Tegami Bachi Reverse – 25 (End)

I am… the light!

I can’t really complain about the entertainment value of this final episode of “Letter Bee”. It was moving, exciting, sad and hopeful. In short, it stuck to what this series does well and achieved a predictably agreeable result. But the fact is that it dodged the big question that loomed over the series, and as such it can’t rank as a truly great conclusion.

After the frantic and frenetic action of episode 24 – which felt a little out of place for this series – 25 was a much more comfortably paced effort. In fact at least half the ep was given over to epilogue, which I wholeheartedly endorse – a long series like this one needs an opportunity for a benediction of sorts, especially one as emotionally transparent as Letter Bee was. That doesn’t mean the final battle wasn’t a bit of an anti-climax – it was over almost before it started.

With Noir seemingly dead, a tearful (shocking, ain’t it) Lag calls on The Maka for help. After having been lifted high in this sky he reveals his spirit amber and unleashes a veritable torrent of heart to lure The Cabernet away from the artificial sun. In effect, Lag turns himself into a second artificial sun – Niche’s Onee-san comments that, as she suspected, Lag is only “using human form” (and no, we don’t get a better answer than that). Using the combined force of his own shinadan and Noir’s Gymnopedies, Lag unleashed the shindan from hell and The Cab basically, well, blows up. And that’s more or less that – with Lawrence gone, Garrard and Valentine see the writing on the wall and vamoose, and that’s all-she-wrote for Reverse.

As I said, I’m glad we were allowed the emotional payoff both the fans and the characters deserved. Noir was, of course, not dead – he’s there, bandaged and smiling, when Lag wakes up in the hospital. Not surprisingly he decides to take Roda and live with Those Who Could Not Become Spirit at Blue Notes Blues, but Lag’s heart has clearly reached Noir – in a Gauche-like moment he tells Lag that they’re friends and will see each other again, and they have a monster hug. All of the loose ends are touched on after that – Sunny is talking and smiling though still amnesiac, as Thunderland and Hunt continue their research to help her and all TWCNBS. Jiggy moves up to Blue Notes, tsundere Zazie’s cat harem grows exponentially (he’s deredere, but just for cats) Sylvette changes up the puke soup recipe and I get just a whiff of romance between Largo and Aria. Most importantly Lag is delivering letters with Niche and Steak at his side, smiling – because that’s what a Letter Bee does, you see.

So there you go – a nearly out-and-out happy ending. Only problem is, only passing mention is made of the whole issue that gave birth to Reverse in the first place – their claim that the artificial sun (otherwise known as Lag’s Mom) is made up of stolen hearts. Largo chooses to hope that it’s not true, but we’re really given no answers – just an open question that lingers after the ED like a slightly off scent in the room. It’s a shame, though perhaps unavoidable. The manga is ongoing and that was an issue of sufficient complexity that I wasn’t really expecting it to be resolved here. It does bother me that the government – after all the pains to show us how terrible their actions were – gets off basically scot-free. Who created all those poor hybrid creatures, after all? Maybe someday we’ll get a third season and all this will be sorted out on screen, but if not we’ll have to rely on the manga for answers. And given the affection I feel for these characters, I’m happy we get to leave them in a good place.

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