Well, this episode starts out with a narrator giving us the geographic and social lay out of Amberground. Then we see a Letter Bee heading towards town to pick up Lag for interview with the postal service, and then we see his aunt having flashbacks of the five years that have passed since Lag came to live with her. After the Letter Bee (Connor) drops off letters and packages he tells Lag to say all his goodbyes. Lag says his goodbyes, accepts parting gifts from friends, and has a tearful parting with Aunt Sabrina who tells him to find his real mother, Anne.
When Connor and Lag get to the next stop, Connor asks Lag about his dingo, and Lag tells him that he wouldn’t listen to him so he doesn’t have one. Connor tells Lag that he has to be tough underneath his soft exterior. Connor goes on to tell Lag that a Letter Bee’s abilities are based on what kind of dingo they have. As they’re walking down a corridor, Lag asks Connor if a Letter Bee can have something other than a dog, and he says that a trained lion or panther might do. Just then, Lag steps on a piece of broken masonry and notices a little girl chained to a pillar.
Well, Connor looks over the girl and tells Lag the she’s a letter. No, after he looks over the postage slip more carefully, he tells Lag that her address isn’t complete and she has insufficient postage with no return address, so she can’t be recognized as a letter and will be destroyed. Lag begins to freak out, but Connor tells Lag that what he means by being destroyed is that after a few days the girl’s chains will be cut and she’s on her own. Lag goes back to the girl and looks over her address tag again and asks Connor if she really can’t be delivered, and Connor tells him no way as they rush to meet the train.
Inside the train, Lag tells Connor that the town of rent is only 30 units away and he thinks that he can deliver the girl and make it to the interview in time. Connor tries to talk Lag out of the idea, but Lag tells Connor that the girl was in the same situation that he was in when Gauche came along and if Gauche had left him he would have……… Lag starts to leave the train but Connor stops him, and gives him a note and says that if you show this to the station master he’ll help you, he also gives Lag a temporary crossing pass.
As the train is pulling away, Connor sees a flier advertising a freak show at Love Someone Down in the town of Rent which is part of the girl’s delivery address. As Lag begins to escort the girl to Rent, he introduces himself and asks her name, Maka, then she goes on to tell him she has many names. Lag asks her for her real name and she says that she doesn’t have one. So, Lag gives her the temporary name of Niche, meaning a small gap that holds flowers or other thing in honor of the place he found her. Soon, they’re attacked by a rock snake and before Lag can get out his gun Niche takes down the snake and tells Lag that he’s weak.
Niche is quick and nimble and is almost able to fly from rock to rock making Lag wonder if she’s really a boy. Just as Lag is thinking about that idea, Niche goes flying by him and he sees that she’s really a girl because she’s not wearing any underwear. Well, Lag tries to get her to put on some pants but she refuses. Lag tells her that she needs them because she’s a girl, but Niche tells Lag that since he seems like a person who doesn’t do bad things she doesn’t need them.
Lag goes on to tell her that even though she’s a nice girl she needs to wear something to make a good first impression. Lag goes on to tell her she’s beautiful and Niche jumps down from her rock and asks Lag if he really called her beautiful? Yes, and you have really pretty eyes. Niche jumps into the air and lands perfectly in the pants that Lag was holding, and she tells him that he’s the first man who has ever gotten her to wear pants, damn.
Well, Lag starts laughing at her comment and he begins to lick a wound on his hand. When Niche sees this she jumps back up on a rock and tells Lag that since he also licks his wounds she’s decided to use the name he gave her, Niche. Well, that’s all for this episode.
This was a very interesting and entertaining episode, and I felt that the pacing was spot on. I thought that getting some background information on the social and geographic landscape of Amberground was pretty informative. So, it seems that we have a world that exists in an enclosed underground space with an artificial sun shining over the center most portion which is called Akatsuki (of course this is the capital and only the rich live there), then Akatsuki is surrounded by a ring sea separating it from the next ring of land, Yuusari. The ring of land called Yuusari is the home of the middle class and another ring sea separates Yuusari from the outermost ring of land called, Yodoka. So, what do you know, poor Yodoka, the area furthest for the sun, is the home of the lowest members of Amberground’s society.
A lot of things have changed in the past five years for both Lag and the town of Cambel, Lag is now 12 years old and has been working hard to pass the entrance exam for the National Postal Service, and the town of Cambel is now more connected to the rest of the world thanks to it becoming an established delivery stop by the Letter Bees. Cambel had been out rightly hostile towards the government and the Letter Bees, but now that the Letter Bees have been picking up and delivering stuff to the town they’re now very friendly towards their Bee, Connor.
Well, we now find out that Lag has passed his entrance exam and has to leave with Connor to take the next step towards becoming a Letter Bee, and everything hinges on his interview, meeting Gauche again, and getting a crossing pass so he can locate his real mother. What was enlightening about this episode was that Lag behavior towards Niche establishes his future strengths and future weaknesses. Unlike Gauche who was all business while on the job, Connor points out to Lag that he needs to be tougher underneath his kind exterior.
You can see how Lag’s experiences on his journey with Gauche really formed his idea of how a Letter Bee should act and behave; his introduction to Niche was almost a carbon copy of how Gauche acted with him. The only problem that Lag has with Niche is that she’s much more powerful than him, and most likely non- human. Niche practically flies from rock to rock, she also defies the very notion of gravity, and after seeing Lag lick his wound she also says she does the same.
Another reason for suspecting that Niche is non-human or only part human is when she tells Lag that he’s the first man who’s ever gotten her to wear underwear. So, this has to mean that Niche has either grown up away from normal humans, or she is so powerful that she needs not worry if who she shows her stuff to, either way, her line to Lag is an instant classic and will find its way into one of my motivational posters sooner, or later.
Overall, this is another nice episode in a fairly interesting shonen anime series, and I look forward to watching Lag become a Letter Bee enabling him to continue his search for Gauche and his mother.