Volume 5 of Miniskirt Pirates added a level of complexity to the “Three Ships” arc without resolving it. Jackie Kelvin, aka Jackie Celsius, aka Jackie Fahrenheight, who had been trying to obtain Hakuoh High School Yacht Club’s training ship, the Odette 2 (which has originally been known as the Whitebird and was, in fact, one of the original seven pirate ships from the Galactic war) turns out to have been hired by the Pirate Guild.
In Miniskirt Pirates, Crimson Pirate Ship, Volume 6 ( ミニスカ宇宙海賊6 真紅の海賊船) having fought Jackie to a standstill, the Pirate Guild’s representative, the cuthroat Captain Miura Grant of the Chimera of Scylla, appears and the fight continues. Grant grabs control of the Odette (and it’s star-killing weapon) and runs into hyperspace. The Bentenmaru and Barbarossa give chase, and are joined by several other ships.
The key point of this entire novel is this scene, in which Marika finds herself in command of not only her own two crews (the Bentenmaru’s professional crew and the Odette’s (now under Ririka’s direct command) amateurs, but also being encouraged to lead by Kenjo Kurihara (Chiaki’s father and captain of the Barbarossa) and in indirect control of several other ships, who have joined to help her. Kenjo cheerfully points out to her that Captain Kato Marika is now in control of her own fleet.
At that moment, you can feel the shadow of her father, Gozaemon, looming up behind her.
Something else happens at that moment. Gozaemon starts to be mentioned. By name. Not as Marika’s father, or the former captain, but just here and there by name. If you’ve watched the anime, you’ve seen the utterly unsubtle foreshadowing that this echoes.
With the help of the Koukuchou, the Glamorous Ridis, the Death Shadow, and other ships, the Bentenmaru and Barbarossa free the Odette from the clutches of the Pirate Guild. Jackie bails, and Grant retreats.
Back in Volume 5, I said that if this arc doesn’t end in Volume 6, I might not read the next one. But realistically, there’s no chance now that I won’t. I can guess some of what is going to happen and I want to see where it goes.
As I did with Volume 5, I read this novel on Bookwalker Global. Now that I’ve adjusted the type on my Surface to suit my tired eyes, I find reading a page or two digitally every night not insurmountable. As a result, I think I’m moving more quickly though the book than I did in print.
I’m into Volume 7 now and the arc is still ongoing. I already know the climax, but the arc isn’t what’s driving me forward, it is and always has been, the characters. And I really want to know what’s going to happen to them.
Overall – 7
Still a lot of technobabble and space fighting, with a soupçon of electronic warfare and good ole’ reconnaissance and subterfuge. It’s a damn good military/pirate adventure and I can feel the end already.
Ahoy, Volume 7, here I come!