Tegamibachi takes place in the land of AmberGround, a place of perpetual night only partially illuminated by an artificial sun. Lag Seeing works as a Letter Bee at the government delivery service named the Bee Hive. He travels with his Dingo, Niche, and her "pet," Steak and is entrusted with the hearts of everyone in AmberGround as he delivers their packages.
Tegamibachi was initially serialized in the Monthly Shounen Jump, until the magazine went defunct in June 2007, and moved to newly-launched Jump SQ on November 4. Prior to the launch of Jump SQ, in October, a special chapter, Tegamibachi to Dingo, was published as a one-shot in Weekly Shounen Jump.
Tegamibachi has been published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint since September 1, 2009, and started serialization in the March 2009 issue of their monthly Shounen Jump anthology. In Europe, the series has been licensed in Italy by Panini Comics under their Planet Manga division, Kana in France, and Planeta DeAgostini in Spain.
"You're the first man who's ever made me wear pants" - Niche
If a line like that by the 2nd chapter, doesn't strike your attention as amusing than Letter Bee(or Tegami Bachi in Jap) may not be the manga for you.
I was first attracted to this manga through the anime adaptations 1st season which had aired recently, and wanting to know what happened after ep.25 piqued my interest to read on.
Story - 8
Without going into detail and providing spoilers; TB is a unique tale on its own which escapes from the mediocrity of school life stories which seems to be the common setting for most manga these days, and although you may find similarities in reference to characters and traits from other manga(from hair that change to swords to 'special' eye powers), what TB does provide is a fresh new outlook in storytelling.
We are shown(what looks like) a post-apocalyptic world of AmberGround where an "endless night" governs over a man-made sun. Towns are scarce and only ways for communication to each town is through letter or parcel which are delivered by the Letter Bees. Government delivery workers entrusted with the population’s letters which carries their 'hearts' and emotions. Now if you like me, thought how can a postman's story be so exciting? As long as you think outside the square you will realize it’s not just about a story of mail delivery but a story about the emotions that come with that mail. There is also plenty of shōnen action goodness in TB as outside the towns of AmberGround reside giant insect-like monsters which only the Letter Bees can take down. Postman Pat dressed as Mad Max? Maybe.
Art - 8
Artwork can be visually stunning at times, and the fight scenes are understandable from panel to panel (which is uncommon for action manga as it can take a few reads before a fight scene can choreograph in my head). The post-apocalyptic background is what I believe breathes the story to life (and is visually done right) as it brings new depths of emotions to each character and the hardships that is AmberGround and living in that world. Although the creator of TB Hiroyuki Asada is not highly recognized(his past work is none I've ever heard of anyways), his tale through manga is at least noteworthy to capture audiences over and even screen an anime adaptation.
Character - 7
Within the TB world, we are shown the Letter Bees and their traveling companions known as 'dingoes'. Each Letter Bee is equipped with Shindajuus(or heart bullet guns) which are the only methods of being able to take a Gaichuu down as these insect-like creatures have shell-armor which an average gun would just tickle it. Whilst each Letter Bee has a unique story of their own alongside the main character Lag Seeing, what really captivated me was the introduction of their companions or dingoes. Dingoes came of any shape or form and fought alongside their Bees. From pet dogs, to wild panther-like creatures to seasoned mercenaries who fought if the Bee had the money to pay them. They also acted as trackers which have been shown as a common trait for most dingoes as well. One particular dingo I really liked is Niche, Lag’s personal dingo, who although looks human is not. Also known as “the Golden Sword”, Niche is similar to Eve from Kentaro Yabuki’s Black Cat(but in an even younger loli-body) and can manipulate her hair into blades. Like a newborn child, Niche’s personality(and curiosity) can at times be amusing and what I believe serves as on-going humor(and cuteness) for TB. You also meet other characters in TB which are unique in their own way, and just as emotional as the main characters.
The only reason why my score came to be a 7 instead of an 8 or 9(which some may find biased) is due to a certain character and their excessive display of being a nake-mushi(crybaby). I’m not sure where the author was going with that one as the emotions portrayed from other characters were heartfelt enough without the main character having to add to it in most(if not every) chapter.
