After Niche carries the wounded and stunned Lag back to the Bee Hive, the Letter Bee finally begins to piece the puzzle together. Now he knows what's happened to Gauche, why the Marauders are so focused on stealing mail and the actual intent of the group controlling both, Reverse. However, when he's forbidden to reveal the truth, Lag is soon forced out of the artificial sunlight and back into the world of perpetual night. And soon Reverse's plot to take down the Letter Bees and overthrow the Amberground government begins to accelerate. If things weren't already bad enough, the giant insect creatures called gaichuu are apparently evolving into something new; there may be traitors working within the Hive; and Niche's sister, who's definitely not human friendly, shows up to turn family drama into a full-scale siege! It all spells serious trouble for the Letter Bees, but if anyone can weather the storms and gloom of night, Lag and his team are the ones who'll deliver.
How to start....How to write a review that will do this great anime justice...Let me first apologise if my review doesn't make a lot of sense. I am still overwhelmed with emotion at this point. Well, Tegami Bachi or Letter Bee is a beautiful anime much, much more than the simple letter-delivering. I had wanted to watch this anime for a long, long time, falling in love with the concept, artwork and when I had finally had the time to watch it all my previous expectations were blown away by the standards of the anime; which are absolutely amazing. I watched all 50 episodes for
two days straight. Me, who has severe commitment problems was so capivated by the essence of the anime as it challenged everything that life meant for me.
STORY: At initial glance, it doesn't seem very original, NOT CLICHE either, but hardly something very unique. Letter-delivering. Very mundane. Not so in this anime. Letter Bees go on very dangerous missions, transversing many miles through the flickering light of Amberground, they face the constant threat of 'gaichuu'. This particular story follows Lag Seeing- the world's most adorable/lovable protagonist, a letter bee searching for his idol and his saviour - Gauche Suede; in the most basic, basic terms.
The first season has very llttle plot development in terms of the previously mentioned concept, IN fact, it is safe to say the first season really just 'sets the scene' in 25 episodes, so by the time you reached the finale, you have a very thorough understanding of what being a letter bee entails, their impact on the lives of the civilians, the huge social divisionsof Amberground, basic knowledge on all the characters encountered so far, etc.etc.
The Second season is when the plot really gets moving. Don't get me wrong, the first season was absolutely beautiful exhibition of the greatness of the human spirit. Beautiful and extremely moving. However, the second season is so extremely addictive and exciting because you are immersed in the journeys of all the protagonists and all their successes and failures are amplified tenfold for you, and in the most basic terms, season 2 retains little episodic elements of season 1 and is also much more exciting because there is significant plot movement.
ART AND ANIMATION: I've combined these two because there isn't much I can say about them as I'm not an expert, but the art is beautiful and the animation is excellent. While watching this anime the last thing you'll be unhappy with is the art, (which is actually pallettable ART), and the animation, (which is smooth, non-jittery and enjoyable to watch, I.E. looks like it's done by ACTUAL professionals) 0o0
SOUND: WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUl.... Music that is actually music, voice-acting that is actually done with emotion, openings and endings you actually want to watch, all in all, very impressive.
CHARACTER; Ahhh, the characters/ protagonists were most definitely a hiighlight of the anime. On a general note, every single character of the series is an actual character, with emotions, development, (however small), history (however much touched on), hopes, dreams, and aspirations, NOT 2 dimensional stereotypes, which many animes have succumbed to. Not this one. The main character - Lag Seeing, is the biggest crybaby I have ever come across. EVER. But in a weird warp he is also the most endearing and moving and emotionally sensitive soul I have also come across in all fiction, and the real world. He is type of character you wish you knew because he would be the greatest friend that would always be loyal to you and love you. AND FOR ONCE THE PROTAGONIST IS NOT A PERVERTED TWAT. AND you LOVE HIM FOR IT. Also, Lag Seeing, from the very first episode undergoes a huge emotional journey. Wrenched away from everything ever known, he grows a great deal in only the first few episodes; he learns the meaning of the words 'friendship, love, and journey.' Understanding first hand the experience of being a letter, it inspires him to able to give what Gauche Suede, (the letter bee that delivered Lag) gave him. This character development does not stop for one second in the duration of the both series.
His dingo - Niche is an equally interesting character. Adorable, but equally deadly, in many ways, she is the polar opposite of Lag, but in another weird warp they make an unbeatable team. The relationship entails many hardships, as all realtionship do, but also triumphs through them, which really contributes to not only the likability of these two characters, but the whole series.
