Episode three was a classic, archetypal Tegami Bachi. A perfectly self-contained 20:49 of emotional stand-alone story, flawlessly paced, with a tie-in to the main plotline book-ending it on either side. When you have a formula that works this well, why change it?
I’m seeing a bit more quirky humor so far in “Reverse” and it makes a nice addition – I adore the show but the emotion can be a bit of a sugar overload at times, and the humor is like a nice twist of lime to brighten the dish. Of course this being Letter Bee the humor is of the gentle variety – as in Niche’s perfectly delivered “On account of I am a dingo!” and Lag’s equally spot-on surprised “On account?” Niche is definitely becoming more human as the series progresses – picking up on the mannerisms and language patterns of Lag and his friends. We also see that Zazie and Connor have more or less become permanent hangers-on at Sylvette’s house. Lag begins the episode puzzling over what to write in his “letter shindan” to Gauche, but the bulk of the story concerns a young heiress named Ray who – in one of several gaffes in the episode for him – Lag mistakes for a boy at first. She’s a sickly thing, and the only thing keeping her going are the beautiful – and wordless – and unaddressed – picture letters she receives depicting scenes of her long-lost hometown. Turns out the letters are the product of her clumsy, illiterate but kindly maid Kimidori. She begs Lag not to spill the beans, but when the sinister head maid Colabasso (I would watch this series for the names alone) tries to take credit and a huge reward, Lag – acting on an idea Niche suggested earlier – shoots one of the letters with his Red Needle and spills the beans. Calabasso is fired and Ray realizes her childhood friend has been her savior. Kimidori’s idea appeals to Lag as an option for Gauche’s shindan, but alas – Lag’s drawing skills would fit right in with the “Nomo Drawing Contest” from Cross Game.
|Finally – Gettin’ Jiggy with it!|
What was great about that episode? Lots – extreme cuteness with Lag and Niche at the start. Niche’s jealousy over Lag being smitten by Ray. The aforementioned humor. And finally a glimpse of Jiggy Pepper in the preview – looks like he’s finally going to play a major role in an episode, something I’ve really been waiting for. Like I said, this series has a formula that works and it generally knows to stick with it. In terms of consistency it has few equals – Tegami Bachi knows exactly what it is and doesn’t usually try to be anything else. Other than the occasional anime-original misstep filler episode in the first series (there were excellent anime-original eps as well) there really haven’t been any clunkers here.