Hey there folks, Lykos here, reviewing the first episode of the Statelight studio new winter anime, Mouretsu Pirates. Statelight is the studio that braught you such T.V series as Heat Guy J, Fairy Tail, Hellsing Ultimate, Macross Zero, Genesis of Aquerion, and Macross Frontier.
First Episode Summery:
Mouretsu Pirates is set in a futuristic world in which yacht club is an after school activity in which students pilot jet like aircrafts, and touch screen magazines and computers are an everyday luxury. The main character, Maniko Kato, who attends an all girl’s school, and is a member of the yacht club, is working at a café when she is approached by two space pirates, who tell here that she is the sole air to the famous space pirate ship, Bentenmaru, and her and crew.
Might as well start with the theme song, it is arcytypal upbeat J pop song. It certainly fits the optimistic, feathery portrait of pirates that the show depicts. I personally love pirates, ever since I was a kid, I’ve read numerous books on them (both fiction and non fiction), and have watched way too many History channel specials then I care to admit, so needless to say when I was told there was going to be a pirate anime I was both intrigued and exited. Yes, it’s space pirates, and even though its not exactly original, I was not dissuaded. With in minutes of starting I knew that Mouretsu Pirates was not going to be depicting the type of gritty pirate that I had come to love.
(So far from what I have scene, Mariko is very upbeat and optimistic, not much in the way of a space pirate captain, though there is still plenty of time for Mariko to grow into her role.)
I felt absolutely no connection to Mariko Kato, in the first episode at least, she is maddeningly upbeat and insipid. I can, in no way imagine her being the fearless, hardy captain of a space pirate ship. In addition when the handsome Kane McDougal, the Bentenmaru’s helmsman, even just looks at Mariko she blushes, and becomes slightly frazzled, having to break eye contact and quickly slurp down her dinner. Does that sound like an effective captain of a pirate ship to you? Though I do enjoy her character design, and think it fits her well. I do acknowledge that this is the first episode, and that there is room for Mariko to perhaps grow into her role as captain. Something that will definitely help with this is her piloting skill, which is depicted when she is at yacht club.
(Ririka as a pirate, back in the day, she certainly looks like she fits the part.)
The character that I most enjoyed was Moriko’s mother, Ririka. Now this is a character that I could see as a pirate (which at one point in her past she was). She is childish, and playful, yet still motherly. There was clearly an intense falling-out between Ririka and Moriko’s father, the captain of Bentenmaru, and yet Ririka does not seem bitter. During a toast she makes in his honor she does call him a “good for nothing” but her voice betrays no bitterness, she seems more sentimental than anything. I really hope in the subsequent episodes that we get some more flashbacks of Ririka in her pirating days. In addition I also sincerely hope that Moriko will grow into a character more like her mother.
Both Ririka and Chiaki Kurihara, a transfer student in Moriko’s class, are refreshing in this anime that is awash with giggly girls. Moriko attends an all girls school, and of course all the girls are overly giggly and smitten with Kane when he begins teaching at their school. An all girls school is nothing like that, and I speak from experience. Chiaki is a more serious type, who is definitely capable and smart as demonstrated in an (rather random) action scene at the very end of the episode. I’m interested to see what this character has to offer the show.
(The animation was very consistent and beautiful.)
All in all I do really enjoy the animation, it’s beautiful, and will continue watching Mouretsu Pirates, because there are characters that intrigue me, even if the main character is not one of them. Also it is a bit unfair to write off Moriko as a character in just one episode, she has not had adequate time to grow yet. If Ririka is any indication of what Moriko could turn into than the anime will definitely take a turn for the better. I am a bit of a shonen/action anime junky, so I look forward to see what Mouretsu Pirates has to offer.
I would give the first episode 6/10