「華麗なる船出」 (Kareinaru Funade)
“A Beautiful Launch”
Who needs to fight with powerful kinetic weapons, energy beams, or electronic warfare when moe works just as well? We have our very own adorable pirate captain to thank for this brilliant strategy. Her quick and unconventional tactics have likely been inspired in part from her dual identity as a high school student – but it’s her surprising competency that is making her more and more endearing with each successive engagement.
I found it interesting that the scene with the five Maracot-class warships in hot pursuit of a renegade vessel has several parallels with the opening scene of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, but I also liked that there were enough of a new spin to it so that it could effectively begin to reveal the overarching conflicts and political intrigue of the Mouretsu Pirates universe. We have the Galactic Empire represented here by the Serenity Defense Force, and the part of the Rebel Alliance blockade runner played by the damaged Corback-class ship trying to escape with secret data – but instead of secret plans for a deadly space station, it’s secret data about a ghost ship. Another difference here is that the princess (who even sported her own cinnamon bun hairstyle) is on the wrong ship – in her place is the royal palace’s “butler” and “maid”, the Grand Chamberlain of the Privy Council Sif Sideux Yotof (Ono Atsushi) and the royal bodyguard Squad Commander Catherine, both of whom Gruier suspect have stolen the ship in order to deliver the data.
Perhaps the best change to the iconic Star Wars scene is that the resolution to the engagement felt completely unique and original to this show. I thought it was quite clever of Marika to have Gruier pretend to be the captain of the Bentenmaru and use her royalty to order the SDF forces to stand down, because they might have thought that she was being coerced if she wasn’t the captain. However, the two of them are too young for experience with high-level political decisions, instead relying on Misa whose expertise appears to go far beyond what a medical doctor normally knows. This whole situation is so shrouded in secrecy with code phrases, vague references to the safety of the palace, and Gruier’s search for someone to illegally fake her attendance, it made perfect sense to keep the SDF in the dark as much as possible.
The possibilities of intergalactic political intrigue also opened up a great deal further in this episode, even if nothing was spelled out for us. I can only begin to imagine the circumstances behind Gruier’s mission to find the golden ghost ship – my best guess is that the ship is so important that it has caused significant power divisions in Serenity, and there could even be a coup d’état brewing that is a threat to both the palace and Gruier herself. The struggle of all these factions has become even more dangerous now that Chiaki and her father have joined the fray with a mission to eliminate everyone else looking for the golden ship, and it’s not yet clear who is pulling their strings either. I was pleasantly surprised with Marika’s reaction to the idea that she might eventually have to fight Chiaki – it fit her cheerful personality look at things as the result of the contract rather than it being anything personal.
Speaking of Chiaki-chan, our bespectacled, parfait-loving, tsundere pirate was even more adorable this week when she displayed a new prim and proper side right after she feigns indifference towards Princess Gruier and when she was being teased by the Yacht Club. Hopefully we’ll also be able to see more of their antics on Jenny’s proposed practice cruise – but there’s also a chance that their excursion will end up becoming dangerous if they end up crossing paths with the Bentenmaru on its mission. In any case, the Yacht Club is full of capable girls which will only serve to make this show more appealing, and all this without a single drop of fanservice to boot.
Another appealing aspect to this series is the ghost ship itself. Although ghost ships are a trope found in many works of science fiction, they are still a setting that is ripe for fascinating stories and mysteries. I’m looking forward to the secrets that are contained in this one, especially now that the Serenity royal family’s unencrypted data has revealed that it is actually the first colony ship to carry passengers. Its lack of FTL capability, a route that takes it next to some of the most dangerous phenomena in space, and the modifications that have been made to the ship over the course of 200+ years makes me wonder if there are people alive on it – maybe even some ancient royalty that are at the center of this high-stakes race to find the ghost ship. Next week’s episode doesn’t look like it’ll answer a lot of these questions yet, but at least we get to see Chiaki’s absolutely adorable cosplay and even more ship-to-ship battles in what appears to be some sort of hyperspace.
* What’s up with those glowing “real weapons” on Schnitzer and the other pirates? Hope we get to see them used sometime.
* A box that is worth how much exactly!?!
* I want to see more of Mami.
* Full-length images: 01, 07, 11, 13, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, 31, 34
ED2: 「Black Holy」 by 小松未可子 (Komatsu Mikako)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