「姫と海賊」 (Hime to Kaizoku)
“Princesses and Pirates”
No “bodaciousness”, no mini skirts, and no pirates! One would think that I’d be disappointed at how misleading the title of Sasamoto Yuuichi’s novel is, but I’m really not as it continues to redefine my understanding of what it means to be a “space pirate”. Most notably, it turns out that I was wrong about how the cruise liner stuff is not just an entertainment sideshow sponsored by the insurance company. As it turns out, the act of pirating is just that — an act. However, there does seem to be some more dangerous jobs that space pirates can take on, being officially recognized as a private military of sorts. All it really takes is some royalty sneaking on board to up the stakes a few notches, as Princess Gruier Serenity (Tomatsu Haruka with more of her endless vocal range) showed us this week. Rather than pirates, Marika and the rest of the Bentenmaru crew looked more like royal escort who took the utmost care to not disrespect the very hacking-capable Seventh Princess of Serenity. Interestingly enough, it didn’t feel that unusual to see things unfold that way, as I was quite amused by the crew’s reaction and Schnitzer’s hilarious refusal to be the one that has to show Gruier around. What’s more, it put a much more pressing problem smack-dab in the middle of Marika’s lap when she’s already struggling to balance school and pirating, which was made even better with the mention of a golden ghost ship. Ooo…
Admittedly, I’m still a little confused about exactly what happened at the end there though. From the look of things, Gruier purposely kept Marika in the dark about how she plans to have Serenity’s ships engage Bentenmaru in battle to draw out the golden ghost ship, claiming that they’re simply delivering some information that she left behind (even when she’s capable of establishing secure channels), but those plans quickly went out the window when she found out that the Serenity ships were fighting amongst themselves — likely due to the different factions mentioned in the preview. The golden ship for whatever reason is supposedly the key to ending that strife and Gruier enlisted the Bentenmaru’s help to try and find it without divulging how she intended to go about it. Misa appeared to be onto Gruier’s true plan, but purposely refrained from informing Marika about it so that the newly appointed captain can react to the situation. I presume that Marika was even prepared for the scenario where they might have to engage Serenity’s ships in battle because of the whole issue with a military ship entering Tau’s solar system, but it’s a whole different matter now with the Serenity ships are fighting amongst themselves. Assuming that’s the case, there’s an imminent danger of getting caught up in what I imagine to be a civil war over the heir to the Serenity throne, which is still far from my idea of pirates but much closer to the risks involved in being one.
The next episode should quickly confirm or deny my suspicions, which looks like it’ll finally have the Space Yacht Club coming back into the picture. Jenny looks quite stricken by Gruier, which I imagine will be as fun to watch as the many faces of Katou Marika here. I didn’t think it was in Marika’s character to be a bit a of tsundere, but she’s quickly proving to be absolutely adorable when she’s teased. That pirate outfit does look great on her after all.