Tegami Bachi

Tegami Bachi or Letter Bee is written by Asada Hiroyuki and originally serialized in the now defunct Monthly Shonen Jump since January 2007 until February 2010. This shonen manga, entitled Tegami Bachi: Hikari to Ao no Gensou Yawa (Letter Bee: Light and Blue Night Fantasy) was adapted to anime in the fall of 2008. The television series soon premiered on October 3, 2009 and ran with 25 episodes. A second season of anime is due out in the Fall of 2010. A drama CD, aptly named “Drama CD Tegamibachi,” on Jiggy Pepper was released on February 2009.

There are two opening and ending themes:

1. Hajimari no Hi (はじまりの日 – Day of Beginnings) by Suga Shikao (ep. 1-13)
2. Love Letter no Kawari ni Konoshi o ((ラブレターのかわりにこの詩を – This Poem In Place of the Love Letter) by Seira (ep. 14 – present)
3. Hatenaki ((果てなき道 – Endless Road) by HIMEKA (ep. 1-13)
4. Hikari no Kioku (光の記憶 – Memories of the Light) by Angelo (ep. 14-present)

The series revolves around Tegami Bachi / Letter Bee, or to be exact, letter carriers, and their fight against armored insects, Gaichuu, to deliver letters in the surrounding land of Amberground. Gaichuu feeds on human hearts and are attracted to the letters that Letter Bees carry because the letters have “heart” in them too. Once a human is attacked and drained off its heart, it becomes a soul-less vessel that doesn’t respond or eat. That human then dies from starvation.

 

Gauche Suede

Gauche Suede

 

Gauche Suede is a Letter Bee (a postman) at the Bee Hive. He finds a boy of 7, Lag Seeing, marked as a letter to be delivered to the boy’s aunt, Sabrina Mary, in Campbell Litus. Lag’s mother was kidnapped and brought to a place called Akatsuki. Coincidentally this is the same place that Gauche’s sister, Sylvette, will be able to find cure for her paralysis. Gauche aspires to be the Head Bee to enable his sister to walk again one day. To that end, he goes out of his way to get his jobs done as efficiently as possible to hasten his climb up the ladder. He also reasons that because each letter carries with it the “heart” of the sender, the letters have to be protected and hand-delivered to their destination in one piece.

Lag Seeing, having met and traveled with Gauche, is affected by Gauche’s philosophy, so much so that he wishes to be a Letter Bee too when he “grows up.” Gauche has a special gun, called the Shindanjuu (heart bullet gun) where he uses his Spirit Amber called Kurobari (Black Needle) against attacks by Gaichuus (armored gigantic insects). He also has a dingo (partner/bodyguard) called Roda, who is  skilled in tracking, fighting and hunting.

After successfully delivering Lag, Gauche leaves the crying boy with his aunt and promises to see him again when he grows up.

 

Lag: Akabari Spirit Amber

Lag: Akabari Spirit Amber

 

Five years later, Lag Seeing is summoned to the Bee Hive for an interview and a final test as a Letter Bee in the town of Yuusari in Amberground. It is later revealed that his hidden left eye is made of the red spirit amber, which allows him to fire Akabari (Red Needle) through his Shindanjuu. His spirit amber allows the viewer to see the memories of inanimate objects that are fired upon. When he reaches Amberground, the heart of Bee Hive, he is told that Gauche has gone missing from his last assignment in Akatsuki, as he was nearing his dream of becoming the Head Bee. Gauche’s gun, the Nocturne #12, is then passed on to Lag. During Lag’s travel to the Bee Hive, he finds his Dingo, Niche, and her “pet,” live bait and emergency food supply, Steak.

 

Gauche, Steak, Niche & Lag

Gauche, Steak, Niche & Lag

 

Niche, was Lag’s first delivery, to a circus as a freak show act. After delivering her, he realized that things weren’t adding up and decides to check things out. He rescues Niche from an attacking Gaichuu and she has stuck to him since. Niche, is the child of Maka, a very special being with bear-like forearms with claws, which are hidden from the public with huge mitts and hair that turns to the “Golden Sword.” Based on her appearance, she looks no more than a child of 7, but it is later revealed that she is more than 200 years old and has a twin sister with similar powers to hers. Steak was in the same circus as Niche and followed her out. Steak seems to accept his fate as Niche’s future meal and submits to Niche’s attempts to cook him. He is said to be the last of the Kapellmeister (once thought to be extinct), a species that co-existed peacefully with Spirit Insects.

 

Zazie, Connor, Niche & Lag

Zazie, Connor, Niche & Lag

After Lag gets to the Bee Hive he is put on a final test before becoming a Letter Bee. As he passes the test with flying colors, he befriends Connor Kluff with his dingo, a hound dog named Gus, and Zazie with his dingo, a panther-like cat named Wasiolka. Connor was Lag’s escort to his Bee interview and test. Connor’s Spirit Amber is Kibaku (Yellow Bomb) or Heart Landmine. Zazie, however, is said to only have interest in killing Gaichuu and delivering letters come second as his parents were killed by Gaichuu when he was young. Zazie’s Spirit Amber is Aotoge (Blue Thorn), which forms with the anger and evil intent toward the Gaichuu.

 

Through his travels, Lag also meets Jiggy Pepper, a Bee who saved him from a giant Gaichuu (after Lag “reunited” him with his sister, Nelli). His dingo is a hawk named Harry and his Spirit Amber, Gunjou, Sea Blue Ultramarine, is fired through his motorcycle.

Lag also catches the eyes of Bee Hive master Largo Lloyd, sub-master Aria Link and pathologist Dr. Thunderland Jr. or better known as the “Corpse Doctor” for his love of dissecting corpse. After Lag’s acceptance into the Bee Hive, Connor brings Lag to Sylvette’s place, Gauche’s younger sister, and after much commotion Sylvette requests that Lag remains in the house with her. So begins the housing of four unlikely strangers – Sylvette Suede, Lag Seeing, Niche and Steak.

 

Lag Seeing

Gauche Suede

 

Later, Aria reveals to Lag that Sylvette was born on the Day of the Flicker – a day when the government investigated and modified the artificial sun. Gauche, who went up to the hill of Prayer during this moment, lost the memories of his mother, Sylvette, who died from child-birth. He unconsciously named his younger sibling Sylvette and focused all his energy on making Sylvette happy and whole again. Aria, is also Gauche’s love interest. Her Spirit Amber heals and restores those who are close enough to hear her music from her violin.

During a delivery to the town of Honey Waters, the trio, Zazie, Connor and Lag are almost defeated by a massive Gaichuu. The town houses two mystics, Sarah and Hunt (two circus rejects) who claim to have disposed off the last Gaichuu that attack, but really, it was Gauche who killed it in one of his last missions. After the defeat by the younger Letter Bees, Connor takes the two mystics back to Amberground, while Lag tries to deliver some of the letters from Honey Waters. Zazie takes a liking to the girl, Anna, from this town.

Gauche, soon enough, appears before Lag, without any memories of Lag or being a Bee, and steals this letter from Lag. He calls himself a Marauder, agent of the group “Rebirth” who steals letters from the Bees, known by the name Noir. The group “Rebirth” is led by one known only as the “Person who was not able to become a Spirit.” It tries to cause a “Rebirth” of Amber Ground. Noir fires his new Shindanjuu, Gymnopédie, at Lag. While this is happening, Noir’s dingo, Roda (a quick human girl), distracts Niche by telling her she is inapt as a dingo to protect her master.

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Season 2 (Fall 2010) – Tegami Bachi Reverse

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