- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (March 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1421529505
- ISBN-13: 978-1421529509
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tegami Bachi, Letter Bee, Vol. 2: The Letter to Jiggy Pepper Paperback – March 2, 2010
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About the Author
Hiroyuki Asada made his debut in Monthly Shonen Jump in 1986. He’s best known for his basketball manga I’ll. He’s a contributor to artist Range Murata’s quarterly manga anthology Robot. Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee is his most recent series.
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So far in the story, we learned about a world with no sun. Only stars light the way for travelers, including one large, man-made star, which hovers over the capital. A postal-type service is run by Letter Bees, who deliver packages in the most diverse situations. One of the packages was a young boy named Lag Seeing, who gets delivered to his aunt by a Bee named Gauche Suede. Five years after the incident, Lag seeks to become a Bee himself.
Lag was diverted from his journey to the capital, where he was scheduled to take the Letter Bee exam. The diversion turned to Lag's favor as he acquired his Dingo, Niche. Now getting back to his goal, Lag finds himself in the town of "Dead End." It is here he plans to use his crossing pass to proceed over the bridge to the capital.
When a girl by the name of Nelli finds out about the pass, she steals it from Lag. Her aim is to find a young man by the name of Jiggy Pepper, who had abandoned her and her brother to become a Letter Bee. Nelli aims to deliver the letter her brother wrote to Jiggy on his deathbed so that he can feel the same pain she did.
With unexpected assistance from Lag, Nelli finds the true heart behind her brother's letter and gives back the crossing pass. With pass in hand Lag continues on to the Beehive where he has to compete for the Letter Bee position against other candidates. Their test is to deliver a single letter. The catch is that they have to make it past a gigantic Gaichuu.
I was looking forward to this one, and where I was not disappointed, there were a few placed a bit on the cheesy side. I'm just hoping this series doesn't go too far down that road, as it has a lot of potential (and originality).
Things to consider:
Viz Media rates this TEEN (13 and up). The reason for this is due to fantasy violence and tobacco use. So in reality, the rating can probably be lowered to preteens depending on the discretion of the parent. I personally didn't see a problem with any of it. So far this is a manga that I think would appeal to both girls and boys.
James D. Maxon
Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
Lag and Niche (and Niche's living lunch, Steak) stop off at a hotel in the miserable, dead-end town of Kyrie. A young boy named Nelli (who turns out to be a girl) offers to help them, only to steal Lag's crossing pass so he can escape Kyrie -- and deliver her dead little brother's last message to a Letter Bee named Jiggy Pepper, whom Nelli insists abandoned Kyrie, her and her brother. But Lag can't believe that a Letter Bee could be so cruel, and sets out to prove -- with the help of his amber eye -- that Jiggy did all this for his friends.
Then Lag, Niche and Steak finally arrive at the central headquarters for the Letter Bees, and discover that it's run by a very familiar figure. To become a Letter Bee, Lag is given a rough route to a neighboring town that is threatened by gaichuu -- and he's in competition with some other kids who also want to become Letter Bees.
After its quietly lovely first volume, "Tegami Bachi Volume 2" expands a little on the world of the Letter Bees -- including the people who don't live in cute little villages, and are desperate to escape their miserable villages. But Hiroyuki Asada's artwork makes it a lovely experience -- he fills out the story with starlit night skies, childlike round-faced people, and shimmering eruptions of "heart" that light up the desolate landscape.
And Asada proves that he really knows how to jerk your tears -- the terminally ill child may be a cliche, but the final letter from the dying little boy is genuinely heartrending, as is the beautiful scene in which Jiggy's true intentions are revealed. Fortunately there's still plenty of comic relief, particularly from the ever-eccentric Niche -- especially since she continues to only wear underwear when she isn't mad at Lag.
Lag himself moves fully into the spotlight with these stories -- he's sweetly naive and still shows great compassion and courage. What's more, Asada reveals much more about his mysterious amber-fueled powers. Niche's personality becomes a bit more formed, especially her stubbornness about being Lag's dingo and her odd way of thinking (taking Steak along as an emergency meal). As for Steak... well, he's a joke character, but he is an entertaining one (especially since cooking him seems to have little effect).
I hate to peddle a cliche, but "Tegami Bachi, Vol. 2: Letter Bee/The Letter to Jiggy Pepper" makes you laugh and makes you cry -- it has lovely artwork, solid writing and endearing little characters.