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
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:53 AM)
    Okay even though I don’t watch western tv shows all that much I finally properly spent whole day going through black mirror. For the larger part this is creative, unpredictable, well thought out/written, varied, I like the technological end of it, the stories manage to fit into the short film runtime without ever feeling like they needed more time and its clear that Charlie Brooker has a lot to say with this and is very intelligent man, some of it does ring fairly true.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 03:17 AM)
    @Aidan: …Jesus I read that wrong at first and read it as Liam Neeson…
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 02:09 AM)
    @swa, and hearing those lines voiced by Liam O’Brien would be a godsend.
  • swa
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 01:24 AM)
    Even in slow paced intermezzo episodes and with just a couple of lines, still so GARcher.

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