「そして、海賊は行く」 (Soshite, Kaizoku wa Iku)
“There Go the Pirates”

This series may have started with a whimper, but it most certainly ended with a bang. For me, the conclusion to this final arc was thoroughly entertaining and spectacular because it showcased what made Mouretsu Pirates one of my favorite recent shows in the first place: Katou Marika.

The battle between Marika’s frontier pirate fleet and Quartz’s three Grand Cross-class battleships was one of the most entertaining ship-to-ship action scenes I’ve seen in a long while, even if it was completely one sided thanks to Marika’s tactical prowess as the fleet’s commander. Quartz never stood a chance because she relied too much on using her technologically superior vessels exactly the same way she used them before, which was simply charging in and then overwhelming the enemy with firepower. Unlike the pirates who worked beautifully in concert thanks to Coorie’s coordination of their data sharing, Quartz divided her ships up and made them easy prey for each of Marika’s task groups. I thought it was great that Marika stayed one step ahead of Quartz by employing a different strategy in each task group’s encounter with a battleship: Captain Spoonbender (not his real name, I think) and the El Santo played the decoy while the rest of the ships emptied their missile payloads, Kurihara Kenjou and the Barbarossa just used one enormous missile, and the ninja pirate captain (best of both worlds!) used the Shangri-la to punch a hole in the side of the Grand Cross. The end result was a victory so swift and efficient that I don’t think anyone saw it coming, probably because we didn’t expect Marika to be this talented.

As for the conflict at the center of this arc, which is Quartz’s charge that the frontier pirates are no longer needed as they only seem to be concerned with performances and putting on shows, I did not expect Marika to reply the way she did. She put on this whole show of bravado and confidence like she usually does, but this was an unexpected and unorthodox reply which even seemed a little childish at first. Yet after a bit of thought it also made a lot of sense – why should it be a question what pirates do or do not do? For Marika and the rest of frontier pirates, the spirit and pride of a pirate is that they are free to sail under their own flag and free to do whatever they please. They are not something that is needed or unneeded; they simply exist because “the seas of space belong to everyone”. I feel that this is something Quartz finally came to appreciate and understand, and why she tells Marika to “come to a vaster sea”. Out of all the pirates operating in the Serenity system, it was a high school girl who possessed the purest spirit of a pirate.

Marika is basically the center and lifeblood of this show and she deserves to be developed as much as possible, which is why even though I had a sinking feeling that Ironbeard would turn out to be Gonzaemon, I didn’t want it to turn out to be true since too many questions would be left unanswered. Sure they both have the same blue eyes and a connection to Ririka, but then why couldn’t the Bentenmaru crew recognize him by his voice or general mannerisms (not like that mask hides much anyway)? For a series that focuses so much about Marika, leaving unanswered questions about the very reason she became a captain in the first place leaves a bit of a black mark on such an enjoyable show. The only missing aspect of her character is her relationship with her parents, and it would have been well served by being filled out with background stories about Gonzaemon and Ririka.

Even though this finale was extremely satisfying emotionally, intellectually I still had a lot of loose threads I wanted to be either tied up or explored further. Many of the characters, especially the Bentenmaru crewmembers, have not had any real backstory, and then there’s also the vast unknown expanse and intrigue of the Galactic Empire waiting Marika once she finishes her third and final year of high school. Fortunately, there is a way to fix all these issues: Bentenmaru, set course for a second season!


With this being the last episode of the series, it’s also my last chance to follow Chiaki’s example and confess pen a love letter to Marika, so here goes:

Dear Marika,

I don’t think I will ever cease being in awe at how talented you are, how good at practically everything you are, and how endearing and lovely you are. In addition to watching your impressive skills as the captain of the Bentenmaru week in and week out, I’ve also seen you excel in a variety of roles throughout this series. You’re a capable pilot in your own right and an excellent and shrewd negotiator, and even as the commander of an entire fleet, you’re still the brightest star in the sky. I don’t think there’s a limit to what you can accomplish once you set your mind to it – whether it’s singing, cleaning, or racing a dinghy, you always excel at it. Well, you’re not exactly perfect either. You have trouble waking up for class and your grades slip easily, but I still find I can’t help but stop whatever I am doing so that I can admire you even when you fail. If you’ll have me, I-I’d like to spend the rest of my days by your side. But it’s not because I like you or anything!


