Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee)

I deliver this to Jiggy Pepper

       This episode begins with Nelli reaching the Bifrost bridge only to find the main span missing. She wonders where the bridge is when the guardian (Signal) tells her that he is able to verify the identity of all those wishing to cross bridge by using the smoke from his pipe. She tries to show the crossing pass but he tells her that his pipe can’t confirm that she’s Lag Seeing, so he summons a monster to deal with her.

The bridge is out

I am the gate keeperMy magic pipe can tell who you areYou are not Lag Seeing

You're in deep shit

         Just as the monster is about to get Nelli, Niche and Lag arrive on the scene, and Niche uses her swords to open a passage for Nelli to escape. In the skirmish Nelli and her letter are separated, Lag decides to go after the letter, and as he does so, he ends up firing a Shindan from his hand that strikes Nello’s letter and releases his memories of his relationship with Jiggy. It turns out that Jiggy didn’t want to leave Dead End Town, but Nello urges him forward towards his dreams. Nello tells Jiggy that someday he’ll become a man like Jiggy and protect Nelli, Jiggy gives Nello a fist bump, and tells him to protect Nelli for him. As Nello lays dying, he tells Jiggy that he’s sorry that he can’t protect his sister and he asks Jiggy to protect Nelli.

Niche on the move

the letter is downthe letter holds the heartLag firing the shindan

I can't leave you all behindSome day I'll become a manthe fist bump

I can't protect my sister

He wanted to protect you

      Later, Lag tells Nelli that Nello wasn’t mad that Jiggy left, he was sad that he couldn’t become a man and protect his sister. Lag wonders why a Shindan came out of his hand and the traveler walks up and tells him that Shindan are created from the spirit amber, heart shaped into a bullet, and the gun is merely a tool that helps shape the bullet properly. So, since Lag has amber in his body his body became the gun and shot the bullet, and he goes on to speculate that Lag’s Shindan has the power to peer inside the feelings and emotions stored inside a object. Then we get a further memory that points to the fact that Jiggy might have been responsible for the construction of the church so Nelli could have a job providing food and medicine for Nello, and then the church could provide shelter for the children and change the town. Well, Nelli kind of blows this off, but she give Lag his crossing pass back.

you are the spirit gun

      Lag grabs Nelli and tells her that they’ll just find out Jiggy’s true feelings. As Lag heads off with Nelli, the traveler tries to grab Niche, but she see him, and easily avoids his attempt.

stay away from me

       The traveler then talks with the bridge’s guardian (Camus), and the guardian asks Master Lloyd if he’ll be heading back to the main post office? Then we see that Lag has taken Nelli to the church where he tells her he intends to shoot the church with his shindan to find out the truth.

Master Lloyd

       Well, Lag fires his Shindan at the church but nothing happens, so he fires it again and again until he collapses. Nelli tries to go to Lag but Niche blocks her, and says that if she ever hurts Lag again she’ll kill her. Lag tells Niche, bad, don’t say such things. Well, Lag tells Nelli that Jiggy must have cared for them like Gauche cared for his sister, so Nelli directs him to the church’s bell which was made on the other side of the river.

Lag firing his shindan

Don't touch Lag

       Well, Lag’s Shindan reveals that Jiggy did indeed commission the construction of the largest bell in all of Amberground for the church, he wanted it to be a beacon of hope for those who gaze upon it, and some day he wished to stand there with Nello & Nelli. In the end, Nelli refuses to let Lag take the letter saying that she wants to save up and send it on her own. Nelli tells Lag that some day she wants to become like Jiggy, and she also wishes Lag luck in becoming a Bee. Well, this episode ends with Lag heading towards the bridge, and Nelli heading back towards town.

the light of the church

Why do 001Why do 002keep back from my Lag

I want to be like Jiggy

       Well, this was one hell of an episode with us getting to see how Lag and Niche function as a team even though Lag still refuses to acknowledge Niche as his dingo. Also, Lag and Niche got to indirectly meet the Head Bee which was the position that Gauche was striving for. One thing that confuses me is why the Head Bee is after Niche/the child of Maka? It can’t be money, I assume the Head Bee has to make big dollars unless my original theory of there being some sort of corruption existing between the upper Bee management and the Amberground government.  At least it’s proven that some of the Bee’s make a little side money by carrying non-posted items; Connor and his girly mags, and Jiggy and his non-official pickups. Well, I really look forward to see how Master Lloyd’s and Jiggy’s interest in Niche ties into the mystery of Gauche’s and Lag’s mother’s disappearances. Also, this one’s for Ghostlightning, I guessed it right with the Bifrost bridge’s nature being tied to the Norse myth, but I still haven’t got a clue how the Bifrost’s guardian, Camus ties in with the storyline. Letter Bee seems to make use of names very carefully, so I assume that Camus is the Albert Camus of The Myth of Sisyphus fame, so I’m still working on how all this links up.

