5 CommentsLetter Bee, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

Letter Bee episode 4

Right, time to blog an episode on time for a change. This hasn’t happened in bloody ages but with Letter Bee it should be. No waiting for lazy, Aion playing fansubbers. Now we have Crunchyroll subbers. Or Horriblesubs rips, which according to the poll I ran last week appears to be choice of most Letter Bee watchers.

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I don’t know if it was just me but it didn’t seem like an awful lot actually happened in this episode. Lad drops off Niche, realises mistake, Niche breaks out, Lag kills giant but and Niche becomes Lag’s Dingo. It seemed quite slowly paced and yet when I went back to the episode I couldn’t really pick out anywhere where obvious time-wasting methods were being used. There were no random panning shots of the admittedly beautiful scenery, no staring contests between two characters. The most I could see were some unimportant banter between side characters. Maybe after years off trying to stay behind the Naruto and Bleach manga’s, Pierrot have finally perfected the method of drawing out limited material. However, since Letter Bee is generally quite melancholic and quiet it, oddly enough, actually suits the general atmosphere of the series.

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This episode was certainly an improvement from the last one, mainly thanks to the increased screentime devoted to Niche. You know what she reminds me off? A Claymore. What made me enjoy Claymore the most, even more than the kick-ass fights, awesome soundtrack and godly animation animation done by Madhouse, was how creepy those semi-human creatures were. There was always a fine balance kept with trying to work out how human Claymores actually were. The same certainly applies to Niche. She has that dead, emotionless expression combined with super-human powers and total lack of embarrassment. What makes her more interesting is that there is a level of childish to her decision making process. It’s still applied with logic that a Claymore would but through logic only a child would arrive at.

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The main driving plot point in this anime is…what exactly? I mean, Lag is going to become a Letter Bee, that should only take 2 more episodes at most, unless he meets another undelivered loli along the way. I assume Gauche is going to come back into the story at some point so will the story focus on his attempts to become Head Bee and enable his sister to live in the centre land…momentarilly fogotten it’s name…ah it’s Akatsuki! I so didn’t look that up. Anyway, will there be any focus whatsoever on the Maka, that creature in the picture above that part of inhabits Niche (even more similarities with Claymores right there). My thought was that the main focus of the story would be that the main focus would eventually lead back to whatever evil organisation took Lag’s mum. Yikes, there’s a lot left to cover and at Letter Bee’s current pace, I bloody well hope that this will last more than the 13 episodes I predicted it would in the last episode.

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I suppose you can’t blame the locals for calling it Brocoli forest can you. But what on earth is ‘Love Someone Down’ supposed to mean? The mangaka sure loves to toss in random engrish phrases, sometime even making up brand new words. Although I must admit I do like the name the little mascot guy has. Steak just fits him to a tee.

Every time you see a horrible CGI bug, at least you know that sooner or later you are going to see them explode in a most amazing fashion

Every time you see a horrible CGI bug, at least you know that sooner or later you are going to see them explode in a most amazing fashion

The results of the poll I ran in the last episode were pretty interesting for a variety of reasons. First off, about half of the people said they watched Letter Bee streamed on some other site. This affirms my belief that many others don’t seem to realise: Loads of anime watchers haven’t got a clue how to download anime or even why they should download anime. I’ve been toying with the idea of posting something telling noobs how to download anime but it ended up being one of those posts I never, ever get around to actually working on. The other interesting piece of info was that only 3 people said they had Crunchyroll membership, one of them being my own vote. Why is nobody using Crunchyroll and their revolutionising of online anime? If it’s region restrictions then I totally understand and feel your pain. I’m a bit surprised at how many people dislike Crunchyroll. I may bitch about their subs on occasion but I fully support the change they are trying to bring about to anime online. And this is another thing that I believe a lot of these stream-site viewers don’t realise either. At the risk of sounding like an ANNaphile, you have to support the industries. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend your entire account on dvd’s but dear god, it costs barely anything to get yourself a Crunchyroll account and they even give you a free 2-week trial so you can cancel if you think they are truly shit. Besides, I’d say about half of you would have your parents paying for it anyway.

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I better stop now before I start going overboard and my tone gets self-righteous. I don’t want to turn people away from the blog because I sound like an snobby twat. At the very least, we can all agree that this episode was an improvement from the last and that any and every anime could be improved by the inclusion of a deadly, Claymore-esque loli.

