Mouretsu Pirates – 01 Review

*sigh* Yeah, you’re right, without robots or androids a maid-café is a really cheap story-idea…

Mouretsu Pirates 01 – The Fluffy World Of Space-Pirates

And once again I don’t have to tell you to stay the hell away from another atrocity. But I should add that this is a far less safe bet than Nisemonogatari. If you’re one of the few hating Bakemonogatari than you know what you’re getting with Nisemonogatari but what about this series? It’s about space pirates obviously but a girl becoming captain of a pirate-ship isn’t quite the material for a ‘Die Hard’-like-action-series, now is it? In fact this episode tries very hard to show you that there’s no real action to be found in any way. It’s an easy-going adventure with little bunnies, rainbows and villains stupid enough to become goofballs. It’s a nice world to live in if you’re a character in Mouretsu Pirates.

Synopsis:
Mouretsu Pirates obviously has the great idea that pirates should be nice people you can share a drink with and talk about golf-tournaments and stuff. These pirates aren’t a bunch of rebels, social outcasts and rogues, no, they are the legalized version of traditional family companies. In the fluffy world of Mouretsu Pirates the good side has indeed already won the day. The rebels have their autonomy and all the peace in the world any hippie-convention might wish for.
Years later Marika is spending her days being a normal student who has an unnatural talent for flying and she’s approached by nice but weird people. At home her mother dutifully drops something when Marika tells her about it because that’s the stereotypical thing to do in this situation. A while later the pirates arrive and together with Marika they make sure to deliver the first episode’s punchline before the commercials have to start: Marika is the daughter of a pirate-captain and she has to take over for him. Marika can’t quite believe it and researches what Space Pirates are and yeah, aren’t they the most peaceful bunch of goodies we’ve ever seen in a scifi-series…? Heroes of the rebellion, being legal and Facebook-accounts – that’s not very bad, now is it?
The next day at school she’s confronted by two surprises: First she gets a new teacher who surprisingly is the helmsman of her ship. And they get a transfer student who suspiciously makes it very clear that a transfer student never appears in an anime without reason. But Marika doesn’t quite get the whole pirate-thingy and goes to work and promptly her maid-café (it’s hers, too, for all we know…) fills with really fishy-looking gangsters. But then Kurihara, the transfer-student arrives and while showing off her sweet tooth so that she doesn’t look too bad she’s in the right place at the right time to stop a disguised assassin with shit for brains from killing Marika. And then she flees with Marika because all hell breaks loose in the café. And Marika of course thinks she has found her soulmate or something while following Kurihara.

So technically they aren’t even real pirates…

Review:
Pirates in Space: Well, it sure won’t win the Imagination-Award. And girls in abundance… moe also, in case you asked yourself whether that was left out and it’s all about kicking the ass of big bullies called ‘The Empire’ (or something). It’s a story for kids so forget all your dreams about badass-pirates and big space-ship-battles, this story has cotton and sugar written all over it.
The setting is a strange mix of Star Wars and Firefly, especially the latter since the opening strongly reminded me of Serenity’s opening and introduction. The Star Wars part starts when it’s clear that it’s all about rebels fighting the good fight against a big evil empire. Where things kinda take a different turn is when shit hits the fan and the rebels to win the war legalize pirating. Go figure how that’s supposed to work but the pirates also start fighting the good fight – and that makes all the difference apparently. The good guys win and everyone’s happy. That’s when the story starts… Right, all the action has happened already and now we’re supposed to care about what’s happening in the aftermath. Now this will be surely one hell of a goofy affair.
What happens in the story is therefore a really strange affair of mixing naïve kiddo-stuff with shounen-ambitions of (probably) having serious space-battles and whatnot. But it’s surprisingly easy-going in its approach and that starts with having ‘legal pirates’ and ends with the new captain being assaulted by goofballs in suits. I don’t really like the atmosphere as it’s not the kind of thing I had expected when I saw the start of this episode. Instead of Sci-Fi-Action we get another school-setting, a maid-café and a bunch of students saving the universe. In the end it all seemed too light-hearted to work for me as a series that wanted to entertain via action. For example the main-chara researching space pirates doesn’t bring up any sort of violent war-stuff, it’s just these random kiddo-friendly promotion-images showing us that pirate do keep parrots and they pretty much all look like they’re dressing for carnival instead of flying through space to plunder ships and stuff. And the main-chara being part of a maid-café is like the lamest story-idea imaginable. Even in the far future people have to suffer these stereotypes and what the hell was up with that café anyway? The whole time we’re just seeing these two school-girls serving a bunch of evil gangsters and nobody’s like ‘Hey, let’s call the police…’ and where’s the real boss of the café anyway? I would kinda get worried for the fate of my establishment with that kind of customers. And then there was the assassin telling the main-chara he’s from Airport-security trying to protect her following a call from her mother. And the ice-queen-side-kick is so ‘smart’ to question his motives. Well, that’s not like the ‘assassin with a disguise is revealed’-scene works. The disguise has to make at least some sense, the airport-security couldn’t fool a mole for all it’s worth. In the end it really feels like the story doesn’t want to be serious enough to have any impact on me.

