It was easy to mistake Tegami Bachi as a forgettable anime back when it first debuted more than a year ago. The first episode threw the viewers into a very peculiar, almost fairy tale-like world with very unique concepts. A world where mailmen are called Letter Bees, traveling through dangerous barren lands infested with giant mechanical insects that can only be defeated by quite literally shooting a part of the mailmen's own hearts at them through the use of special guns powered by magical stones called Spirit Ambers, all for the sole purpose of delivering mail.
Enough to trigger the proverbial “lolwat” reaction from more than a few viewers. However, with a whole season behind its belt and the long-awaited brand new season “Tegami Bachi Reverse” underway, it has proven to be worth the attention of any anime fan craving for a show bustling with personality and an original concept.
Things have come a long way since our crybaby protagonist Lag Seeing's fateful encounter with the Letter Bee Gauche Suede who had to deliver him as a human letter to his aunt after his mom seemingly abandoned him and left for Akatsuki. In the first season, inspired by Gauche's will to become the “Head Bee” and gain access to Akatsuki in order to help his sister recover the use of her legs, we followed Lag's story as he left his new home to go become a Letter Bee himself.
Lag's great empathy and pure heart made him the perfect candidate to deliver people's “hearts” in the form of letters throughout Amberground. This led him to befriend Niche, the as-powerful-as-she-is-mysterious Child of Maka girl, who quickly became so attached to him that she practically forced him to let her become his Dingo, a sort of Letter Bee sidekick... Just as long as she agrees to wear underwear at all times. Her childish demeanor and constant grumpiness made her a very amusing character to follow, and the growing bond between the two was, and still is, one of the most entertaining aspects of the anime. They then set foot towards the Post Office of Yuusari, where Lag officially became a Letter Bee and found shelter in the adorable Sylvette's house, whom happened to be Gauche's little sister. He then vows to find Gauche, who has gone missing for years, and bring him back no matter what.
Tegami Bachi episodes are told in two distinct styles, both of which come together to bring the series its flair. In the first style, the main plot develops, Lag comes one step closer to his objectives and meets great challenges and dilemnas. This first approach brings about action-packed episodes that slowly bring Lag closer to finding Gauche and lead him to uncover new truths about Akatsuki, the capital of Amberground with the artificial sun illuminating all the surrounding cities, a brightness that becomes more ominous as the secrets about what goes on in this well-guarded city are revealed. In the second approach, we are treated to glimpses of the everyday life of Lag Seeing as a Letter Bee.
These episodes are what give the anime its storybook feel as Lag gets to deliver letters to all sorts of different people, or learn the inspiring past of the many characters he befriends. These episodes are high on emotional content and tell riveting stories that often revolve around Lag's ability to view the feelings attached to letters or objects.
Tegami Bachi Reverse, without a doubt, manages to keep this balance and perfects it, bringing the anime to new heights. Starting with Lag's encounter with Gauche Suede, now calling himself “Noir”, who has visibly lost his heart and no longer remembers his past, things quickly pick up as we learn he is now part of an anti-government group calling themselves “Reverse”. This group's modus operandi is to steal letters from the Letter Bees and usurp the current government, both things that go against Lag's very principles as a Letter Bee and person.
However, Gauche's new Dingo, a girl dressed in white, is oddly named “Roda”, which was his previous Dingo's name, possibly hinting that, deep inside, Gauche's memories are still somewhere to be found. Armed with a special bullet that can force a person's feelings into another's heart, can Lag succeed in bringing Gauche back to his sister's side? What are the true intentions of Caribs Garrard and Hazle Valentine, investigators from Akatsuki said to be on the trail of Reverse? Will Steak survive to see another day or meet his end in Niche's stomach (although he now seems to be disturbingly resolved to this fate)?
After a 6 month hiatus, Tegami Bachi is finally back and raring to captivate us again with its colorful characters, starry night storybook feel, heart-warming short stories and enthralling plot. If you're a fan, you've already been catching a glimpse of the new episodes, but if it went under your radar the first time, now's a great time to dive into the world of Tegami Bachi, it will definitely get your “stamp” of approval!
Cute girls with adorable fox ears may seem stereotypical for fans, but the new anime, Otome Youkai Zakuro, makes sure to also include plenty of twists. The series takes place during an alternate Meiji Era, when spirits and humans coexisted in the everyday world and had to deal with the changes brought by the incoming of westerners together.
The Meiji Era remains one of the most turbulent time periods in Japan’s history, so the show deals with themes of prejudice, change and tradition versus modernity... Colorful spirits are set against a backdrop of somber modern buildings and the whimsical archetype personalities of most fantasy anime run up against the seriousness of a modernizing Japan. The show takes on the unrest that arose from mixing tradition with modernity; but with a light-hearted twist.