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5 Comments

  1. kaza
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Wow…
    I don’t think that paying Crunchroll would be considered supporting the anime industry. I bet their independent. But if one day I see that I have a chance to give my money directly to the business, then I up for it, but there’s no telling what Crunchroll really is.

    I have to agree with you on the part about the story. First it was Gauche, then Lag, then Loli, what next??? Like you said, it would take a whole lot more then 13 episodes. But if its limited to that, lets hope that they organize the story a bit and concentrate on one.

    Thanks! *thumbs up*

  2. FlareKnight
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the only part of that poll that surprised me was the amount of people watching streams from other sites. Of course I rarely ever watch streams so never looked at how many of them are out there. While I’m not paying memberships figure I support the industry enough in my own way. If I really like a series I’ll save up to buy it. As a budget student that’s about all I’m going to do :). Still think it’s a question of quality. Right now doesn’t feel like Crunchyroll is anywhere near the level the good subbing groups are at. Don’t need to get into a huge comment about that anyways. Just I’m comfortable watching the way I currently do and long as I keep buying series now and then fell comfortable in my support of the industry.

    When you think about it not a lot happened in this episode. Of course I was pretty focused on it from start to finish so didn’t really notice that. Niche is a really interesting character so far. You may have a point with the Claymore comparison. Anyways the hair swords are pretty cool. She can just go and own all the opposition and let Lag handle clean up.

  3. Posted October 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Usually if I want high quality I would go on megavideo, cruchyroll is the last place I would go to watch anime. The last time I went there, they had a very slow loading time. Downloading anime takes forever. Hey I never thought about it but Niche does look like a claymore. The brocoli forest was so cute. I hope they bring Gauche back into the story soon.

  4. Posted October 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Just started watching Letter Bee on Crunchyroll. As you know, Scamp, I’m a happy Crunchyroll subscriber, so I’ll put my vote in for viewing anime on Crunchyroll anytime. :)

    As for Letter Bee… I like it. The character design is cute (Lag especially), and I agree that the creators seem to have a lot of leftover indigo paint from some other series that they’re trying to get rid of in this one. ;) I thought ep 4 moved the story along quite a bit, as now Lag has his dingo and can proceed to his Letter Bee exam and hopefully come across Gauche sometime soon. All in all, a pretty worthwhile series – unlike Miracle Train, which I find myself watching without solid reason. I really must get over my baseless bishonen addiction sometime soon. ;)

  5. Posted October 26, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    @kaza

    Actually Crunchyroll do work directly with the anime companies, reported on ANN and everything so we know it’s legit. They started doing this over a year ago with Tower of Druaga and Strike Witches. The site turned totally legit at the start of this year but it’s only this season that they’ve had so many titles on offer. How much money they make for anime companies is debateable, especially when you consider that they worked quite closely with Gonzo at the start and that didn’t exactly go well for Gonzo…

    Why I mainly support online streaming is because it gives the anime companies far more control over their products online and they are finally recognising the fact that many people overseas want to watch anime that’s airing in Japan at the moment. It’s taken a hell of a long time for them to realise this so now that they are finally getting their act together, I’ll fully support them.

    @FlareKnight

    I can’t really argue with that. While they have come on substantially from where they were at, I still have a lot of problems with the level of unproffesionalism at Crunchyroll. The subs, while actually pretty good on Letter Bee, can be terrible on some other anime, like Natsu no Arashi and Book of Bantorra. Plus their video seems to jerk about a lot. However what pushed me into getting the membership was because how much effort they were putting into trying to tear down region restictions.

    @Ruby

    Megavideo! There’s still people that use that awful site?!?! How on earth could you put up with the amount of bul—–You have been reading this comment for too long. If you would like to continue reading please wait a ridicolous amount of time before logging in again.

    @Jan Suzukawa

    High five fellow crunchyrollers! God, I’ve turned this entire comment into a Crunchyroll post. I should have just devoted a proper post to the subject instead of jamming it into a random Letter Bee post.

    Right, from now on I promise I’ll stop talking about Crunchyroll in my Letter Bee posts. Maybe when the series comes to a close I’ll run the poll again but this should hopefully be the last you’ll hear from me on this subject.

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