That stupid disguise doesn’t even warrant a dramatic rhetoric question. He might as well have declared himself to be a security-guard of Disneyland and it would’ve made just as much sense…

The characters are also the sure way to introduce family-friendly comedy. Nothing threatening about space pirates in this series, I can tell you that. One of them even is a teacher and the ‘cold-hearted professional’ Kurihara which is the main-chara’s sidekick has a real sweet tooth. The main-chara’s mother is of the “I’m acting like a man, har, har!”-variant and just like that she’s drinking pints – of wine. Well, because drinking beer would be bad or something but drinking wine is totally fine, right? The characters have charm, I won’t deny that but it’s the easy-going kind again in the way it doesn’t press them having issues. You know, drama and whatnot, it actually doesn’t fall out of the sky, someone somewhere has to have a problem. And these people in this series have no problems. Why the hell does the girl have to become captain anyway? You’d figure that since she has to become a captain at some point they would care about her having the necessary knowledge to do the job before circumstances force her to do it. But again there’s a series believing its synopsis is some kind of punchline I’m supposed to laugh about. No, simply no, I’ve read the synopsis, I know that she becomes the captain of this pirate-ship so why the hell has her reaction to be that exaggerated? It’s also treated as some kind of cliffhanger in the middle of the series. But I know where this is going so why does the series think I’m actually sitting at the edge of my seat trying to hear why this happens? Indeed it’s difficult to see where the series is going from here on. Because much of the story’s firmly rooted in a slice-of-life-setting of having Marika work at a Maid-café and spending her day at school with one of the pirates there teaching. And I bet that Kurihara gets to tell a very sappy story before this is over. Am I enjoying the series? Yes. Am I caring enough about it to look forward to future episodes? No.

Mouretsu Pirates has the charm of good characterizations and a well done direction. But its easygoing conflict-free portrayal of what Space Pirates are supposed to be has a serious lack of drama and action. Indeed the story makes it clear that this all happens after the big explosions and fireworks have calmed down leaving Marika to be a maid and proper student instead of a real plundering kick-ass pirate. This series has definitely the smell of preaching about decency, I think. But while my score for this may be lower than the one for Nisemonogatari, I think, this is far more solid as it has made clear what it wants to do. So if you’ve liked the first episode, expect to see more of it in the future.

Episode-Rating: 6/10

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on January 8, 2012, in Anime, Mouretsu Pirates, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Where did you see they were fighting an evil empire? They just said there was a war of independence without pointing out who was “bad” or “good” or even if there was a bad guy at all.

    As for how legalizing pirates and winning a war work, you can learn all about it in a history book (hint: that was a common tactic used in the 16th-19th centuries).

    I think that if you tried to learn more about real pirates instead of those stereotyped ones you tend to see in movies, you could enjoy the serie more. The show is not that realistic, but the difference between real pirates and those in this show is not greater than one you would see between real pirates and most other shows.

    From wiki, just to show a bit the difference between real pirates and their images:

    “Both the captain and the quartermaster were elected by the crew; they, in turn, appointed the other ship’s officers. The captain of a pirate ship was often a fierce fighter in whom the men could place their trust, rather than a more traditional authority figure sanctioned by an elite. However, when not in battle, the quartermaster usually had the real authority. Many groups of pirates shared in whatever they seized; pirates injured in battle might be afforded special compensation similar to medical or disability insurance.”

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    • Where did you see they were fighting an evil empire? They just said there was a war of independence without pointing out who was “bad” or “good” or even if there was a bad guy at all.

      Well, this series needs a villain and there’s this big empire and nobody likes them so some guys start a rebellion together with pirates. They win, everyone’s happy. The part where everyone’s happy tells me that this empire is evil and that’s why they started the rebellion. This isn’t a very historically precise anime and therefore I expect it to go the easy way with the story-concept. You surely have to admit that it didn’t really seem like the kind of series that has a “shadows of grey”-approach to morality, right?

      As for how legalizing pirates and winning a war work, you can learn all about it in a history book (hint: that was a common tactic used in the 16th-19th centuries).

      Yeah, because an official document saying “Uh, I’m fine with you being a pirate and all, fight for us!” is the kind of thing that convinces free pirates to fight for the losing side in a war. There should be a bit more to that than what this series said about it, shouldn’t it? That’s what I criticize, a history book is probably just the proof for why I criticize it in the first place.

      I think that if you tried to learn more about real pirates instead of those stereotyped ones you tend to see in movies, you could enjoy the serie more.

      I doubt that any concern for realism will help in this case. In fact I’m quite lenient just expecting the popculture-version, I think. If I would start caring about realism I would just start becoming nitpicky with all the little mistakes making it something less than a convincing setting relating to a historical background. Like you said it’s definitely not the most truthful presentation of pirates, space or water, and just because popculture in general kinda disregards the finer historical notions of pirates it doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed with this portrayal. Especially since the presentation this show has disappoints me even on its fictional level. And that’s I have a problem with. Not how unrealistic it is but how it’s portrayed on its own fictional terms.