THEMES: I could write a whole essay on this one. And I would. Happily. But for review purposes I will TRY to keep it succint. :P Sorry reader. OKK... Tegami Bachi is chocablock filled with themes. In fact, I don't think the word 'themes' quite entails what this show offers intellectually. Obviously, it can be interpreted very differently, but this is just my personal opinion. But Tegami Bachi is most definitely about communication. Duh. Delivering letters is just the front. In Tegami Bachi, letters are communication devices that allow addressers and addressees to read into one another's innermost feelings and wishes. It is a portal into one's heart, where people can really use time to think carefully and articulate what they really want to say ONTO paper. And it is the letter bees job to carry all that emotion and 'heart' emanating from that flimsy bit of paper that could have so much significance on someone's life, safely to their destination. This immortal secret is what (I think) the series tries to teach us. Unlike many deep meaningful series it doesn't preach right behaviour or good morals. It TEACHES. Yes, teaches. Teaches about friendship, explored through the interaction and the community of all the letter bees, and the friendships between letter bees and their dingos, that immortal bond so overlooked, prime examples constantly dotted throughout the series. (I'm trying not to spoil it). It also teaches, about respecting others, and in not the way you'd expect. That particular lesson broke my heart to pieces. It really exemplifies the meaning of sacrifice, and what true friends do for one another. Another major theme explored is 'good and evil'. Suprisingly I felt absolutely no enmity for the villian of the second season. I did hate a particular someone for the atrocious betrayal of trust but I won't specify who. Watch if you want to find out. :D Anyway, the series goes back deep enough into a character's history that I was able to emphasize enough with the villain to understand the reasonings behind their actions. weird....
On a smaller note, the one thing that I wish that some important questions were answered. It seems like, while the series is absolutely great, the producers/directors forget about a few aspects of the Lag's history, and while it touches on it lightly is not nearly enough for fans to draw respectable conlcusions from it. Which is extremely unfortunate.
ENJOYMENT: I think it's pretty clear from the rest of my review how much I LOVED LOVED LOVED this series. There has been a couple of negative reviews and what I really plead to you is to give this anime a chance. This anime really changed what I thought of anime as a whole, it was a refreshing, touching, at times heart-breaking series, forever immortalised in my heart, and I believe with every inch of my soul that it'll have some place in yours too.
This show was amazing. It had brilliant music which fit perfectly with the scenes, great art which was beautiful and awesome characters. It also had an amazing story...... at the start of the series that is.
The animation was beautiful like I said before. Great graphics, lighting, colour, just made me happy =D. It was all lies to try and deceive me.
Other than the bitchy crying 24/7, outstanding sound. The music at most scenes was wonderful and fit perfectly. The voices did too, but I haven't heard such great music that sorta made me feel good in other shows. I feel weird talking.. or
typing about how I feel. Oops I did it again.
Not much to say here, these characters were original. I would give it a 10 if it wasn't for Gauche's stupid memory loss thing which caused him to think he was Noir and leave HER POOR SISTER BEHIND JUST LIKE THAT EVEN THOUGH HE SAID HE'D HELP HER FIX HER LEGS. What the fuck.. now that I think about it...... WHY, NOT, ASK, DOCTOR THUNDERLAND FOR SURGERY?
YOU DUMBSHIT GAUCHE, DUMB SHIT.
I enjoyment-ed nothing. Nothing from the story plot. But the music and art was enjoymentingfull =D. (My own word)
Now to the story.
Letter Bee left us with a cliffhanger. Reverse continued on from that, with a story which pretty much says "Fck you all, we're gonna hide the story behind Lag's mother, the artificial sun and gonna take away Gauche with all his memories gone like the assholes we are, you motha fckers can go watch Pokemon." Well fk you people too. This continued series solves NONE of the questions people may have, all it does is give more questions like a fking math teacher, and tells us to solve it or leave it. And then we're left thinking of what might have the story about Lag's mother and the Sun been about.
I loved season 1.
Hell with season 2.
'Tegamibachi REVERSE' continues from first season's cliffhanger ending, as Lag Seeing and Niche continues their search for Gauche Suede.
There are still things from last season still present that makes this series unique and enjoyable to watch. The atmosphere in this series is absolutely phenomenal. We are completely immersed into the distinct world in "Tegamibachi", in the constant darkness shined only by the faint light of artificial sun, and the desolate landscapes between towns. Character design was also wonderful, the unique Letter Bee uniform, the cute designs for kids, and the cool (almost bishounen) looks of the adult Letter Bees. Other than the Gaichuu still looking
like video game rendered, this series is pure visual pleasure to watch.
However, 'REVERSE' still has many flaws evident in the previous season. Lag Seeing is still a crybaby who cries EVERY single episode. There are extremely poorly made fillers (although far fewer in numbers). The ability to see memory of others is shameless abused as a deliberate plot device, as Seeing and others continue to use their abilities to invade personal privacy. Characters' actions or motivations not making any sense, and even plot holes such as knowing things a character was never told about. Horrible, horrible character and location naming sense ("Lag Seeing"? "Jinro"? "Blue Notes Blues" (wtf?)) And of course, the highly predictable nature of the story itself that was a constant loop of melodrama. The ending lacked resolution, and much of the mystery about the 'Tegamibachi' universe and Akatsuki remain unexplained.
Lag Seeing's voice is clearly female as usual and quite annoying at times, but I'm used to it by now. Everyone else's voices are near perfect matches, quite smooth and emotional when needed. BGM sounded very generic as last season, used in all the right places, but just lacks something that moves your heart. Both OP/ED were of very poor quality, not particularly fitting well with the series, nor as catchy as ones from the first season.
