Title: “Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee): Volume 11”
Author: Asada Hiroyuki
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopian, AWESOME, Manga & Comics
Publication Date: November 6, 2012 (Viz – North America)
Source: Edelweiss review copy
Summary: Amberground is locked in darkness. A man-made star casts only a dim light over the land. The pitch-black wilderness is infested with Gaichuu–colossal insects with metal exoskeletons. The Gaichuu make travel between the cities of Amberground extremely dangerous. But thankfully the Letter Bees, a brave corps of messengers, risk their lives in order to keep the hearts of Amberground connected.
Largo Lloyd, ousted director of the Beehive, saves the life of a Marauder—and, in return, demands to be taken to the leader of Reverse. Will the Letter Bees finally penetrate to the heart of the rebel organization? Meanwhile, with his hero Gauche returning home at last, things are looking up for Lag…until he discovers the shocking truth about Gauche!
☆: 4/5 – a great new volume in the continuation of Lag Seeing’s journey!
Review: Some of the words I’ve been longing to hear the most finally get said in this volume of “Tegami Bachi”, as well as the return of one of my favorite bromances in anime/manga today in full force. If you’re a fan of this series, you’re going to love this volume. I know I did. With some of the most heartwarming and gorgeous art so far, “Tegami Bachi: Volume 11” really takes us for a ride we won’t soon forget.
So far, this feels like one of the most cohesive volumes in terms of not only bringing all of the characters (and their arcs) together, but bringing around the main arc full center. It’s almost as complete as the early volumes were when they were just introducing us to the world of Amberground. To find and fight the sinister organization Reverse (which stole Gauche’s heart), all of the Bees we’ve come to know and love are in on the fight in their own ways. Yeah, guys, even Jiggy Pepper is in on the action. I’m so glad to see Aria also getting put more to work in this volume, since she usually just feels like a background accessory in so many of the others.
We also have a new Gaichuu that’s sentient (and totally freaked me out) and seemingly linked with Reverse – Cabernet, which has all of the senior Bees out of the post office and hunting it down. In some of the most vicious and balls out storytelling we’ve seen from Asada so far (aside from Reverse literally stealing Gauche’s heart and making him into an evil zombie), there’s human sacrifices to attract Cabernet in huge piles pretty much everywhere. While not overly gory, it was enough to make the point: this is not just another huge, stupid metal beetle. It, like Reverse, feeds on human hearts.
Okay. Just got the chills from just remembering that.
And finally, we have the return of my favorite dingo, Niche (and Steak)! I missed these two, and while they were awesome with Aria, I missed their comic relief and bigger role that they usually played by Lag’s side during deliveries.
There are some very important answers we get after volumes and volumes of questions (what happened to Gauche after Reverse took him? And what are the other Bees’ dingoes, how do they function alongside them?), so this was generally a really satisfying volume in this series. But don’t hope for a happy ending – this not only isn’t the end of the series, but a plot twist I didn’t even see coming will really shock you in the final pages of this book.
So overall? A must-read for the series. Absolutely fantastic. “Tegami Bachi/Letter Bee: Volume 11” is out now from Viz in North America, so what are you waiting for? Go out and read it! It definitely deserves a good long read.