Anime Review: Letter Bee Reverse Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/5/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Letter Bee Reverse Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about. — Watching all the anime shows so you don’t HAVE to!

tl;dr review: Lag Seeing finally tracks down Gauche, and it’s not the happy reunion he was hoping for; Sheesh, what a whiner!

The Skinny: Following the cliffhanger conclusion at the end of the first season, Lag Seeing unexpectedly comes across a stone-faced Gauche Suede, after spending years trying to find him. But Gauche has no memory of Lag, and says he is a Marauder named Noir, in opposition to the government. An unbelieving Lag presses him further, and Gauche shoots Lag. Meanwhile, Niche faces off against a sexified-humanified Roda, who puts Niche in her place, then chides Niche for ignoring Lag. A guilty Niche and injured Lag are picked up by Jiggy Pepper and they return back to the Bee Hive to report. A thoroughly crushed and dejected Lag tries to think of how he’ll explain everything to Sylvette, meanwhile Niche increasingly comes to believe she’s no longer fit to be Lag’s dingo. In an unexpected turn, Sylvette ends up comforting Lag as part of a surprise welcoming party…but someone is missing. In the confusion, Niche has run off, leaving her underwear (a token of her subservience) behind.

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each one for a full-sized view:

My Thoughts: As far as cliffhangers go, it was fairly anti-climactic. After several minutes of simply repeating the final minutes of the previous episode (aired half a year earlier), they just…leave, confused, frustrated and defeated. As an introductory episode, it’s not very impressive, other than to get the main plot rolling after wandering in the desert of side-stories for several previous episodes. More interesting was the sudden rift opened up between Niche and Lag, neither feeling that they are worthy to serve each other, it seems.

As for Lag Seeing, christ almighty is that boy a whiny, sniveling little crybaby! There’s nothing new about that at all, of course, but he sure does simper and mope throughout the entire episode. I would have hoped that Lag would have grown up just a wee tiny bit, but nope, he’s still the emotionally stunted whiner he was last season. It’s the one thing I disliked about the series the most, and I hope it’s not too much to wish they would tone down on the tear-a-palooza in the future.

I gave the original series a very respectable “B+” final grade. I was thoroughly non-plussed by this introduction to the second season, but have higher expectations going forward. Especially if they stay focused on the main story.

Oh, and none of this will make any sense unless you’ve watched the first series. So if you’re thinking about using this as a jumping-on point, not a good idea — go back and start from square one instead.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Review: http://randomc.net/2010/10/03/tegami-bachi-reverse-01/
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tegami_Bachi
Opening video sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HRzNrnaCyc&feature=related

The Verdict:

The tally for Fall 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, The World God Only Knows, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Psychic Detective Yakumo, Shinryaku! Ika Musume

Failing grade: MM!, Star Driver, Iron Man, Fortune Arterial, Motto To Love-ru, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Yumeiro Patissiere Professional, Tamayura, To Aru Majutsu no Index 2, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Sora no Otoshimono Forte

Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Bakuman, Yosuga no Sora, Arakawa Under the Bridge x2, Otome Yokai Zakuro, Kuragehime, Robin and His 100 Friends, Agriculture Girl, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu Special, You Are Umasou, Hakuouki: Hekketsu Roku, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Special, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi

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