Colloquium: Moretsu Pirates Episode 5

"Mom, I'll do it. I'll be captain."

ajthefourth: The moment above wouldn’t have been nearly as effective as it was, had Moretsu Pirates not taken its time to quietly build itself up to this point. With such false starts as the first electronic warfare battle (the repercussions of which come back to haunt the girls slightly in this episode) and Marika discovering the “ghost ship” in the previous episode, Pirates has been teasing the viewer with the promise of a conflict purposely. It also has been building Marika’s character slowly, with the added promise of her decision weighing upon the viewers’ minds. One couldn’t be blamed if they had come to never expect to see Marika in a pirates’ uniform prior to the series’ conclusion.

This purposeful buildup is also evident in Episode Five within the microcosm of the impending battle between the Odette II and the “ghost ship.” The beginning of this battle was no less interesting for being fought entirely through electronic warfare; however, it too lulls the viewer into a false sense of security. Much like one couldn’t be blamed if they never expected to see Marika as a pirate, one also couldn’t be blamed for being slightly startled when the ship is fired on for the first time. The girls of the yacht club not only act surprised, but legitimately shocked that a physical battle is taking place. This speaks to their naivete, and also to the fact that they never expected the battle to go beyond the electronic realm. Technology takes center stage in the world of Pirates, and this is reiterated again by Jenny Dolittle’s incredulous, nearly disgusted, reaction to the Lightning 11 having the nerve to use their eyes for targeting as opposed to infrared sensors. With every little piece of characterization like this, Moretsu Pirates is taking its time in not only world building, but making the inevitable payoff of its characters’ actions that much more believable and nuanced.

"Their eyes?!"

vucubcaquix: The narration at the beginning of each episode does a wonderful job of not only setting the tone of the proceeding, but framing the progress that we see. As Ryan notes, the most fascinating statement was the notion of ship’s transponder representing human will and goals. It’s a stand and statement against the indifference of the cosmic setting in which sailors find themselves, its honesty offering context and solace to those who venture out.

The interesting parallel to this, is that this is also the episode in which Marika unequivocally makes known her own will and goals. Having acquainted herself with the particulars of space flight and encountered her first real conflict, the story show us her blooming fully under pressure. There’s recognition of the situation in a real-time context, and an ability to be malleable with the situation. Marika shows a tenacity and creativity that permeates through her core.

From the beginning, we’ve seen glimpses and promises of Marika’s potential, while being shown outright as well that she hasn’t made a solid decision with consequence on her own. She’s been reacting to the events that have been occurring before her: looking into her parents’ history, learning to fire weapons, going on a cruise with her club mates. She’s been bounced around and educated by several different female characters, and strong ones at that. I think this has given the illusion of Marika being rather inconsequential in the face of such fantastically layered characters such as her mother Ririka, her classmate Chiaki Kurihara, or the Yacht Club President Jenny Dolittle. But given the talent behind the writing displayed thus far, and the deftness of the adaptation, I feel that it’s no mistake that the deliberate nature of the show extended to characterization as well.

Transponders are the representation of human will and goals. Here, after reacting to everything around her thus far, we see Marika expressing her will on her own. Coming to that decision was aided and colored by the strong personalities of the women around her, including the remarkable Jenny Dolittle.

"As the idiot president of the yacht club, maybe I should send a half-awake answer?"

“From: Captain of the Odette II…no…President of the Hakuoh Girls’ Academy Yacht Club, Jenny Dolittle.

To: Captain of the Lightning 11.

Body: Fools!

That is all.

Subject: Fools!

Want me to say it again?”

-Jenny Dolittle, Captain of the Odette II

ajthefourth: Far more fascinating than our leading lady, Marika, is the yacht club president, Jenny Dolittle. Moretsu Pirates is seemingly a series with a large cast of characters to introduce to the viewer, as well as a fair amount of in-universe history and terms that it must acquaint its audience with. The series, thus far, has done an admirable job at introducing its cast to us, piece by piece. Personally, I’ve found myself caring about each and every one of the periphery characters just as much, if not more so, than Marika herself (which also, up until now, has been a bit of a detriment to this series: Marika is one of the least interesting characters). None have interested me more than Jenny Dolittle.