Final assorted thoughts and notes:


Final Impressions:
Some people may have thought this series started with too slowly and ended up dropping it, but they’re missing out on a great series because there’s no denying it ended on a high note. More than anything, Mouretsu Pirates showed that a space opera with pirates doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional serious affair, but it can be a light-hearted one with an almost perfect blend of humor, political intrigue, and good old space pirate action.

I think Mouretsu Pirates actually does many things very well, if not necessarily great. It really delivered on its premise which was to tell the story of an average high school girl becoming a pirate captain, and it accomplished this with a great balance between appearances by the Yacht Club girls and the Bentenmaru crew. The main complaints I’ve heard are that some people didn’t like that vast majority of pirates in this show were more involved in putting on stage shows than what we would consider traditional pirating, while others felt that the show was too clinical and too safe. However, I enjoyed both these aspects of the show very much and would not change a thing because they helped turn this series into a light-hearted, fun, and romantic take on what can often be a staid and serious genre.

This is also a series that really takes the time to explain or at least show every minor detail. The first several episodes might seem slow for some, but I actually greatly appreciated that time was taken to develop Marika from your everyday high school girl to a pirate ship captain by actually having her go through training and practice cruises. The same attention to detail extended to the depiction of science and technology, which I often felt was explained more than in many other series and an aspects that really appealed to me. Above all, I loved the detail in the show’s portrayal of space. In Mouretsu Pirates, many little stylistic touches were added to paint an image of space as a romantic setting which hearkens back to the seas of yesteryear, and connects the space pirate who sails in a cosmic ocean of stars to their forebears who plied the terrestrial oceans.

Being based on a light novel series, Mouretsu Pirates has plenty of material left to adapt. Much of the universe, like the Galactic Empire, still needs to be expanded on, many more space pirate battles can be animated, and there’s always the continuation of the overall story as well. Perhaps the element of the series that needs to be expanded on the most are its entertaining cast of characters, many of whom haven’t even received a proper backstory. Yet the main reason why I think Mouretsu Pirates deserves a second season is because its legacy is one that shouldn’t be confined to a single season. This is a series that brings a light-hearted and romantic take to the piracy and space opera genres, and one which never ceases to bring a smile to my face.


    1. I did not expect an early review of this awesome end episode. Nice love letter by the way, and nice work putting Chiaki’s tsun-tsun personality in it too.

      What an epic final episode with an epic ending. Excellent visuals as usual. Marika has shown that she is one of the best pirates in her generation. With her intelligence and confidence, she and her fleet of pirates manage to destroy all of Quartz’ three Grand Crosses. Quartz escapes and she is eager to meet Marika again.

      Marika’s red latex space suit is just too sexy. I bet Quartz was ogling at her curvy body while she was doing her speech. The camera made a good close-up of her suit but I wonder if it was coming from the camera guy or Quartz’ point of view.

      It is really nice to see the Space Yacht Club again. It is a shame that they do not get to join the battle. At least we get another sweet Jenny/Lynn moment.

      It is not much of a surprise that Captain Ironbeard happens to be Marika’s dad. I like how he commented Gruier’s Mami-made pirate costume.

      It is apparent that Chiaki’s dad ships (no pun intended) his own daughter with Marika. But wait, it appears that Ironbeard AKA Marika’s dad ships his own daughter with Gruier. I guess in Marika’s time, pirate dads are yuri fanboys.

      Chiaki is staying at the Hakuoh Academy indefinitely and as a welcoming gift, she get some fangirls. But unfortunately for them, she is reserving herself for Marika.

      This is a wonderful anime and this is one of those that I truly favor. I hope we get to see more of it even after the film. If the film is good, then second season is very likely to come.

      John Hayabusa
      1. As far as the romance goes (and I think I could say this within the relative safety of the final episode post), I always thought that the ultimate trolling this series could do would be to have Marika end up in some straight, heterosexual relationship, somehow.

  1. Marika’s skintight spacesuit…. good lord…. Its amazing how she manages to make a space suit so lovely and sexy at the same time :D~

    Overall wise, I really enjoyed this series. It does indeed start off abit slow, but it takes its time to introduce us to the the world (or universe) its set in. And it does it really well. While I was slightly disappointed there wasn’t more space battles, it does not take away the fact that it is still tremendously enjoyable. Likable characters, great animation (seriously, just look at some of the scenes when they were in space….), an extremely good and fitting soundtrack, great storylines, and a unique plot setting. And while I initially felt that it was gonna take some getting used to for Marika’s voice, I muz say that Komatsu Mikako has really grown on me with each episode. And the songs she sings in this series are great as well, especially Black Holy. I’m really looking forward to the new song that she sings at the end (i’m pretty sure its sung by her) once its released.

