Susan's Reviews > Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Volume 1

Tegami Bachi by Hiroyuki Asada
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May 17, 2010

really liked it
Read in May, 2010

I'll be the first to say---the plot's a little all over the place in the first two volumes, the characters all have names that sound like the pseudonyms of the spammers that infiltrate your inbox but it's at least something different. Gauche Suede, a mail carrier (a.k.a. Letter Bee) finds himself delivering an unusual package: Lag Seeking, a small boy, who has been abandoned by his mother. According to the child, she was abducted by force, but whatever the case, there's clearly something odd going on, and in the meantime, Gauche-the Letter Bee--has the boy's welfare on his hands. On the way to their destination (the child's nearest relative) Gauche saves the child's life and inspires Lag to become a Letter Bee himself. As it turns out, Lag will also have the opportunity to fulfill that same rescuer role for another lost and special child, but that's for another volume.

There's clearly some dark forces at play in the first two volumes--much of which the reader won't quite know what to do with yet: sinister creatures, the hints of class tensions/political issues in this strange world, the tantalizing snippets of sadness and separation present in Gauche's life back home, and so on. Still, it seems highly unique and the art is gorgeously drawn and inked. There's no other way to put it. One of the early battle scenes between Gauche, Lag and one of the creatures was so striking I wanted to blow it up and frame it. Unlike so many battle scenes you come across in manga it managed to both capture the motion and be crisp and artistic all at the same time without losing a thing.

Age Appropriateness (vol 1 and 2): Overall, probably 12+. Nothing too risque and the battle scenes are more fantastical than realistic. In volume 2, there's a little bit of odd business where Lag encounters what appears to be a homeless lost girl who's not really properly attired (it comes out that she isn't wearing proper underwear). Gotta love the obsession with underwear in manga (*cough* Negima *cough* DragonBall *cough*) You don't see anything and the trouble gets pretty quickly resolved, but there you are--that's about as scandalous as it gets. They violence picks up a bit in the second one, but again--it's hardly realistic, and besides...the bad guys deserve it. So there.

Recommeded to Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy fans, also maybe fans of the Scrapped Princess.
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