Niche taking care of business

       This episode begins with Lag and Niche making it to Kyrie aka (Dead-End Town) with only one day left to spare before he has to be at his interview, all he has to do is cross the bridge tomorrow.  After asking for directions to an inn, the fact that they have a temporary crossing pass draws the attention of Nelli who was trying to get a Bee to take a letter to another Letter Bee (Jiggy) which he refused to do because of no postage or a proper address. Nelli leads them to the Cold Case hotel, a pretty run down place that charges a lot of money.

dead end town

Lag and Niche meeting NelliKyrie is a dead endcold case inn

at the inn's counter

       In the lobby, Lag runs into a traveler who has returned from Love Someone Down, he was looking to buy the child of Maka. Well, Lag gets Niche out of his presence and tells her that he’s thinking of sending her back to his home town because it’s dangerous of a girl. Niche gets pissed off, takes off her pants, and walks out on Lag. Later, Lag finds out that Nelli has taken his bag which contains his crossing pass and is on her way to the church.

he's trying to buy youI'll send you homeit's too dangerous for you

it's not dangerous

Lag you dummy

       When Lag catches up with Nelli he finds that she has his crossing pass and plans on becoming Lag Seeing. Lag tries to take his pass back but Nelli pulls out a knife and slashes his arm, and the sent of his blood draws Niche’s attention. They argue for a while then Nelli calls out the locals, and tells them Lag wants to become a government worker (Letter Bee). Nelli is pissed off because her brother Nello idolized Jiggy who left the town and became a Bee breaking his heart and causing his death.

I'm going to eat you steakits your faultthis letter caused suffering

the brawl over the pass

       As Nelli is ranting about getting her revenge on Jiggy she gets cracked upside her head by another local who wants the pass for themselves. A huge brawl starts over the crossing pass, Niche leaves the hotel to find Lag and the traveller in the lobby notices that Niche is the child of Maka and sends a message to his master (Jiggy) to come pick her up. Niche enters the fray and disables the brawling mob while Lag tells her not to hurt humans. In the end, Nelli still has the pass and runs off towards the gate. Lag starts to go after her but Niche stops him demanding to know if she’s his dingo? Lag doesn’t want to argue right it right now so he tells Niche if he doesn’t get the pass back he can’t become a Bee and Niche can’t become a dingo. So, Niche and Lag give chase to Nelli.

Take this to your master

Niche is attacking

lets talk later

      As Largo Lloyd (the traveler) watches the scene he thinks to himself that Nelli is in danger because the temporary crossing pass won’t be enough to get her through the gate, and he’s also astonished that Lag could tame a child of Maka. As Nelli is running towards the gate we get flashbacks of her brother, he loved and idolized Jiggy and was very sick, Nelli worked on the church and Nello continued writing a letter to Jiggy, but soon Nello became sick and died and Nelli swears revenge on Jiggy for breaking her brother’s heart. Well, that’s all for this episode.

he tame the Child of Maka

I'll deliver the suffering to Jiggy

         Well, this episode was pretty good, Lag continues his journey to his interview and they stop at Kyrie (Dead End Town) and Lag’s naive trusting nature causes him problems. I’m not going to comment much on lag’s youth or Nelli’s desire for revenge because I think this episode reveals a very important plot point. Up until now, all the Letter Bees seemed to be diligent government servants just doing their jobs, but we now have reason to suspect that at least one of them (Jiggy Pepper) is corrupt in some way, and where there’s smoke there’s fire. Also the name of the bridge to the capital is very interesting, Bifrost; in Norse mythology the name of the bridge linking our world to the world of the gods is also called Bifrost. The traveler made the comment that Lag’s temporary crossing pass would not be enough to get Nelli across the bridge, and if the nature of the bridge is similar to the Norse bridge she’ll be in trouble. In the Norse myth, Bifrost is guarded by a god called Heimdall who is rumored to have hearing and vision that can reach the ends of the worlds, he never sleeps, and he’s even rumored to be able to tell if people or gods are lying to him, so Nelli might be in real trouble. Overall,  a very a nice and enjoyable episode with Niche’s facial expressions and looks stealing the show.

