I personally found the finale summing up one of the best anime of 2012. The combination of the factors concerning its presentation was a complete hit for me, but it’s unfortunately a flop for others. Realising this, I decided to write my reviews to just describe an anime (again) as it is basing from my criteria since what I find as good may not be for others. Now, here’s my Mouretsu Pirates review.
Teaser art, images, and some official art show incredibly polished, sharpened, and detailed 90s-esque character designs give and evoke the feeling of eye-candy plus makes you want to see it everytime, but seeing it animated and delivered on TV screens or streams evokes a different feeling. Polish and sharepning in the character designs are lacking and, at some episodes, details are lacking with obvious asymmetry on elementary detailing like; face shape, eye size, and hairstyles. Even if these hiccups are quite obvious, thankfully, they’re dominated by the decent scenes and frames. Background art for the Sea of the Morningstar settings continue to evoke the 90s nostalgia. They’re quite detailed and definitely helps in painting the scenes. Character and background animations are . It is on the space and ship animations where everything is completely detailed, with both traditional art and CG working together to provide an illustration and feel of the depth and greatly matches the space opera genre of this series
Stellar (pun intended) and convincing voice acting, mood-setting background musical score, upbeat songs for the opening and ending themes, bringing out the rarest and best of the seiyuu talents, musical score help paint the entire depth for each scene. It’s quite amazing how Mouretsu Pirates managed to tick all of the items in the checklist for an excellent audio presentation since Code Geass. This series was able to bring out the surprisingly great singing talent of Komatsu Mikako, the seiyuu for Kato Marika, and a rare voice (for such a role) of Hanazawa Kana, the seiyuu for Kurihara Chiaki. The musical score made by ELEMENTS GARDEN not only has a plethora of soundtracks for use on scenes but also has leitmotifs of each character. Totally paints the mood, the scene, and the depth of the story and setting. The songs used for the opening and ending themes are upbeat, with some mellow ones painting the conclusion for each story arc.
Writing, Story, and Direction
This series is a space opera narrating the adventures, friendships, and life of Kato Marika as highschool student, part-time worker in a maid cafe, and pirate working under letters of marque. It narrated at least five story arcs in a dialogue-, event-, scene-, and story-heavy method for depth and character development reasons. Writing for the dialogues and event ordering definitely made sense and were cohesive with the main story. It is interesting to note that the writing was done in an idealistic and inspiring sense, with a handful of symbolism and metaphors to boot. This series also executed the link to a possible sequel and movie in a good way. Despite the director’s move to remove the romance content in the story to explore the friendship bonds between the characters, yuri subtext still exist and most of them are obvious, with all of them sprinkled over the entire series. The direction made use of every resource the series has in order to portray this deep space opera without any loss of context and story significance. Enjoyment for this series could only be extracted by a, frankly, limited number of people who can absorb, appreciate, and immerse themselves in the depth of this series.
Mouretsu Pirates is perhaps one of the best and/or notable series to come to a half-decade or so. It is recommended to people who loves (or tolerates) long narrations, space operas, and “deep” series. Those who want to identify and appreciate more tropes may want to take a look on this too. However, it is apparently not recommended for those who have a prejudice against girl-on-girl romances or yuri, especially with the sprinkled subtext noted above. Hardcore and dedicated fans of the yuri genre may want to take a look at this, but they may get disappointed with the lack of “proper” yuri.
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