Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee)

        Well, this episode begins with Lag renting Gauche’s old room from Sylvette, and we see that Sylvette has her hands full with getting Niche to do things like brush her teeth. Later, Lag thanks Sylvette for letting him rent the room, and Sylvette makes Lag promise that as long has he’s living here he’ll come home. Then Sylvette makes Lag and Niche her brother’s favorite dish, and it tastes just like that crappy soup Gauche fed him in the first episodes.


         Later, Lag is saved from having to eat more of Sylvette’s food by a knock on the front door; Aria Link has stopped by for Lag’s first work day. Aria gives Lag a bag and tells him to hurry up and change. Outside, we see Lag reappear in a Letter Bee uniform with both Aria and Sylvette waiting on him. Sylvette hands Lag her brother’s old gun and lunch for him and Niche, as Lag departs with Aria we see that Sylvette has tears in her eyes.


        Lag asks Aria where she’s taking them, and she tells them they’ll know when they arrive. During the ride, Lag finds out that Aria knows about Lag being a letter, and Aria finds out that Lag knows her because he was shot by Gauche.


       They finally arrive at an elevated part of the road where Lag and Niche are given a spectacular view of Amberground’s artificial sun.  Aria tells them that this is the Hill of Prayer, the place where you can feel closest to the sun. Aria goes on to tell them that Amberground was founded by the Empress who rules over the country and whom we worship, and this hill is a holy place where we pray to the Empress under the light. Lag asks Aria why she brought them here, and she says that Gauche loved this place since we were little.


         She tells them that she and Gauche would come here every day and pray for their safety until twelve years ago on day 311, called “The day of Flicker”, on that day Gauche lost a precious part of his heart. Lag asks what happened. On that day, while Gauche was on the hill, his mother went into labor and was in a very bad way, and Aria was sent to get him. As Aria was running up the hill the sun went out and only starlight was visible, Aria watched as a government airship crashed from the sky. When Aria reached Gauche the sun was back on but Gauche was in a trance/daze talking about the sun flickering on and off.


        Well, when Aria and Gauche return, Gauche’s mother is dead but his infant sister is born. Gauche grabs his sister and names her Sylvette shocking everyone around him. They ask him if he’s giving his sister the same name as his dead mother. It seems that Gauche has lost all memories of/feelings for his mother. Gauche promises to always be there for his sister, and he notices that something is wrong with her legs.


        Lags asks if the Flicker caused this, and Aria says the government announced that it was doing an adjustment/examination of the sun that day and they claim the airship crash was unrelated. Lag asks if that’s true, and Aria says that’s what the government claims and she doesn’t know. Aria gives Lag a bit of advice telling him that if you get to close to the sun darkness will grow in your heart, and that’s what it means to aim for the Head Bee position.


        Just then, Conner runs up to Lag and Aria and tells them that Zazie ran into trouble with a whole lot of Gaichuu and is requesting backup, Aria tells Lag to get going. Lag thanks Aria for the word of warning as he heads off, and he also tells Aria that he was also born on The Day of Flicker.


       Well, Lag arrives on the scene to help Zazie and he has to learn to control is Shindan energy levels. Lag and Niche work as a team with Zazie and his dingo to take care of the Gaichuu, and after the battle is over he joins Zazie and Conner for a snack from Lag’s canteen, oh no it’s Sylvette’s nasty soup. Well, that’s all for this episode.


        Well, after watching this episode the mysteries only deepen and the connection between Gauche, Sylvette, Lag, and Lag’s mother only grow stronger. I sure wasn’t expecting to find out that Lag was born on the same day as Sylvette, and I sure as hell wasn’t expecting that to be the day that Gauche’s mother died and the sun flickered.  It’s really going to be interesting to figure out why the Day of Flicker took from Gauche his memories of his mother, Sylvette the use of her legs, Gauche’s and Sylvette’s mother’s life, while giving Lag an spirit amber eye.  Also, this episode raises the question of why Gauche had to work hard at becoming a Bee if his family already lived on the “good” side of the river, doesn’t being a citizen have its bennies.

        Also, it was quite funny finding out the source of Gauche’s poor taste in soup, of course he’s goanna love his sister’s soup even if it tastes like shit. For me, Niche continues to be one of the best characters in the whole damn series, and for god sakes can Lag go more than a day without crying his eyes out.

“Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN SHONEN ANIME!”

