|Steak is clearly shocked at this hug|
A funny thing happened on the way to finding Gauche – we got an entire episode dedicated to Niche’s back story. And a welcome diversion it was, too.
Mind you, there was some Gauche development this week. He was definitely seen in the village of Blue Notes Blues, entering their sacred cave accompanied by Roda. When Lag, in defiance of the villagers, enters the cave he finds not only a bunch of shindan casings, but a veritable gallery of unfamiliar Gaichu frozen in ice.
|For God’s sake, PUT SOME PANTS ON!|
The main focus of the episode was definitely Niche. BNB is certainly the place where she was born, apparently two hundred years earlier. There’s some dispute about the timing there, and Niche’s mangling of Japanese doesn’t help – but it seems like 200 is the number. She remembers a little despite the fact that she was a “babe” at the time. Lag and Niche eventually stumble on the legendary lake whose waters are supposed to grant a thousand years of life. Who should appear out of the water but the Maka herself (himself?) and what appears to be Niche’s sister. She certainly looks older (in all the right ways), but it appears she’s a twin – and none too happy to see her sister still looking like a little girl. The villagers soon arrive (so much for the cave being off limits) and Niche’s sister starts to tell the story of how things got nasty between the Maka and the villagers, and the children of Maka were dragged into it. This is a story the (apparently) two-hundred year old mayor would rather not be told.
A tremendous amount of development there, for sure. Perhaps most interesting was the revelation from Niche’s sister than Lag isn’t human. Lots of exposition to come there, for sure. Lag’s reaction to said sister’s nude form – so very unlike Niche’s – was pretty cute. And why does Niche’s twin look like a grown woman? She implies that Niche simply forgot how to grow up – but we haven’t even yet seen how the two sisters were separated. It does seem obvious that the Mayor is 200 years old, and certain that he tried to kill the twins, thinking them cursed. I suppose he drank the water of the lake to live that long, but somehow that strikes me as a little too simple for this show. Indeed, we’re now getting a renewed sense for just how intricately plotted Letter Bee really is – and how artfully the plot threads are being woven together. As always the episode looked fantastic, full of brilliant examples of the unique visual style that makes this show so beautiful. The frozen Northern landscapes lend themselves perfectly to that style, and the Maka itself – a kind of golden dragon/sea worm – is a true work of art.