Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Hiroyuki Asada
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Now available
The trails of a Letter Bee.
Having been pleasantly surprised by Volume 1 of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, I found myself waiting for a chance to see if Lag Seeing would become a character that would match the fascinating story and supporting characters. While Lag didn’t quite win me over in the first volume, he has certainly shown even more potential as a character we can really come to love in Volume 2 of this unique shonen manga series.
In the last volume, young Lag Seeing has not only befriended the legendary “Child of Maka” who he named Niche but he has gained a Dingo (what the Letter Bee’s call their official partners). Of course, Dingo’s are usually animals but Niche has a rare talent that makes her quite valuable … you see, she possesses incredible swiftness, the ability to jump really high and her hair that turns as sharp as swords. Niche, who actually likes being called a Dingo, joins Lag on his journey to reach the National Postal Service offices.
Along with a creature that is practically all teeth (which Niche calls Steak because she planned on eating it), the three make it to a run-down town called Kyrie that is considered the “dead end.” It is in this very town that Lag wishes to cross the Bifrost bridge that leads to Yuusari where his interview will be held. In the same town lives a youngster named Nelli who is trying to deliver a letter written by a younger brother to a young boy named Jiggy Pepper. As it turns out, Jiggy abandoned Kyrie to become a Letter Bee and never came back.
When Nelli meets Lag and Niche and discovers the Lag has a crossing pass that is required to cross Bifrost, Nelli leads the trio to an inn and steals Lag’s crossing pass. As Lag realizes that the crossing pass is stolen, he goes on a pursuit but at the same time must deal with Niche stubbornly wanting to be acknowledged as Lag’s Dingo. On top of that, there’s a tall, lanky man in glasses who realizes that Niche is the Child of Maka.
Confronting Nelli, though, Lag realizes two things … one is that Nelli is a girl and second that she is angry with Jiggy Pepper for having abandoned her and her little brother, Nello. It seems that Nello looks up to Jiggy who is the type of kid who dreams big but when Jiggy left it made the boy sad until tragedy changed something in Nelli. Her wish is to deliver the letter the Nello has written for Jiggy and she planned on doing it without the help of a Letter Bee. When she makes it to the tower that leads to Bifrost, though, it is clear that only the real Lag Seeing could pass and Nelli is attacked only to have Lag and Niche save her.
Like he did with Gauche Suede, Lag fires his Shindan and sees into another person’s heart. He sees Nelli and Nello’s past. Their story is sweet and touching and it affects Lag in the same way that Gauche’s past has touched his heart. Promising to deliver Nello’s letter to Jiggy, Lag, Niche and Steak cross Bifrost and finally making it to Yuusari.
Once at the National Postal Service office, Lag and Niche meet a beautiful Letter Bee named Aria Link who has Lag and two other Letter Bee candidates compete in trial. With one candidate bowing out at the start (for a hilarious reason I won’t get into), it is up to Lag and the last candidate to try to deliver a letter through a forest filled with Gaichuu. It is Lag who proves himself in the trail and discovers a secret about himself and his Amber eye.
Lag comes even closer to becoming a Letter Bee as his journey with Niche and a new critter companion leads them into the interesting world of this kind of postal service. Volume 2 of Tegami Bachi is even better than the first volume as Lag proves to be even stronger central character with a lot to offer as he continues on his quest to make his dreams come true.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
With the Child of Maka named Niche acting as his Dingo, Lag Seeing finally arrives at the last stop that will take them to the offices of the National Postal Service for his exam. Unfortunately, a friendly citizen of Kyrie befriends Lag just to steal his crossing pass. When Lag and Niche do make it to the Letter Bee headquarters, they take part in a test that’s unexpectedly dangerous.
The art will really start to grow on you and even more so in this second volume since we get to see Lag in action once again but this time with Niche fighting alongside him.
As we can see from Volume 2 of Tegami Bachi, the series is still not your typical shonen manga fare and that’s Ok because this series is not only becoming more interesting but also shows more heart than other shonen manga series of its kind. Consider us hooked on this series.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media