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      • So you just assumed they were evil with no evidence just because? Why do they need a villain at all?
        So far, the serie didn’t seem to deal with morality at all, so i don’t see why I should expect the empire to be evil. There’s nothing in this serie that indicates that.

        Moreover from wikipedia:
        “During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress, and some state governments (on their own initiative), issued privateering licenses, authorizing “legal piracy”, to merchant captains in an effort to take prizes from the British Navy and Tory (Loyalist) privateers. This was done due to the relatively small number of commissioned American naval vessels and the pressing need for prisoner exchange.”

        So yes, as i said, just open an history book already, it will clarify the situation. The way they made it work in the anime so far is almost exactly how it works in reality, so i don’t understand how you can blame that for being unrealistic. That’s like saying that reality itself is unrealistic.

        As for the popculture version, if you had expected pirates more in line with real ones, you would have appreciated it more since the difference would have been less jaring. Many pirates were former sailors who voluntereed to become pirates once their own vessels were captured. Some like Black Bart, even became the captain of his own ship 6 weeks after he was himself by being elected by the very pirates who captured him.

        It seems his election was due to “his navigational abilities and his demeanor, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated” and he wasn’t even an experimented pirate. So as you can see, you don’t need an impressive CV to become the captain amongst pirates.

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  2. @Noobmage:
    “So you just assumed they were evil with no evidence just because?”
    *shrug* I speculate based on my experience with tropes similar to the ones used in this series. That’s all. We both watch the series and then we will see who’s right, that’s how it is with speculations.
    “So yes, as i said, just open an history book already, it will clarify the situation.”
    Uhm, I’m reviewing the episode and not history as it played out 😉 . Show me the part in the episode where it says something similar to what Wikipedia says there and I change my opinion about this.
    “Many pirates were former sailors who voluntereed to become pirates once their own vessels were captured. Some like Black Bart, even became the captain of his own ship 6 weeks after he was himself by being elected by the very pirates who captured him.”
    Haha, yeah, now that would be a nice story. But Marika becomes captain of the ship because she’s the captain’s daughter and that fact is used then to grant her miraculous talents. *shrug* I would prefer Black Bert’s story any day of the week over this episode’s for Marika ^^ .

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    • But the problem was that you criticized the show for being unrealistic with legal pirates whereas in reality, something like actually happened. Did you miss the part about the US fighting a war of Independence against the British empire? Or the fact that they used legal pirates? Or that they actually won the war? It sure looks like the part you criticized as being unrealistic, so I guess that for you, American’s history’s itself unrealistic, right?

      The only “unrealistic” part that you’ve pointed out was that they went from a democracy to some kind of monarchy in the pirate’s system, but does that seem that unrealistic? Systems can change after all. What is so unrealistic about it?
      Also, having a knack for navigation is not some “miraculous talent” some people are just born this way. Inheriting something like that is not out of this world.

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      • Oh, sure, I can imagine how it could’ve happened based on history but I don’t see the first episode telling the story about that. It’s rather vague on important points and that leaves me with the impression that the pirates are only ‘legal’ to make ‘being a pirate’ a neat and fun way to spend your time. It’s also safe and nothing criminal that way, they even can make the whole pirate-thingy a heroic endeavour or defending justice and whatnot. And it doesn’t seem like they will leave the school-setting any time soon, they even integrated pirate-characters into the school-setting. I only see another shounen-anime here that distinctly relates to pirates but doesn’t really concentrates on that part. It seems to me more concerned with making it an easy-going adventure full of fun and important life-lessons for Marika and her merry band.
        Of course, that’s just the impression I got from the first episode.

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    • I also forgot to say, speculating is fine but what you did was basically criticizing a show for something you speculated would happen. That would be like a critic panning a movie for what may happen in its sequel. That doesn’t make much sense.

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      • Well, I hope that I’m proven wrong but it would be really unconventional to not make the Empire a kind of bully. These rebels fighting for independence with the pirates sure won’t take the villain-role, quite the opposite obviously and therefore the Empire fighting against them can’t be anything but evil. It would be nice of course if they manage to let them have some decent characters which doesn’t make it a purely black-and-white-thingy.but the portrayal of that is something later episodes have to do.

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  3. The introduction of this anime told us that:
    1)Sea of the Morning Star was a former colony of the empire.
    2)it distanced itself from the Empire generations later
    3)engaged in a war of indepence against the empire
    4)used legal pirates (using Letter of Marque to make them legal)
    5)won the war
    All those are quite similiar to actual history. don’t forget that you yourself said:
    “Show me the part in the episode where it says something similar to what Wikipedia says there and I change my opinion about this.”

    Nothing in the show indicates that “the pirates are only ‘legal’ to make ‘being a pirate’ a neat and fun way to spend your time.”. The fact that they’re using a Letter of Marque like real legal pirates make it seems they’re well aware of their history and that they didn’t make it up on the spot. The rest is also you criticizing the show for something that has yet to happen, which seems quite unfair.

