Posted by psgels on 27 May 2012 with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

So… in this one episode this show did what I thought would take up the rest of the series. What the?

And don’t get me wrong here: this was really well done. Suddenly the pacing of this episode increased two-fold, and that lead to an incredibly fun race with a ton of action and intrigue and suspense. It was chaotic in a good way and there was a lot going on here and this pretty much stands among the best episodes of Mouretsu Pirates. I really was totally immersed here and I love how despite the slow pacing the creators chose, they are also flexible enough to once in a while just go all out. This brings a wonderful balance between action and slice of life.

Also, with the graphics in this episode you could really see that this comes from the director of Stellvia of the Universe. For the people who haven’t seen that yet: the CG scenes looked really ugly and made no attempt whatsoever to blend in. The dinghies really look like the space ships that they used in Stelliva. Now, this episode took that mentality, and handed it over to Satelight’s CG department, who are known for their eye candy. The result looked very artistic.

I also feel like the end of the episode with Ai was a great shout-out to Stellvia. In that series the pilots didn’t even get to see outside and were forced to navigate though these very abstract and convoluted interfaces. Here though, the opportunity was given to her to fly around without any screens or electronics, and she took it. Although I do wonder how that all would have worked in terms of aerodynamics.

Overall, Mouretsu Pirates turned into a great example of a series that spends a lot of time building up. In the early episodes there were enough hints that his show knew what it was doing: great acting, real character performances and a good amount of creativity and imagination put into the premises. This was enough to keep me confident and interested in this series. And really: it paid off. I’m glad to have kept up with this show.

The show hasn’t ended yet so I can’t say this for certain yet, but I get more and more convinced that Mouretsu Pirates will end up as the best non-sequel series of the shows that premiered in Winter 2012.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

11 Responses

  1. gandalf8 says:

    Am I the only one who found the pacing to be a tad bit too frantic this episode? It was chugging along at its normal speed up to the mid episode interlude, and then BAM!! the race started and ended in just half an episode. I think it was pretty obvious that they had to cram quite a lot of material in this one episode. Nevertheless, I found the change in pace refreshing with all the important plot points presented clearly unlike in some other anime based on an adaptation.

    And I don’t think that the plot points fleshed out in this arc is finished yet in any way. Those people who are after Marika in this episode are probably only the tip of the iceberg, and this particular issue is nowhere near being resolved yet. I’m guessing the final arc will probably address the issues that have surfaced in all the previous arcs, and I’m definitely looking forward to the finale of this series.

  2. WatcherZero says:

    I have the feeling they compressed an arc for TV so they could make their own anime orginal finale, but thats just intuition. The pacing for this series is normally identical to Haruhi with six episode arcs

  3. ojisan says:

    Stellvia, totally. And also in the initial launch – dropping all the yachts vertically with white contrails, seen from a distance for a ‘curtain of light’ effect – though in Stellvia they then changed course upward for the ‘chrysanthemum’ look.

  4. Oroboros says:

    Had the series maintained this high level of excellence it would be a contender of best anime of the 2010’s. As it is, it’s only in contention for the best of 2012.

  5. RABUJOI says:

    When the dinghies first came up, I knew it would be the last “side-story” before a final arc in which Marika would play a more central role. We can’t have her on the sidelines for the last arc, now can we?

    We’re overall very pleased with how this arc was wrapped up with such urgency, and with just how much went on in this episode without losing or ovewhelming us. And unlike the Jenny Doolittle arc, there weren’t a whole lot of credulity strains. Everything more or less made sense.

    I mention the Doolittle arc because IMO it was wrapped up way too perfectly and neatly. We love how Ai opened her canopy and used the constellations to navigate (her passion for stars and the purchase of the book at the gift shop proved to be forshadowing for this).

    Yet, YET…after stopping the Bentenmaru and taking damage, there was no way she was going to be able to win or even get on the pedestal. Kudos to the series for keeping things real. Even more satisfying, she lost that ridiculous HAT for a glorious but all-too-brief time. ;)

  6. David A. Young says:

    Well, generally an open canopy on an aircraft at those kinds of speeds and altitudes is a terminal event — but perhaps they have technologies to compensate for those sorts of things. (Hmmmm…my impression was that she was still pretty high at the time, but I might have to go back and check that.)

    • WatcherZero says:

      Agree was suspending credibility with that, especielly as their essentially aerodynamic gliders.

  7. Hogart says:

    Despite it being impossible for me to buy pretty much anything that was going on, I still enjoyed this more than most episodes of Pirates. I think the pacing was a vast improvement, but they really contrived the hell out of everything else (I especially liked the instant Coronal Mass Ejection no one thought to look out for).

    It was so narmy and simpleminded, though, that it kind of worked in a kid’s TV kind of way. If they dropped the pretense of intelligence and just went all-out stupid like this more often, I would have enjoyed this show a lot more. But I must say the people in this universe are idiots. It seems all the brains and competence went to Marika’s crew and friends.

    • WatcherZero says:

      I imagine regular coronal mass ejections are why that planet has such strong winds and freaky air currents.

      • Hogart says:

        Which makes it ever stranger that they wouldn’t be ready for them. But whatever, it’s not like the rest of the episode was any smarter :)

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