When my wife and I started going out, we wrote letters to each other. We wrote long, clumsy, and indulgent letters in silly stationery (by silly I mean Slam Dunk, and Doraemon silly). We would only see each other once or twice a week, so we’d put a lot of our thoughts and feelings — as rushing and excited as people who’ve just begun to know about each other. Each epistle would contain so many words that pretty much the same sentiments:
How are you? This is what I think about the things that are happening in my life. This is who I am.
We would just exchange these letters after our date, leaving something behind of ourselves to each other not sure when we’ll be seeing each other again. When I was traveling around the archipelago, I was seized by inspiration and actually mailed her letters… with stamps, and air mail envelopes, and dropped them in mail boxes by the provincial post offices.
Given the Philippine Postal System, I would arrive at her doorstep days before my own letters did. It didn’t matter, really. It felt wonderful anyway to lick those stamps and seal the envelope with kisses. When they arrive, they felt good. It felt right. So imagine my delight to watch this show about messengers. I remembered love. Oh indeed.
Letter Bee is a fascinating idea. Couriers daring grave dangers posed by gigantic armored beetles to deliver our messages. The anachronism, nay, the animanachronism is lovely. Communication in our current age is fast, inexpensive, and has the power of broadcast to large groups of people. In my lifetime this wasn’t the case. Perhaps this is why I’m so charmed by this show. I wrote (and ghost-wrote) love letters back in the day.
Given this, I can easily get behind the idea of civil servants courageously bearing literally chapters of my love story across dangerous distances. I want to trust my messenger at all times, to be able to have faith in his ability. And in the world of Letter Bee, the ‘bees’ are beings of considerable ability, armed with weapons that allow them to use the power of their hearts to overcome dangers.
I mean how about that? The heart is literally a finite source of ammunition, its beats a rhythm that allows these couriers to face enemies, and when there are no more fragments left to fire, they die. The use of their weapon, which works via a ‘spirit amber,’ which is a gemstone dug in Amberground that allows their heart fragment to fuse with the spirit energy of the land and form a beam that strikes at the giant beetles.
A curious phenomenon occurs at times when such a power is used: the heart fragment reveals its memories to the witnesses around the firing of the weapon. A flashback scene plays, and this I believe will be a narrative device that the series will employ time and again. The episode itself is clumsyor more obvious in its attempts at exposition than the DVD special Light and Blue Night Fantasy, which I saw first and is I think the best way to get into this series. LaBNF seemed more concerned to let you into a world, while episode one of the TV series is more blue-collar in its work to set up a narrative.
That special episode charmed me very much, and makes me want to see more of the series. The parcels, the cobblestoned streets, the rows of houses evocative of a fantasy role-playing game (European) town, the bridges, the maps, and the paths in the wilderness… the confluence of these touches make for a setting that’s very interesting to me. I can’t identify the substance itself, or how these things make the subject so… romantic; but I feel it. I think I’m going to trust this feeling for a while.
A review with a notes about the production (21stcenturydigitalboy 2009/10/05)
A review that also takes into account Light and Blue Night Fantasy (k1y0~suki yo~ 2009/10/05)