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segua
March 16, 2010, 01:59 AM
Title: Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee)
Genres: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Supernatural
Author: Asada Hiroyuki
Artist: Asada Hiroyuki
Publication: Shueisha (Monthly Shonen Jump (Vol 1-2), Jump SQ (Vol 3+)
Start Date: 2006
End Date: Ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 39
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 39


General Overview:

The role of a Letter Bee is to ensure that each letter or package reaches its destination in a timely manner. In such a dangerous and hostile world, each Letter Bee is armed with a mystical firearm and usually accompanied by a dingo, a helper. Accomplishing the task of delivering each postal item is an astonishing feat that few could do.

When Gauche came upon a hapless boy, Lag Seeing, Gauche didn't know what awaited him. On the journey to deliver Lag Seeing, Gauche and Lag Seeing bonded. Gauche became Lag Seeing's role model and desired to one day become a Letter Bee himself. After completing his mission, Gauche and Lag Seeing said their goodbyes. A couple years later, Lag Seeing sets off to become a Letter Bee.


Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

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Art: 10

Amazing line work. With so much details, I'm surprised by the simplicity of the outlines. It's a very distinct style of artistry. The art work is fantastic in that it brings forth the brutality of Tegami Bachi's world. Asada Hiroyuki's talent is amazing.

One thing I do admire was that there were a variety of people especially inclusion of elderly characters. I'm appreciative that the world of Tegami Bachi isn't just one of youthful appearances but has a variety of people. The realism factor increased with such considerations for those over that age of 40.


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Plot: 10

Even though each chapter was like a volume of chapters by itself, I was surprised to have found that it wasn't a burden to read them. By the time I realized it, I was reading the nineteenth chapter.

Delivery of letters or anything postal doesn't seem fun but Asada Hiroyuki sure convince me how something dull could be made into something exciting and dangerous. Truly, each courier mission was an adventure all in itself. Things didn't get repetitive. With such a dangerous backdrop, the story was given a variety of tales to tell.

Each progression of the plot unraveled the world of Tegami Bachi. I found myself wanting to know more about the nature of the world. Why was is it like it is? So far, the story has been enjoyable and turned out well pleasing.


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Characters: 8

A very good cast of characters. Working as a government employee, I'm sure there were countless other Letter Bees, but I'm thankful that only a handful were shown which played a major role in the plot.

The protagonist, Lag Seeing, aspires to be like his role model, Gauche. Lag Seeing's dingo, Niche, could have been better done. Enough with the no underwear escapades! I found it disturbing.


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Theme: 10

The conveying of what a person's emotions is difficult. Words cannot fully express how a person feels. This could often lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication. The whole premise of Tegami Bachi seems to revolve around communicating one's own feelings and emotions. Of course, the main character, Lag Seeing, is able to fully convey the hearts and thoughts of the send to the receiver.


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Originality: 10

Tegami Bachi stands out in uniqueness due to its re-envisioning a postal system for a strange world. The Letter Bees are assigned the task of delivering "letters" in a harsh environment. The word "letter" is used inconclusively to represent anything that has postage on it. This gives a wider definition to what a "letter" constitutes.

The fact that these Letter Bees also carry special firearms for defensive and offensive purposes makes the story interesting. I suppose these letter bees could also become killer bees. Though I'm sure that deliverymen of the past probably had some sort of firearm to protect themselves against postal thieves and robbers.


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Overall: 9

The premise of the story is interesting even if each chapter felt like more like a volume of chapters. Tegami Bachi is a story that draws in a person into its' fantasy world. I felt as if I was living moment by moment seeing how the story would twist and turn. It's a fanciful story with such a young protagonist.

I suppose the only real problem is that of Lag Seeing's dingo. I wonder what type of person the mangaka is? This really is a shame and it truly detracts from the quality of the manga.

For those that want to enjoy reading a, what I thought, fantastic adventure story, for the most part, I recommend Tegami Bachi.


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