    Therefore, i’m all for a 2nd season for this series. But for now, i’m looking forward to the sequel movie for it~ I wonder if it will touch on why Gonzaemon faked his own death and became Ironbeard.

  2. One more note, if I ever become a warlord on a galactic conquest to create an empire, I’d order my uniforms at Mami! Half of the battles would end at the sight of my loli legions 😛
    Wahahaha~! (just lost final sanity point…)

  3. About Gonzaemon: my readers and I have come to the conclusion that the whole Bentenmaru bridge crew knew about Gonzaemon from the very first. The Empire offered him a new Letter of Marque and he decided to accept it. But he asked his bridge crew to remain on Bentenmaru, to help Marika become its captain, and they agreed. So the reason they don’t seem to recognize Gonzaemon’s voice etc is because they already know, but are pretending not to.

    1. You have a Point. Because Misa could take the command without problems. She is the Vice-Captain after all. They really have just “raised” this Child to be a Captain

      1. It might have been necessary under Sea of the Morning Star’s laws for Gonzaemon to “die” in order for his Letter of Marque to pass to his heir. There are a bunch of restrictions on these letters that seem designed to cause a diminished number of legal pirates each year.

        Also, it’s clear from the final scene that Marika knows her initial setup is somehow artificial. She says, “People I don’t even know [e.g. her father!] are helping me in ways I don’t even realize. I really felt it this time. I don’t know who’s doing what. They’re probably working in secret, so I’ll leave that for later.”

    1. And additionally, if she controls three ships solely by herself she must also divert her attention on all three ships at the same time. Which is also a quite stupid move.

  4. I’m glad I stuck through the earlier episodes. I loved all the techno-babble, but the plot was lacking quite a bit. I really liked how Mouretsu Pirates defied expectations of being an otaku pandering series. With all the zero gravity + almost all-female cast + skirts, it never needed to exploit these aspects at all. For that, it made watching a bunch of school girls downright enjoyable (special thanks to Mami’s costumes.)

    Marika is definitely one of the more solid MC’s lately.

  5. An awesome ending to my favorite series of 2012 yet. Even though it did have its flaws, it remained the one series I anticipate the most each week and the one where I enjoyed each and every episode of (Except certain parts of the boarding of Princess Apricot by the cosplaying high school girl pirates. Those were rather wince inducing).

    Too many awesome scenes in this finale. There was Coorie’s skills with the computer (even using her feet, now that’s one officer I’d like on my pirate space ship), Marika’s battle strategies, all the other pirate captains being badass with their ships, Kane’s skills at the helm, the boarding action on the Grand Cross, ninja pirates, Marika’s space suit, the yacht club in their new pirate(?) outfits (sponsored by Mami, again. I’m guessing that girls ambition is to produce a pirate line wear collection for the Sea of Morningstar Fashion Week), Jenny and Lynn’s brief alone time, Gruier’s pirate captain outfit, Gruier’s meeting with Ironbeard (aka Katou Gonzaemon) and that victory photograph with all the captains plus Chiaki and the Bentenmaru crew members.

    I’m glad Chiaki-chan is finally following her heart to be with her beloved Captain Katou Marika by transferring to Hakuoh Academy for her final year in high school. Too bad for Gruier though because I think this pairing is almost inseparable already. At least Hildegarde can get more quality time with her onee-sama than 😀

  6. Marika’s skintight suit looks great. If you’re going to confront your enemy you have to look your best after all. Quartz never really stood a chance. Marika had already faced the Grand Cross TWICE and knew her tricks and Quartz just flew around like an idiot.

    And so many MarikaxChiaki moments. I’m convinced Captain Kurihara ships them.

    I love this show. Mostly because Marika carries the show as one of the few protagonists I have consistently liked. Its a breath of fresh air. I keep telling the detractors of show that this is essentially Star Trek. Its all about techno-babble and the Marika being clever and finding diplomatic solutions. Sure there were space battles, but the was never the focus on Star Trek either.

  7. When i first heard about this show in ANN in 2010, i was like “Mini Skirt Space Pirates? I’m in!”

    Since it’s airing i enjoy the series very much since it has the feel of an old-school sci-fi anime of the 1980’s. Marika is a great character as an ordinary girl who is smart, confident, great leadership, social friendly and is a quick learner. Yet she still has flaws like juggling highschool and pirate work but seeing her overcoming them makes her an enduring character.

