By Leroy Douresseaux
May 24, 2013 - 15:29
|Tegami Bachi Volume 13 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T” for “Teen”
There is a man-made star that casts a dim light over the land of Amberground, a country locked in darkness. Gaichuu, giant insects with metal exoskeletons, infest the forests between the cities and towns of Amberground, making travel between the various cities dangerous. A brave corps of messengers, the Letter Bees risk life and limb to deliver letters and packages to the cities. Letter Bees keep Amberground connected, but their rival, the anti-government group Reverse, stand in their way. Lag Seeing is a Letter Bee, traveling with his dingo, Niche (and her dog-thing, Steak).
As Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Vol. 13 (A District Called Kagerou – Chapters 50 to 54) opens, Cabernet, the giant Gaichuu survives. It is headed for the center of Amberground, in spite of the best efforts of Lag and fellow Letter Bee, Conner Kluff. After Lag is injured, Conner and Mr. Hunt, a medic, take Lag to Bojia.
Meanwhile, ex-director of the Beehive (Letter Bee headquarters), Largo Lloyd, has a meeting with Lawrence, the ringleader of Reverse. Lloyd reveals his real name, his past, his true intentions, and, most shockingly, his connection to the members of Reverse.
Also, Hazel Valentine and his wife, Sandra, owners of Sinners, a combination armory and bakery (no kidding) join the effort to fight Cabernet. It leads to a reunion of Hazel and Chalybs Garrard, the former dingo and Letter Bee, respectively. The story of their trip to Kagerou, early in their careers, is told.
THE LOWDOWN: The Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee manga is a high-quality science fiction and alternate world comic book. Its quality comes from the strength of its character drama. Lag Seeing is the central character, but at various points in the narrative, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee creator, Hiroyuki Asada, puts a laser focus on another character, such a supporting player and even a guest star.
Because of this way, Asada brings depth and richness to his character drama. Most of all, this fills in the empty spaces that a fictional world like Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee has, initially. More people and more story means less emptiness. Tegami Bachi is not shallow, and readers will be tempted to go into the deep water that is this engaging series.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Anyone looking for a good science fiction comic book will not go wrong with the Shonen Jump title, Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee.
Rating: A /10