April 16, 2012

Mouretsu Pirates ep 15 -- Engineer's Disease

I finally got my download, so now I can take frame grabs.


Hmmm... Five girls, four beds. Hmmm....

Think Lilly and Maki (both standing) will share one? There have already been hints that there's something between them. (Lilly stole Maki's bra in ep 3, for instance.)

More likely one of them is just visiting. (Rats.)

Actually, this post is about the layout of the bridge, and I've got some pictures and discussion of it below the fold.




So that's the bridge. It's in two decks, and there's no obvious way to get from one level to the other. We know they do it; in ep 12 when Gruier and Grunhilde talk for the first time, Marika is down on the lower deck standing behind Courier. But how do they get between them?

Here's how they aren't doing it. There's an entrance to the upper level in the center rear. It's that part which has the Bentenmaru logo on it, and it has doors on the sides (though they usually use the port side door). And on the first deck there's an entrance just below the captain's station, with a stairway heading downwards.

The two exits don't connect to the same deck behind the bridge. So, you say, there's a stairway just outside, right? Well, no, there isn't.


That's what's behind the upper entrance. It's a long straight hallway.


And looking the other way, it goes quite a ways back, and ends in a T. (Waah, look at that smile! I think Chiaki is loosening up.)

Any stairway has to be past that T, and I don't believe it. To get from one level to the other you'd have to exit, run (or float) at least 20 meters, get to the stairway and change decks, and float back again. No one would design a ship's bridge that way.

My answer is that the animators don't care. Here's proof:


What is Chiaki standing on? Compare this to the long shot of the bridge above. She's floating at least a meter above the deck.

No, she isn't standing on the computer console; she's shown walking up to this point, as if on a floor. But the floor isn't that high, unless her legs just became 8 feet long.

As I've written before, this is a series to experience, not one to really think deeply about. It's to the credit of the original author that the story entrances and invites us to think deeply; it's an indication of the richness and attractiveness of the scenario and the characters. But it's evident that the animation team didn't really spend a huge amount of time thinking about this kind of stuff.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Engineer's Disease at 10:05 AM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
Post contains 452 words, total size 3 kb.

1 There are several pictures where the gap between the two decks is much smaller, and I noticed in the last episode a segment where it appeared that the upper deck was moving downwards.  There are also shots where someone can be seen standing next to the command chair, which would be just as impossible as Chiaki standing where she is.

As far as how you move between the sections, I agree that it's not something they considered.

Posted by: David at April 16, 2012 10:44 AM (+yn5x)

2 The slaughter of catgirls in this post approaches genocide!  *grin*

Posted by: Mauser at April 16, 2012 12:37 PM (cZPoz)

3 As for the bunks, could there be four more closer to the viewer, off the frame edges?

Posted by: Mauser at April 16, 2012 12:39 PM (cZPoz)

4 I'm not sure it's the upper deck, but it almost has to be.  The princesses are stationed there, but Chiaki's standing on the lower deck (see 2nd picture).  David's got the right of it; the upper deck moved down, because Chiaki was standing next to the engineering console, and now she's just barely lower than they are No 8-foot legs for Chiaki, and there's never any hint that the bridge is in zero-G.

When the Bentenmaru was powerless, we saw Grunhilde and Misa arrive on the bridge in a hand-cranked elevator, which looked to be located behind (or in?) the bulkhead with the ships logo -- the one behind the captain's chair.    But the shaft would have to pass right through the lower hallway.  Worse, the lower hallway would have to be collapsed by the upper section moving down.  Finally, we see into the lower deck hallway several times, and it runs straight, except for a few steps going up into the bridge.  No room for the doors to be on either side.  So it has to be the  upper deck, and even if the two are close to the same level, the sloped edge of the upper deck separates them.

So when the upper section moved down, did that hallway move with it?  And where did the lower hallway go? 

Posted by: ubu at April 16, 2012 01:30 PM (GfCSm)


This is the bottom of the lower stairway, from ep 6:


That hallway runs laterally.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2012 01:39 PM (+rSRq)

6 Speaking of the hallway with Chiaki and the princesses - I just noticed the hand-holds/ladder-rungs running down the middle of each wall.  Those will be very handy if the artificial gravity goes out, or if the ship gets hit with enough G's to overwhelm their inertial dampers...

Posted by: Siergen at April 16, 2012 02:34 PM (3/gGt)

7 Then it's barely possible, based on your 2nd picture, that the elevator we saw Misa and Grunhilde get out of is located in the wall directly behind Marika in the picture in message 5.  Except that looks like a solid wall, and I see no reason not to have a door to the elevator there.  It would place the change of levels only a few meters behind the captain's chair. 

Posted by: ubu at April 16, 2012 03:03 PM (GfCSm)

8 Also of note in that hallway is the lighting ON the floor, right where you would expect it to trip people.  And of course the shadows on the girls are not taking account of the fact that light is coming from both above and below.  Oops.

Posted by: David at April 16, 2012 03:04 PM (+yn5x)

9 Ubu, that wasn't an elevator. That was the top entrance, which connects to that hallway.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2012 03:53 PM (+rSRq)

10 Siergen, you said that you spotted an answer to this conundrum. Were you referring to the lower stairway?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2012 03:54 PM (+rSRq)

11 Just... go here.  The relevant part is in the 4th paragraph.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 16, 2012 03:54 PM (PVVuW)


Ubu, what Misa was hand-cranking was to open the door, because power was out. That was late in ep 11.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2012 03:59 PM (+rSRq)

13 Yeah, that makes sense.  I rewatched ep. 10, and there's a scene in which Misa enters the bridge via the same route, only the door's working.  I never realized that the "bulkhead" was only a few inches thick (and slanted!); I thought it was big enough to house an elevator shaft.

I'm really on a tear with only half-noticing things lately, I guess.

Posted by: ubu at April 16, 2012 04:04 PM (GfCSm)

14 Yes Steven, I was referring to the shots which show the stairway leading down (away from the upper bridge though).  I still think the timing was right for one of the animators to read your earlier posts and add the shots for this episode.  Too bad it still doesn't answer how the crew can easily move from one level to another. 

Of course, I recall seeing a painting of a an American Civil War-era wooden steamship that had a "bridge" running across the middle of the ship, several feet off the deck.  The officers could easily walk from one side of the side to other in battle to get a better view, without interfering with the gun crews (and vice versa).  Maybe the separation of the senior officers from the lower-rank bridge crew was a design feature of the ship when it was first built, before being converted to a privateer...

Posted by: Siergen at April 16, 2012 07:51 PM (3/gGt)

15 Don't know about the bridge layout, but the one blond girl is straight outta Sailor Moon...

Posted by: Tex Lovera at April 20, 2012 03:14 PM (DvLEA)


That's Princess Gruier Serenity. Guess who else is named "Princess Serenity"?

This series has quite a few callouts. The girl with black hair, draped over one of her eyes, is named Syoko Kobiyashimaru, which is a reference to the Star Trek "Kobiyashi Maru" test featured in ST2: Wrath of Khan.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 20, 2012 06:11 PM (+rSRq)

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