Although there had been glimpses of her in prior episodes, Jenny was mainly introduced to the viewer last week, when it was learned that she had properly done her homework on Marika, and was well aware of just exactly whose daughter Marika was, as well as the decision that had been placed in front of her. Jenny’s response of “I thought you might.” to Marika requesting to speak to the crew of the Odette II is one of my personal favorite moments in the series, and where she is shown to be someone who is never to be taken lightly. This is a crucial character-building moment between Jenny and the viewer; it is subtle, but quietly brilliant.

Her response to Marika indicates her diligence and serious nature; Jenny researched Marika enough to know exactly who she is. This also speaks to having a bit of a compassionate nature, as she let Marika go on this cruise in spite of knowing the danger that would be involved in allowing her to do so. Perhaps Jenny didn’t want to take the feeling of her first space flight away from Marika.

"So they've even provided a villian for our high school girls' cruise."

Another facet of Jenny’s character that is explored in Episode Four, and expanded on in Episode Five, is a witty and spiteful nature when she feels as if she is not being taken seriously. The quote above is from Episode Four, immediately before Marika properly introduces herself to the yacht club and makes them all aware of the danger that they are now in. She says this callously, in a way that makes the rest of her crew laugh, but a serious undertone is present. After all, what are they in most other people’s minds but silly, airheaded, high school girls playing at space? Coupled with the response that she gives to the Lightning II, her extreme displeasure at others’ refusal to take her seriously is palpable. It indicates a past history of being written off as a joke, or a silly high school girl, which makes the audience want to know more about her.

It is also this facet of Jenny’s character that Marika should try to emulate above all others. Diligence, perseverance, the ability to think quickly on her feet; these are all things that we’ve seen hints of in Marika already. It is for those reasons that Kane claims Marika will be a force to reckon with once trained properly. However, there’s something that Kane can’t teach her and something that Jenny Dolittle can: the ability to be tempered, yet ferocious, in the face of people who dismiss her. This ability, which will force people into shame that they did not take you seriously in the first place, denotes a hunger to prove oneself, even when it’s coated with a veneer of grace and sophistication, as it is within Jenny’s character. I have yet to see this hunger from Marika. Marika may have saved the day, and also may have made her decision; however, I certainly hope this doesn’t mean less of Jenny Dolittle.

vucubcaquix: The arc of the battle itself was handled wonderfully as well. The scene building up to it had the girls assembling with each other and heading toward the bridge in silence, with the celtic notes playing in the background underscoring a growing sense of excitement. The girls showing visible delight at seeing their predictions for how the conflict playing out coming true, and while barely containing themselves, sticking to the plan that Marika took pains to assemble and verbalizing step by step the rationale for their actions. There was no cut to the enemy bridge since not only would it have broken the flow of the advancement of the scene, but could have possibly leaned on suspension of disbelief since playing possum also meant deigning not to see or understand what your enemy is doing. Like everything else in the show, everything was deliberate, measured, patient.

The girls let loose to the Lightning 11 that the jig is up and they knew they were coming (itself, a nice reference to Star Blazers), and for a brief moment, silence again. And then… pandemonium.

spring has come and gone and summer is here

The music picks up, the camera cuts quicker, the dialogue hastens.

they say in summer, we hang our white robes on Heavenly Kagu Mountain

The sparring continues in earnest, the two entities trading electronic blows.

you swore to love me forever, but I don’t know if I can believe you

The Lightning 11 continues its assault redoubling its effort at jamming, but the Odette II just outclasses it.

we parted this morning, my heart disordered, as I pondered

The girls tense up, but no one relents.

the Odette II pushes forward, through the blue

The enemy doubles back, but the Odette II carries through.

like the scent of a blooming flower

The girls break through, and have access to the Lightning 11.

mountain cherry tree, love me as I love you

The enemies’ systems fall one by one.

because I’m alone in the depths of the mountain and there’s no one here but you

And then once again, silence.