    I’m aware that the show doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, but criticizing it for a lack of realism when it seems have done its research well enough seems a bit weird for me. if you had just said this kind of anime didn’t interest you in the first place, that would have been much fairer.

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    • “The fact that they’re using a Letter of Marque like real legal pirates make it seems they’re well aware of their history and that they didn’t make it up on the spot.”
      Well, I think there should’ve been said a little bit more about that part. Because just making them legal isn’t enough. There should be some benefit for the pirates to get them to participate in the war and that wasn’t explained by the episode. And I expect them to explain it because they don’t have to include such references but if they want to include them I want it to be thoroughly presented. I don’t want some “And there’s this and that happening”-narration and then I read a wiki-article which isn’t directly connected to the narration to understand why this is making sense. That is NOT good storytelling.
      “I’m aware that the show doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, but criticizing it for a lack of realism when it seems have done its research well enough seems a bit weird for me.”
      Like I said, on its own fictional terms I don’t like the way it’s presented. I don’t expect it to be realistic but I expect it to be presented in a reasonably enough way. I think everyone has this line where it goes from “Yeah, I get it, anime and all.” to “That’s totally ridiculous!” and this episode crossed the line for me with the presentation of the pirates.

      As for criticizing it for stuff that has yet to happen… Nah, it would be a surprise if it weren’t like that. It’s about stereotypes and tropes and I will applaud it when it does something clever but right now this show doesn’t seem clever enough to have that kind of development.

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      • The benefit of being “legal” is that:
        1) you can have a relatively safe port to rest after some raids
        2)you can get investors more easily (for the starting ship, equipment and crew)
        3)there’s at least one side you won’t have to worry about when raiding merchants
        4)if you happen to sympathize with the cause you’re helping, it feels better
        From a pirate’s point of view, there’s almost only advantages and few inconveniences.
        Moreover, they don’t need to be really attached to the cause, so if their side lose, they just get back to be normal pirates and won’t have lost much from their former association.

        They didn’t need to explain it because it’s obvious with some common sense or if you have a bit of culture about pirates. I’ve only shown the wiki to prove my point but i think anyone a bit interested about pirates would know about what i just wrote. i didn’t give very detailed knowledge after all.

        It seems now that you were expecting them to explain it to you like you were in a history course when your first criticism was about how unreal it seemed.

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      • Also, care to explain what was “totally ridiculous” about the setting? I don’t think presenting pirates the way they were with some few differences with real pirates (like the inheritance thing) is unreasonable.

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  4. @Noobmage:
    Again, what you’ve listed makes sense but I want to see it integrated into the series and not being assumed by me. I’m a really huge fan of thorough world-building and such little details, I want them to be presented as part of the world and not just being assumed to be there in my imagination.
    And with the speculations-stuff, perhaps I’m a bit pessimistic with my predictions but my intuition tells me that this will be no Madoka Magica that will turn conventional storytelling on its head.
    Okay, we can’t do this forever… Let’s do it like this: I will be reviewing the second episode of this and if I’m wrong and they explain my worries away or my speculations about the course this is taking are wrong, then you get an apology in that review 😉 . You’re fine with that ^^ ?

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    • It’s not about whether I’m fine with the way you do things or not, it’s just that I want to understand better some things about your positions. The way I usually go about it is by arguing.

      I don’t see anything wrong with the things I listed being assumed by the anime since they’re more about common sense. If the serie spent all it’s time explaining things that should be obvious, they would get nowhere.

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  5. @Noobmage:
    Well, we have some very contrary positions here concerning world-building and I don’t really think that discussing it any further will help settling the issue without getting some more material from the series to talk about it so that we have some more proof to be used for arguments. That’s why I think we simply should wait for the next episode and continue then.

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  6. I find the spirited debate above amusing.

    In regard to the caption “so technically they aren’t even real pirates…”, for me at least, the very mention of the “Letter of Marque” triggered the connection to one of the most famous pirate in history – Sir Francis Drake, so no, I don’t need much more context.

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    • “I find the spirited debate above amusing.”
      Yeah, well, you know how these internet-debates are 😀 …

      I guess I just want the story to show stuff instead of just talking about it in the beginning. If it’s a series about space-pirates then show me space-pirates and how they spend their time. But what this episode did was showing a school-girl working at a maid-café being surrounded by all these various characters who claim to be Space Pirates. What we get to see is one of them being a teacher, one of them just… being there and Marika’s mother being this rough “I was a pirate – but now I’m just a mother”-character. They talk about all this pirate-stuff but it has no meaning because nothing in this episode actually cares about that the way the story is told. While focusing on Marika and making it a fish-out-of-the-water-like story about her becoming this pirate-captain is a good story-idea the episode didn’t really make it seem like the pirate-stuff is an exotic world unknown to us. It seemed like a nice adventure, that doesn’t take the world-building serious. I’m fine with that but the introduction said too much for a Marika-centred story and not enough for a space-pirate-centred story. Right now it seems like a Marika-story but this introduction was really fluff-heavy with the epic stuff so I don’t really know whether this is cheap foreshadowing for the conflict of the show or whether it’s actually caring about world-building.