I'll stay by your side Lag

      Well, Lag and Niche finally make it to Rent, and after a bit of searching he locates “love someone down” which looks like a circus tent. After a worker tells Lag to wait outside, Niche decides to have a look around where they find dozen of caged wounded animals. Lag says he wishes he had one as a dingo, Niche asks what a dingo is, and Lag explains the whole Letter Bee/dingo working relationship to her. Soon, a boss/or someone in charge who isn’t too friendly comes around, and after an initial bit of misunderstanding they accept the letter/Niche, give Lag a tip, and send him on his way.

I came to deliver this letter

Lots of animalsI need a dingo like theseIt doesn't have to be a animal

farewell Lag 001

       Well, as Lag is on his way to the interview he begins to wonder about Niche, then he runs into two travelers looking for a freak show called love Someone Down in Rent, and they show Lag a flier advertising a girl who has recieved the blood of the legendary Maka. Lag suddenly realizes that Niche is the new attraction at the freak show, he thinks about all the wounded animals and “borrows” the travelers’ horse and race back to Rent.

Love someone down freak show 

       Then we see Niche chained and caged with the freak show workers trying to force her to show them her rumored golden swords, they call her Maka-chan, but she says she’s called Niche. Lag races towards town thinking about Niche the whole way. Back at the freak show, Niche tells them her name is Niche and to get it right, the boss notices that she wearing pants and demands she take them off and produces a knife to threaten Niche. He tosses the knife at her but she blocks it with her hair which turns out to be her golden swords.

Niche not looking good

Lag rushing back to town

Niche's hair is swords 

       Niche uses her hair and slice through her chains. The boss is over joyed because Niche is the real deal, and he can charge big bucks for her. Then Niche turns her hair on her cage and destroys it, then she destroys all the other cages, freeing all the animals, and then she finally destroys the tent while making her escape. Lag arrives just in time to see the destruction of the tent, and to see Niche fleeing by air.

Niche destroying the tent

Niche heading into trouble 

       Lag chases after Niche who has headed into a forest filled with gaichuu, and he arrives just as Niche is facing off against a Four Roses gaichuu. Lag tells Niche to run away as he fires his gun at it, the bullet just bounces off the gaichuu, and Lag realises that the gun needs a crystal to stop the monster. Niche attacks the monster, lopping its head off with her hair but that still doesn’t kill the monster. As the monster attacks Niche, Lag dives towards her and drags her to safety.

Niche facing the monster

this gun is worthlessLag saving NicheNiche is wounded

       After Lag and Niche roll to safety, Lag sees that Niche has recieved a head wound and can’t move, so he makes his stand against the monster. Niche regains some awareness and tells Lag that she was glad she saw him again. Just when all hope seems lost, Lag’s amber eye activates and he’s able to fire the normal gun just like a real Letter Bee’s gun, destroying the monster. After Lag fires the gun he drops to the ground from exhustion, and Niche feels the after affects of Lags use of his heart. Niche see all his sad partings; his mother, Gauche, his aunt, the town, and Niche, and all his emotions touch Niche.

Niche glad to see lag again

Lag protecting NicheLag's eye acting upMonster destroyed

Niche seeing Lag's heart

        Lag looks at Niche and tells her he was glad he could see her again, and Niche goes over to Lag and starts licking his wounds. Lag tells her to stop, but Niche tells Lag to be quiet saying that his wounds will heal faster. Niche tells lag that she’s only ever done this for herself, but because he named her, made her wear pants, and because goodbyes are so sad for him, she’ll stay by his side.

Lag glad to see Niche

healing faster

Goodbye hurt you Lag

        After they get out of the forest they see that they’re being followed by a small creature that Niche freed from the freak show, which takes a liking to Niche and she names it Steak. Afterwards, Lag says he’s sorry for taking her to a place like that, and Niche asks, so you failed at your job? Lag says, no, pointing to Niche’s now destroyed address label, and says address unknown, you’re no longer a letter, just Niche.

