Whatever else you may say about Letter Bee – and I happen to like it a lot – you can’t say there’s any other show quite like it. With it’s bizarre Engrish names and general language use, lush backgrounds, offbeat sensibility and unabashedly sentimental tone it’s carved a unique “niche” for itself. And it certainly works as a pure adaptation as well as any I’ve seen – it really feels like watching the manga play out on screen.
With the first episode the series picked up without skipping a beat, and the momentum carries over in a very strong second effort. The pacing is always a strength with Letter Bee and that tradition continues, with each episode parceled out perfectly. What struck me about episode 2 is that it was funnier than any ep I remember – Sylvette’s somber speech about the “bond of underpants” that links Lag and Niche was so absurd that even Zazie and Aria had to laugh. Zazie and the pukey soup realization. And then there was the business of fairies not wearing underpants – really, most of the ep connected with underpants and it was all hilarious. This may be the only series that would title an episode “Underpants and Bread” – and then mean it literally.
Of course, this being Letter Bee we had a warm emotional moment – several, actually, starting with Niche’s time with Sandra and Jacob at the Guns ‘n Bread shop. And of course the reunion between she and Lag was well-earned and emotionally genuine – although it’s worth pointing out that brave Lag didn’t cry once during the entire episode. There was even a bit of plot enhancement – with the gunsmith giving Lag a “heart shindan” which will clearly play a major role in his efforts to bring Gauche back to himself. But honestly, when Lag and Niche stripped off and passed out on the floor – in their underpants, naturally – that was enough to justify everything that had happened in the episode.