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      • My understanding is that this show runs 2-cour? In that case I wouldn’t be too concerned. Something that started off full of action and pretty visuals (Guilty Crown) not necessarily mean much in the long run, while Kyokai Senjo no Horizon (1-cour actually) had a terribly show start that scared away most people, but turned out surprisingly engaging toward the second half.

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      • *shrug* You’re right of course. This series has enough time to do whatever the hell it wants. It’s just about watching the episode, making predictions, speculating and describing what I didn’t like about it and why. It’s a difference to ask whether I like this episode or whether I like the series. I definitely won’t judge the entire series just by watching this one episode (sth. like that only happens in cases like New Prince of Tennis which is total crap). But this episode… it kinda made me feel gloomy for what this show will be about, at least for the first half.

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  7. After seeing the massive comment string here, I decided I had to watch this :). I dunno. I guess how much you like this show is determined by what your expectations were. Just by reading the synopsis, I already knew that this wasn’t going to be a “cool” show (as opposed to, say, a “cute” show). So I guess I wasn’t really expecting much from it in the first place, at least not in a lot of the areas you seemed to be. That said, I do agree with your review, in that something with the episode felt…off. Perhaps “rushed” would be a better word. I think from a story perspective that I would have preferred that the events of this episode actually took place over two episodes, taking things a little slower so as to explain them more thoroughly and make them all mesh together better. Aside from that, I also agree that the “legal pirates” thing seemed a little strange. Well, what was strange wasn’t that they were legal, but rather the purpose they served in the story. I understand the concept of privateers and country-backed pirates, but those kinds of pirates were there because there were at least five major countries (England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands) all involved (I’m using the Caribbean as an example). Pirates would work for a country either because it seemed the most powerful, or because they had ancestral ties to it. With this, it was an uprising of rebels against an empire. So rather then pirates, it feels like they should have been just “space mercenaries” rather that “space pirates.” I dunno, I guess I shouldn’t take the premise too seriously with this kind of show. These would be much worse problems if this show had been set during the independence war (a story I think I might have enjoyed more). That’s just my two cents, though.
    Sorry to add another giant “comment” (if you can still call it that) to the page. 🙂

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    • Just by reading the synopsis, I already knew that this wasn’t going to be a “cool” show (as opposed to, say, a “cute” show). So I guess I wasn’t really expecting much from it in the first place, at least not in a lot of the areas you seemed to be.

      Yeah, it’s kinda old-fashioned anime-wise how space-pirates are these travelling do-goodies but I expected some serious sci-fi-action with a bit of moe. Well, obviously this episode kinda pissed on my parade as far as expectations go…

      Pirates would work for a country either because it seemed the most powerful, or because they had ancestral ties to it.

      Well, Noobmage’s position was that it didn’t need to explain this because using historical knowledge one can just fill the plotholes with it. Not that I share his sentiment that this would be good storytelling but that’s his beer. Anyway, my guess is that this series wants pirates to be heroes of justice and freedom and that’s why they did what they did. But I certainly hope the show will choose another more interesting route of actually properly explaining things.

      These would be much worse problems if this show had been set during the independence war (a story I think I might have enjoyed more).

      Yeah, who doesn’t? It’s pirates kicking ass and turning a war around against a big mighty empire. That sounds like the kind of story I like to hear. But the story is instead a girl suddenly becoming a pirate-captain in the time of “Let’s take a break from real epic shit…”. Again, I would predict that the empire becomes the villain that needs to be defeated in this show just to let her at least partially relive the good ol’ days 😀 .

      I dunno, I guess I shouldn’t take the premise too seriously with this kind of show.

      Yeah, the first episode is enjoyable enough, I would say. Not the best opening episode I’ve ever seen but it kept me watching for other reasons than waiting to mock it every week because it’s really bad.

      Sorry to add another giant “comment” (if you can still call it that) to the page.

      At this point anything shorter than your comment would be inappropriate in this dragged out discussion 😀 .

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      • @John Sato
        Actually, there’s a big difference between mercenaries and privateers. Mercenaries are paid by the government to do specific missions for it, they also tend to be more expensive. Privateers are NOT paid by the government, they are paid by their own raids. What the government gives them is:
        -a safe port where they can rest between raids
        -protection from pursuits for most of their activities
        -eventually easier contacts with financial backers

        That’s why they are cheaper than mercenaries but due to the way that works, they can’t order privateers around the way they do mercenaries.
        Privateers will essentially attack merchant ships and won’t be available often for battles between fleets.

        What you’ve outlined for the reasons one would join a country would be true for mercenaries but it is completely wrong for pirates. Whether they join a weak country or a strong one wouldn’t matter much for their security since they were already chased by both countries to start with because they ARE pirates. What changes is only which country they don’t have to worry about anymore (if you had thought about it for 5 seconds, it would have been obvious). For example, there was quite a number of privateers who joined the US for its war of independence against the British empire.

