While the absence of the Yact Club will be sorely felt this episode did much to establish the crew of the Bentenmaru and add some more information about the setting. Things may get faster and technology will progress but one thing that probably won’t change is the bureaucracy that demands forms by the pound. I was rather amused that they went to such lengths to show just how labyrinthine the process is to get a Letter of Marque. Granted Stellar Military would need some paper work, 20 some odd departments are a bit much though anyone who has gone through the DMV would be able to appreciate the ridiculous process. Not only is the pile of forms ridiculous there is also a probationary period and a piracy requirement for the Letter of Marque.
Marika might be their next Captain but I like how the whole privateer business felt more like a guild/union with the employee orientation and required training time. I have no idea how building a model ship is supposed to help but I do appreciate that Marika is not above building one herself. Otherwise it was fairly standard stuff, combat training, battle simulations, hacking tutorials, and good old swabbing the deck for all trainees. I am glad they brought in Chiaki as the whole process seems a little less silly and comes off more like an apprenticeship. In that sense though the Bentenmaru feels less like an anarchic pirate ship and more like an organized trade guild with the Barbaroosa more akin to another chapter of the guild and not a competitor. I am not sure why Misa felt that she had to speed Marika along by bringing in Chiaki but I suppose it’s more fun to learn with other students. Also Marika and Chiaki like to be a little more competitive at times.
I am glad that they are both friends and while Chiaki is heir to another ship I think that they will get along just fine. Both make each other better and neither one seems to be clearly superior to the other. I am glad Chiaki made clear her initial reaction to Marika though I wonder why she felt so offended at Marika “acting like a ditz” I don’t think there was any acting on Marika’s part though (she does after all think running around with an inflated dolphin and inner tube is a NICE idea) it does seem that Chiaki is just perplexed that Marika doesn’t seem to take it as seriously as she does. Marika’ might be bubbly but she isn’t being an ass when the shooting starts. Marika’s inherent bubbliness is probably why she gets along with her peers though it does seem at times that Chiaki is a bit of a shut in. Granted we have not seen Chiaki in her natural environment but she never made a point to really socialize in the Yacht Club.
Misa’s history lesson was most welcome as it explains the context for what looks to be a full on shooting war with West Kilia. While everyone seems to be under the nominal rule of a Galactic Empire, it seems that there is no direct Imperial control and systems like Sea of Morningstar are vassals in a tributary relationship with the Empire in a similar fashion to how Imperial China treated other states. While Misa made a point that local autonomy is real and not some façade it makes me wonder why they seem to be on a collision course with West Kilia if they are all vassals of the Empire. Moreover I am curious to see how the Empire exercises control given that they allow vassals to maintain their own militaries and let the locals deal with piracy instead of using their vast war fleet to exercise more direct control. While West Kilia seems to be the likely antagonist I wonder if the Empire will step in at some point to keep the peace since it would make little sense to allow such infighting as it might cause another war that could threaten the Empire. Time will tell I suppose and certainly having a mighty Imperial Power in the series would only increase the likelihood of a big fleet action.
Misa mentioning that they are treated like military forces and that she herself demands a degree of professionalism only adds to the idea that the Bentenmaru is part of the Morningstar Military as a whole, though their independence would allow Morningstar to wage a proxy war without getting directly involved. Given how Chiaki in the ED and some of the Bentenmaru crew wear a uniform instead of gaudy pirate garb seems to indicate that they aren’t classic freebooters but more paramilitary, though why the bridge crew follows a different dress code might need a bit of explaining. While I am surprised that Marika’s first act of piracy was a stage show for the Tourism Bureau (Though maybe it was an elaborate set-up where the cruise company thought that they were getting a show and instead really did have a luxury liner robbed. Kane dying to shock the audience might have been to show that Marika was in fact serious.) it does make some sense as Marika would have to start small as well as play nice. Perhaps it is one more revenue stream for the Bentenmaru as it has yet to be explained how the crew is paid and the ship maintained. They also need some peace time jobs as well since they can’t be fighting a shooting war in perpetuity. Special mention must be made for Misa’s artistic talents for making a presentation. I hate Power Point presentations as they tend to make me fall asleep. At least with the arts and crafts method I could at least marvel at the methods of analog animation.
