Posted by psgels on 28 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Letter Bee




This is a bit of a difficult review to write. The reason for that is simple: Letter Bee is a series chock-ful of potential. That potential however, is only going to be realized in its second season, while the first season… is mainly dedicated to build up. You know, fleshing out the characters, giving the setting the right background, and building up the huge mystery surrounding this series.

While the series starts off with a very intruiguing opening, most of the rest of the series consists out of small arcs that involve Lag Seeing (the lead character) meeting different people. The people Lag meets vary from ridiculously cheesy to compelling and interesting, it’s really all over the place. In the meantime however, you can really see this series putting a lot of attention to flesh out the recurring cast-members, working on their development. Sure, Lag starts out as an incredible crybaby, but his development throughout these first 25 episodes makes him into quite an interesting character. Nichi on the other hand is just consistently lovable. The members of the main side-cast also all have the poihts at which they stand out.

This show also has quite a few fillers in its middle part. They’re used well, though. There are a few godawful episodes (when you get to the “race”-episode, just skip it alltogether), but also a number of surprisingly good ones. But most importantly: instead of being entirely pointless, they try to flesh out the characters a bit more, and give them a bit more character than what was present in the manga.

So yeah, this series served its purpose well: that second season has a lot of potential to rock due to the build-up that it has provided. Its voice acting is really excellent all around, and the few moments at which it does get to show some of the huge potential behind the storyline that it’s been building up, it’s truly an amazing and intriguing series, and it ends with one hell of a cliff-hanger. The highlights of this series are truly sad and melancholic; they’re just few and far in between, hence the relatively low rating.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Excellent build-up. Some not-so-excellent episodic stories.
Characters: 8/10 – Excellent main cast and voice acting. Hard to like lead characters. some underdeveloped side-characters.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Gorgeous images, inconsistent animation, beautiful soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – A ton of potential…. for which we have to wait until season 2 to fully see it.

8 Responses

  1. Perrin4869 says:

    I gave up on this one after the horrible line from Niche – “You’re the first man to make me wear pants”. Whoever thought of such a line isn’t sane in his mind…

  2. thomas says:

    I could see a lot of potential – the series’ premise is a little similar to something like Kino no Tabi after all – but I never got past the start, it fell it way too many shounen traps.

  3. thomas says:

    *it = into

  4. Kalandra says:

    Why not just wait for the second season and then give it a full review?

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Mostly consistency (I do this with every series that has a sequel planned), but also because I fear that after six months my memory will be too fuzzy to really recall what happened in the first season.

    There were a few series for which I waited until they were fully finished before writing a review (Saiunkoku Monogatari, Code Geass for example), but I really wasn’t happy with those results. Especially in the case of Red Garden, in which a simple decision to wait for a few months for its OVA ended up taking two whole years of waiting before it finally arrived.

  6. AuroraFlame says:

    Outside of 17 and the last couple, I don’t think series ended up being as good as it’s first ten episodes. Still, I think some of these filler episodes were a bit necessary. Once we get into the serious mythology of the series, the show probably won’t have time to show deliveries and connecting people even though that’s the premise of the show.

    How far is the manga from being completed? I’m not really sure how much the second series is intending to cover…

  7. Puran says:

    The last episode got up to manga chapter 17 (-ish, since it didn’t cover the full chapter 17).

    37 Chapters are released so far. The manga is monthly and each chapter is 40~ pages long. It doesn’t seem like the manga is ending any time soon though.

    There is definitely going to be enough manga material for a full second season. So we shouldn’t be afraid of the anime catching up. On the other hand we’re probably not going to get a proper ending either. Maybe in a third season? But that could be a long time away.

  8. LilGamerGirl says:

    (im TomaILY but that name is too unprofessional xD) anyhoo I seen the anime (all 52 eps i think) but i was sooo sad with the ending ;_; like the common who,what,when how?! but other than that i honestly loved this anime. Plus, like Oz (poor guy and daam the manga has me confused) I really liked lag. I guess i have a soft spot for characters with a hard past ^_^;; i do hope it gets a thrid season. I dont wanna read the manga + if it does it will probaly answer all the questions im thinking of (now enuff of my textwall of a comment lol _-_)

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:50 AM)
    Still would have preferred dorohedero adaptation than gangsta though but I can dream…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:46 AM)
    Reading over the impressions post for Ranpo, reminded me, has anyone read the Junji Itou take on that story?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:43 AM)
    …crap, that post went on a lot longer than I was planning it to. Got a bit excited over the series. =P
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:41 AM)
    Ha, yes the characters are unique aren’t they? How often do you see a deaf gangster.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:40 AM)
    I would lying however if I said I wasn’t keen on that Worick fella though and the prostitute girl.
    I am hoping that the series will go more into their relationship with her.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I think this could be the best of the season and I’m glad it’s being covered on here and thanks for putting me onto it with that season preview/first impressions post.
    Where the scans left off was a frustrating cliffhanger =<
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I’d worry about the anime, there might be a chance of censoring later on (although so far that isn’t an issue) and the anime is only 12 episodes long so that’s a problem right there. After a good opening chapter I did feel it took me a little bit before I fully got into it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    It has a feel of dogs-bullets and carnage, which was an alright manga, this seems like a step up/better thing of it.
    However I’m not that big on the tonal shifts, the comic reliefs not great, slight bit of filler, don’t overly care for the side cast as much, their a bit forgettable some of them.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    The action scenes are enjoyable enough, gritty and gory, its competent, time/boredom killer stuff so long as you turn your brain off. That I like the art style also helps. I liked how in one scene the prostitute at least did try to stand up for herself. I can see that a jormungand/black lagoon fan might go for this however I’d warn people to not have their expectations THAT high.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    I watched the first episode of gangsta, but I decided to go on and marathon all 6 volumes in one sitting. For the most part this has a page turner quality to it, the three central/main characters backgrounds are adequately handled and theres a development they keep teasing I hope they get more into. I’m glad to has a series with adult characters like this. Theres a kind of bromance in there somewhere.

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