    Hopefully in the future, we get to see more adventures of our favorite Captain in other planets in other star systems, within the Galactic Empire and possibly Show Spoiler ▼

    All in all, i give this series a 10 out of 10!

    PS: https://randomc.net/image/Mouretsu%20Pirates/Mouretsu%20Pirates%20-%2026%20-%20Large%2028.jpg So sexy!
    https://randomc.net/image/Mouretsu%20Pirates/Mouretsu%20Pirates%20-%2026%20-%20Large%2036.jpg And it’s good to see Jenny Lynn again!

  8. I loved the show but for some reason found that this ending was a bit lacking, as an ending. I guess will have to rely on the movie for a better arc closure. Of course if a season two is green lit I have nothing to say.

  9. Yup, this series was awesome. I’m hoping for a 2nd season… but in the meantime, a movie was announced. I didn’t see that one coming. Here’s my personal thoughts:

    Good points:
    + Love the focus on Marika; we didn’t get sidetracked by another character; we didn’t get an airheaded and/or obbnociouslead… she was perfect.

    + Love the pacing, it was really well distributed, I didn’t feel like it dragged, and while the beginning was slow, it was necessary, because it shows an evolution.

    + Love the scale, the ships were well-rendered and the whole thing felt huge.

    + Chiaki (^3^), need I say more ? I swear, I laughed more at Chiaki’s reactions any joke or quip in the series.

    + Jenny’s and Lynn’s kiss… screw yuri haters, that’s a positive for me, not to mention that the couple wasn’t portrayed as stereotypical as we usually see in anime. It was far more toned down to just 2 normal girls in love. Finally, THAT part was in the light novel, it wasn’t just added in the anime for fanservice. (Well, it probably was for the novel, but here, they just recreated that moment.)

    And now the bad points… sadly:
    – lack of development for secondary characters. Marika meets the whole crew, the same people who worked with her parents… and barely asked a question or get to know them. That’s just… bad. I would have wished that we get like 5 minutes where Marika just talks to her crewmembers and learns about their backgrounds ? Why is Luca acting all spaced out (pun not intended) ? What’s with San-Daime’s obsession with stuffed dolls (I swear I went O_o when I saw his collection) ? Why is Schnitzer a massive cyborg, when in the light novel, he’s a human ? Why is Chiaki stalking and helping Marika ? See what I mean ? I would have loved to know these in the first season, maybe not the ENTIRE story about a specific character, but at least the major lines. I swear, we got more info about the Yacht Club girls, like Jenny, Lynn and to lesser extend Gruier, then the Bentenmaru’s crew, and the latter was more important, to my perspective.

    – the whole pirate aspect was… kinda screwed honestly. I was expecting a bit more action for a series about space pirates. Right now, the series portrayed the pirates as corsairs, basically hired sailors to conduct raids on the wealthy. BTW, in history, corsairs were privateers under her Majesty’s orders to attack enemy ships in the same way pirates would, but weren’t considered criminals in any way. Furthermore, we see Marika holding a rifle, on both the anime poster and the book covers… but when did she ever used it ? I was expecting to see criminal factions, renegade sailors and such, like One Piece… minus the scale, of course. Marika wasn’t endangered not even once in the series. That would probably have been nice to see, just to have her question her life as a space pirate.

    – Coorie… she freaks me out a bit. I wish she would just wear her civilian clothes more often. Her using her feet to defeat the Grand Cross didn’t help either…

    – like other anime series, we might have to wait a long time to see a sequel.

    I really enjoyed that series, it was quite the fun ride. I hope that we won’t have to wait long for the 2nd season. Verdant, thanks a lot for reviews man, greatly appreciate it.

  10. Well, this anime made finally un-lurk..well, you had a hand in it too..
    in making me return for it..it started off well for me..turned bland and made me give up on the serenity ark but I kept a pulse on it thanks to you and jumped on when the mini-skirts pirates arrived which to me was the best time..

    Thanks for critiquing and reviewing on a great series..hope to see you at season 2!


  11. Oh man I enjoyed this a lot and I’m sad to see it end. We’ve got the movie to look forward to though, but I still want a season 2! Thanks for covering this underrated series.

  12. Want a second season of this so badly just so they could start transitioning some of the yacht club girls into the pirate crew.

    I mean they set up that premise with Kane and Misa doing their scouting at the very start of the show. Ai-chan is a great pilot and she looks super cute standing on a box so she can reach the wheel!

