Tegami Bachi Reverse – 16

Looks like we’ve hit the reset button. Gauche is Noir again – or so it appears – and Lag and Sylvette are missing him and crying.

This is a development that was certainly flagged in the previous episode, both by Dr. Thunderland’s comments and by the disappearance of “Gauche” at the end of the episode. Things pick up right at that point and Lag and Sylvette go off to find him, starting with Sylvette checking at the hive. Instead of Noir, Lag’s search leads him to find first Hunt and then Sara, from the first season’s “Honey Waters” arc. Hunt is working as Dr. Thunderland’s assistant and Sara has opened an employment agency for dingos (who knew?). She’s also taken Roda in, having found her disheveled and starving on the street, being harassed. Roda is as upset to see Noir acting as Lag’s dingo as Lag was to see Noir working with Reverse, and ends up taking shelter at Sara’s agency.

Roda is in the fact the center of much of the episode. This is one of Yui Horie’s grittier roles, and it’s interesting to listen to her work here. Noir is quite literally Roda’s entire world – she seems lost without him. She ends up fighting with Niche who, dismayed to see Lag and Sylvette crying, decides to find Gauche herself. She finds Roda instead and proceeds to pretty much kick Roda’s ass with her newfound mad skills taught by her sister. But Noir steps in at the last minute and saves Roda – though I doubt Niche would have hurt her badly.

So now we’re left with the fundamental question of the day still unanswered – who is this guy? He was Gauche for 17 years, then he was Noir for a while, then Gauche for a bit, now Noir again. I stand by my belief that it isn’t that simple – this current young man is both Gauche and Noir, and always will be. Maybe Lag’s shindan was capable of returning only Gauche’s memories and not his heart, but those memories will change who Noir is. He clearly cares for Roda, and I think the evidence is pretty strong that he cares for Lag and Sylvette too, based on the fact that he didn’t hurt them (he certainly could have) and left quietly. Could Gauche be unchanged, knowing all the details of the wrongs committed by the government as he does? Could Noir be unchanged, knowing the depth of the love Lag and Sylvette feel for him, and that he felt for them? As with much in this series I think right and wrong are subtle here, not black and white – and Gauche/Noir more than anyone is caught squarely in the middle of all that.

Next week looks exciting, not just for a potential confrontation between Lag and Gauche/Noir (Nauche? Goir?) but for the return of the guy every bee boy is crushing on, Jiggy Pepper himself. Jiggy otakus all over the hive better get ready.

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