Saturday, April 28, 2012
Jenny and Lynn! Jenny and Lynn!
I haven't felt this utterly satisfied by a new anime series in a long time. THANK YOU, Mouretsu Pirates!
Brief recap for those who haven't been watching this show:
In the distant future, 16 year old Marika finds out that her father was captain of a space pirate (well, more like privateer) ship called the Bentenmaru. Marika chooses to take his place as captain and starts training under the supervision of the Bentenmaru's crew. It helps that she's used to piloting space ships as a result of being in her school's Yacht Club. Chiaki, the prickly daughter of another space pirate captain, joins the Yacht Club and befriends Marika. There's some nice shippability between Marika and Chiaki.
Over the course of the show, the Yacht Club's President Jenny graduates, and the Yacht Club's former Vice President, Lynn, takes over.
Additionally, the Bentenmaru's crew gets exposed to an illness that requires them to be quarantined for a month. The Bentenmaru will lose its pirating license if it doesn't carry out any piracy during that time, so Marika recruits her friends from the Yacht Club for a standard pirating mission. After much foreshadowing, Lynn asks Marika and the others to accept Jenny's request for them to "kidnap" her from her arranged wedding (long story behind it) and take her to the university where she's enrolled. Jenny's family won't be able to remove her from the university once she's there. Before the Bentenmaru can take action, Jenny runs away from the wedding thanks to the gun she kept under her dress and her solo piloting skills and boards the Bentenmaru. The episode ends with Jenny's family's ships in hot pursuit of the Bentenmaru.
The two things that I liked most in this episode:
YURIYURIYURI. Duh. Jenny and Lynn are great characters on their own, and they're great as a couple. I've known for a long time that they come out as a couple in the novels this series is based on, but I'm still thrilled with how well their storyline was executed here. Jenny and Lynn's arc grew organically out of the previous arc, and it doesn't feel cheap or pandery at all. The scene in which Jenny and Lynn kissed and the girls on the Bentenmaru squealed? Loved it. Jenny and Lynn's friends didn't react any differently than if they'd seen a girl and a boy reunite with a great big hug and kiss after foiling an arranged wedding. I also loved the little hand squeeze between them before Jenny started listing how she would repay the Bentenmaru. So cute. I've enjoyed Mouretsu Pirates from it's first episode, and this just adds to how happy I am with it.
I'm also glad that Jenny saved herself more than anyone else did. Stories about women who want to escape arranged weddings are usually (if the wedding doesn't actually happen) resolved by the would-be bride being rescued by the person she really loves. (e.g. The Princess Bride, as much as I enjoy that movie.) Lynn obviously would have done whatever it took to get Jenny out of there, but I love that Jenny was the one planning her escape from beginning, before getting herself out and then saving herself again when convincing the Bentenmaru's insurance company to accept her conditions instead of her uncle's.
Bravo, Mouretsu Pirates.
Mouretsu Pirates is streaming on Crunchyroll.