Thursday, January 26, 2012

FIRST LOOK: Moretsu Pirates

Moretsu Pirates, also known as Bodacious Pirates, tells the story of Kato Marika, a high school girl who turns out to be the daughter of a pirate captain. The series begins with Marika, being observed by a suspicious-looking duo as she lands a spaceship. She's very skillful about it, which leads the duo to conclude that she is really someone's daughter. Who is this someone, you say? Why, it's a pirate captain of the very famous pirate ship, Bentenmaru. But pirates in this series, unlike common knowledge today, are actually the good guys and are completely legal. As in, they have an actual pirate's license. Hilarious, I know. 

So anyhoo, this part of Marika's heritage has been kept secret by her mother until one evening when the same suspicious-looking duo pay her a visit. They bring sad tidings: the captain of Bentenmaru, Marika's father, has died. Which means that Bentenmaru is without captain. Which also means that Marika may have take over the helm. Oh wow. Apparently, this is a most coveted position and many people soon get interested in Marika to the point where someone attempts to kidnap her. Fortunately for Marika, a transfer student classmate of hers, named Kurihara Chiaki, saves her skin. 

Chiaki also happens to be a member of the same yacht club that Marika is in. The yacht club isn't what you typically know to be a yacht club. Instead, it's more like a spaceship enthusiast club but with real spaceships. The club's adviser is Kane McDougal who also happens to be Marika and Chiaki's homeroom adviser, who also happens to be the helmsman of the Bentenmaru. In other words, he's totally there just to stalk Marika and report about her to the other crewmembers. Again, this is because she could be the next captain of the Bentenmaru. Also because of this very real possibility, Ririka, Marika's mother, takes her out one night to teach her how to shoot guns.

The end.

LOLz, no. The series has 25 episodes so we're far from that.

This series isn't in my short list. I guess I wasn't too impressed with the plot or the promo pics. But after reading a somewhat glowing review from the dudes at ANN, I thought I'd give this a try. After watching the first two episodes, here are my impressions:

Not really digging the plot. I really don't get how high school kids in anime end up being the pilot of The World's Super Secret Massive Amazing Weapon or some such. Especially, when there's absolutely no basis for the superior skills that they develop other than that they are "special." Moretsu Pirates seems to be taking that course as well although it's too early to tell. At least, the storytellers have bothered to explain how Marika got her pilot skills -- from the yacht club. But, as one of the characters said, piloting is different from commanding, and that particular skill requires careful honing and may take years to develop. Will Marika grow into the role? Or will she get dropped into it like the proverbial pirate from space?

Not really digging the visuals. While the animation is smooth in many parts, the CGI shiny, there's something off about the character designs. The hairs are almost restro, yet not, and it bothers me somewhat.

Not really digging the characters. I've never liked the main characters in shounen series so I kind of expected the fact that there's not much love between me and Marika. But usually I'd like the sidekick, and in Moretsu Pirates, that would be Chiaki, but I don't like her all that much either. Ririka seems a bit cool but she's the older, wise chick and I'm pretty sure she'll rarely appear in the series or may even die later  for the sake of character development so I'm not willing to watch the series just for a glimpse of her and have all my emotions invested in a character who may die in the end.

Not really digging the music. Or I think I wouldn't if only I can remember what the music sounded like. Honestly, I've forgotten about it.

verdict: giving it the 3-episode test

more screencaps from episode 2: