While I’m always the person trying to defend the latest season of anime as not being a pile of hopeless moe crap, this season has been a bit of a disappointment. I’ve ended up cutting my list down to only watching 4 anime from the Autumn season. Thankfully the upcoming Winter season looks pretty cool and CLEARLY NOT FULL OF MOE CRAP OMGWTFQXCRGS….
Oh yeah, Letter Bee. Right, onto that then.
So in this latest instalment of Letter Bee, Lag is still on his journey to actually become a Letter Bee but, like all good shounen protagonists, gets himself sidetracked along the way in an intelligently named town called Bitfrost. Get it? Bitfrost? The bridge in Norse mythology that connects heaven to earth. Yeah, I didn’t get it first time around either. I’d gotten so used to the unusual choice of Engrish names that the author had used thus far (what exactly is the name ‘Lag Seeing’ supposed to mean anyway) that when he injected a bit of cleverness into the anime I didn’t spot it until this blog pointed it out. Hurrah for anime blogs, they can add to your enjoyment of an anime as well as just being a mindless babble of trollers who just so happen to watch the same set of cartoons.
5 episodes in and I already love Niche, in particular the decision process that goes on behind her actions. That’s one part of characters I love to watch and can quite often be taken away when anime tries to spoonfeed you the characters thoughts. This is especially the case in shojo anime, you can’t go a minute without being fed a running commentary on what’s exactly going on in the main heroine’s mind. Instead, we get Niche standing over a pair of rather worn-out underwear with an expression of intense concentration. Probably what made this scene so great was the ‘innocent bystander who will clearly show up again later’ confused commentary as he watched the main two go about their business in the inn. Combine this with whatever he must have thought when he saw Steak obediently burning away in the frying pan and you have my favourite scene in this episode.
In the last episode I compared Niche to a Claymore, thanks to her total lack of embarrassment, slightly monster-like appearance and a unflichning, silent aura. Where she deviates from a Claymore is, while a Claymore has the cold, harsh logic of a warrior, Niche has the naive logic of a child. Plus I think we might have seen some signs of embarrassment from her in this episode. When Niche asked Lag to call her his Dingo for the second time, she stuttered quite noticeably for the first time. However I’m not sure whether it was her stuttering through embarrassment since every time she stuttered in her sentence was when she was speaking the line she wanted Lag to say. Hence, my thought process there is that she wanted Lag to show embarrassment at asking Niche to be his Dingo. Why she would want Lag to feel that way I’m not sure, thanks to the glories of the hidden thoughts that I’ve been referring to so much in this post. Possibly she wants Lag to fall in love with her or something along those lines.
I haven’t talked much about the actual plot to this episode because quite frankly, it was a bit of a cliche story. Guy steals something to help his poor dying younger brother, which will inevitably lead to the main character having to make a tough, moral choice in the next episode. How will Lag respond to this? Since Nelli won’t be able to cross the border with just that slip of paper, my guess is Lag will try to take the Letter off her and try to deliver it himself. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to either. The older brother, Jiggy, is just another Bee and when Lag reaches the main town he should have no problem delivering the letter. Or is Jiggy just another Bee? Why was he looking for the Child of Maka, as that guy in the hotel so kindly told us. This is why I’ve been mainly focusing on Niche in this episode. Asides from the fact that she’s totally awesome, there is certainly more to her story than was contained in those two previous episodes. If Niche really is this tremendous creature that even Bee’s are searching for, then it really is quite remarkable that Lag has managed to befriend her.
Oh dear. Grave of the Fireflies flashbacks. *sniff* I’ll be back in a second…*sniff*
Since Letter Bee has thus far taken the double-episodic approach thus far, that means we’ll see the conclusion of the Jiggy/Nelli arc in the next episode. What I’m far more interested in is the story regarding Niche. Will the prospect of meeting the Child of Maka lead Jiggy back to the bridge and into Lag and co. or will we even see Jiggy in the next episode? Letter Bee’s haven’t exactly been portrayed in the greatest light in this episode, what with Nelli saying they’ve sold their souls to the government and everything. Will Jiggy turn out to be an all-right guy after all, like every other Letter Bee we’ve seen thus far? Or will we actually see some signs of corruption in the Letter Bee organisation?
To finish things off, I’ll leave you with the latest, greatest hat designed by the collective fashion designers of Japan, as modelled by our very own Niche.