When I first surveyed the Winter anime list, I was also following at the same time a live-action show called Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, a pirate-themed show in the ever-famous Super Sentai genre of live-action programming. Because I was enjoying the series thus far, I was eager to see more pirate-themed shows. Mouretsu Pirates filled that bill. Of course, though the show did catch my interest greatly, I also had a bit of hesitation, as it could just be a novelty show focusing on stuff like fanservice or forced gags aiming for canned laughter. Nonetheless, I sank my teeth into Mouretsu Pirates the moment the first episode came out. What I saw greatly surprised me.
Though it can be said that Mouretsu Pirates is a novelty show, in a sense, it is one with substance. Expecting to see tons of fanservice the moment I started the show, I was surprised to see how little it had, given that the photo showed Marika wearing the miniskirt from her school uniform. Instead, the show comes off as a pretty serious study of Marika's character, from her motivations, to her support group, such as the Yacht Club from her school, Chiaki and her father, Kenjo, and Ririka. Though a bit of a hit and miss proposition, the show also manages to blend in lighthearted and hilarious moments with the predominant seriousness of the show.
Despite the glaring flaws, Mouretsu Pirates is a pretty solid and entertaining show. While by no means it is a ground-breaking show like Madoka Magica, it is a show that has substance. A show that focuses not on Marika's curves (though viewers are given a glimpse of that once in a while), but rather on her genius and determination, which earned her the right to command the Bentenmaru crew. As of this moment, Sentai Filmworks has licensed the show for North American Distribution, though DVDs have yet to be released. The show is also available for streaming at Crunchyroll.