Niche's friend

You're now just Niche

       Niche tells Lag that she’s not just Niche, but she’s now Lag’s dingo. Niche asks Lag if he really said that anyone could become a dingo as long as they’re strong, Lag starts to argue but Niche says not to worry because while Lag’s weak, she’s strong. The episode ends with Lag following Niche as she heads towards Lag’s destination.

I'm now Lag's dingo

       Well, this episode of Letter Bee was very entertaining and enjoyable, but the really interesting thing is how the episode highlights the differences between Lag and Gauche, and how their differences will affect the rest of the series.

       The first major difference between Gauche and Lag is that Lag wears his heart on his sleeve while Gauche hide his true feelings until the end. When Gauche first met Lag he really cared more about the completion of the job than he really cared about the “Person”, Lag. To Gauche, Lag never really became a person until after he was delivered.

        On the other hand, Lag Seeing, immediately begins to transform/humanize the “letter” into the “human or human-like” Niche.  When Gauche asked the “letter” what his name was, it was more for confirmation and management purposes, OK, you’re Lag Seeing, so I got to deliver you.  Lag’s reaction to his “letter” is quite different from Gauche’s reaction, once Lag discovers that she had no real name he almost at once goes about giving the “letter” a name thereby transforming Niche from a letter/object to a unique individual.

       Also, Lag must have understood by the end of third episode that Niche wasn’t quite human or at least not normal but he chose to treat Niche as a human girl by demanding that she put on some pants. It was clear that Lag’s decision to have Niche wear pants upset the freak show’s owner, since he considered Niche/Maka to be nothing more than another creature to be displayed and tamed.  So, in one episode, Lag has managed to individualize and humanize Niche, and gave her feelings of self-worth for the first time, “My name is Niche!” Later, Niche goes on to do the same thing of the creature that followed her into the woods, once Niche decided to accept the creature as a traveling companion she names it, “Steak”.

      Now, to one of the more notable fan service moments of the episode, the Niche on top of Lag scene, while one can add sexual context to any scene where you see a girl sitting atop a guy licking him, I found this scene to be quite touching/uplifting (the writer beats back his inner lolicon). In the previous episode Niche noticed Lag licking his wound and comments that she also licked her wounds, so when Niche licks Lag’s wounds and tells him that she has only done this for herself, Niche has fully accepted Lag as a member of her family. Now, I tend to look at Lag, Niche, and Steak as a pack, and we really know who runs the show. 

wait for me mom, Gauche 

      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.

this is amberground

you're like my second mother 

      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.

you need to be tougher 

      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.

lag finding the girlincomplete addressnot enough postage

love someone down

      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.

me in the old days

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.

you're weak Lag 

      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.

put on some underwear

I don't want too

      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.

you're a good girlyour actually beautifulyou have pretty eyes

Niche wearing the pants 

      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.

call me Niche

     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.

I want to be a letter bee

        Gauche and Lag continue their journey together, and Lag asks Gauche a lot of questions about the memories she saw after being healed by Gauche’s shot; like what the Head Bee is, how old his cute sister is (the same age as Lag [7]), has he smooched or rubbed the breasts of the cute female Letter Bee, Aria? While Lag is being an energetic and lively young boy Gauche still doesn’t seems to have warmed to him yet.

Sylvette's pretty cute

       Later, we get a little skit about how Lag’s so sick of Gauche’s soup that it forces Gauche to try and catch some food. But, after utter failure by both of them they give up only to see that Roda finally made the kill.

Roda's got the food

       Then Gauche asks Lag to write a letter to someone, and Lag refuses by  asking what’s a letter worth? Gauche says that a letter written to someone who will shed a tear for you contains a piece of your heart for them. Lag then begs Gauche to take him to the capital (Akatsuki) so he can track down his mother, and Gauche tells him  that it’s not that easy. Gauche tells him that unless you’re called into government service and issued a crossing pass you can’t cross the bridge into the Yuusari area.

a letter contain part of the heart

      But, Lag asks him to use his pass, and Gauche tells him that couldn’t he see from his memories how he needs to earn more point before he can move his sister to the capital and even now she has to live alone while he works. Lag asks him if he knows why his mother was taken, and he tells Lag that if his mother was taken to the capital it might not be as bad as he thinks. Gauche tells Lag that his situation is really none of his concern, and Lag asks him if that means they can’t be friends? Gauche tells Lag that his only concern is that he’s delivered safely to his address, Lag says he hates Gauche and all Letter Bees.