       All I can say is that it’s going to be an interesting ride watching Lag getting to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the artificial sun and finding out if/how Amberground’s government is corrupt. Another interesting note was Aria warning Lag about getting to close to the sun, and getting darkness inside your heart.  Her comments to Lag raise an interesting parallel between Gauche’s actions in attempting to become Head Bee and the myth of Icarus, and did he like Icarus fly to close to the sun?

Question; did the creators use Saaya Irie as Sylvette’s body model, both are twelve?

        This episode begins with Sylvette having a flashback of her brother vowing to work hard to become Head Bee so she can live better and walk again, Sylvette thinks to herself what did he accomplish by losing his heart. Lag walks in on Sylvette crying and they reach out to one another, and Lag spirit amber eye charges, so he fires the shot at Gauche’s gun.


        Then we get a flashback/vision of Lag talking with Gauche about his mother, Sylvette’s birth, his lack of previous memories from before Sylvette’s birth, and why he became a Bee. We Also see flashbacks of Gauche’s battles and his deliveries, and his fights seem to take a ever growing toll on him. Then we see Gauche asking the Head Bee for ever more work in order for him to get a job in the capital, and we also see Aria telling Gauche that she’s worried about his heart.

         Then the scene changes for a bit to Conner, Niche, and Steak where we see that Conner easing Niche’s worries about Lag. Back inside Sylvette’s house Gauche’s gun is still giving off memories where we see Gauche being followed by some suspicious characters. After giving them the slip we see Gauche buying a new custom revolver and being warned that the new gun will use more heart than his normal gun, and we also see that the seller telling Gauche that his old gun is worth a lot of money if he wants to sell it.


       After eating a meal with the merchant, Gauche tells him that he’s heading off to the capital this weekend, and Gauche refuses to sell his old gun. The merchant asks Gauche if he was followed. Yes. The merchant tells Gauche that they are rumors of a anti-government group called “reverse” forming that wishes to reform the current government, and he tells Gauche that the word is that they’re targeting Bee’s that work in the capital.


        Then we see Gauche giving his gun to Sylvette and telling her that if his good friend comes calling please give him this gun, Sylvette asks if it’s the crybaby boy her age? Yes, his name is Lag Seeing. As Lag reaches for the “memory” all the memories and illusions vanish.


       A tearful Lag tells Sylvette that no matter what happened to Gauche he’ll become a Bee and travel the world and find and return Gauche to her. Sylvette tells Lag that he’s first person she’s met that’s a bigger crybaby then her, and she give Gauche’s gun to Lag. She also tells Lag that she’s sorry for not giving it to him earlier because she was afraid of a flood of memories about her brother.


       Once Lag returns to the wagon he’s in better shape and thanks Niche for her help, and that he’s counting on her in the future. Inside the Bee Hive, the Head Bee informs Lag that having passed his exams he is hired as a full-fledged Bee, and that only he and Jiggy come from Yokada. Lag tells them that his dream is to deliver hearts and dreams, and his goal is the same as Gauche’s. Well, that’s all for this episode.


       Well, while this episode answered some questions it also raised many more, like did Gauche lose his heart or did he find out that the government of Amberground is corrupt, or is he dead? Another interesting question is why Gauche felt it necessary to get a more powerful gun that drains even more heart than normal? Also, I would like to know why Aria didn’t go looking for Gauche after he disappeared if she was so close to him. 

       Regardless of the new questions, I’m glad that Letter Bee seems to be reaching the meat of its story; Lag finding and returning Gauche to his sister. Well, Letter Bee sure is a shonen series because every female except Niche is racked and stacked whether or not they’re thirteen or thirty. The only thing that separates this series from a normal shonen series is that our male protagonist cries more than any male lead I’ve ever seen, and for a while I couldn’t figure out who was supposed to be the girl, Lag or Sylvette?

        I also worry about Niche’s long term future, while she claims to be Niche’s dingo her feelings have to go deeper than that, Niche is a girl after all. While Niche may be the “child of Maka” she has to feel more than just loyalty towards Lag, and I wonder if she’ll get jealous or emotionally hurt if Lag becomes romantically attached to Sylvette. Maybe, we’ll see a Conner/Niche relationship develop or maybe Niche will be happy just being a dingo. 

        This episode begins with Lag questioning Zazie about Gauche no longer being a Bee, and Zazie tells him that Gauche had worked his way up to being a candidate for Head Bee and then must have had a nervous breakdown or something that caused him to quit. Lag is so upset that he tells Zazie to stop lying about Gauche.

