「オデット二世、出航!」 (Odetto Nisei, Shukkou!)
“Odette II, Sets Sail!”

Depending on who you ask, this third episode of Mouretsu Pirates can range anywhere from the most boring and uneventful showing of all time to the most fascinating and immersive one to grace anime in a while. Personally, I’m closer to the latter end of the spectrum, being a longtime (but not die-hard) fan of the Star Trek series from The Next Generation onwards, so I found myself pretty absorbed in all the depiction of hacking countermeasures and sci-fi spaceship protocols this time around. Not a whole lot happened this episode, as we saw nothing from the other spaceship that was trying to hack into Odette II and the biggest problem turned out to be a stuck mast, yet time seemed to whisk away and the episode was over before I knew it. I attribute that partly to trying to take in every detail in preparation for this post, but I’m also genuinely curious about whether or not this series will turn out to be the space opera that I’m hoping it’ll be. Thus far, it hasn’t disappointed in that regard by taking a slower approach in building the story — something that older anime fans such as myself can appreciate because we have the patience for it.

As things continue to work toward Marika becoming the new captain of Bentenmaru, one of the benefits of this slower pacing is already seen in the portrayal of Kane’s character. In these last two episodes, I’m amazed by how he’s already changed my image of him from the easygoing alcohol-loving helmsman that he originally made himself out to be. Now, I see him as a much more dependable character, and one who will have a profound role in Marika’s growth as a space pirate captain. Like we saw here, he’s quite capable of handling a crew of teenage girls, maintaining a consistent level of professionalism and actually acting like a teacher by having them think through a problem on their own. His focus is of course Marika, whom he gives every opportunity to lead the group like a captain would, but it appears to extend beyond that since Bentenmaru is looking to recruit more crew members. The end result, at least from a viewer perspective, is a very respectable character whom I’ve already taken a liking to rather than someone I’m completely indifferent toward because his better qualities were simply glossed over.

Equally promising is how Mouretsu Pirates still doesn’t intent to flaunt its “bodacious” tagline, save for maybe one scene in this episode, which neatly sidesteps the potential problem where this series could be perceived as a bunch of high school girls playing astronauts. Despite the nearly all-female cast, the series hasn’t come off as such, allowing it to maintain a believable level of seriousness that will work in its favor down the stretch. The practice cruise around the Tau star looks like it’ll be the first thing to test that seriousness by presenting some interesting challenges to both Marika and the Space Yacht Club, and should provide a good first taste of some of the conflicts in this series. At the moment, I’m most intrigued by the fact that the Odette II is an actual “sailing” spaceship though. Instead of a typical sailboat that relies on wind for propulsion, the Odette’s masts appear to be solar panels that absorb sunlight. For whatever reason — maybe the sci-fi geek in me — I just find that really cool, so I’m looking forward to see it gain maximum speed as it circles the Tau star next time.

* Full-length images: 13, 22, 26.




  1. Your opening line is so true. I’ve already seen so many people dropping this because of the lack of action, whereas I personally love this build-up to the story.

    I seriously wonder if their opinions would change if they were to marathon this.

      1. Somehow I was dense enough to not link the fact that Yaught Club == Solar Sail Ships until this episode. Quite clever, really.

        BTW Divine: Solar Sails are a real method of space propulsion. The sails indeed work similarly to sailing ships; except they catch photons rather than winds. In fact, the Japanese recently pioneered the first such probe to use this technology with I.K.A.R.O.S. in 2010.

        Sadly, they are rather slow at the moment; so Ion Drives still look to be the main way for future travel right now; due to their propensity for continual low-cost acceleration.

  2. I liked that episode, VERY large scale.

    I like how Marika is depicted, she’s actually trying to prove her worth. She doesn’t fumble, she doesn’t panic much and she’s slowly getting into the role of a captain, she’s not rejetting that idea at all. Oh yeah, and she’s not airheaded… she just looks like it.

    However, there’s something I can’t wrapped my head around: why is Chiaki that cold and icy ? Only a Chocolate Parfait can melt her (pun TOTALLY intended)… Wonder why she’s acting that robotic. That would be scary to have her as a second-in-command…

      1. While I would cringed until I get cramped, I would laughed so hard if Chiaki had pointy ears hidden by her hair and bled green blood.

        But, you know where I getting at, right ? She’s mysterious and that intrigues me:
        – She’s quite anti-social and emotionless, yet she protects Marika from harm.
        – She knows a LOT about navigation and the rest of the system.
        – She’s carrying a gun… somewhere on her body, because she has no pocket, no purse or even a holster strapped to a leg, like many women would have.
        – She’s wearing a totally different school outfit. Now I know that some schools have 2 different outfits to choose from, but Chiaki’s the girl who have that outfit. I don’t know if in Japan it’s common for new students to wear their previous school outfit before getting their new one. Anyway, that’s not a bad thing… she would still be mysterious if she wore the same outfit as the rest of the girls.

