April 07, 2012

Mouretsu Pirates -- Is your refrigerator running?

"Then we'll catch it when it comes past our house." That's an old, old, joke back when refrigerators were new, and universal telephone service was also quite new. Say, about the time I was born.

Anyway, Mouretsu Pirates simply does not survive a trip to the refrigerator. This isn't a case where it'll all be explained later and will all make sense. They aren't really totally trying to do that. I think responsibility for that rests with the author of the light novels.



Too much that happens comes off as contrivance, and sometimes it isn't even very subtle. In ep 13, Gruier gave Marika the captain's master key, and next ep, ep 15, she's going to need it to get into the Bentenmaru. Sure lucky that Gruier had it, isn't it? And that she gave it to Marika just in the nick of time?

I don't think we're ever going to find out who it was that tried to kidnap her in the first episode. That's because I don't think the author himself thought that through. It happened because it was exciting.

Here's another one, from ep 13. Misa is walking down a hall next to one of the docking bays, where they also carry cargo on occasion. She hears an unexpected sound, so she draws a gun and looks inside.


Hey, Misa, where do you keep that gun? "None of your business, Sam."

Have you ever seen her carrying a gun? Ever see anything on her skin-tight jump suit that looked like a place that could carry such a thing? I sure haven't. And if she has to have a weapon, why is she using a thousand-year-old antique revolver instead of something more modern?

Even worse than that, though, is what she heard. Apparently the reason why all the critters go loose was that there was a timer on the box that opened the door. Say what? Why in hell would it have such a thing? The only explanation I can think is that it was deliberate sabotage.

By whom? Well, frankly, by the author. He needed an excuse to temporarily knock out Marika's whole crew so that we could watch the Yacht Club pretend to be pirates.

{By the same people that tried to kidnap Marika? No, that doesn't wash. That job was from the Stellar Navy.}

And isn't it interesting that Schnitzer can go into vacuum without a pressure suit, but he still gets knocked out by a virus?

This show is full of that kind of thing. There are loads of things that don't make sense when you look closely. (I still want to know how they move easily between decks on the bridge, for instance.)

And you know what? I don't care. I still love this show, and I finally realized why.

I first read the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was just out of high school. But I still reread them. I know the answers to all the mysteries. But they're still fun. Why? Because it's a neat place to visit. Holmes is a neat character. I enjoy spending time with him.

And that's the secret to the appeal of Mouretsu Pirates for me. I'm no longer expecting a tight story, or deep plotting. I don't expect it all to make sense. This isn't like Shingu. But Marika is a fascinating character, and the Hakuoh Academy is a wonderful place, and the supporting characters are all amazing, and well just damn; I like visiting it and spending time with them all, even if the story isn't tight and the situations are somewhat contrived.

If it keeps going like it has, this won't get 4 stars from me. But it will still end up being one of my favorite series of all time, and it will get rewatched a hell of a lot.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:17 PM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
Post contains 645 words, total size 4 kb.

1 If it was a different kind of weapon, I'd speculate perhaps there are weapon's caches strategically situated around the ship for use in repelling boarders -- but the gun pictured wouldn't seem well suited for that function. 

Posted by: Dave Young at April 07, 2012 07:33 PM (ZAk0Z)


Weapons caches like that would be idiocy, because they would be just as useful to hostile boarders.

Anyway, it's not like Bentenmaru faces that kind of problem much. In a hundred and twenty years of active piracy, I bet they have never once been boarded that way.

And by the way, it isn't a modern ray gun in the shape of an antique revolver. She's shown cocking the hammer just before she charges in.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 07, 2012 07:41 PM (+rSRq)

3 Well, my assumption was such a cache would be non-obvious and keycoded to the crew.  And no, didn't seem terribly likely...but it was the best explanation I could come up with.

Posted by: Dave Young at April 07, 2012 08:24 PM (ZAk0Z)

4 If Misa's gun folds it could easily be concealed in her large pink belt.

Schnitzer is a cyborg not an android, when he's not in a vacuum he breathes normally and no one had any reason to engage any biowarfare protocols  or his rebreather until it was too late.

I think there MAY be a developing subplot involving a faction or factions that want to end the pirate loophole for Sea of Morningstar. The catmonkey release timer was clearly sabotage.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at April 07, 2012 11:21 PM (EJaOX)


Posted by: Siergen at April 08, 2012 07:39 AM (3/gGt)

6 Siergen, I don't expect that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 08, 2012 08:24 AM (+rSRq)

7 I'd expect that even in a soft-SF series, they'd remember to .


Posted by: J Greely at April 08, 2012 09:00 AM (2XtN5)

8 I wonder

Posted by: Dave Young at April 08, 2012 08:35 PM (ZAk0Z)

9 Whatever that gun is, it's not really useful for sneaking around, considering that it rattles like a Maraca every time she shifts her stance.  She might want to have a competent gunsmith look at it.

(As much as the Japanese love the guns they can't have, they so often make mistakes that all their book-reading and stat-memorizing can't help them with.  It's kind of like Hollywood writers who give the "Crazed Vietnam Vet" stereotype character a pump shotgun, which he racks repeatedly to show how crazy-serious he is.)

Posted by: Mauser at April 08, 2012 08:58 PM (cZPoz)

10 The movement clicking annoys me to no end, although I do have a rifle that has a clicking sling loop in front (a Mini-14). There's nothing to click in a pistol. It happens in all media, except the ultra-realistic one like Cat Shit One.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 08, 2012 09:39 PM (5OBKC)

11 "which he racks repeatedly to show how crazy-serious he is."
Why do you think they call them semi-automatics?
I wanted to italicize "semi" above, but it wouldn't let me italicize just that word.

Posted by: RickC at April 09, 2012 12:52 PM (GeLQf)

12 The point is, if he keeps racking it, eventually he'll eject all the shells.  Well, I guess that's one manifestation of his being crazy.... except Hollyweird doesn't seem to notice it. 

Posted by: ubu at April 09, 2012 01:48 PM (GfCSm)



Works fine for me.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 09, 2012 01:55 PM (+rSRq)


In case you're wondering: you use the cursor keys to put the cursor where you want. Then you hold down the shift key and use the cursor keys to control the selection, on a character-by-character basis. Once you've selected exactly the characters you want, you hit the italic function in the box heading.

You can put italics in the middle of a word that way: Abracadabra

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 09, 2012 02:04 PM (+rSRq)

15 (Probably a topic for some completely different medium, but the editor here can be really confusing if you don't make all your changes AFTER you've finished writing.  I made the mistake of trying to put in a link and then continue typing, and finding all the rest of my text in the link style.  And it was sheer luck that I was able to figure out how to create a directory for the pictures I added to the Deadman Wonderland review.  The system here is VERY confusing).

Anyway, the point is, a pump shotgun isn't a semi-automatic.  The offending show was, I think "Midnight Caller", where the late night radio advice DJ was caught in the middle of a bank robbery, which of course turned into a hostage situation, and the CVV would frequently pump the gun and point it at someone's head while screaming.  Over and over, while the rest of the robbers tried to be intelligent about it.  Made you wonder WHY they let this guy on the team.  Maybe they gave him an empty shotgun to begin with. (He gets one shell, but he has to keep it in his pocket.)

But getting back to the topic.  Is it any wonder that I suddenly saw Mami as Meiling to Marika's Cardcaptor Sakura....  Although if she really wanted to design something for her uniform, a bottom half would be nice - so she doesn't have to wear her school skirt, socks and shoes.

Posted by: Mauser at April 10, 2012 02:14 AM (cZPoz)

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