        Moreover, between a fight empire vs colony, pirates have more reasons to fight for a colony.
        The empire needs to transport many goods through spaceships if it wants to maintain itself and wage war against a far off colony wheras if the colony is self-sufficient (and they should be if they seek independence in the first place), they would transport few goods through ships. What it means is that privateers joining the Empire would have barely anything to pillage and as a result would not be paid whereas privateers working for the colony could get rich easily.

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      • I don’t believe you need historical knowledge to understand how privateers would work in the setting of this anime, just that if you don’t want to think about it, history already offers a ready-made answer. Moreover, I used history as a proof that my reasoning is actually sound.

        Remember, I said: “They didn’t need to explain it because it’s obvious with some common sense OR if you have a bit of culture about pirates.” (emphasis mine)
        I didn’t say that you needed historical knowledge to understand it, just that if you had some culture OR some common sense, you would understand it.

        If you had spent at least 30 seconds trying to answer the question: “how would legal pirates work in this anime?”, you would have found the answer as long as you knew what pirates are.
        Surely, you don’t expect people to explain you how cars work everytime you get an anime about cars, same with an anime in a school setting, so why would you expect it from an anime about pirates?
        The answer was obvious to start with and unless there are peculiar things about the setting (like the inheritance thing), there’s no need to explain it.

        Given that the answers to your question were easily found through either logic OR minimal knowledge of history, why exactly did you ask:
        “Go figure how that’s supposed to work but the pirates also start fighting the good fight”.
        I think it was quite unfair to blame the anime for not explaining it. Sure they could expand on it a bit but it isn’t necessary for understanding the situation. If you had enough time to wonder about it, you should have had enough time to answer it on your own.

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  8. At the risk of being “inappropriate” (aka too short), I will add my two cents.

    I’m waiting for an anime to have a transfer student (or substitute teacher) who is boring, ugly as sin, doesn’t “connect” with anyone else, and has absolutely nothing to do with advancing the plot.

    Aside from that, Moretsu Pirates seems cute enough. Even though (as I’ve seen elsewhere in the blog-o-sphere) having grown up in the 80’s, I have an automatic cringe response to the word “bodacious”.

    It’s cute, and who really gives a damn about the history of *Western* pirates, anyway? As a generally unwilling victim of the whole pirate fad that is going around these days, I can’t help but pointing out that the Atlantic/European/Caribbean pirates that we all know and love (think Johnny Depp and his lamentable accent) and the pirates of the Pacific (and every other big body of water on Earth) have radically different histories. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some kind of scholar on piracy throughout the seas and ages, but I don’t mind being the ass who points out that “pirates” are a phenomenon that has occurred in every sea and large lake in every time period in human history as we know it.

    Space pirates aside, did anyone else get a load of mom’s neck and jaw muscles?!?! The lady definitely has some years of ass-kicking behind her to be built like that! If I was her daughter, I probably would have taken being “grounded” a bit more seriously. Wow!

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  9. @Noobmage:
    Come on, give it a break, you’ve made your point. Just wait and see what the series is doing about explaining that stuff. You don’t need to write a historical essay about it in the comment-section. There is an explanation for the show’s setting, the show itself hasn’t explored the setting that much yet and it’s just the first episode. So let’s just sit back and wait for the next episode and see how things develop 😉 .

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    • Well, I felt I needed to clarify some things since it seems my position was misunderstood and others were not I seem to not have explained them enough.

      Otherwise, how come that John Sato still believes that privateeers would not want to join the rebels or that you would believe that I thought you needed historical knowledge to understand the setting?

      The point I was trying to make that the first episode alone was sufficient to understand the historical setting as it was presented in this same episode. What happens in the following episodes wouldn’t change that unless they introducted contradictions later on.

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      • In the first line, i meant to say:
        “Well, I felt I needed to clarify some things since it seems my position was misunderstood and that I haven’t explained other things well enough”.

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    • Oh, for God’s sake… nobody misunderstood here anything. He and I just have a different opinion than yours. That kinda happens in discussions, you know. I get what you’re trying to say but I’m not convinced – and that’s about it. The rest is really decided by how the series handles it in the future.

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      • Well you did say :”Well, Noobmage’s position was that it didn’t need to explain this because using historical knowledge one can just fill the plotholes with it.”
        But that phrase doesn’t accurately represent my position at all, so the only thing i can deduce from it is that you DID misunderstand my position. It is not about whether my position is different from yours, but whether you understood my position in the first place (I don’t think I need to rewrite my position but feel free to ask if something is unclear).

        Moreover: “Pirates would work for a country either because it seemed the most powerful, or because they had ancestral ties to it. ” (quote from John Galto) is not logically sound and given that I’ve explained it before he wrote that, it is clear that this part needed clarification. We also have historical examples contradicting it. (for example: John Ordronaux).