Two seasons of 'Tegamibachi' were very disappointing because it had so much potential. The premise was so unique and had so many possible developments built in, but the story and characters were simply incapable of reaching their full potential. Lag Seeing's character remained a crybaby to the end, the use of their abilities too corny, and pacing was absolutely horrible and seemed to drag on forever. It also gave me the impression of the characters saying and doing same thing over and over. The story was so horribly written near the end that it was almost insulting.
The theme of this anime was delivering thoughts and feelings, but it had failed to reach my heart.
This has instantly become one of my favorite series. I am in love with Lag Seeing, and all of the other great characters, and the artwork is fantastic, but let me break down the full payload of my opinion.
To begin, this is a fair warning to anyone who intends to watch this series: it's bittersweet from start to finish, and doesn't hold your hand in terms of answering all of your questions. What I mean by that, without giving anything away, is that, though you might expect this series to be cathartic from the way it is written, and from the huge heart its characters
have, it actually does not conclude in this way. The ending does not tie up all of the loose ends, and it does not have a truly happy ending. Instead, you are kind of left with the same level of knowledge as the characters you've followed throughout the series, and left to wonder about the deeper lore of the story. This is not a series for people who want everything finished up with a nice bow on top, but for people who prefer a 'living' story that has a feeling of continuity into the future... a kind of potential for more to happen.
That is not to say that the story doesn't come full circle. It does. The most important questions of the series are answered, the major conflicts are resolved. Completely. It's just that that doesn't always mean you get to know everything. Some people say that it would be nice for this series to conclude with a movie that wraps everything up. I think that would be absolutely wonderful, but, optional. As it stands, the story and the characters give you everything you /need/, just not everything you /want./
You can consider that to be the 'con' section of my review, the part which qualifies whether or not you should invest your time in this series. But now I will talk solely about the series' strengths.
Lag Seeing. He needs his own paragraph. He might be the most precious, lovable character ever written. He's got a gigantic heart, and is a huge crybaby, but he gets. things. done. /He/ is how you write an emotionally deep and affected character who is also equally strong. He's an argument for why being emotional doesn't make someone weak, and why you can be full of love and empathy and forgiveness and still be a strong person. He's soul medicine. Seriously.
As for the other characters, where to begin? Niche, Lag Seeing's sidekick, and would-be deuteragonist if not for Gauche Suede/Noir, is the embodiment of how gratitude and loyalty can make for inseparable bonds. She's utterly devoted to Lag, but not without being her own person. Lag and Niche found in each other an amazing partnership, and with it, a deep and moving friendship. One of Niche's quirks that also makes her an interesting character is that while she doesn't express emotions in quite the same way as Lag, and that, even though she's a straight-shooter, and has a matter-of-fact tone, we can still always understand how she feels. She isn't emotionally stunted, or particularly kuudere, but her mode of expression is action, and words, a lovely counternote to Lag's more expressive way of conveying his emotions.
I could also talk in detail about Noir, Roda, Sylvette, Aria, Dr. Thunderland, and the rest of the diverse array of characters, but, more to the point, is that this is a very character driven series. The plot, while not weak, is not the central focus of the story. This is very much a story about people and their relationships. The plot carries us through these relationships in a cohesive and meaningful way, but it's really the relationships and how they are tested, molded and grown that matters. They are surprisingly subtle, and people don't always react to each other in the way that you would expect. Selfless characters can be selfish at times. Strong characters have moments of weakness. Soft, unthreatening characters can show steel when the moment calls for it, while hardliners can suddenly express empathy. This conveys an interesting diversity that fleshes out characters and makes them feel real. If you're a real character-driven consumer of fiction, you'll really appreciate this point.
By the way, the artwork of this series is amazing. I know that's not what's most important, but the series is just beautiful. The scenery is detailed and lovely, and the characters are consistent, expressive and just appealing to the eye. The styles meld wonderfully, even with the addition of the CGI monsters. Somehow, the animators made it all work. In a way, the jarringness of the CGI lends a credence to the otherworldliness and danger of the gaichuu that serve as the series' primary/routine threat.
As for the plot -- as I said, it doesn't quite answer all of the things you /want/ it to, and it is not the strongest point of the series, but that's not because it is weak. Rather, it seems that the plot just wasn't as central to the story as the characters and the ultimate fate of all of their lives and relationships. The 'big bad' of the series, the organization Reverse, is the impetus behind much of what happens, but they are not inherently evil. Rather we learn, as we go along, what their motives are, and why they do what they do. And while we may or may not hate them for what it is they are responsible for causing, we don't get the sense that they are a one-dimensional villain force that only exists to give the protagonists something to overcome.
Overall, Tegamibachi has become one of my favorite series of all time, and I could dote all day on Lag Seeing, but, seriously, if you need emotional healing in your life, watch this series. Even though it is bittersweet, and you might not get exactly what you want, there is a prevailing sense of hope and emotional conquest that still delivers its own sort of catharsis -- the catharsis that comes with accepting that though things are sad, and though they are imperfect, they are still worthwhile, and still carry their own brand of happiness. If that's the kind of message you need in your life, then this is the series you need to watch.