June 30, 2012

Mouretsu Pirates -- ep 26

Well, it wasn't what I expected, but it was really good. And it clearly set up for a sequel beginning with the fourth light novel. Let's just hope it sells well enough to justify one.

The one thing that worries me is that we aren't seeing any co-marketing going on. The only thing like that I've seen is a Marika nendoroid.



The battle was a lot different than I envisioned. In a good battle, both sides should have surprises. Quartz showed up with three ships instead of one, which was a bit of a shock. But it seems she was the only human there on her side. She was operating all three ships herself, with some sort of high-tech direct mental control.

I think that Marika understood that Quartz herself was the weakest point. If you defeat the captain, you can defeat the ship.

Another thing was that analysis of the previous two encounters with the Grand Cross revealed some weaknesses. One was that her gravity shield didn't protect against missiles. Another was that the zig-zag approach pattern was preprogrammed and constant. Once they figured that out, then when Quartz used it, Courier was able to do a pattern match and predict where it would end.

Everybody needed to be in on the victory for it to really satisfy, but we needed Barbarossa to have a particularly glorious time, and it did. They dropped off their forward hull and used it as a super-torpedo to take out Gamma unassisted.

I was a bit surprised that captains Eight, Nine, and Ten were there and actually had ships and helped with the fighting. They helped launch the missile swarm that took out Beta.

Bentenmaru's role in the battle was to carry Courier and allow her to do her wizardry. And she was awesome-and-a-half. Those three rails mounted on the Bentenmaru turn out to be the antenna for the advanced communications equipment that Marika ordered installed. Using that, Courier fed accurate battlefield information to all the other ships in the fleet, so there were no blue-on-blue events. Plus she coordinated the EW.

That meant that Bentenmaru spent most of the battle hanging back and trying to be inconspicuous.

The finale was awesome, too. Hyakume, Marika, and Schnitzer boarded Shangri-la (the ship commanded by the ninja) along with a couple of other captains, each of which brought a couple of their own people. Shangri-la rammed Alpha, and then this elite group boarded. And we got to see Schnitzer fighting, and he really can kick butt.

Captain Hot Head was part of that, and he didn't do very well. Marika, on the other hand, was superb and she was granted the honor, and the risk, of entering Quartz's control room to capture her. "You say we're not really pirates. But I'm standing in your control room, aren't I?"

My main fear was that they would avoid any continuity changes, but the last five minutes or so of the episode set up a lot of things. They confirmed what we had already figured out: Ironbeard is Gonzaemon. Gruier knows it now; I wonder when and how Marika will get told?

Not yet known whether Ririka has accepted a permanent billet on Parabellum. My guess is "yes", though.

Mami made sailor uniforms for all the girls in the Yacht Club. They look awesome. It seems like the Odette II has a stardrive, and the Yacht Club was trying to reach the battle before it was over. Which was sheer idiocy; what did they think they would contribute to the battle once they got there?

Marika passed her exams.

And probably the biggest single continuity change: Chiaki has finally made up her mind, and is going to spend her third year of high school at Hakuoh. Presumably she's going to ask to become a member of the Bentenmaru crew. And I think she'll be accepted. She's finally admitted to herself what Kenjo figured out a long time ago: Chiaki really likes and admires Marika. Kenjo knows that spending time with Marika will help Chiaki grow, and eventually to become worthy to take over the Barbarossa.

Because Marika is already a great pirate captain. The plan of the battle was hers. She explained it to the other captains, sold it to them. But it probably wasn't a difficult sale, because it was a hell of a good plan, and the others recognized that it was. She had worked out the weakness in the Grand Cross and figured out tactics which could take advantage of that.

Marika has one hell of a reputation now among those other pirates. Captain Hot Head was treated with contempt (they even forced him to wear a sign that said "Trainee; back to basics") but no one is treating Marika with contempt.

All in all, an excellent end to an excellent series. Except that it better not be the end!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 09:53 AM | Comments (21) | Add Comment
Post contains 820 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Just so you know, the Japanese broadcast ended with a (Space Pirates) movie announcement.

