Tegami Bachi Reverse – 17

There’s no question we’re being trolled a bit on the whole Gauche/Noir thing at this point. Not only do we not have an answer but based on the events of this week, we’re no closer to one. It all depends on how you interpret what happened on screen.

The funny thing is, none of the characters seem to know either. Not Lawrence, who ordered Gauche killed. Not Garrard and Valentine, who appeared to be convinced he was Noir by the end of the episode. Not Roda, who doesn’t even know what to call him. And certainly not Lag and Sylvette.

The cat is certainly out of the bag about Garrard and Valentine, though – Largo and the gang at The Hive know beyond a doubt that they’re Reverse agents. In order to save Sylvette from their interrogation, Lag goes into drag again – posing as Sylvette while Niche (whose follicular shapeshifting seems to know no bounds now) poses as her wheelchair. Garrard and Valentine are fooled (a little too easily, seems to me) and take the pair of them to the Reverse hideout, where they correctly figure Nauche is hiding. Except he’s not hiding – he’s waiting for them, asking to go back to Reverse – but they’re skeptics. Lag’s cover is blown, combat ensues and Goir offers prove his loyalty by offing Lag with a standard handgun. Just in time to save the day arrives Jiggy Pepper, the baddest baddass among the Bees. He rescues Lag, though the Reverse pair assume the boy is dead, buried beneath the rubble.

Here’s where the maddening interpretation game comes into play. Lag seems convinced that Noir really tried to kill him, but there’s more than a little obscurity to that. After all, Niche’s hair shields or not, none of those bullets hit Lag – and what better way to allow Lag to escape than to bury him in rubble – knowing Niche would shield him? Jiggy himself seems to believe that, though Lag is unconvinced and Niche outright skeptical.

Me, I’m sticking to my guns here – this guy is some weird hybrid of Gauche and Noir who doesn’t know himself who he is. Maybe it’s true, as he says, that a heart lost can never be returned – but even so, the memories Lag gave back to him could surely change his nature. That remains the big question for now – the manga readers seem worried that we’re diverging off towards an anime-only ending, which is always dangerous ground. For now, I haven’t seen a slip in quality so I’ll continue to hope we get a conclusion that feels true to the characters.

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