I’m going to start with something that resembles a gripe that I started making after seeing episode three. The panty shot obliquus that had Lag getting a full flash commando view of a leaping loli upskirt is one thing, but Letter Bee has gone into full fetish fanservice innuendo in this episode (see above image). Maybe it’s a mistake on my part to want something more innocent from such an initally charming story and setting.
For it not do anything for me titillation wise (the point of sexual innuendo fanservice right?) is one thing, but for it to be a distraction, and at the same time leave me with an impression that the show is rather self-congratulatory for its cleverness takes away from what I still want to see as a charming and entertaining show. Anyway, gripe over. This was quite an entertaining episode, in its own small Letter Bee way.
In my speculations last episode, abetted by WRL’s clever and generous readers who comment regularly I explored the idea of human trafficking via the Letter Bee parcel service. The name of Niche’s recipient address was ‘Love Someone Down’ which somehow indeed insinuated some seedy prostitution dive. However, this show won’t seem to dare a subject like this directly, preferring to titillate via innuendo and not deal with sex at all.
It’s shonen after all which means that it’s more interested in exciting its viewers rather than provoking them to think about issues; and as IKight deftly put,
The pantyshot plugs neatly into this: it is an extraordinary glimpse of a world far removed from everyday experience (of the 12-year-old – I wouldn’t presume to assume about you, dear reader!) and at the same time it actually shows the viewer very little. What we see is a piece of fabric, or more accurately a cartoon representation of said piece of fabric. The pantyshot claims to feed the 12-year-old another piece of that seemingly-eternal puzzle, ‘What are girls like?’, while actually telling him very little.
I extend this kind of thinking to a broader set of fanservice in the case of Letter Bee, it goes further into mis-informing fantasy, not that panties themselves are a fantasy construct — IKnight does say that actual panties are to be avoided, and I’ll validate that used underwear is what it is — an article of clothing moistened and dried of human’s various waste fluids. Girls don’t behave like baby animals… usually that is.
So Love Someone Down isn’t that kind of seedy dive. Instead it’s a freak show, carnival style. Niche is a creature with Maka blood — some kind of creature related to dragons. Here oddity, her hidden golden swords is the attraction (and perhaps in addition to her child like feminine charms). Lag finds out about this and attempts to rescue her.
In a roundabout way, he does. He protects her from a mantis-like Gaichuu, firing with the spirit amber lodged in his left eye. As is the way how the Gaichuu die, Lag’s memories become visible narratives for people nearby. Niche is obviously touched by this, and shows her gratitude and affection by going on top of him and licking his face. Predictably, her licking has some healing properties, the flimsy premise for this gratuitous sex scene between a shota and a loli furry.
Inevitably, Niche chooses to stay by his side, because saying goodbye is sad for him, and she doesn’t want that. Another creature follows them from Love Someone Down, a furry thing with a wide mouth that has taken a liking to Niche. Niche declares herself Lag’s dingo and Steak is somehow part of the bargain. Lag’s quest to become a Letter Bee continues.
I may come off as rather cynical in this post, but I really do find Letter Bee interesting and entertaining. It still has this innocent charm, but for me to access it I have to give up a few things (after all, many others may find the fanservice in this show a significant draw), and I’m talking myself into believing that it’s worth it.
If you haven’t read this yet, then you simply must: The P Word (IKnight 2008/01/209)