  13. Well, i love this Show. An i really hope for a 2nd Official Season. This Show surprised me. Not the Action i know from the Past, it took its own pace of Time to build the Story.
    Dunno, but i got hooked from the Start. If this Anime was so good to catch me without i took notice, it must be very good

    Please, please if possible make a 2nd Season and Mr. Producers give them Green Light for it *Bow*

  14. I’ll miss you Marika! You’re one of the best leads in my book. Chiaki, let’s have a fair fight! Hahaha

    Mouretsu Pirates will be in my list of above average shows of all time. It is a good example on why you need to establish first the world no just in 1 or 2 episodes.

    However, I feel kinda sad that it stopped when it’s going great. I need another season of my bodacious pirates, not just a movie.

    Is that “Let’s meet again” refer to the movie only?

    1. Dunno, Chiaki’s Dad speech on the Bridge, while Boarding was ongoing…
      The Conversation on the Parrabelum Bridge…
      Quartz, “farewell” Message invention… (How is this Someone?)

      There are to many “Hints”, that they want to continue the Story. if they could of course

      1. Yeah, there are too many hints and it now depends on the sales.

        I would like to post here what was said by the director.

        “[W]atch the last episode. But the main story WILL end in some format. Then after that, you will have a surprise.” source: ann (verdant’s link)

        It means that there will be a movie (another format) and, hopefully, another season ([another] surprise).

  15. I love this show, but it really feels like a prologue to the series. I hope it gets a sequel simply because I think it could even get better than it already was (if you can believe that possible).

    1. Mouretsu is here translated as “bodacious”, but actually it means something like “intense”.

      Bentenmaru refers to Benten, the goddess of music and the like, whereas maru is just a suffix for ship names.

  16. I actually dropped this show a long time ago but I’m so glad I picked it up again.

    This has definitely been a fun ride. While it is mellow and a bit slow, it’s also interesting and entertaining. I love all the characters. To me, they were all so likable. I don’t think I dislike anyone in this show.

    As for the story itself, I like how diverse all the arcs were, it was nice to have some piracy and then some everyday school life.

    But in the end, I think what makes this show so great is Marika. She is a great character and I definitely respect her a lot.

    Looking forward to a sequel, and hopefully it’ll answer all the questions that remain for now. Like you said, some backstory for the other characters would be nice. Oh, and I’d like to know why Marika doesn’t call Ririka “mother”. I’ve been wondering since the first episode…..

    Anyway, really good show, and I’m so glad I picked it up again.
    Good job verdant! Awesome post (and love letter). :]

  17. Definitely one of the great shows of the season. Can’t wait for the movie. Whatever galaxy Captain Marika plans goes to, I’d love it if she gets to meet Captain Harlock along the way (wishful thinking). Also I can’t help but smile at this scene.
    Not just because of the irony of a fight happening in the back while Marika casually searches for her target, but her posture is just too cute. Marika Kato…GAR and kawaii in one package…oh and definitely CooriYEAH will be missed.

  18. “Even though this finale was extremely satisfying emotionally, intellectually I still had a lot of loose threads I wanted to be either tied up or explored further. ” EXACTLY!

    Much rather have a 2nd series than just a movie. Better than nothhing but…

  19. I can finally comment now that I watched the finale and I have to agree. WHAT A FINALE! lots of explosions, bombs flying around and ramming ships into other ships it was thrilling! So worth the week long wait. No complaints besides Chiaki not being able to see Marika at the end ;-; Wasn’t a huge shipper for them until this last ep. Now all we have to do is hold our sanity until the movie comes out. *sigh*

    Oh, and thank you for blogging this show and I hope everyone will take your words into consideration when watching this show.

  20. Verdant, thanks for blogging this show! Mouretsu Pirates turned out different than I had thought at first. When the creators started to add middle schoolers to Marika’s harem I realized that this wouldn’t be too serious an affair. But I wasn’t that interested in the space pirates stuff in the first place and came to love the fluffy yacht club episodes instead.

    While Marika was maybe a bit overconfident and overgifted I quite liked her cute and ditzy side. The highlight for me were the yuri pairings. There was even a kanon yuri couple! I also loved the atmosphere of the yacht club episodes. Most of the girls were not overly cute but these episodes had this girly pyjama party mood and it was clear that nothing too serious would ever happen. Besides, while production values in general were certainly not top-notch I loved the abundance of miniskirts and the awesome space suits.

    My hope for the movie is that it will focus on Gruier x Marika or some other yuri pairing and fluff (though most probably the movie will have lots of pirating action instead).


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