Did you ever start reading a manga only to suddenly stop reading it on day? Not because it was bad, or not intersting you just stopped one day and forgot to come back to it for awhile. Maybe that’s just me and speaks to how much manga I’ve read over the years. Or at least attempted to read.
Story: We meet a very young, and very strange piece of mail who is a boy called Lag Seeing. He’s being delivered to his Aunt by a Letter Bee named Gauche Suede and his dingo Roda. At the end of their journey Lag has said that he wants to grow up to be a Letter Bee just like Gauche.
We jump forward a few years where Lag has been selected for the Letter Bee exam. He’s joined up by Niche, the very exotic ‘child of Maka’ and her meal and pet Steak. Together with the Bees of the Amberground, including Zazie, Conner and the elusive Jiggy Pepper they set forth to make delivers. However, Gauche Suede has seemingly abandoned his younger sister Sylvette and no one has heard of him since he made head bee.
Just… well shit. Letter Bee several years after I started I get why I fell on and off the train. The introduction takes the time to lay out the pieces of the story but towards the end especially you really start to see when the author was told the story wasn’t doing so well. Chapters are rushed, especially the ending which while everything is all tied together, leaves you a bit perplexed since… well. I’ll leave that for you to read.
Characters: If I made the point to talk about each and every character in the series that’s important I would never be able to finish this review.
The obvious would be Lag and Niche. A Letter Bee and his dingo, who also happens to be pretty damn god-like in powers and effectiveness. We watch Lag grow up being a crybaby to fully understand WHY he cries so damn much. It’s not an annoying trait so much as refreshing because most Shonen hero’s are often emotionally constipated or only cry after someone dies. Not Lag, he cries whenever he feels deeply which is often. Niche is a little strange, but bonded with Lag so she cares for him deeply as both a fellow almost-human and as a dingo.
Of course their is Noir, who bears some incredible resemblance to someone near and dear to Lag’s heart. Just who is he? Does it really matter at the end of the day? Noir is emotionally dead, but that doesn’t fully stop him from being an intersting character to read about at the end of the day. A lot of his changes are thanks to Lag and company.
And again, I could go on FOREVER about these guys. I grew up with them swapping Naruto for Letter Bee with my twin brother in high school. I’m honestly shocked that I didn’t finish this series as it was being published since some of these characters are going to stick with me for awhile.
Art: Honestly, I think Letter Bee is one of the prettiest Shonen manga in awhile. I don’t mean that with Bi-shounen characters either, I mean the background since it’s a series mostly set at night, are gorgeous. There’s a tone of fine details in both the gaichuu and the buildings that really set it apart.
Other Thoughts/Overall: I’m still crying at how the ending was set up since dammit they all deserved better! There was… all the need for how everything panned out but that doesn’t mean I didn’t tear up a bit about it. Again, not an end all do all manga. But the subjects of heart, writing letters which is a lost art to many, and human relationships with some dangerous critters and people thrown in there for action really sets it apart. If you’re tired of tournament archs in shonen, this is a series I highly recommend.