There is palpable tension in the bridge as the girls did not plan for this particular eventuality. There’s a moment of fleeting bewilderment. What is the enemy doing? What are they thinking? Were their achievements for naught? What do they do now?

And then, everything turns blood red. The alarms blare and the systems report to the girls in uncompromising language EMERGENCY!! ENERGY WAVE, and the threat of death through aggression looms large for the first time in the series. The fun and excitement of the preceding is sapped away in an instant when everyone realizes that their lives are in very real danger indeed. The enemy no longer seeks to capture the girls, but as some sort of recompense for making fools of them, now seek to kill. The masks that Kane MacDougal and Misa Grandwood have worn now slip, and the cool veneer of the more capable girls begins to crack. There’s even a slight sense of anger and resentment at this possible breach in combat protocol, as Jenny Dolittle is just completely unbelieving that the enemy would resort to something so crude as optical sighting.

In their newly compromised position, the girls nearly make a fatal error in running. This is where the promise of the first few episodes was fulfilled, as we see Marika step up and prevent the girls from blundering and was able to think something up on the fly. This is where the diligence she displayed previously works to her advantage, as the minutiae she spouted regarding the use and utility of transponders and the laws that govern them set up and foreshadowed Marika’s ability to be able to know even the minutest details of the workings of the Odette II. She commandeers a classmate’s station for a moment, changes the permeability of the sails, does some quick mathematic triangulation (that was SO sexy), and fashions a quick Archimedes Mirror to prevent the enemy from using their last means to threaten.

And just like that, all is still once again. But no longer is there the tension that accompanied the last pauses, but rather a sense of relief mingled with triumph as the Lightning 11 is finally checkmated by the technological superiority of the Odette II, and the combat superiority of both the Bentenmaru and the Barbalusa (come on, that’s totally supposed to be Barbarossa), and the numbers of the Stellar Military. What we are treated to is a cathartic thumping of the barbarians who dared to attack a group of schoolgirls from behind, and the reward of the satisfaction of seeing a girl whose promise has been realized for all to see.

The icing was seeing Chiaki triumphantly declare herself the daughter of Kenjo Kurihara, captain of the pirate ship Barbalusa, and heir apparent to her Letter of Marque. It’s a capstone to the end of the introductory training of Marika, and a further hint at the vastness of the world ahead. To be able to deceive the other characters, including Jenny Dolittle, into thinking that she’s just another student (even one with circumstances) begets a cunning and guile that highlights the human touch that Moretsu Pirates has been touting since the beginning even amongst the fetishistic display and detailing of technology.

There is a heart on display here in this show. Everything has been measured, thoughtful, deliberate, all for the express purpose of letting Marika shine here in the moment she needed to and to do so believably. She has the human touch to effectively wield the technology and the responsibility that’s being foisted upon her, and she has the fortitude to see it to the end. She has been lied to, encouraged, taught, tested, and she comes through on the other side fully bloomed. This is the promise we’ve been given since the first episode, and I’m excited to see it being fulfilled.



Filed under Colloquia, Episodics, Moretsu Pirates, Moretsu Pirates

23 responses to “Colloquium: Moretsu Pirates Episode 5

  1. Oh, Jenny Jenny, please don’t go! Haha, I love this character. Jenny has brought a certain variety of entertainment to the story, and I think her, Misa, and Kane were able to lighten my patience up to this point. We’ve been waiting on Marika to start her ascent, to take action in a non-trivial moment, and this is it.

    Though Marika is still quite ‘bland’ on the surface, I am finding something great about her fundamentals. I mentioned before that her tea-knowledge was actually something attractive, but in considering “tea people” it’s easy to see how the observer would find her mundane.

