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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.

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