This series begins with a letter carrier searching for the location of a scheduled pickup, when he finally located the right spot he finds a young sleeping child chained to a post with a delivery address placed on his arm. When the child awakens, the mail carrier introduces himself as Gauche Suede (age 18), and his dog (Roda) to the child (Lag Seeing). The kid freaks out because Gauche knows his name and asks him if he’s part of the group that took his mother away to the light, Gauche looks towards the light and asks if they took her to the capital city (Akatsuki).
After Gauche is sure that the kid is really Lag, he tells Lag that he’s a member of Amberground’s national postal service who are known as a Bee, or as a Letter Bee, and he’ll be ensuring his delivery since he found the proper postage on his address label.
After giving his introduction to Lag, Gauche is very indifferent to the child by saying that he needs to know nothing more about him, and he asks Lag to not ask him any questions. Once the time comes to leave, Lag refuses to move, so Gauche has to carry him on his shoulders. The delivery address is to an old lady (Sabrina Mary) that Lag and his mother once knew and the postage was paid by Anne Seeing (Lag’s mother). When Lag hears this, he begins to cry, saying that it had to be the bad men because his mother would never send him away.
Well, after awhile, Lag tells Gauche that he can walk on his own, and Gauche says that he has to listen to him because their route is dangerous. Gauche tells him that giant armoured insect called Gaichuu lived in the area, and those insects are attracted to the human heart. Well, speak of the devil, soon Gauche and Lag are attacked by a Gaichuu called a Daikiri. While Roda decoys the Gaichuu’s attacks, Gauche takes Lag to a place where he can uses his shotgun-like weapon called a Shindanjuu. Lag says he thought bullets wouldn’t work against a Gaichuu’s, and Gauche says that he needs to concentrate to use his weapon. When Gauche begins to use his weapon some jewels/crystals begin to glow, and when he fires, a black energy blast leaves the gun and strikes the Gaichuu killing it. As the insect lays dying, Lags says he thinks that he can hear it crying, but Gauche claims that the Gaichuu have no heart.
After the fight, Gauche and Lag argue, and Gauche tells him to cut him some slack since he just fired his Shindan. Gauche explains to Lag that the gun fires bullets that are made out of pieces of his own heart that interact with a piece of spirit amber located on the gun and if he fires all of his heart he’ll die. As Gauche tells Lag to call it a day, Lag picks the gun up and says that if he had a gun like this he could have protected his mother, and the gun begins to react to Lag’s desire and powers up.
As the guns begins to overpower Lag, Gauche yells for him to drop it, and he sends Roda after the gun but it fires before Roda can get to him. The blast strikes Gauche a glancing blow, and Gauche experiences Lag’s memories of him and his mother and Gauche understands that this is the part of Lag’s heart the gun fired. When Gauche finally comes back to himself he finds Lag unconscious on the ground.
Later, we see that Gauche has found shelter so Lag can recover. He tells Lag that he fired too much of his heart and that Gauche had to shot him with a healing shot from the Shindan to help him recover. After Lag falls back asleep Gauche says that he was affected by Lag’s heart, and he thinks to himself that this is what having a mother feels like. Then Gauche takes a picture of a young girl out, and says that he worried, and wishes to see Sylvette again.
Later, Roda starts to sense something and they both head outside to finds hundreds of Gaichuu gathered near the cave. Gauche says that because so much of Lag’s heart was released it was like fireworks drawing a crowd. He tells Roda he’s fine and this is like working overtime, as he readies his weapon for use.
As Lag is sleeping he dreams of Gauche’s Letter Bee training, and he dreams of Gauche’s relationship with his younger sister, Sylvette (this must be an after affect of the healing shot Gauche used on him). When Lag awakens he finds the wreckage of the destroyed Gaichuu, and he sees Roda and Gauche passed out. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, the first episode of Letter Bee was pretty interesting but slow in parts due to the nature of first episodes having to spend a lot of time on the setup. I felt that the backgrounds and character designs were well designed and well animated but the designs of the Gaichuu seemed clunky and out of place with the overall animated design.
When the episode first began I really didn’t feel much connection with Gauche because of his seemly cold and impersonal manner he showed with his first interactions with Lag. While on the other hand I easily could identify with Lag’s situation, and who wouldn’t feel some affection or sympathy for someone who just had their mother snatched away from them. If this had been a typical hero’s journey/buddy tale story Lag and Gauche would have immediately bonded and set off to rescue Lag’s mother. But, as we learn later in the episode, Gauche has his own reasons for being all business when it comes to his job , and this is where the show follows a typical shonen storyline. In a typical shonen story the main characters’ motivation to fight and win is to “protect” someone, and both Lag and Gauche show these tendencies. Lag wishes that he had a gun like the one Gauche has so he would have been able to protect his mother, and Gauche risks his life for his job so that he can make enough money to be able to keep his disabled sister out of poverty and maybe earn enough to get her legs fixed. I found the memory scene of Gauche telling his sister about his promotion very interesting because she’s clearly sad about the news of his dangerous job, did Gauche ever asks Sylvette if he wants him to risk his life for her benefit, she seemed pretty happy with their current arraignment.
Where this series sort of crosses with a magic girl type anime is with the whole you fight with a gun that is powered by your heart bit. In the magic girl genre, a girls’ powers are related to the love they hold in their hearts, and how much power they have to expend and how much damage that can withstand is linked to strength of heart. But, in this series, it seems that unlike in the magic genre, the strength of a letter bee’s heart has a limit and once you use it up very bad things could happen.
Well, overall I found the first episode of Letter Bee very interesting and I look forward to the upcoming episode, but I hope the doesn’t go down what I would consider to be a predictable path; Gauche uses up is heart and turns into a bad guy then Lag hooks up with Sylvette to use their love for Gauche to somehow save him (even though I think that Lag and Sylvette might be a nice match).
The Gunslinger’s Creed
I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my gun; he who shoots with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.