    She has the basics, the ability to love simple pleasures, and not over-think or obfuscate problems in front of her. To be honest, I don’t find her flashy or technical. While others are strengthening their muscles, Marika is the one strengthening her bones (pin that on some old gongfu proverb). I think she has a natural understanding utility and a means to balance what is useful without putting all her eggs in one basket. Marika’s most interesting traits are perhaps the most invisible.

    Maybe we can learn something. I wouldn’t call it wisdom, but it’s similar in that we can’t see another’s wisdom, we need to experience it. Let’s keep going.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: Muscles vs. bones, that’s a really intriguing idea when one thinks about it. There’s more effort going into solidifying and reinforcing the bones as opposed to the conditioning that muscles can receive. Not that it isn’t without effort, but the traits that govern musculature are more malleable and amenable to this kind of strengthening .

      As for Marika being ‘bland’, it’s a frequent topic of conversation between Emily & I, as she’s quite on board with Pirates, but just honestly isn’t as infatuated with it as I am, and I believe it’s down to her inability to resonate with Marika to the same degree that I have. It’s not that I don’t recognize some of her shortcomings as a character, but as I’ve said in the first post, some of it might be a slight gender divide as I’m partially just attracted to Marika and find her incredibly winsome. It’s this affection I have for her that enables me to put in the effort into reading a bit further into the text to examine her growth and progress. But of course, I’m also not blinded to fantastic qualities of the other ladies in this show like one Ms. Jenny Dolittle…

      ajthefourth: It’s my fervent wish that Jenny and Co. stick around. We do see her, as well as several others in the yacht club, in both the OP and the ED, so hopefully she’ll take a backseat for now and return once in a while in the near future. This series, thus far, seems to have a good memory. It’s been introducing cast members to us one by one, and in spite of a large cast, they’ve reiterated and built on characters introduced, all while introducing others. I’m certain that Jenny will be used sparsely, but I hardly think that she’s gone forever.

      I by no means dislike Marika; however, unfortunately I don’t resonate with her very well. Perhaps it’s as David said above, since I don’t find her as attractive I don’t care about her as much. I will say that Marika is hardly a poor character, although she does run a bit on the bland side. One thing I really appreciate about Marika is that, in spite of her optimism and overall “genki” qualities, she is very well-reasoned and tempered. I can certainly respect her character for that. ^ ^

  2. I see a comparison-contrast between this and Last Exile: they both consist of rich, fully realized universes with genki leads.

    But where Fam is a “giant gormless Genki wart” due to a flat, one dimensional characterization, who can simply blunder her way through difficult situations by ignoring incongruent realities and insist on pie in sky suggestions, Marika has the potential as a problem solver, that she’s already on her way to be a competent pirate.

    Incidentally, Lagrange’s Madoka is in danger of falling in that Gormless Genki wart end of the pool.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: Yeah, Fam… Honestly, I didn’t mind her so much in the beginning as I’m not as put off immediately by the genki archetype as some others are, but Fam just never really grew or changed. Fam continues on in a very combative and aggressive pacifism that doesn’t feel like it belongs in a world that did a really good job of playing to shades of grey (at least, up until the latest episodes). I’m still watching Fam because the art is lush and the music splendid, and the action set pieces are still spectacular, but this is all depsite the heroine of the series. That’s a very sad state of affairs for a show.

      As for Madoka in Lagrange, I can see how she irks people in a similar vein, but it doesn’t bother me as much in this case because Lagrange does something a little better than Fam: humor. Madoka makes me laugh more than Fam does, and to be honest, the scale of her genkiness is limited to a civic level as opposed to the international scale that Fam proceeds irritate in. So she really isn’t all that bad. Plus, she displayed a justified bout of irritation and anger in the latest episode that I was surprised by in a positive way.

      ajthefourth: I haven’t seen much of Last Exile, so it’s a bit hard for me to comment. From what I did see (two episodes? three at most) Fam wasn’t all that irritating of a character; however, I did end up reading Scamp’s post on how she is a “gormless genki wart” so please allow me to use that as a reference.

