Tegami Bachi Reverse Episode #44 (Mania.com)

By:Bryan Morton
Review Date: Sunday, February 13, 2011
Release Date: Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lawrence and the voice of temptation, standing a chance to lure Lag away from the Bees? Sounds unlikely, but given what Lawrence knows about certain things, I wouldn't rule out the possibility...

What they say
Gauche Suede is on his last delivery before a big promotion. In the outskirts of Yodaka, the darkest area of Amberground, Gauche is surprised to find that the package is a young boy named Lag Seeing. Lag had been traumatised by his mother's abduction and is due to be delivered to his aunt. In this remote area rife with Gaichuu, Lag and Gauche face a dangerous journey that inspires Lag to become a Letter Bee.

The review
Lag's inability to fire his Shindan presents Lawrence with an opportunity to turn him to Reverse's side, if he plays his card right - and if Lag is ready to listen to him. Mention of Lag's mother may just be the key to getting his attention. Meanwhile, the many shindans that Zazie has shot into Jeel awaken the Cabernet, which then carries Jeel away. Zazie and Lag give chase, seeing their chance to finish the Cabernet off - but the also see the fragments of Jeel's heart, and decide that he needs to be saved as well...

If you've been following my reviews of the series, you'll know that Tegami Bachi episodes always seem to fall into one of two categories: completely awesome arc stories that take the time to explain things, or very run-of-the-mill filler episodes that I could really do without. This episode, though, slots in somewhere in between - there's not a hell of a lot of plot progression, but there is something of a spanner thrown in the works of what Lag and Zazie have always assumed to be what's "right', as they begin to realise that, however sinister Lawrence and Reverse may appear, the reasons that they're opposing the Amberground government may just be valid.

In between the moral dilemma scenes, there are some good action scenes, and a few small tidbits of information that you know are going to come back into play later. For all that I sometimes complain about the pacing, the way Tegami Bachi drips out its secrets does a damn good job at keeping the attention and giving you something to chew over - half the fun comes in trying to work out what's going on behind the scenes before you get another little tidbit that changes the landscape a little and forces you to rethink. It's a pity that that side of things is only an aspect of the show, and not what it focusses on.

In summary:
So Tegami Bachi is getting back on track and once again doing the things it's particularly good at - even though it seems to be treading water in some ways while doing it. It's not quite back to the best that it can be, but with the events of this episode we're getting there again.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Apple MacBook Pro 17" with 4GB RAM and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tegami Bachi