When we left Captain Marika and the Bentenmaru crew at the end of Volume 6, she had just fought another, formidable, pirate ship to a standstill and forced them to run. In Miniskirt Space Pirates, Souhaku no Dokuroboshi, Volume 7 (ミニスカ宇宙海賊7 蒼白の髑髏星 ) Marika is visited by a representative of the Imperial Government’s Intelligence Division, Nash.
Nash makes Marika an eyebrow-raising offer….would the Bentenmaru like to be part of the Imperial Navy’s war games? I admit I re-read this bit a few times to make sure I got it right. War games? Yes, War games. The Navy is about to gear up for their annual war games and this year they want to integrate pirates into the scenario. Marika asks the crew and they are in.
Now that that’s settled, Nash confides to Marika that he’s actually there for two things. Yes, the government wants the Bentenmaru’s participation, but the Intelligence Division needs Marika’s help, as well. Captain Miura Grant of the Chimera of Scylla, the ship fought by the Bentenmaru and her allies, has escaped off to the Pirate’s Guild HQ, the Skull Star. No Imperial agents have ever been able to infiltrate this base. With Marika’s help, Nash wants to finally be able to gather intelligence.
We learn that Nash and Corrie, the Bentenmaru’s electronic warfare specialist, have a history. Nash implies it’s more that just friendship, but I’m inclined to believe Coorie more. She insists on coming along and Gruier demands a place, as Marika has promised to let her join the crew of the Bentenmaru, or so she says to Lynn, who comes out and asks to join after graduation. Marika demurs, but I think Lynn’s reasoning is sound. She knows she’ll be working for Jenny eventually, and wants to get some experience first. She could learn a lot from Coorie, so that makes sense all around.
So Gruier, Marika, Coorie and Nash take the Silent Whisper (the prototype cloaked ship Jenny gave to the Bentenmaru) and head off after the Chimera of Scylla. When they catch up, Marika asks Captain Miura Grant to give her entree to the Pirates’ Guild HQ, which is an asteroid that looks like a giant floating skull. Miura agrees. Marika and the gang meet Miura’s older sister Maira, who runs the Queen of Love, a hot pink whorehouse pirate ship. Maira is taken with Marika and offers her Gruier and Coorie several opportunities for dressup scenes. While Nash defects to to Miura’s ship, Marika takes the opportunity, with help from Maira, to forge a treaty with the Pirate’s Guild. So there, Nash. In your face.
Again, again, again, what I like best about this series is watching Marika being a really excellent Captain. She forges an alliance with the Pirate’s Guild. Hah! How awesome is that!
In the beginning of the novel Ririka asks her whether she’ll continue pirating after graduation and she doesn’t really have an answer. Maybe, probably not? But at the end of this book we want Marika so desperately to be a full-time pirate. She’s so good at it! With Jenny as an industry contact, Princess Gruier Serenity on her crew, she’d be the best pirate captain ever. She already is.
Illustrations have become even more perfunctory than before. This should just be a novel and stop pretending to have pictures.
I’m going to stop pretending that I may or may not read the next book. Obviously, I will.
Overall – 9
I even liked the stupid dress-up scenes this time.