      One of the more important character traits of a “genki” lead is their ability to have overwhelming optimism in the face of danger, overcoming all odds with their power of love, friendship, and the like. For me personally, an important thing that must happen to a lead like this is that, at some point, they will have to realize that not all problems can be solved by charging in regardless. A truly interesting “genki” lead will develop. Fam, seemingly, has yet to develop at all in Last Exile in spite of experiencing many things (on a very grand scale, I might add). In contrast, Marika has already shown signs of character growth and development. More importantly, she has already shown restraint.

  3. Son Gohan

    This episode was excellent indeed. One thing I want to mention is that Marika addressed Ririka as “mom” for the first time here (even Ririka was startled).
    I think it was a heartwarming moment that showed the newfound respect that Marika has gained for her mom after witnessing a real space “battle” with her own eyes.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: You know, I am just KICKING myself for not even noticing that despite having rewatched the episode several times by now. I do wonder how Marika’s experience in space has changed her outlook to her own mother, because based on Ririka’s response this is obviously out of the ordinary. Is this newfound intimacy a result of stronger identification with her mother? A new appreciation for her after a brush with death? Or newfound respect as you say?

      We can speculate until we’re blue in the face, but in the end, what we know is that Marika is different now for having been on that cruise.

      ajthefourth: It certainly showed a narrowing of the figurative space between them. It’s interesting that Ririka had raised her daughter to call her by her name instead of “mother” or “mom;” another hint that, although Marika obviously has respect for her mother, the two aren’t as close emotionally as one would expect from a mother/daughter pair. Perhaps, since Ririka knew all along that Marika would have to make the decision to become (or not become) a pirate, she wanted to raise her at a distance, giving her independence from the beginning so that Marika would feel confident about her own choice. Now that Marika has made her choice, she doesn’t have to keep her mother at a distance any longer. If anything, she’ll probably need her, possibly for the first time in her life, as her emotional support (much like Marika uses Mami to keep herself grounded). Surely Ririka has a great deal to teach, and not all of it about being a pirate.

  4. I think Star Blazers was a reference to Anthony McAuliffe, the US officer in WWII who responded similarly.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: I had seen this reference cited by Executive Otaku over at THAT Anime Blog, and thanks for reiterating it. ^ ^ I’ve heard that this series, thus far, has done its homework in terms of military technology/references from both EO and Crusader over at THAT, so I’m looking forward to others pointing them out for me. I love history, but don’t know as much about military history as those two. Thanks again!

      vucubcaquix: Nuts!

  5. Wait is Jenny’s last name really “Dolittle?” Cause she certainly has done quite a bit these past few weeks, and it has been fascinating. Jenny has been a fantastic character and epitomizes what is great about Mouretsu Pirates and I certainly hope this isn’t the last we see of her.

    However, much like Kane and Marika’s mom, Jenny had a role to play in teaching Marika. Those qualities that you mentioned which Jenny had but Marika didn’t? I’m hoping that Marika will grow to eventually adopt them in her own fashion. And fortunately, this is a show where good development actually happens.

    Oh, I like the Colloquium style you have here. It’s conversational and it’s cool to see the two distinct voices coming through. ^_^

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: Jenny’s name is a pretty wonderful name actually, as it’s a reference to General James “Jimmy” Doolittle who commanded the first air raid to strike at the main Japanese islands in World War II. The guy was a total badass, so it’s no coincidence that the badass little Jenny Dolittle was named in honor of him.

      The ‘colloquium’ style you see here was an idea that I had for a blog last spring. I wanted to write a post with someone not just as a collaboration, but in real time over a Skype call or while in the same room. It makes for a different dynamic, I feel, when you read the post, as it’s being written in tandem and in consideration for the other sections. We’ll have our particular topics that we latch onto and focus on, but if you look closely, we’ll always try to segue into the other’s piece so that the overall flow of the post runs smoothly. I like the result quite a lot, and based on the feedback we got during the Penguindrum, it turned out mildly successful as well.

