I’m genuinely interested in how much people have actually spent some money at Crunchyroll, hence the poll that should hopefully appear at the top of this post (I’ve never put a poll onto one of my posts before). I’ll leave the subject of Crunchyroll alone for this post but it’s a topic I’m genuinely interested in.
Enough of that, back to the episode at hand.
This episode started off with a little description of Amberground. Get it? Amberground? It’s like Underground except it has amber in it. To be honest, that’s one of the more intelligent naming choices in Letter Bee. I mean really, Dingos? Plus there’s the names of the characters. Connor is perfectly and Gauche is a bit weird but still passable, but Niche? It’s not like they even pronounce it right, turning it into Nee-shee. And while I’m at it, what sort of name is Lag Seeing? It’s like they were descibing the video quality at Crunchyroll. No Scamp, you said no more Crunchyroll references, back to the anime itself. So the world of Amberground is set up perfectly for a story about apartheid and class-issues. I wonder what it takes to move up in society, and what it takes to move down. Gauche got ‘promoted’ via hard-work it seems. As for the people who live below that fantastic artificial sun in the centre city, Akatsuki, do they get demoted if they break the law or are a nuisance to society? That would mean that outer regions of Amberground are rougher and possibly some lawless areas. As I final note, I wonder how they protect Akatsuki from being attacked by those horrible CGI bugs. I would assume they would be attracted there because of all the energy there. Do they have turrets on the bridge or something? That sounds like an idea for a tower defence game right there.
This episode was a big step down in quality from the first two. It lacked the maturity the first two episodes had, possibly enhanced by the presence of Gauche. That can happen quite often actually. A certain character can define the direction and atmosphere of a series and that atmosphere can change when they aren’t around. I’m struggling to come up with a good example but the best I can think of is Ed from Cowboy Bebop. Any episode where he is heavily involved in instantly becomes more comedy-centric. Less Ed = more serious. I hope it wasn’t Gauche that carried those first two episodes without me realising because I really didn’t like this episode much. Probably my biggest problem with the episode was the whole ‘your dingo reflects your personality’ part combined with ‘you’re a really kind person Lag’. That really grated on my nerves as something so unoriginal. If you consider that so far, Dingo’s have mainly been dogs, a dog’s personality will often reflect its owners anyway. It’s just that Letter Bee didn’t have to explain it like it was a piece of magic that happened through magical powers that only Letter Bee’s have.
I believe there are some bloggers who would probably discuss at length how awesome the presence of an underwear-less loli is the most awesome thing since Strike Witches while probably increasing their hits through paedophiles searching on Google. I obviously won’t because I’m an upstanding member of society who likes girls who have come of age. But really, how old do you think Niche is? Actually, she probably isn’t too far away from 12 so I guess Lag’s blush is a lot more understandable and I can’t label him a lolita. Niche is still an odd character though. No human thus far has been given any kind of supernatural strength or powers (even Lags eye doesn’t really count as supernatural power) and yet Niche is leaping about like a ninja. She’s part of a freak show but I wonder how they’ll explain her powers. Oh, and did you get the really obvious hint from this episode about who Lag’s dingo will be? Remember it can even be a mercenary *hint hint*.
While the scene’s between Lag and Niche were handles better than most of the rest of the episode, it still wasn’t quite up to scratch compared to the first two. I’m guessing this level of quality will continue into the next episode too, mainly judging by the next episode preview. This show appears to be taking Darker than Black approach and doing each little story in two episodes. It was a good move to leave the Gauche episodes at the start of the series. It would’ve been tempting to put them later on in the series to show what drives Lag, something similar to how Claymore did it, but I think this way works better with Letter Bee. Mainly because if the series started off with these episodes, more people might have dropped it from the beginning (then again maybe not, considering this is Japan we’re talking about and this episode had a underwear-less loli). I hope the next few episodes return to the quality of the first two. Actually I hope the rest of the series far eclipses the quality of the first two and becomes the greatest anime of all time. But lets not get too optimistic right now.
I have not read the manga. Please do not include spoilers in your comments (do I really need to put this after every post…)