|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Letter Bee is a shounen series focused around the titular delivery boys having to venture through giant bug-infested lands to deliver their letters to their destinations. The series is mainly focused on our main hero, Lag Seeing, who becomes a Bee, performs his duties and tries to learn the whereabouts of a fellow Bee named Gauche who vanished several years earlier. The series mixes around episodic stories and some story arcs that focus on either Lag's interactions in the various towns he visits to deliver letters or to develop aspects of the anime's setting, plot and characters. The major element of the series comes from its focus on seeing the hearts of others, as Lag possesses the ability to allow others to see the emotions of others expressed through their letters and hearts. |
The series is obviously gearing for something grand with its plot where it hints into tensions between citizens and the government, plus some elements and revelations with certain characters. However, the series doesn't delve too heavily into these elements for reasons as to why things are as they are in Letter Bee. This poses a major issue for me because a nice number of the episodes seen throughout this season of the series were complete filler that seemed added in just to drag the plot out and it would have been nice to know more of the hows and whys with this series without giving away too much. Some major things with Lag's character also irked me at points such as the boy's naivete (his crying borders on obnoxious at many points in the show) and the series seeming to conveniently forget about the grudge Lag had towards those who abducted his mother in later episodes. Also with this series having a second season, it obviously ends open-ended following a major twist in the title's plot.
The visuals to this series are on the plain side with character designs varying in their quality (major ones are decently drawn and detailed, while some villagers are rough or simple in their designs) and the mentioned giant bugs sticking out like a sore thumb as they are rendered with CG animation. Scenery shots of mountains and the various cities seen throughout the series are nicely drawn though.
Overall, I just can't find myself caring much for Letter Bee. The series seems to be trying to pull a grand telling of its plot, yet doesn't bother fleshing out enough for me to get invested in it and having too much filler to devote time towards exploration on its world and characters. Plus, Lag's character did grate on my nerves at many points since the series always felt the need to have him cry during nearly all the show's dramatic moments. The twist ending it provides is a decent hook for the second season, but I don't feel invested enough in Letter Bee to want to be tempted into seeing its second season.
Last updated Tuesday, October 22 2013. Created Wednesday, October 13 2010.
Weird!! Strange!! Bizarre!! But that’s probably why I like this so much!! |
It needs to be mentioned that one shouldn’t ask too many questions about the AmberGround, the magic and monsters that abound in the world and the strange abilities associated with the Shindanjuu magic gun which the letter bee’s use to defeat the armoured insects known as the Gaichuu. Much like Kino or Last Exile, this tale takes place on a different world where strangeness is just part of the story…. But with each new episode, a little bit more is explained.
The tale starts with a seven-year-old Lag being chained to a memorial cross after his mother was taken away and his home burned down. Plastered to his arm is postage stamp requesting that he be delivered to a woman's house some many days away. Abandoned and alone, Lag was saved by a man in a bright blue suit who calls himself a Letter Bee. The adventure that Lag shares with Gauche so impresses him, that he decides that when he grows up, he too will become a Letter Bee. So at the age of twelve, Lag passes the written exam and then must travel to Yodoka to see if he has the special qualifications to be a Letter Bee. And this series is about his story as a Letter Bee.
There are some issues with this series that bother me a bit. Lag Seeing is just so naive and innocent - Obnoxiously so!! But so are we (the viewers). In seeing the world through his eyes, we too can struggle to understand just how different the Amberground is. There is also the issue of people as property. Not slavery per-sae, but Lag is treated as an item for delivery at one point and then there is the entire issue with Niche. But the Amberground is a different world.
By episode 13, it is hinted that there is something strange going on in the capital city of Akatsuki. Twelve years-ago, the artificial sun went out for a while. The locals still remember the event and call it ‘The Flicker’. But it was the same day that a government airship crashed, the same day that Lag Seeing was born and it was the day the Lag’s idol Gauche lost his heart. Lag’s mother was taken away by ‘bad guys’ from the city of light. Then Aria gives a dire warning: “The closer one gets to the light, the darker the shadows are”.
And so the story goes. It is not complete and probably needs another 24+ episode series to finish telling entire tale. My biggest complaint is that Lag is just too naive and innocent, but he is only 12-years-old. In any event, this series is well worth the time spent watching if you are into off-beat and occasionally saccharine anime stories.
If you liked Kino no Tabi, then you might like this one as well.
FYI - All of the Gaichuu (armoured insects) are named after single malts, bourbons or some other type of alcoholic beverage.
The land of ‘AmberGround’ is one of an eternal night illuminated only by the artificial sun that hangs fixed over the capital city. The lands are broken into three areas; Akatsuki, the island of the chosen people living in continuous light, Yuusari, the land of partial light where the middle class people reside and Yodoka, the land of eternal dusk where the lowest class scrape out a meager existence. Passage between the areas requires a government permit and is possible only over special bridges. Only Letter Bees, messengers tasked to deliver letters and items, are permitted unrestricted passage as part of their duties. Lag Seeing, a newbie letter bee, is sent by the post master to deliver a letter and parcel to the village of Silencio in the Yodaka region. So together with Lag’s (little girl) ‘dingo’ bodyguard, a child of maka named Niche and her pet bait named Steak, they set off on a journey to deliver heartfelt feelings and words to distant family and friends in the far away corners of the AmberGround.
Last updated Thursday, May 13 2010. Created Monday, January 11 2010.
(One episode watched):|
On the one hand this show seems to have interesting characters while on the other shooting it out with giant insects seemed kind of stale. The overall mood and premise of this show remind me of Spice & Wolf somehow--perhaps because they are both a look at somebody doing what is normally an unglamorous job in a fantasy setting. It's too soon for me to tell where Letter Bee is going.
Last updated Monday, October 12 2009. Created Monday, October 12 2009.
2 episodes watched
Gotta say i liked Gauche from the start, and the emotional prortrayal of a young boy who lost his sole pillar of support is rather convincing. The whole shindan (heart bullet if I'm not wrong) thing leaves me feeling ambivalent about its plausibility, but still, I can see that this leaves a nice tail behind to pick up later on in the story. Gonna stick with this one I guess.
Episode 4 was quite terrible. Forced myself to finish it. The whole thing about Niche just sent shivers down my spine, and I don't mean that I am creeped out by her appearance. Sigh. Let's hope that this is an abberation, not the norm from now on.
Into episode 14, the first episode in a while that actually allows me to continue watching this with any positive feelings. The past few episodes have just been about Lag going around delivering letters and shooting them with his shindan to get the receipients to know the true feelings of the sender. It gets really repetitive, and the story about Gauche Suede, the only character I really like so far, is getting nowhere at all. I almost gave this series up. After all, so far all Letter Bee shows is somewhat similar to pokemon, a feel good anime for little boys where little boys go on huge adventures and do what adults normally do. Plus, Lag's constant brawling gets my nerves. At least the latest episode is somewhat enjoyable, and at least Gauche gets a little screen time, despite being another memory. I hope this story goes somewhere fast, as Letter Bee is losing me.
Yet another episode that made my skin crawl. This series is just not for me I guess. I'll stop here.
Last updated Sunday, January 17 2010. Created Sunday, October 11 2009.
Analysis : 11 Fansubs Watched.|
I enjoy every episode of it.
Episode 11 is about XMas. Very nice even if it's a filler
Last updated Friday, January 08 2010. Created Sunday, October 04 2009.
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