Doh

      Screaming for another season. Or two even.

  • June 8, 2012 at 5:49 amricz

    The spaceship are all bad ass

  • June 8, 2012 at 6:03 amMrRei

    -_-’
    All your Marika x (someone) suggestions are bad!
    The story needs Marika x (nice cool guy near her age character)! She at least deserves that…

    • June 8, 2012 at 7:06 pmpaulrenzo

      +1!

  • June 8, 2012 at 6:32 amshamaticgrl

    I see family reunion in the near future. Not sure how I like that. I guess Marika’s family is the last big boss? supposedly

  • June 8, 2012 at 7:36 amj4c06

    the masked man must be some kind of android, what with sticking out without a space suit just like that (and shouting something!)

  • June 8, 2012 at 9:05 amKJacket

    Obviously spaceships weren’t big enough so we have mechas now. The cook seems so important lol, maybe ex-pirate king or something.

    Every time I hear “The time has come” it reminds me of Fairy Tail. Jeez.

  • June 8, 2012 at 1:39 pmAster

    Next episode preview: “will the ancient pirate Pirate’s Council be revived?”

    Sound a lot like pirates of the Caribbean………..

  • June 8, 2012 at 4:29 pmKoroshiyaKi

  • June 8, 2012 at 4:34 pmEliteF22

    I’m going with pirate mask man is her father. They have the same eye color. Considering the contrast between his mask and his eyes, they want us to notice that.

  • June 8, 2012 at 7:08 pmGermanguy

    Seems like this http://randomc.net/image/Mouretsu%20Pirates/Mouretsu%20Pirates%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2001.jpg Ship is a 1 Women Big Ass Mass Effect Fighter…

    Well, if you take the Picture of the Preview in Mind

    And this Pirate in the Space of the Top. Can be a Hologram Projection. Just look how “Big” he grown in the Preview, when he is Firing his Weapons

    • June 8, 2012 at 7:19 pmGermanguy

      and my Guess goes, that this is Top of Art Engine powering it. You Know Bentemarus Dual Engines are “Old”. But we never saw up to date ones. And here we have perhaps a “Prototype” of the New Engines

      And yes. looks like the the Death of Marikas father was just a trap.
      Why?
      Suspicious Marikas Mother is not Home, doing a Job. We saw the Ring and more together in the Preview… It really smell Suspicious :)

      But is this Anti-Pirate Ship on Vendetta mission? And the other Ship trying to Protect Marika, into bait her out? We will see…

      p.s. Nice Move, to spin the Addiction line up… This Ship is some kind of Mecha :)

  • June 8, 2012 at 8:26 pmmac65

    This is definitely a quirky series. Certainly many people died in these
    attacks against the Pirates, but it’s hardly mentioned at all.

    Still a fun watch, though.

  • June 9, 2012 at 6:02 amThe Moondoggie

    Hmm… that was a very close call to Marika. Freaking ship can control gravity and jump like a ninja D:

  • June 9, 2012 at 7:00 amMike4DOA

    Hmm, Anyone think this might be Capt. Kato behind the mask? (Marika’s dad faked his death or so).
    In any case I’m nearly certain that the hooded guy Kane and Riruka saw in the bar is the same masked pirate.

    Possibly going for an open ening or a prelude to some ova/movie or antjers 26 eps squel season.

  • June 9, 2012 at 8:30 pmDorian

    Its Cap Kato. Kane just gives that impression. Frankly, wouldn’t be surprised at all.