      The issue, is that it is a lot of effort to put these types of posts together, and toward the end of Penguindrum we were feeling a bit fatigued. Also, it takes us a bit of time to respond to comments in this format because we give each comment the due regard it deserves, and we write our responses together in tandem as well. But, there’s only so much time in the day and time we have together so we attack comments in bunches every night.

      But I’m glad to see that you appreciate it! I’m very interested in highlighting and contrasting different voices and styles in writing and I’m so glad that you picked that out and commented on it!

      ajthefourth: It is indeed. ^ ^

      Jenny is a great example of introducing just enough about a periphery character to tease the audience into wondering what else is beneath the barely-scratched surface that the series has presented. See what I said to Ryan above regarding my opinion on possible future appearances.

      One thing I admire in Marika’s character is her decision-making and resolve. Once she makes a decision, she sticks with it and accepts responsibility. Paired with the sort of hunger that I see in Jenny, Marika would become an unstoppable force. ^ ^

      Thank you! It’s the style in which we began writing posts for this blog in earnest, and also the style that we’ve tried to hone over blogging the series Mawaru Penguindrum. These posts are meant to not only be a discussion between the two authors, but a discussion involving the commenters as well. David is going to be blogging this series mostly by himself (as I am not as enamored with it as he is) however, I’ll pop in once in a while like this to put in my two cents when an episode really speaks to me personally.

  6. Ohhhh man! Jenny is awesome I really got quite attached to her from the past two episodes! She can be completely serious when the time calls and she can crack jokes to lighten the mood of the crew. Sounds a bit like myself…cracking random jokes to make people laugh, but less serious? xD

    Marika was her usual amazing self <3 I loved how calm she was during the Lightning 11's attack! Sure the other students where scared, but Marika was like I GOT THIS! And BOOM! She turned the sails and reflected the sun back at them? I was waiting for the sails to reflect the laser back at the Lightning 11…then I was like nawww that would be super cheesy…BUT AWESOME..

    You are both so right! Marika has learned so much from her mom, Jenny and Chiaki! I can not wait to see the next episode I really want to see that weird robot looking character oh and Marika in full pirate gear! Hooray!

    Next on my list of fan art…Marika <3

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: Yeah, she’s pretty awesome isn’t she? Sorry that I didn’t respond to your comment from the last post, but I put it out basically right before the next episode came out, and by the time I had gotten to your comment I was already thinking about what to write for the next episode’s post. So…. sorry! But I always appreciate every time you comment.

      Yeah, this episode was all about what Marika can do under pressure, and boy she didn’t disappoint! I’m so glad they were able to show this in a realistic way that made sense for her character. Makes me really excited to see what else is going to happen!

      ajthefourth: I definitely loved the part where Marika saves the day for all the reasons you describe and what it means for her character. All along, Marika had known that if things were to become really bad, it would be her responsibility. Jenny hints at this with her forcing the issue of addressing the crew, and when they discuss the implications of Marika’s plan, where Chiaki says it to her outright. “Do you plan to fight alone, on a ship with everyone on board? If you start play-fighting, you’ll involve everyone.” I can’t help but think that one of the reasons Marika sprang into action so quickly was due to the fact that she knew, simply by existing on the Odette II, that she was putting everyone else in danger. If something had happened to any one crew member, it would have been her fault. Not only is Marika showing her quickness to action, but also her responsibility towards her other crew members. ^ ^

  7. How did I miss the important part of Marika’s decision?

    This was a good episode, both from a plot and science-fiction perspective. I’ll just wait for some creator of this series to appear and post a comment now.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: Relative to the rest of the series, this episode was so razzledazzle that I’d forgive anyone for missing the finer details. Heck, Crusader and Executive put us to shame with the amount of detail and effort they put into their posts compared to us.

