Bee, Do, Have: Letter Bee 05

letter bee 05 niche proper terms of address

This episode I’ll focus on an operative dynamic in the narrative of Lag Seeing in his quest to become a Letter Bee. He seeks to become such a person, to wear the accouterments, to perform the functions, and then be happy and live his dream. Nothing wrong with this. It’s a process of earning, paying one’s dues, and so on.

After all, the identity is externally awarded. No one can become a Letter Bee just because one has the wish and the talent. There is standardized testing and certification, as usual for a civil service job. It is the work of this show to make this process, and the journey to fulfill it challenging and filled with conflict and excitement. However, the challenge that interested me in this episode is internal.

letter bee 05 niche lag first things first

It’s prompted by Niche, who wants nothing more in her life than to be Lag’s dingo. This is expedited by her superb qualifications. Being the spawn of Maka that she is, I think that a finer or more qualified dingo would be rare in Amberground. The conflict is, that Lag cannot, rightfully accept her service as dingo because he is not yet a Letter Bee.

Technically, Lag is right to refuse. After all, the conflict is easily resolved by him asking her to relax with the dingo label first and join him until he can take the test. When he passes, she could be his dingo officially. If not, there will be options for her in such a large city under the lawful oversight of the Postal Service, where she can become someone else’s dingo if she really wants to be one.

But we can’t have our drama that way, can we? Instead, the conflict becomes about Lag’s righteousness in refusing her as a dingo outright, simply because he’s not a Letter Bee yet. Also, the fact that he can’t accept her protection because she’s a girl and he feels moé for her. He doesn’t acknowledge that she feels moé for him. His being weak and oh so earnest increases his moé factor in her eyes exponentially.

Let us look at Lag’s possible attitude towards his objectives:

letter bee have do be chart

Nothing wrong with this at all. This is normal for most people, nothing out of the ordinary. We think in terms having something that enables us to do something we want, and then we allow ourselves to be happy or satisfied: When I have my MFA in creative writing I can finally start writing a novel, so I can be a writer at last.

However, this doesn’t always work for the best, if at all. There are things that can be done immediately, that waiting becomes the obstacle to. Of course this shouldn’t apply to professions that require government certification so the customer or patient can accept the risk in good faith should he allow someone to render the service for me (i.e. It’s an emergency and I’m seriously wounded and only a nurse is available to perform the treatment, then I know better than to place unnecessary blame on him should he perform less than a doctor could).

There are things we shouldn’t do when we aren’t qualified to do them, no matter how awesome we feel about themselves… especially when there is much at stake that isn’t ours (life, health, and property).

Having said all that, consider Lag’s alternative:

letter bee be do have chart

There are things we can do that aren’t contingent on us having the validation of others first. Lag could ‘own’ being a Letter Bee, the same way someone can choose to ‘be a man’ (as if one can stop being one). So what does it mean first, to be a Letter Bee? The fundamental thing is a willingness to deliver a message. That’s the only thing Lag needs to choose. When he can ‘be’ with that, despite not having the certification first, then he can just deliver the letter, and have the benefits of an unofficial, but most awesome of dingos.

letter bee 05 niche dingo in being

If anything, Lag would only his interviewer and examiners how ready he is for the job… how willing he is to be of service to others. But for lack of a teacher, or mentor, it is quite believable how Lag doesn’t learn these things at once. He feels responsible for Niche when he’s barely responsible for himself. The mistakes he makes are all part of trial and error, the only methodology in his toolbox at the moment.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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10 Responses to Bee, Do, Have: Letter Bee 05