I can't be your friend

I hate you

       The next morning, Gauche awakens from a dream about his sister and Lag to find his gun missing along with Lag and Roda. Then we see Lag walking through the desert with Gauche’s gun saying that he’s going to fight his way across the bridge without a crossing pass. A short while later, Lag is ambushed by a Gaichuu that is like a ground spider, and Lag is in danger of falling into its pit and being killed. Soon, Gauche comes swinging down on a rope held by Roda to save Lag for the time being. Gauche is injured in the process and he asks Lag to aim the gun while he pulles the trigger, they miss. So, Gauche figures that their only chance is to jump towards the monster next time it fires its weapon.

fire the gun Lag

       When they jump, Gauche figures out why Lag and his gun reacts the way it does, it seems that Lag’s left eye is a spirit crystal, a protective charm from his mother. Gauche and Lag are separated while falling, and Gauche tells Lag to fire the gun. The shot kills the monster and Lag and Gauche’s memories resonates with each other, Lag experiences Gauche and his sister’s love, and Gauche experiences Lag and his mother’s love (Lag’s mother wanted him to live more than anything).

Lag's left eyeyour life is my giftStay by my side Gauche

       Later, we see Lag carrying an injured Gauche across the landscape saying I’m a letter, I’m a heart. When Gauche wakes up, he thinks that it’s Sylvette by his side, but it’s Lag. Lag has carried him all the way to Mary’s house. The first thing that Gauche does when he sees Mary is to ask for his delivery slip to be signed, and Mary tosses him out of the house for his rudeness after Lag nursed him for three days, get out government man.

Lag carrying Gauche

        As Gauche wanders the city, he finds that no one will rent him a room or sell him any supplies. Later, Lag finds Gauche and tells him that this is an illegal port city and the residents are afraid of outsiders finding out too much. Lag brings food and supplies for Gauche and before Gauche departs he hugs Lag and says that now that the delivery is over, Lag is my friend. He tells Lag that now he’s a man, and he did well, Lag cries as he hears Gauche’s words.

they're frightened of outsiders

You're now a man Lag seeing

       Before Gauche leaves, he tells Lag to keep his eye secret so he’s not targeted because of it, and he tells Lag that when he reaches the capital he’ll look for Lag’s mother. Gauche also tells Lag that now that a route to this city is know it won’t be long before other Letter Bees arrive carrying precious letters. As Gauche is walking away, Lag yells that someday he’ll become a Letter Bee.

I'll look for your mother

       We now flash forward five years into the future and we see Lag standing outside his city saying that now he can get closer to finding his Mother, and Gauche, because he can become a Letter Bee. Well, that’s all for this episode.

I'll find everyone

       Nice episode, I was just beginning to wonder if Gauche really was a cold bastard, but he showed that while on the job, he’s all business. It was also an interesting surprise to find out that Lag’s left eye is a spirit crystal placed there by his mother as a protective charm. I also found it pretty nice seeing both Lag and Gauche sharing precious memories after Lag fires that killing shot at the Gaichuu, and I think this was a critical point for Lag because he comes to understand that he needs to go with Gauche because his mother wanted him to live more than anything else. When Lag shared in Gauche’s memories he saw the reason why Gauche takes his job so seriously, Sylvette (damn, she’s cute). I, also liked how Gauche was able to make it alright with Lag at the very end by telling him that since the job is done they’re now friends, and he also tells Lag that he’s now a man. After Lag makes his vow to Gauche that he’ll become a Letter Bee in the future I wonder if my first episode prediction that Lag will hookup with Sylvette will come true?

the gun is getting ready to fire 

      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).

Gauche looking for an address

Lag is the letter 

        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. 

how do you know my name 

        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.

Gauche carrying Lag 

         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.

this land is filled with dangerous creaturesI use this gun to fightShindanjuu is charging

the gun is ready to fireblasting the monsterhearing the monster crying

         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.

Lag's heart is driving the gun 

          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.

Drop the gun Lag

Memories of Lag's mother

          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. 

Gauche's sister Sylvette 

       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.

so, many monsters 

         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.

remembering Gauche's sister

the aftermath of the battle

         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.

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