More answers this week once again, though I am not sure how satisfying they will be for everyone. As suspected it seems that Marika and the Bentenmaru are doing do jobs for the cruise lines and the Sea of Morning Star Tourism authority is rubber stamping those shows as “acts of piracy.” Now there is a degree of courage that is required to be a stage performer but I was under the impression that they were going to build up towards raiding merchant ships. Granted with putting on shows Marika’s morals don’t get rankled yet part of me is disappointed that the fight against the Jabberwocky was all a dream. As dreams go though it was a most glorious one that hopefully will portent that fighter waves will be out there in force as well as there being true ship classes with the Jabberwocky being a larger vessel than the Corbacks. If nothing else Marika is invested in her new pirate role though it seems to be coming at the expense of her grades.
It was more character development for Marika as we learn a bit more about her motivation for wanting to graduate and be every bit a good pirate as her mother. I do appreciate that Marika is seeking to equal her mother and be just like her. It’s not too often these days that we see children want to emulate their parents, in anime. Still while I commend Marika for her ambitions it seems that she will still have a ways to go to get there. Her struggles to maintain her grades and do well in her new job makes her more empathetic in my view since I know what it is like to have to juggle so many important things at once. It also goes a long way in showing why Marika vales Mami so much as a friend, Marika is spreading herself increasingly thin and she can’t do everything she wants without some help. Her sagging grades were merely a sign that she had trouble managing her priorities especially given how she started putting on makeup for the stage shows.
It was a most interesting dream that Marika had, and while I am sure the slide to the cockpit was meant as a dream flag I still hope that most of what she dreamt holds true. I would dearly like it if there were different classes of warships that were significantly larger than their Corback escorts. Moreover we got torpedo spreads and a wave of fighters. Again it was all a dream but surely there was some basis in reality. If nothing else this episode did establish that the Corback was the mainstay of many colonial patrol fleets as well as being the principal escort vessel for many systems. It also gives us a rough approximation of the Bentenmaru and the Barbaroosa as cruisers for the time being. I was at first, unsure of the fighter designs in this show but given how Marika was able to stop midflight this does offer some interesting possibilities for any future dogfights. Sure they may not have missile spreads but maybe we will have some WWI-WWII kind of fighter combat with gunfights and maneuvering instead of fire and forget missiles. As for the mock battle itself it looks like it was an elaborate show to mask a transfer of a person, who is likely a princess.
I have no problem with accepting that legitimate privateers like the Bentenmaru operate almost like a PMC in that not all jobs they take will be combat jobs. Believe it or not a significant portion of PMC revenue is also derived from less glorious jobs as logistical support and training missions. As such the Bentenmaru is taking jobs from the cruise lines and tourism authority that best fit Marika’s desire to still stay in school. It’s a bit more realistic this way since campaigning would make going to school all but impossible and to be frank more often than not the school part of anime hybrid shows like Code Geass and even Macross Frontier are just places for characters to meet and comedy to ensue. It is not often that we see a protagonist get a beating academically and have to find a way to work through it. Often having a genius tag gives other shows an easy out while Marika is blue collar and is where she is because she does study and actively balance out work/school/life.
It was a mock battle but the changes in the script by the escorts’ hints that the cruise line was unaware of the personnel transfer that was going to take place along with the Bentenmaru. Chiaki didn’t know the full details but I guess there was a need for some secrecy in bringing a princess over to Morningstar. The Corback escorts weren’t looking for a fight they were likely trying to make sure that there were no other ships in the area other than the Bentenmaru, hence the dispersed formation to maximize sensor coverage and a wave firing pattern that was meant to clear the Bentenmaru’s backside of any would be ambushers. That is my own theories on it anyway feel free to come up with your own. It would not surprise me of the princess was part of the faction that contracted out the show to the Bentenmaru and added some extra incentives to justify of weapons fire in a time of peace.
I am glad that Chiaki is sticking around though I wonder how it is that the Barbaroosa seems to be much more aware of the political and military situation than anyone else. I wonder if the Barbaroosa has a long term relationship with Stellar Military Intelligence or if they are operating their own version of ECHELON and poring over signals intelligence to get a better hold of the intentions friends and foes. Hopefully once Marika finds a better balance point she can take bigger jobs than putting on a show for tourists. If nothing else it seems that Chiaki is going to find a way to stay long term and her transfer will be delayed indefinitely. As good children go I like that Marika and Chiaki have a healthy relationship with their parents and that both possess a degree of responsibility. They might not have two invested parents but the one parent they do have are doing a great job in being there and allowing their daughters to grow. We have not seen much of Kenjo Kurihara but at least he is a decent dad that lets his daughter out of the house and taught her well enough to operate on her own. Making Chiaki run errands and take advantage of local goods and duty free implies some sound financial judgment on his part as well.
Next week promises some modicum of political intrigue and it will be a good opportunity to learn more about another system and Morningstar’s diplomatic relations.