「永遠(とわ)よりの帰還」 (Eien (Towa) Yori no Kikan)
“A Return from Eternity”
Everything works out when you’re a pirate! Marika may be still be a high school student and shows some real potential as a prince, but piracy with a dash of deviousness is still what she does best. After all, when you’re exploring an ancient ghost ship, why worry about trivial matters like opening ancient heavy doors, turning the power back on, or finding the bridge when everything will just work out thanks to you and your pirate friends?
Even though the secrets of the golden ghost ship weren’t as earthshaking as I had predicted and the resolution to the princesses’ conflict was more anti-climactic than I had hoped, this episode still had me on the edge of my seat the whole time – and for that, I have the thousand year-old golden colony ship to thank as it was the star of this episode. Watching Marika and her crew explore further and further into the depths of the ship, I couldn’t wait to see what lurked around the each corner. Rather than shedding some light into the ship’s backstory, every new discovery and every new section explored only added more to its mystery. One of my favorite aspects about this show’s storytelling is that it actually takes the time to either mention or explain each and every minutia, and there were several things that I found particularly noteworthy: the mention of nitrogen and inert gases to preserve the ship’s treasures, the massive gene bank that stored DNA and also live examples of every single creature found in the Serenity system, the mechanical pixel display, and the artificial womb, the rose spring. Like the techno-babble and jargon of the best Gundam series, all this attention to the small details makes the series a much richer and complex one – and one that inspires a thirst to find out more details about the Mouretsu Pirates universe.
The deathly silence of the ghost ship coupled with the imminent threat of Grunhilde’s troops made for a bit of good tension throughout most of the episode, and I especially liked Gruier’s continued seriousness in her banter with Marika, because it showed how carefree the band of pirates were even while they knew how important their mission was. Although I had hoped Schnitzer would finally be able to make use of his weapons, the unintended comedy of some of his actions, like holding up a massive power cord or stretching before opening a heavy door, more than made up for the lack of real firefights, emphasis on the real. I’m beginning to think we might never get to see the Bentenmaru’s crew engaged in actual combat, and while that thought does disappoint me a little, it does make sense given that they are awfully skilled in pretend fighting – a skill that Marika makes full use of in order to peacefully resolve the conflict between the princesses.
If there was one thing I would have liked a bit more of in this episode – besides some old fashioned pirating – is for each princess’ motives and backstory to be explained further. We were never able to see what the political conditions were like in Serenity to force Gruier to try and destroy the rose spring, although I assume it had to do with the diminished glory and role of its royalty. Nor did we find out what did Grunhilde had to gain from the artificial womb either, but my gut instinct tells me that there is still a mysterious organization at work who manipulated Grunhilde’s actions, only to be thwarted by the Grand Chamberlain. All we know is that in the end, the two princesses have presented not only the long lost colony ship to Serenity, but also a united front as the legitimate heirs to its throne, and what that means in the future we’ll have to wait and see. If the whole princess thing doesn’t work out for them, maybe they should take a page from Marika’s book and turn to piracy – because as we’ve learned, “Everything works out when you’re a pirate!”
- Full-length images: 01, 05, 11, 14, 20, 23, 36
- This ED2 was actually also in episode 9, but I didn’t notice until there was a new sequence in this episode – my apologies.
ED2: 「Black Holy」by 小松未可子 (Komatsu Mikako)