        Later, Connor and Zazie take Lag to visit Sylvette, and Lag doesn’t respond to Connor’s apology about not telling him about Gauche. After Lag has left the wagon, Connor tells Zazie about what Gauche meant to Lag. Zazie heads back to the Bee Hive leaving Connor to wait for Lag’s return.

         When Lag enters Sylvette’s house he encounters a strange doll and a gun toting woman who at  first mistakes Lag for a bill collector. Lag then realises that the woman is none other than Gauche’s sister Sylvette, and Sylvette also figures out that he must be Lag Seeing.

        Sylvette makes some tea with milk for Lag and Niche, and Niche doesn’t drink the tea until Sylvette makes a comment about Niche staying small (Niche does a comparison between her and Sylvette’s tomato’s).

        Well, Sylvette tells Lag that he’s just like Gauche described him, and Lag tells Sylvette that he met her through the Shindan that Gauche shot him with. Well, Sylvette tells Lag to stop, and she tells him that Gauche isn’t here and points him towards a letter.

        The letter is a termination letter stating that Gauche is fired because of his absences from the Bee Hive and his failure to appear at a hearing, so his crossing pass is terminated and his residence in the capital is revoked. Meanwhile, back at the Bee Hive, we see Aria looking over an old picture of her and Gauche and thinking back to when the Head Bee had her deliver Gauche’s termination notice to Sylvette.

        Sylvette tells Lag that soon after Gauche crossed into Akatsuki he lost his heart and disappeared. Well, Lag asks about Sylvette’s gun (Gauche’s old gun) and she says that Gauche had a new gun made once he arrived at the capital and that this gun doesn’t contain spirit amber, she uses it to bluff people. Sylvette tells Lag that over the last 4 1/2 years she’s seen no report of her brother or heard from him, so she’s given up hope, he’s dead to her. Lag tells her that Gauche was doing everything for her, but Sylvette says he reaped what he sowed and that she never asked for anything other than to be with her brother. She goes on to say that he pushed himself to ruin by taking the most difficult deliveries. Sylvette tells Lag that she was glad to met him and apologies for the bad new, and she also tells Lag to leave and never come back.

       On the wagon ride back, Lag asks Niche what she’d do if he lost his heart and forgot her. Well, Niche tells him that she’d drop him, bite him, and lick him. But, she also tells him that she’s his dingo and she would never forget him, so they’ll always be together.

       At that point, Lag tells Connor to stop the wagon because he’s going back to see Sylvette. When Lag leaves the wagon, Niche tries to follow, but Connor grabs her and says that Lag should see Sylvette alone. Soon, Niche comments of Connor’s squishy waist, and she also asks Connor if you need nice breasts to be beautiful? Before Connor can give her a answer he needs a little help with Steak who’s decided to taste Connor’s head.

       As Lag rushes to Sylvette’s house he thinks that she gave up hope because it was too sad to bear, and he also thinks that Gauche is still alive somewhere, he vows to become Sylvette’s hope and he’ll search for Gauche. Well, that’s all for this episode.

      Well, as Letter Bee has progressed Lag’s done a lot of crying over other people’s troubles. But, in this episode Lag’s tears come from his own sadness. Since the beginning of the series Gauche has always served as Lag’s standard for judging his manhood; Gauche would never quite so I won’t, Gauche works hard for his sister so I’ll work hard for my mother, and Gauche is a Letter Bee so I’ll become a Letter Bee. So, when Lag is confronted with the knowledge that his idol wasn’t perfect it really rocked his world. It must have really shocked Lag to see how Gauche’s dream and Sylvette’s reality conflict with each other; Gauche’s dream was to get his sister to Akatsuki so her life would be better, and all Sylvette wanted was to be with her brother. So, while Gauche achieved his dream, Sylvette’s life isn’t any better in Akatsuki, and it could be argued that her life is even more lonely and sad in Akatsuki. By the end of the episode, Lag’s decided to take on the maybe impossible task of becoming Sylvette’s light of hope, I guess it’s time for him to payback what Gauche did for him.

       I also found it quite interesting that while Niche considers herself Lag’s dingo, she’s now comparing herself to other girls in terms of looks and attractiveness. Sorry, Niche, I don’t think you’ll grow much in the tomato department because I think that operating those golden swords uses up a lot of energy that normal girls might have used in other areas. Also, I wish that the girls in my high school would have drank some of Sylvette’s tea with milk, for her being only slightly older than Lag she got better equipment than many of the girl’s I dated while in the Army and in college.

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