Tegami Bachi Reverse Episode #45 (Mania.com)

By:Bryan Morton
Review Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011
Release Date: Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ah, wouldn't you know it, Lag's off on a little side trek again. While catching up with Connor and Sunny is sort of relevant, I'm getting to the stage where anything other than the main plot in Tegami Bachi is intensely annoying. I am, therefore, intensely annoyed...

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 visits the city of Lament to see Connor, as he needs the abilities of Gus, his dingo, to track down the Cabernet, which has buried itself into the ground. Connor remained there to look after Sunny who, while up and about, is a shadow of her former self since having her heart taken by the Cabernet. Despite knowing that his help is required, though, Connor refuses to leave Sunny behind...

It's perhaps telling about Tegami Bachi's pacing that, although the Cabernet stole Sunny's heart nine episodes ago now and is considered the most major threat that Reverse have produced, it's been seen about twice since then and is still on the loose. Every time the series introduces a compelling new idea or storyline - the Cabernet, or the creature at the heart of Amberground's artificial sun - it cops out of following up on the idea and instead goes down a side alley - Gauche's return, or this episode's catch-up with Lag and Sunny. There's nothing more annoying, and this series has gotten into the habit of doing it so often now that it's getting beyond a joke.

There are two things that the episode really covers: securing the services of Connor and Gus in digging up the Cabernet, which is I admit relevant to the bigger picture; and the mystery of Sunny, which doesn't appear to be. That Sunny is up and about is something of a miracle - the show has taught us so far that at the vear least, losing your heart to a Gaichuu results in a comatose state, while the other victims of the Cabernet paid for their loyalty to Reverse's cause with their lives, but for some reason here's one person who, in a limited way, is still living her life - so, we have to ask, why? Is Connor's attention the driving force in this, and will that give Lag a clue in how to deal with Reverse, or other victims of the Gaichuu? That's an interesting question, to be sure - but once it comes to you and you've thought about it a bit, the rest of the episode becomes an irrelevance that just washes over you. Me, I passed the time wondering about the shows other mysteries while waiting for this episode to get to the point. And if you've got time to do that while the episode's still telling its story, then it's just not doing it right.

In summary:
Each new episode of Tegami Bachi is now becoming a rare form of torture. There's a particular avenue that I want to series to explore further as it reaches its end, and every episode that doesn't - like this one - feels like a waste of time and potential. There are only five episodes left, now, and time for the series to tie up its mysteries is rapidly running out.

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: C+
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: 21
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tegami Bachi