  1. yo yo! What up, mah DINGO!!! =3

  2. Deckard says:

    At the moment, i’m not in state when I can make a sensible comment on the content, though I’ll be making one later, but here is an observation on post-unrelated, but Bee related topic. Seeing that the travel between cities is difficult at best, I wonder why cities have same currency. Having same currency requires a coordinating body and, normally, very high trade flows to justify single monetary policy. Trade being almost non-existent in Bee world, one would expect each city to have different currency. Even if this currency is fixed to the same underlying commodity, say gold, the prices between cities do not have to be similar since trade acts as price equalisation and it doesn’t exist. Thus the question, why was Nelli talking about high prices in Dead End Town? Does he have any basis for comparison? Can he have any basis for comparison? Another question is about the feasability of the bees themselves. If they possess some kind one of know-how, than perhaps they can hold monopoly on intercity mail, but is there market for that to begin with? Given travel and hence migration between cities is lethal; given trade and hence business communication is non-existent; just who the hell send the letters in the quantities to justify all the Bees that appear to be running around? Of course, I enjoy the series so much that i’m willing to answer the above question with: It’s Magic! :)

    • The only thing I can think of is that this perpetual night is not that old an event. There were ‘better days,’ when the conditions allowed for more travel and trade. The fact that there is a single government also makes it sensible that there is still uniform currency.

      They’re probably not minting new coins though.

      BUT YES, MAGIC!

  3. animewriter says:

    Nice post, I think episode 5 really deepened the mysteries of the Bees and Amberground. At first, I thought that most of the Bees would be really tough but trustworthy government servants like Gauche, and Connor, but with the introduction of Jiggy Pepper I’m beginning to wonder if the Bees’ upper management might be corrupted. Jiggy, as far as we know, is involved in some less than honorable conduct and most of the time corruption in a government organization can only survive with the OK of higher ups.

    Another interesting thing we saw in this episode was some linkage between the structure of Amberground and Norse myth. In the Norse myth, the land of the gods (Asgard) is separated from the land of the unwashed masses/us mortals (Midgard) by the bridge Bifrost. If you remember, the guy working for Jiggy stated the Nelli would be in trouble because Lag’s crossing pass would not be enough to get her through, and in the Norse myth the Bifrost bridge was guarded by the god Heimdal who is supposed to be able to see and hear everything throughout the worlds so he would be able to determine if creatures approaching Asgard had good or bad intentions.

    Also in Norse myth, human society is composed of three classes, and Amberground’s society has three separate rings separated from one another. In the Norse myth the lowest class of humans are the labors/thralls/slaves, the middle class are the farmers, and the upper class are the lords/nobles, doesn’t this look like the three rings of Amberground’s world?

    • Ah, the mythological source is now apparent. Thanks for sharing this.

      I can’t disagree with your comparisons, though I wish issues like what Deckard brought up are addressed. I have a thing for flat (i.e. straightened out/ironed out) world building and the economic set-up that requires a postal service needs ironing out at this point.

  4. Shinmaru says:

    I like the bizarre Engrish (still lol’ing at Niche as a name) has somehow been turned around to become symbolic of where Niche and Lag are going right now. Well played, Letter Bee. If the series somehow accomplishes this with “Jiggy Pepper” (has to be a badass with a name like that), then I will be seriously impressed.

    • I’m not sure if I’d call this Engrish, save only for the pronunciation — which sounds like Nietzche. Otherwise, the show has been very deliberate about its naming characters.

  5. Pingback: Letter Bee – 5 « UNMEI KAIHEN

  6. I feel like I’m a week late to the party, but regardless I’m here to put in my two cents.

    I liked how the world of Letter Bee is opening up, even as we see from place to place how “locked down” it all is. Eventhough your insight didn’t come to mind while I watched the episode, I still see where you’re coming from. During the episode, I really did want to strangle Lag (figuratively of course) for not capitulating or pacifying Niche by accepting her as his dingo. I understand that he’s too naive & soft-hearted to lie to her or even be deceptive. It sucks for him, but he’s really going to have to master his communication skills & learn alot more quickly if he’s going to survive. If the previous town didn’t give him a hint, then Kyrie should be good enough to make him realize that his test as a Letter Bee started long ago. It all just illustrates how ruthless & cold a world he’s in right now.

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