Tegami Bachi Reverse – 18

Tegami Bachi was doing moral ambiguity before Madoka Magica and Fractale made it all hip and cool, and it’s still doing it pretty well. We’re wandering into anime-original territory now and the episodes may have lost a bit of the urgency we were seeing a few weeks ago, but the story is still flowing pretty naturally and staying close to the core plot.

If you were hoping for an answer to the great Gauche/Noir debate, you’re going to have to be patient for a while – though whoever he is, it’s 100% clear at this point that he’s a compassionate person. Garrard and Valentine definitely still don’t trust him, and they probably shouldn’t. Their boat ride to the graveyard of “those who could not become spirit” was certainly one of the darker and more disturbing scenes in the series. It’s clear that the abandoned government laboratory was where Roda was “made” – and Gauche picks up a couple of survivors from the pile of bones just before they’re to be sucked into the giant trash compactor. Just how long did they survive under there? Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite tsundere Bee Zazie is back after a lengthy absence – finally tracking down the Cabernet but being stymied by another failed experiment, this time a man/wolf hybrid named Jeel.

The other key moment of the episode was Lag’s confrontation with Lawrence. Poor Lag is yet again unable to shoot his shindan, but its not from overuse this time – it appears to be because his heart is now conflicted. Lag’s seen enough that confuses him by now that he’s starting to doubt the stories being told to him by the government. And how could he not have doubts, given all that’s happened? It’s not just Gauche and Noir – it’s hearts stolen to feed the sun, deformed half-breed experiments, and double-agents. The real crux of the matter is that Lawrence appears ready to make his move – to try and lure Lag over to the other side. And the really interesting thing is that it’s not entirely clear that this would be a bad thing. This is similar in some ways to the story playing out in Fractale – though most of the citizens of Amberground don’t live in a “paradise”, which is reserved for the privileged few, and the methods of Reverse don’t seem quite as savage as those of Lost Millennium.

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