        If you are not convinced by arguments, it shouldn’t be too hard to find where I was wrong or where I assumed things prematurely.

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  10. @noobmage Harsh, bro. I did honestly think about it “for more than 5 seconds.” The reason I said that I thought privateers would work better for the empire, was because the way I saw it, an empire would have much more power to bear on pirates than a colony would. Granted, the pirates are already hunted by the empire (presumably), so of course they wouldn’t feel much fear from them, at first. However, if the pirates started becoming actively involved in the war, I imagine that the empire would start to focus on catching them more. That was my line of thought when I said that.
    As for the mercenaries, the reason I brought them up wasn’t to question the validity of pirates fighting in a war. I brought them up because I thought that for fighting a WAR, mercenaries, which generally consist of trained fighters, would be a better option (and yes I realize that this may not have been a financially viable option, but still). This is opposed to pirates, which, to my understanding, generally consisted of trained *sailors*. I don’t deny that exceptions, even numerous exceptions, could have existed, be it in the history of the real world or the history of the show itself. I recognize that exceptions exist in nearly everything condition I wrote, at least concerning the real world. All I’m saying is, for an intergalactic space WAR, I think trained mercenaries would be better for, you know, fighting. I acknowledge that I am NOT a pirates expert; I’m a more of a military, guns, and video games “expert” myself. I’m certain that there exist possible reasons and explanations for the story, and real-world parallels. After all, it’s only the first episode. What I (and I believe M0rg0th) were disappointed by was the fact that the setting wasn’t explained better.
    One more note. In your second response to me, I quote “remember, I said…” I just wish to make it clear here that I was not responding to the discussion at large, but to M0rg0th’s review. Just wanted to clarify.
    With that said, I apologize if I stepped on any toes. I was merely expressing my opinions on the episode as a “pirate layman” if you will 🙂 I simply disliked the way the setting was explained, from a story perspective.

    Hey wait, why on earth did I post ANOTHER comment! This is going to be a long week, isn’t it…

    On totally unrelated news, directed at the otakuness staff, I had a question. I apologize for asking, as I don’t want to sound obnoxious, but I wasn’t aware if any of you had plans to cover the “Brave 10” series. I just watched the first episode and am eager to know what you thought of it. Even if you didn’t have any plans for it, please keep up the good work!

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    • The point of pirateers is that their role is not actually fighting ennemy ships but harassing them and depriving them of their ressources. They pay for themselves (through raids) and then resell or otherwise reinject the stolen good to your own economy (selling the stolen ships and merchandise for example). Because they pay for themselves, mobilizing a great numbers of privateers is far easier than paying for mercenaries.

      To react, an empire would need to come at them much more strongly but then they would divert precious military ressources that they couldn’t use anymore to fight the rebels. Moreover, because of the number of privateers, they would need to scatter their own forces to do it effectively, making themselves vulnerable to ambushes and would lose the numerical advantage in term of professional forces in battle.

      On the other hand, mercenaries would need to be paid by the government, meaning you would have much less mercenaries than you would have privateers. Depending on whether they are used to escape authority, they also may be much more reluctant to join the weaker side. Moreover, on a proper battle, they would be unreliable whereas if they were affected to harassing merchant ships, they would be as effective as pirates but more costly, making them less cost effective.

      My point about all this was even though the historical setting wasn’t developed much during the first episode, it was sufficient to understand it if you thought about it and it wasn’t unrealistic given the real world examples we do have.

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    • @John Sato
      I forgot to say that the 2nd reply was actually intended for Morgoth by the way. You didn’t step on my toes and the way I argue here is the way I usually do elsewhere, forgive me if I seemed aggressive or whatever else that would make you think I was somehow upset.

      Also, my first response was more about (your quote):”Pirates would work for a country either because it seemed the most powerful, or because they had ancestral ties to it. ” meaning I was first answering your question about why pirates would be willing to work for the colony.
      The response just above would more or less to answer why the colony would choose to call upon privateers in the first place.

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    • @John Sato

      “On totally unrelated news, directed at the otakuness staff, I had a question. I apologize for asking, as I don’t want to sound obnoxious, but I wasn’t aware if any of you had plans to cover the “Brave 10″ series. I just watched the first episode and am eager to know what you thought of it. Even if you didn’t have any plans for it, please keep up the good work!”

      We will be covering the Brave 10 series.. Actually, we have a new member who will be covering Brave 10… so look forward to that when it comes out. 😉

      and woah… this is turning into a big discussion. =P lol

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  11. @Noobmage:
    Again, Noobmage, ultimately it depends on what the series is doing with its time. I’m not satisfied with the presentation of the first episode and that’s my personal feeling for the reason that I don’t like a setting presented in a way that isn’t thorough and because the rest of the episode had not much to do with space-pirates. That doesn’t mean it was a completely shitty setting-introduction and the episode on a whole is crap, I just happen to be not very satisfied with it. Talk about some other stuff of the episode for a change, Noobmage! You’re getting very nitpicky about reading stuff into a short introduction that is just a short overview. Especially at this point since this show has over 20 episodes left to do anything it wants with the setting. You’re getting far too detailed for how vague the whole thing is at this point. It can go pretty much anywhere. And that means that your point is just another opinion for why you personally like the first few minutes of the episode and that means it’s NOT the absolute truth. I don’t like it that much, you do – discussion finished. I have no idea why you’re still obsessing over this one little detail when there’s the whole show left to talk about before anything really conclusive can be said.
    So, noobmage, if you talk about something, talk about the whole episode instead of starting another microscopic tirade about pirates-history.