Enjoyment - 7
Although I wouldn't go as far as saying its one of the better reads I've had in the past year, I can safely recommend TB for anyone of all ages.Whilst it does start off slow like all shōnen, its after a few chapters and learning the world of AmberGround and its residents that make TB an enjoyable read to past the time or for those waiting for the 2nd season of the adaptation to come out. read more
I would give to this manga a solid 9 but until I see more development in the future chapters, I'll refrain from rating it so higly.
Story - 9
The plot seems to be childish and silly when you read it, it was very slow and it's still very slow during the last released chapters, but I realized many questions are being answered lately in the newest chapters, furthermore even though at a first glance it will look silly to you, it gets darker and darker.
Art - 8
I won't say it's the best drawn manga I have read, but if you can exclude the "off models" most drawings aren't half bad.
Character - 8
If you can't stand crybabies, then you might hate Lag Seeing to death, even though later in the manga it is explained why he's such a crybaby, it doesn't affect me at all, in my opinion, it's good for a male character to show its emotional side most of the times. About Niche, I was disappointed by her, simply because she's always the same through the whole manga, I don't want this story to turn into a pathetic romance, they're 12 years old after all. I also enjoyed a lot Gauche/Noir's development. Not all the supporting characters are developed as the main characters, but as I said before, the author is working on it and by the reading the latest chapters, I can see he's making many efforts about it.
Enjoyment - 8
Once again, to enjoy fully this manga, a lot of time is required, it's not something you'll enjoy at first glance, but if you have patience you'll enjoy it much more than before.
Overall - 8
I might edit this review later, because the manga has a lot of potential, it just takes time to develop and I'm still looking forward to knowing how the author will decide to develop this story.read more
Be gentle with me because this is probably my first manga that I'm up to release date's with.
A story about a land, covered in pure darkness. With no light other than radiance of a man made star, hanging over the main capital. Under the light of this star, a job is being taken place, a job to deliver letters, and the heart contained in these letter's. The story follows a young boy named Lag seeing and his dingo (familiar) Niche, and her snack Steak. Together, they take on the task of defeating giachu, and delivering letter's at any cost. Their goal. To save their dear friend, and become recognized as the head bee.
I never have been a big manga fan, untill recently. I just happened to be browsing my local Book's a million, when I saw this manga's cover. I didn't really grab it untill the next time I can back and it caught my eye again. So I grabbed it, sat down and fell in love. The story drew me in. A boy with a goal, giving all of his heart to do what he believes in, staying adamant throughout his journey to save his friend geuche and become head bee, while never turning his back to help out anyone in anyway he can.
I may not be the most adept manga reader, but the beauty in these pages kept me glued untill the story line took holld on me. It painted a constant scene in my head, even while away from this book. Spending long hour's of the day thinking this over, and re-reading it just for the visual pleasure. If your someone who love's manga just for the art. This is a must see.
EVERY character has some form of important roll, and almost every one with a medium roll is shown multiple time's throughout the manga. The background to everyone had me feeling like I knew them all. It felt like everytime someone left a scene I just couldn't wait to have them back with the group. And their goal's were so strongly outlined and had such deep meaning, that somehow they had become mine while I was reading, just hoping for all nice things to fall into these people's path's. If you want to feel like your geting to know someone deeply, I recommend. Mabey you won't get close to them like I did, cause this was my first real manga experience, but I surely hope you do.
If you havn't caught on by now, your dense. I freaking loved this manga. Bought the first 2 chapter's the day I picked it up. Read, and re-read them for a week. 24/7 thought's about this manga going on. Mabey a little kiddy, but hey it's so good you don't really notice it. >.> well you might but it's so freaking good who cares. read more
I started reading Letter Bee in shonen jump, like most beginings of manga, its a slow start , however the story continued at a slow pace. the main character is the biggest crybaby I have ever seen, and his crying starts to get repetitive after a while. The artwork is done well at least, barren wastelands, huge forrests, and small towns are the many sceneries I have seen so far. If the character of Niche didnt appear, I would have dropped the series out of boredom. Overall, Letter Bee moves at a snails pace, but from what I have read so far, the story could pick up, and if it does, I will update this review.read more