In the show, those Japanese who are rapidly becoming westernized seem angered by the overt existence of spiritual beings, who represent “the past”. To maintain harmony between humans and spirits, the Ministry of Spirits is established. The titular character, Zakuro, is a young half-spirit girl who works for the Ministry, along with her other half-spirit friends, Susukihotaru, Bonbori and Hozuki. The girls are paired up with young human lieutenants, and the teams have to deal with various problems, such as exorcising rogue spirits and confronting discrimination.
What keeps this plot fresh, however, is the personalities of the characters. Zakuro is fiercely proud of tradition and hates the “Jesuit” principles—she bluntly refuses to drink cow milk and openly mocks the westernization she sees around her. Her human partner, a young man named Agemaki, seems a typical bishounen type: young, handsome and charming. He even uses his charms as often as possible to win people’s affections.
However, what could have been cliché is offset by his severe fear of spirits; his scenes of crawling across floors, sobbing, as cute spirit beings try to play with him are simply hilarious. He cannot even go to the restroom alone for fear of running into “a monster”. Zakuro is disdainful of him and his attempts at friendship, though as the series progresses it becomes clear that she trusts him—despite him being a wuss.
The other characters are colorful and add to the mix of personality types. The young half-spirit girl Susukihotaru is paired with the stoic human Riken, and their developing relationship is particularly moving, as they are both quiet individuals and communicate through physical touch. The girls Bonbori and Hozuki are almost a typical otaku’s dream: twins, blonde, perky and slightly perverted, loving to tease their young male partner Ganryu incessantly. All of the girls sport traditional kimono and large fox ears, giving them a fanciful and feminine look. Despite their appearance, the girls are typically the ones doing all of the fighting.
Their soldier counterparts are constantly saved from demonic spirits by the girls’ quick-thinking and deadly blades, which is a welcome change from many anime of this type. This forces their male partners to consider the girls as equals rather than damsels-in-distress, and makes the action scenes much more enjoyable to watch. Not to mention the eerie song the girls sing while going into battle is spine-tingling.
The serious themes of the show—prejudice, change, pride—are supplemented by the light-hearted antics and exciting plot twists, as well as the truly comical situations that arise. The art style is rich and clean, and details, like the colors of kimono buckles, are not missed. Important lessons are passed on through comedy, such as dealing with discrimination and what to feed a fox spirit; apparently, they don’t actually like to eat candles. What could have been a cliché becomes unique, and the series continues to show promise as it develops a serious, overarching plot. Otome Youkai Zakuro is worth the watching—and the crying bishounen won’t disappoint.
Protection of our waterways is indeed a very important element to the overall goal of cleaning our planet. The most important thing to remember is leakage of hazardous chemicals and waste into our water systems. Sure, the water company does their job to clean the water and make it drinkable but they provide their own waste to toss right back into the water. More chemicals are added by the day in attempts to cleanse the water from the waste that we humans produced in the last hundred years alone. Is it possible for a small percentage of the world to do something about pollution and waste management, when a larger majority of people have no interest in recycling or cleaning the environment around them?
1.) The postal service sends each and every person junk mail six days a week.
Instead of this junk mail: save the trees! If people wanted a new couch or a pizza, trust me they know how to get it. If they don't they have plenty of places to do research online. Have bills sent via email on the first Monday of the month. Imagine how many trees would be saved and how much less pollution we would have. If you took all of the junk mail people throw away daily each week the garbage is picked up in one street alone is enough to fill almost 20 garbage cans. Take that times around 54 weeks in a year and you get the picture.
Stop being lazy and dispose of your cigarettes properly. Or better yet, quit smoking. Yeah, that won't happen but I could hope.
3.) In the use of gas: conservation and organization is key. We need to reconsider these unnecessary trips and errands in our cars to pick up buy something that we just merely want, rather than need. If the store is 5 miles away from your house you just burned about 2/3 gallons of gas that went into the ozone layer. People take this lightly because it's hard to determine how much damage is actually being caused since it's not as transparent to us. On the larger scale, millions of people around the world does this at least two times a week. That is millions upon millions of people of carbon dioxide being released into our atmosphere, for a trivial errand. You won't starve you simply are craving an item.
Shop once every week or two and get in a habit of stocking yourself up for the week. You save almost 100 gallons of gas a year as well as any paper that is wasted due to your one item of purchase that will eventually get thrown away.
While visiting the World of the Living, Rukia comes across Kurumadani, the current Soul Reaper stationed in Karakura Town, being attacked by a mysterious masked man. To her surprise, the masked man reveals himself as Shrieker, the Hollow previously defeated and sent to hell by Rukia and Chad.
16: The scene is Daten City beach. Beautiful semi-nude girls, glistening in sweat, and fighting to the death!
17: While looking around for men, Stocking falls in love at first sight! However, the man she falls for is absurdly ugly. What does destiny have in store for their relationship?
Did you know that Akira Kamiya, the voice of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, was also the voice of Iago in the Japanese dub of the Aladdin animated series.