As stage shows go I am glad they took the opportunity to kind of lampshade the whole thing, the moment that Kane was talking about pirates the waiters were moving off the drinks and the band was packing up. Also the excited reaction of the passengers to the prospect of being robbed made it pretty clear that Marika was literally reading off a script. I just hope that Marika does have some skill with a cutlass though shooting Kane with a short ranged pistol was great, though not as great as Kane’s hammed up last words as he “died.” I am not sure if they intended to or not but Kane’s comment that all the passengers were insured, to me felt like a hint about the distinct possibility that the major cruise lines buy off pirates IRL given that those would make tempting targets since ransom is the primary goal of the modern pirate. At least in the end Marika didn’t have to kill anyone for real and wasn’t being a real cutthroat by taking the passengers hostage and demanding ridiculous amounts in ransom for her pirate debut.
Next week looks to be the combat debut of the Jabberwocky which is likely also from West Kilia given how it shares the same color scheme as Lightning 11. I really hope though that it is a larger vessel and that it will be able to take on the Bentenmaru, Barabroosa, and a few Corbacks. From the looks of it the Jabberwocky is packing a lot more forward fire power than the Bentenmaru and the Barabroosa. I am also elated that they do have power armor of a sort even if they are still using paper forms. As much as Chiaki talks about going away it looks like her leave will be delayed for some parfait. There also looks to be some fancy fighter maneuvering next week as well. I am not sure how long the Jabberwocky will be around but I do hope that it will put up a fight and start the shooting war with a BANG. Just please let there be torpedoes/missiles, and kinetic weapons. RAMMING would also be welcome.
A Message From Your XO, EO
The Yuri is strong with this episode.
Not a bad episode, though not as technical and tense as the last ones. Still, the shipping was good in this episode between Marika and Chiaki, with Misa and the bridge crew fujoshi providing some support. I was a bit dubious on the way that privateering is handled, since it sounds like anyone with a letter of marque is just given free reign to steal from whatever ships they want. Actual privateers are only given the ability to raid ships flying the flag of enemy nations, whereas this just seemed like normal piracy and theft. Maybe they had an arrangement with the cruise ship’s captain or company in exchange for protection or a cut of the take, or perhaps privateering in this universe is more like a feudal system, with pirates being given letters of marque and allowed to steal from anyone except Federation ships and in exchange the privateers are obligated to serve the Federation in times of war. Hopefully the terms of all this will be cleared up in future episodes.
But that aside, the training was interesting and funny, and it was a great time once Chiaki showed up and I could get my ship on. Having the two of them together for training worked well for things other than shipping too, since it gave them some moments to cooperate and compete in their mutual endeavor of becoming pirate captains. The bridge crew didn’t get much of an introduction, but Schnitzer had a cool moment when he told Marika that it didn’t matter how her mother did things, that now it’s about what Marika will do. I’m looking forward to having more of the crew introduced, in particular the girl with the baggy clothes and thick glasses who just screams ‘fujoshi’ in both her looks and reactions the Marika X Chiaki. Chiaki has proven herself capable when things get tense, but she still goes back to her more bubbly and sometimes clumsy way of doing things when the pressure is off, like in the cruise ship raid. But as she’s shown more of her good judgement and creativity, I’ve warmed up to her a lot lately. Comrade Crusader mentioned her being “as bubbly as root beer”, and it reminded me of a rather apt exchange that could apply equally to Marika.
So much for that trip to the beach. Poor coworker never stood a chance.
So happy together~
By the look on her face, I’m sure we thought that same thing about the ‘special training.’
…aaaand the tsun.
Even in the future, you’ll still have to swab the deck, scallywags!
Oshiete, Misa-sensei~ <3
Ah, and even she ships Chiaki X Marika, could she be more perfect?