Anime Review: Letter Bee Reverse Episodes 4, 5, and 6

(Originally published and formatted on Livejournal on 12/21/10)

Anime Review:
Letter Bee Reverse Episodes 4, 5, and 6

Series Premise: In the forever-twilight world of Amberground, the young Lag Seeing realized his dream to become a Letter Bee so that he could follow in the footsteps of his hero, Gauche Suede. After many difficulties and missions with his dingo Niche, he has finally crossed paths with Gauche again — except Gauche has lost all his memories and is now part of Reverse, a group in opposition to the government and letter bees. Now he must strengthen his resolve so that he can save Gauche and keep his promise he made to Gauche’s sister, Sylvette.

ep.4 tl;dr review: Lag plays make-believe lighthouse keeper; Nope, still no Gauche in this episode, either.

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Episode 4 Summary: Lugh is doing maintenance on a lighthouse in the middle of shifting sands of a great dessert, along with his doting grandfather. He tells his grandfather that he seems to hear voices, but he dismisses those by telling Lugh it is probably just the wind. Later that night Lugh removes his clothes and finds his body covered with bruises…and suddenly with the help of Niche he begins to remember. He is not Lugh, but actually Lag, and he has been caught up in a delusion caused by the memories of the previous tenant, emanating from a giant Gaichuu atop the lighthouse. Jiggy Pepper arrives to destroy the gaichuu and dispel the illusion, saving Lag. After explaining the situation, they ride back to town on Jiggy’s motorcycle.

ep.5 tl;dr review: Reverse steps up letter delivery disruption attacks; Uh-oh, traitors in their midst.

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Episode 5 Summary: The terrorist organization Reverse has stepped up their attacks on the Letter Bees, intent on disrupting mail service and eroding confidence in the government. Two mail inspectors, Valentine and Garrard, arrive to hear a report on the situation, then head off to where the latest incident occurred. Lag and Niche stow away, but reveal themselves when Valentine strikes a little girl. They find where the letters have fallen into a ravine; Lag gathers them up while Garrard seeds the pile of letters as part of an experiment to attract the Gaichuu. A large gaichuu arrives quickly; Lag and Niche are able to destroy it, but when a bullet fragment grazes the letter pile, Lag sees memories of Lawrence, the leader of Reverse, and how he was actually a failed biological experiment by the government. Lag confirms that Gauche is now part of Reverse, and it is also revealed that the inspectors are also double-agents for Reverse as well.

ep.6 tl;dr review: Express doll delivery leads to wild chase; Nope, *still* no Gauche in this episode, either.

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Episode 6 Summary: Sylvette receives a letter from a little girl who wants to have a doll made resembling herself, so she can give it to her father. However, the letter arrives late and the girl’s father will be leaving the next day. Sylvette quickly finds a doll she has been saving and amends it to resemble the girl. The next morning, Sylvette (with Lag serving has her ‘dingo’) travel to the town to deliver the doll. Along the way, they are ambushed by a common thief, and in the struggle the doll ends up on a branch at the edge of a cliff. To dislodge it, Lag fires one of his special bullets. The memories from the doll reveal it was originally created by Sylvette to give to Gauche as a memento, but he disappeared before she could give it to him. Sylvette subdues the thief, the doll is delivered and Lag has a better understanding of Sylvette’s true feelings towards Gauche.

My Thoughts: Earlier I mentioned that if they didn’t get the ball rolling quickly, I was going to drop this series. Well, they did nudge the plot ball just a little bit, but they sure are moving at a glacial pace. And frankly, I’ve simply lost interest in the story. Sorry guys, ya lost me on this one.

I was never a big fan of Mr. Crybaby Lag Seeing, who seems to turn on the faucetworks at the drop of a hat. Well, at least the past few episodes have not been filled with his incessant bawling. And I’ve also mentioned that I was somewhat put off by the simplistic level of writing, which is understandable since the show is aimed at the pre-teen/tween audience. But for me, I’m just left sighing at the tendency towards over-explanation. A perfect example of that is the John Smith in a Grove episode with Lag caught up in the illusion of the lighthouse keeper. The first ten minutes is the illusion itself, and the rest of the episode is a detailed blow-by-blow explanation just in case you didn’t figure it out the first time around. Tiresome.

That’s not to say Letter Bee is an awful show — far from it. After all, I have watched the entire first season, and the first six episodes of the second season. I wouldn’t get this far if it was unwatchable. But I’ve simply lost interest in the story, don’t really care much any more. When I was trying to figure out which (if any) shows I should drop this time around, my primary deciding factor was the clock: If I was repeatedly watching the progress bar to see how much time was left during the show, that’s not a good sign. Guess what? Letter Bee was one of two shows that had me watching the clock.

The Verdict: – Frustrating.

Coming up next: Bakuman (4-6), Kuragehime (4-6), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (4-6), Tatami Galaxy Special, Shin Koihime Musou OVA, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire (2), Hairyoru Nyaruani (1), Princess Resurrection (1), Battle Spirits Brave (1)

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