Posted by: DiGiKerot at June 30, 2012 10:17 AM (grc9q)

2 I was also surprised by the appearance of

Posted by: Siergen at June 30, 2012 10:36 AM (PuIGa)

3 Anime News Network article about future plans (no spoiler tag,, but you have to click to see it).

Posted by: Siergen at June 30, 2012 02:54 PM (PuIGa)

4 The only thing in the episode I was a little disappointed about was

Posted by: Dave Young at June 30, 2012 08:24 PM (ZAk0Z)

5 On continutation:

On ep 26:

Posted by: sqa at June 30, 2012 08:51 PM (5/dUV)

6 I have no evidence for this, but I think that Jenny paid Mami

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 30, 2012 08:56 PM (+rSRq)

7 Or it might have been Gruier who paid, consider how Gruier's own costume ended up.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 30, 2012 09:26 PM (+rSRq)


About the location of the battle:

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 30, 2012 09:31 PM (+rSRq)

9 Novel continuity:


Posted by: J Greely at July 01, 2012 10:19 AM (2XtN5)

10 Was it just me, or was Jenny's hair a bit on the green side?

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at July 01, 2012 12:33 PM (g10cY)

11 On marketing, if you start clicking on the news items on the official site, you'll find store-exclusive posters for the BD releases (cute!), an upcoming cellphone game (lots of mobile stuff), a tie-in with an online RPG, the art book that comes out this week, a pair of Marika and Chiaki Android apps (only available in Japan, sigh), a manga adaptation (with character designs closer to the novels), etc. Not a lot of the flashy stuff some other series get, but not bad, and of course there's that set of cosplay outfits, now accompanied by a proper Marika wig. Oh, and coming at the end of September, a set of randomly-packed cellphone straps.


Posted by: J Greely at July 01, 2012 02:10 PM (2XtN5)

12 But no figurines. For a show featuring lots of cute girls, it's a bit surprising that the only figurine we've heard about is a nendoroid.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 01, 2012 02:36 PM (+rSRq)

13 What that suggests to me is that they weren't sure the figure-buying audience would get hooked on a show that refused to deliver the usual level of fan-service, and then had all the real cheesecake feature grown women rather than schoolgirls. That audience is probably baffled by the concept of a show where there's nothing to de-censor for the BD release.


Posted by: J Greely at July 01, 2012 02:58 PM (2XtN5)

14 Yeah.
The figurine demographic is unlikely to go in for this show in a big way and catering to it might actually be counterproductive.

It is a kids show and is likely aimed at little girls, so having the Chikaki/ Mami bondage-parfait figurine set would not help with their targeted broadcast demographic one iota. It might also dissuade parents from having their kids watch the show. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at July 01, 2012 04:22 PM (EJaOX)

15 I'm not convinced that the modesty message is the complete explanation. It is likely to be a part, but perhaps Good Smile just cannot pump figurines fast enough for well-selling shows.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 01, 2012 05:19 PM (5OBKC)

16 Have we ever really discussed the factor that Ironbeard was narrating the series?  In hindsight, that kind of seems an important point.

Posted by: sqa at July 02, 2012 04:10 AM (5/dUV)

17 ANN doesn't have a credit for Ironbeard yet, so I'm not sure if that's the case. Where did you get that from?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2012 05:46 AM (+rSRq)

18 Ichika was the narrator for Asobi ni Iku Yo. Did that mean something? Not really, so far as I can tell, except that they made a joke of it in the OVA.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2012 05:48 AM (+rSRq)

...Chikaki/ Mami bondage-parfait...
I am intrigued by your idea, and would like to hear more...

Posted by: Siergen at July 02, 2012 11:08 AM (PuIGa)

20 What did I do to deserve this?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2012 01:18 PM (+rSRq)

21 You had a popular blog.  It happens. 

Posted by: ubu at July 02, 2012 04:47 PM (GfCSm)

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