      Aaaaand I’m pretty sure Tatsuo Sato and Yuichi Sasamoto don’t care what we have to say. Let’s call it a hunch.

      ajthefourth: While I don’t think that every episode of pirates is going to be like this one, I also don’t necessarily think that they should be. One thing that others were saying about this series is that it was too slow. I see much of the series being like this, with episodes like this one scattered in here and there as payoff, and honestly, I don’t really mind that, especially now that I know better what to expect from this series.

  8. To be honest, Jenny kind of annoys me. She’s always in control, and just seems downright smug, along with the two teachers. Everything is always going according to plan, and she can sit back, withdrawn, and make jokes about their situation, even as they’re going into battle. It’s all a game for her (and the two teachers).

    So my favorite part of this episode was seeing her get her ass handed to her by the primitive technology, breaking down and panicking, and having to be bailed out by Marika. :)

    Also, dumb question, what is that poem you have interspersed there? (and I’m guessing the fifth line, “the Odette II pushes forward…” isn’t supposed to be part of it?)

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: One person’s smug is another person’s assertive and confident. I personally love Jenny Dolittle, because while there definitely is an air of haughtiness to Jenny’s demeanor, neither am I put off by it. There’s a thin line between what comes across as charisma and what seems like just self-satisfied preening, and the variables that come into play that result in it being one way or the other are just too innumerable to hash over in the space of a single comment. Yeah, she’s a bit into herself, but I’m also a pretty self-assured and outgoing person by nature, so I naturally gravitate to those kinds of people and find them pretty interesting to be around.

      As for the poem, those are actuallly (what I presume to be) the real-time passcodes that the Odette II and the Lightning 11 are throwing out at each other during the electronic battle. Some of the lines when transcribed and compared to the proceedings of the battle seem to eerily match up, don’t they?

      ajthefourth: Hnnn…I don’t see smug as much as confident. I’d also argue that she’s serious for the majority of the time, with the exception of the two sections that I quoted in this post. Especially leading up to battle, she continues to check in with the crew and prod Marika for her next move, almost like she’s teaching Marika how to give direction.

      I certainly *don’t* think that’s it’s all a game for her. Her comments are mean-spirited, most definitely, but it’s that mean spirit that makes me think that she’s struggled with being taken seriously in the past, in spite of having a competent head on her shoulders. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that this idea resonates with me very personally, but it’s (and this is a gross understatement) supremely annoying to know your stuff and yet be written off time and time again as if you know nothing. I definitely see this frustration in Jenny and resonate with it on a very personal level. Perhaps the two of us will be eternally at odds in regards to her character, as we’re both saying similar things but interpreting them completely differently.

      My main push back to you is that it’s all a game to her. I can certainly see a smug, know-it-all type of personality there; however, I also think that the series (through hinting at her research of Marika, etc.) has shown that she does care about what’s going on. If this were just a game, or a power trip, to her, she never would have let Marika form the plan, or prompt her for answers throughout the entire process. The fact that you see her as playing at a game is the perception that I see her as having been made to deal with for the majority of her life. On that point, I will defend her personality against anyone. ^ ^

      Thank you for the comment.

      • After a bit of research, the passcodes(?) are actually taken from the 100 poems used in karuta. The first is poem #2 by Empress Jito (with a more literal translation):


        The spring has passed
        And the summer come again
        For the silk-white robes
        So they say, are spread to dry
        On Mount Kaguyama

        Next is #80, by Lady Horikawa. I think Chiaki cut off before the end of this one, after みだれて. (don’t know Japanese that well so not sure what she said)


        MY doubt about his constancy
        Is difficult to bear;
        Tangled this morning are my thoughts,
        As is my long black hair.
        I wonder–Does he care?

        The third verse from Chiaki, involving the Odette, is obviously not one of the poems… I’m guessing it’s a modification of something, but not sure what?

