Saturday, April 28, 2012

YES. Canon Yuri Couple Confirmed in Mouretsu Pirates Episode 17!



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.


Ali said...

Yes. I was totally fangirl squealing on the inside with this episode. It my Saturday so much more enjoyable. I was so thrilled to see their relationship was not just left to subtext but portrayed right out in the open.

This is how I like my yuri!

Katherine Hanson said...

@Ali- Yes! I completely agree. I'm so used to making soup from stones when it comes to looking for yuri in anime (and watching shows that I don't think are good for utterly unambiguous yuri) that this episode was a breath of fresh air.

Erica Friedman said...

Interestingly, the production group said there'd be no romance in this anime and when fans asked about Jenny and Lynn they said, nope.

So glad they lied.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Erica- Me too.

That reminds me of when Urobuchi Gen said Madoka Magica was going to be a cute, healing show. Oh, those sneaky show creators. :-)

Steven said...

I had to suppress squealing loudly at that scene since my roommates don't completely understand my fanboy(girl)ishness towards it (accept, yes, understand, no). The acceptance of Jenny and Lynn's relationship by the members of the yacht club was wonderful as was their reactions (especially Chiaki's and the Serenity princesses').

On a slightly different note about the series... I've noticed that Misa is a rather interesting character in terms of 'strong female characters'. According to her official profile she's the ship's doctor but over the course of the series, and especially in the past couple episodes while the crew was stuck in quarantine, she's shown that she's "in charge" so to speak. It seems that she's the ship's first officer (like Riker is to Picard in Star Trek). Also of note is that despite being the one in the most revealing outfit she's never used sex appeal to get things done, she just tells the crew what to do and, though they might make objections to the decisions (and the objections they do make have nothing to do with Misa being a woman or not an official officer), they do it.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Steven- my roommates don't completely understand my fanboy(girl)ishness towards it (accept, yes, understand, no)
Heh, I know what that's like. (I'd just get back at my old roommate for her ribbing about my anime obsession by ribbing her about her Twilight obsession.)

And your comments on Misa are right on the mark. She does increasingly seem like the crew member who's most in charge. (First officer-like, as you noted.) And I like how, even though she has the most revealing outfit, the show doesn't make it feel exploitative and she doesn't use her sex appeal (or more importantly, need to use it) to get what she wants done.

Overlord-G said...

I think this was the most talked about episode during my episodic coverage of Mouretsu Pirates, and for good reason. Seriously, this episode made a HUGE impact last year. It's like "we already had Chiaki and Gruier vying for Captain Marika's attention and affections, now we got a 100% canon couple to boot? There was a reason this show was my #1 favorite anime of 2012 AND an anime I labeled with the word, PERFECT!

P.S., I am more of a Luca fan but Misa as a character's pretty cool too. After all, Misa was pretty much like the second in command of the Bentenmaru Crew AND kinda like Captain Marika's aunt figure.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha.... Well....
I look forward to the movie
they said it'll be released february 2014

Katherine Hanson said...

@Anon- I'm looking forward to it too!