        I smell a backstory episode in the future.

        BTW, here’s an image I found that shows visual differences between characters from the light novel and the anime… Chiaki looks like a totally different person:

    1. This show is a true down-to-earth space opera although they just started to fly through outer space.
      It might as well lack flashy battles but focus on characters and interaction between them more.
      So far it’s been exactly my kind of show.

  3. As someone who remembers when 2-cour series tended to be the norm, I’m generally more patient with a 2-cour series. I’ll give it at least 7-10 episodes before I decide to drop it.

    I like the gradual buildup in this series. It’s a refreshing contrast to the usual frantic pace of many 1-cour series, where this kind of exposition can at times be woefully lacking. So far, so good.

    Totally digging this show, and I always look forward to it. I especially love how they manage to end every episode at a point where it leaves me waiting to see what happens next. That’s good writing and good directing.

  4. I just re-watched Starship Operators very very recently. This series pales in comparison even with better animation/budget. The technicalities of the electronic warfare or the mast troubles were completely skimmed over and resolved way too easily if they are going to seemingly waste time on these realistic aspects of space faring.

  5. Divine pretty much summed up the feel of this show. Its all old school sci-fi and is better appreciated by those who’ve seen stuff like Classic Star Trek and Dr. Who. It also makes me feel really old since I enjoyed these kinds of shows before.

  6. Yeah the ‘sails’ seem to be solar panels, if they were to actually try to move using solar winds the sails would have to be massive for any modest acceleration rate.

    I am interested in how space combat will be done, a mimic of how aircraft work in atmospheres or proper zero gravity where your movement is based on inertia and how much you are accelerating in a given direction.

    1. Actually, if it really is based on solar wind then they wouldn’t use sails, they’d use a big electromagnet to ‘catch’ the solar wind with, which could be powered by those solar panels. Solar sails are used to make use of a star’s light, and aren’t intended to have much interaction with the solar wind.

      I think we can give them some leeway though, considering that this is possibly (by which I mean: I can’t recall any that were better than this) the best full-length space opera since Starship Operators.

  7. I’ve read (here) that this is 26 eps. In that case, I really like the development speed of
    this series. It’s subtly setting a strong character foundation for the following episodes.

    I like the dynamics between Marika and the other mystery girl (who rescued her). We
    don’t know much about her motivations yet, but I don’t believe they are ill-intent any more.
    1st mate, possibly (no pun intended)?

    I like the harem aspects without it actually being a harem show – but I wonder if this “trip”
    will last the series – that this is the crew… But her mom could only be an intro character
    and have no other part in the remaining episodes. Many possibilities – all for an interesting

    We’ve learned that, even though this ship is very old, it’s very capable. What I see too is that
    their may be more strategy involved in this series than just various battles happening – I like.

  8. So far I would go to say that this has been the series I look forward to most from my weekly anime doses. The relaxed pace is a godsend – far too many series these days try to get all up in your face from the get go and dont give enough setup (im looking at you Guilty Crown). Having been a long time fan of shows like Aria and Spice and Wolf that gently ease you into the characters series like this are great to have around.

    Hoping it continues along these lines, its refreshing.

  9. One thing that really bothered me about this episode was Kane taking a bunch of inexperienced schoolgirls on an EVA without any safety lines. They didn’t seem to have any means of propulsion in their suits either, though am guessing the boots were magnetic.

    What would he have done if one drifted away?

    1. Considering the way they turned in space without touching anything, I think they do have in built propulsion. And sying inexperienced is probably an exageration too. Most likely they trained and praciticed EVA, but never had to do it for real before

  10. The hard sci-fi geek in me loves the solar sailing.
    The covert perv loves the girl’s “bodacious” spacesuits.
    And mystery fan gnaws his fingers about who really Chiaki is and what is her agenda…
    One of top shows of the season, for me!
    @ English Moe Fan It seems the spacesuits do have some form of maneuvring engines to keep the from drifitng away from the ship – and they are user-friendly to operate – but consider the possibilities for the plot should one suit malfunction…
    @ Benigmatica : “Steady as she goes!”

  11. Very nice development so far.. but the slow pace is perhaps kinda (too) sloww.. compares to other counterpart of social / semi hard space sci-fi Planetes, Moonlight Mile or even Rocket Girls. Man, those series are the BOMB! But I still love Moretsu Pirates despite lack of surprises in every corner.

  12. I don’t mind at all the slow pacing, I wonder if it’s because I’m a long time anime fan like you said, I’m loving it, and it’s 26 episodes, they have some time. I’d like it even more if it was 50 episodes. I tend to like shows more if they’ve got more eps. I just like build ups I guess. (inb4 someone tells me to go watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes.)
    Also I love the narrator.


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