        The final verse is from the abbot Gyouson:


        IN lonely solitude I dwell,
        No human face I see;
        And so we two must sympathize,
        Oh mountain cherry tree;
        I have no friend but thee.

  9. Pingback: Check-in Station: Bodacious Space Pirates eps1-5 (expectations are the cockblockers of storytelling) « the Check-in Station

  10. Well since the director had mentioned that this 26 ep arc will be following mostly the first 3 volumes of the original novel, you don’t have to worry about Jenny DoLittle disappearing anytime soon…Rin for that matter as well.

    If it goes according to how I expect, we may get to see Jenny’s backstory and background. She’s definitely an oujosama who would run away from the fact that she’s betrothed to someone. In the novels, she runs away to the academy that she’s currently going to school in (Marika’s school), meets Rin and falls in love with her. They have a relationship going on and perhaps the only yuri-ish relationship in the series. Since the OP features them holding hands, it would be a shame to skip that entire backstory but perhaps we’ll see flashbacks.

    I was a little disappointed to not see a sword fight between Kane and Marika but according to the recent PV for Mouretsu’s “Black Holy” the some of the events might be in the same order as they appear in the novel (There WAS a sword fight between the two apparently). Regardless, this series is something I’ve been looking forward to since they announced it back in 2009. It was also supposed to be released in the summer but was delayed by the earthquake/tsunami last spring which is why production for the entire series wrapped up a couple weeks ago according to the director’s twitter feed.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: Thanks for the spoiler warning.

      I usually don’t spoil myself for things; however, Moretsu Pirates being what it is, a more character-driven series with little to no actual speculation, I barged on ahead and was very pleased as to what you had to say. The director of the series has come out and said that there will not be any romantic involvement in this adaptation, but this certainly doesn’t stop viewers from shipping characters together. Admittedly, I was one such viewer shipping Rin and Jenny together, so I’m now more excited than ever to see the series possibly hint at this.

      As for the swordfight…well…you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Episode 6. ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: I did not know that the production was delayed due to the tsunami, that’s pretty interesting/unfortunate to hear.

      As for Jenny Dolittle, I’ll admit to being a bit surprised at your revelation that she is engaged to be married. While in retrospect this makes it seem rather in line with the ojousama mystique that her character wears easily, I don’t remember at any point where the dialogue in the show hinted toward something like this. Perhaps it was part of when Misa and Kane were reviewing the Yacht Club members and their “circumstances”? If so then I must have completely glossed over it.

      Jenny and Rin display a really easy chemistry in a show that I laud partly for it’s characters, so much so that my partner immediately started pairing them romantically. A testament really to how well fleshed out the characters can be in a limited span of time. She wasn’t alone either in this, as I believe Executive Otaku and Crusader over at THAT Anime Blog were really fond of the pairing as well.

      And yes, that sword fight… I think you’ll soon see this show beginning to live up to its bold and audacious moniker pretty soon.

  11. Pingback: Bodacious Space Pirates – 06 | Frozen Anime Blog

  12. Pingback: Colloquium: Moretsu Pirates Episode 6 | The Untold Story of Altair & Vega

  13. As mentioned in my episode 6 comment, the fact the show was building up to this moment made it more credible. Heck, the fact Marika FINALLY addressed Ririka as Mom showed how serious Marika was after her long and arduous training. Let’s not forget the exciting “final exam” against a real threat…albeit not a truly serious one but you get the point.
    Each episode after the 2nd one focused both on teaching Marika new skills or put ones she already knew/had to the test.
    ADHD people may not like this approach, but I heartily welcome it and embrace its greatness so far. Besides, episode 7 shows that playtime is over and tougher challenges are ahead for our lovable pirate captain and her “lover” Chiaki. (Let me and my fellow nation members have our moment, please).

    P.S.: We want more Jenny and Lynn screen time…heck all the Yacht Club members deserve more screen time.

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