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    • But I didn’t take issue with your assessment of the whole episode. I understand that how much someone likes an episode is subjective.
      The problem was (and stays) that this statement: “Go figure how that’s supposed to work but the pirates also start fighting the good fight” and those in the same veins are incoorect and unfair in my views.
      I explained why I thought they didn’t need to develope this more but I’ve yet to see an explanation from you about why they needed more time devoted to explain it in order for it to be understandable.

      I understand that you would have preferred more of the episode to pirates themselves, but I disagree that they needed it to make it understandable. My point is not about enjoyement but about understandability (I’m not sure if that is a word given that I’m not native English though).

      One part of your argument seems that the introduction is non-sensical because legal pirates couldn’t really work and as a result, the episode becomes less enjoyable. What I actually disagree with is the part where you think it is non-sensical.

      Now, do you agree that as it is currently presented, there is (for now) nothing absurd about legal pirates given the setting that has been presented so far?

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      • Noobmage…we know. By this point, we should all know what the other’s problem is. I recognize that you’ve tried to make it clear that you aren’t trying to pick a fight, but that you have an aggressive argument (or debate, if you prefer) style. Knowing this, I’ll give you a bit of advice, as someone who’s spent a lot of time on the internet: don’t needlessly tick off site admins. Because that’s what you’re doing amounts to. We all know each other’s opinions. Believe me, we understand where you’re coming from and what your point is. You, me, and M0rg0th have all expressed what we think, and this needlessly long discussion has gone on long enough. I would actually like to apologize to the otakuness staff, as my comment served only to lengthen this debate, and by doing so I consider it as much my fault as I do Noobmage’s. That said, Noobmage. As M0rg0th has tried to point out many times, this discussion needs to wait for another time and another post (like, the impression for the second episode). So cool your jets ’till next week. Please don’t take offense, none was intended. I really have no attachment to getting the last word in, so if you want to comment more, feel free. I have no plans to do so. However, should you comment again, I simply ask that you comment on a different topic (e.g. how you liked the animation. Whatever). Once again, I sincerely apologize to all involved parties for dragging this out even further.

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  12. @John Sato
    I was actually ready to let it go before you posted your first meessage but after you posted it, Morgoth said :”Well, Noobmage’s position was that it didn’t need to explain this because using historical knowledge one can just fill the plotholes with it. ”
    I feel that the above quote misrepresent my actual position and wanted to correct it.
    Do you agree or disagree that the above quote accurately represents my position?
    If you think that it does represent me, where would be your evidence?
    Quote from me:”They didn’t need to explain it because it’s obvious with some common sense OR if you have a bit of culture about pirates.” (emphasis mine)
    I said this before Morgoth went and tried to sum up my position with the first quote.

    I did use historical references, but that was to answer Morgoth’s questions like:
    “Yeah, because an official document saying “Uh, I’m fine with you being a pirate and all, fight for us!” is the kind of thing that convinces free pirates to fight for the losing side in a war. There should be a bit more to that than what this series said about it, shouldn’t it? That’s what I criticize, a history book is probably just the proof for why I criticize it in the first place.”
    or
    “Show me the part in the episode where it says something similar to what Wikipedia says there and I change my opinion about this.”

    Moreover, the criticism I took issue with (that legal pirates don’t make sense in the current setting) is one that Morgoth leveled at the FIRST episode of the anime, so it would seem fair that we could discuss it on the first episode. If Moretsu Pirates introduced elements inconsistent with legal pirates in its later episodes, then such a criticism would be valid if aimed at those later episodes or the anime as a whole, but NOT at the first episode.

    Now, do you agree that as it is currently presented, there is (for now) nothing absurd about legal pirates given the setting that has been presented so far?
    If not, why?

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  13. @Noobmage:
    *sigh* You’re one stubborn fella, aren’t you? Uhm, so no, sorry, I don’t change my opinion about it despite your arguments and I know that you can’t sleep soundly at night without the satisfaction of convincing me that you’re right but yeah…
    Just deal with it 😀 .

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    • So no argument?
      The point was not to convince you but to understand your position.
      So you are of the opinion that is ok to misrepresent someone and just say “Just deal with it” afterward?
      I guess that’s one way of seeing things and even though I find it dishonnest, that’s your blog after all.

      Like

      • Just wait for the final review at the end of next season, then you can get obnoxiously stubborn again 😉 . Can you do that? No, don’t answer, just wait, okay?

        Like

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