「海賊会議」 (Kaisai! Kaizoku Kaijin)
“The Pirate’s Council”
As the series heads to the finish line with a strong wind at its back, I can’t help but hope that the end of the course will be pushed back for another season or two. As a light novel adaptation, Mouretsu Pirates definitely feels like it has only barely scratched the surface of a rich and complex world that extends far beyond the tiny sliver of the galaxy we’ve been presented thus far.
The many wonderful and interesting new elements that are being added to the Mouretsu Pirates universe in these last few episodes make me want to keep exploring the world that the show is building. However, it does get tricky when you try to discern whether these new elements actually come from the light novels or if they’re anime original material. For much of the series, one of the aspects that really appealed to me was how realistic most of the science and technology depicted was, and how it seemed almost everything was grounded in actual theory that could be readily explained at any given moment. This all changed with the introduction of the Grand Cross and its unconventional gravity drive though. While these new and unexpected elements do bring a lot of entertainment and humor to the show, some of them also seem a little out of character – such as the giant cooks/bodyguards who towered even over Schnitzer. My first thought was that they were holograms, but once their footsteps started shaking the entire room, I knew they were real. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the new flavor these new elements have brought to the show, but I suspect that they all might not be ones that are found in the light novels.
Regardless whether many of the new elements are original to the anime or not, this final arc has been a blast to watch, and for me, this was probably the most hilarious episode to date as well – which was a little unexpected considering the gravity of the situation. The conflict that has begun to play out is an especially interesting one considering it addresses one of the common complaints heard about this series. People have derided this show for the pirates being depicted as more concerned with putting on shows for ships than plundering them, which incidentally is the same criticism now levied by Quartz, who as a legendary pirate sanctioned by the Galactic Empire, appears to be cut from the same cloth as the traditional pirates we usually think of. While there are definitely some merits to their argument, shows featuring traditional space pirates are also already a dime a dozen – making the fun loving ones found in Mouretsu Pirates a welcome change of pace from the standard fare.
Probably one of the greatest benefits from no longer having to follow the usual pirate stereotypes is that it affords the show much greater flexibility when it comes to humor. For example, the eccentric assortment of pirates (who count a ninja and a vampire among them!) that have banded together with Marika are basically facing extinction at the hands of the pirate hunters. Normally, this would be a very solemn and serious issue, yet this show never takes itself too seriously. I for one loved that the room darkened and then as if on cue, spotlights followed each character as they spoke – these pirates love a good show and spectacle at every chance they can get it seems. The fact that these serious looking pirate captains all bonded over food and the amazing-sounding ‘galactic spiced honey on shaved ice’ dessert falls squarely within the style of this show and really served to underscore how free-spirited and fun loving this motley crew of hooligans are, and how well Marika not only fits in with them, but is suited to lead them.
It would be very remiss of me if I didn’t mention one particular scene which stands out above the rest – one which would likely not have been present if Mouretsu Pirates were a run-of-the-mill space pirate show. I can only really speak for myself here, but I am fairly confident that mine was not the only heart that melted at the sight of such overwhelming dere. Chiaki’s wink alone could probably launch a thousand pirate ships. I also loved how the two sides challenged one another with songs whose lyrics were basically consisted of light-hearted trash talking.
In any case, with how well this final arc has progressed, I don’t mind if many of the elements or much of the story is new and original to the anime. They’ve kept the most important elements intact – namely Marika’s personality and the spirit of piracy she and her fellow captains believe in. With such a charismatic and capable leader at the helm and their penchant for showmanship, the pirates’ final battle is looking like it will be a performance for the ages.