「音楽家へのファンレター」 (Ongakuka he no Fan Retaa)
“Fan Letter to a Musician”
Along the same lines as the spirit amber bandits last time, episode 16 was somewhat filler-esque but featured a mini love story between a female musician and her manager. The short version of it is that pianist Mathilda (Oosaka Fumiko) is unaware that her heavy-drinking manager Belushi (Terasoma Masaki) is actually in love with her, but has been writing fan letters for his friend Joey (Kirimoto Takuya) to send her after he expressed interest in her. While a seemingly uncaring individual, particularly with music itself, it turns out that Joey’s actually been playing the role of the”supportive fan from the shadows to get Belushi to express his feelings for Mathilda.
As suspected though, Sylvette was only featured in the beginning of the episode after Lag, Niche, and Steak made a brief stop at home, after which the latter three played letter carrier to ultimately get Belushi and Mathilda together. Surprisingly, we have a Letter Bee doing his job without the necessary Gaichuu danger pay for once. Of course, things wouldn’t have turned out so well in the end if Lag hadn’t meddled with his shindan yet again, so I guess they really want to emphasize how that part of his personality is a good thing. Overall, this was fairly episodic, but not a bad episode because of all the quick yet meaningful character development, especially the one with Joey at the end.
「テガミバチとディンゴ」 (Tegami Bachi to Dingo)
“Letter Bee and Dingo”
Now if you’ve seen the pilot episode for Letter Bee, this episode should be very familiar. The difference is, a lot of the introduction-like portions were shifted to earlier episodes in the TV series and shuffled around a bit, allow it to focus more on the connection between fallen Letter Bee, Elena Bran (Kobayashi Yuu), and her extremely devoted dingo Darwin.
With the extra time, we got a much better depiction of the relationship that Lloyd had with Elena when he was younger, and how she actually ended up dying — on a trip to the village of Cerca to buy a replacement pendant for him. While watching a really old Darwin trek out to Elena’s grave to be buried next to her was a bit sad, the whole past with Largo put a pretty tragic spin on it. I didn’t get the impression that Largo felt guilty about Elena’s death since he told her not to bother getting him a replacement, but I could sense a bit of remorse from his expression as he opened up the old letter with the replacement pendant inside. For anyone with a conscience, it can’t feel good when someone dies trying to do something for you, even if it was to make up for one of their mistakes, and it’s probably even worse when it’s over something trivial like it was here.
That said, I wondered when this episode would show up in the TV series, and after watching it, I checked the pilot episode again to see how much has changed. In short, it had the same feel because the cast is exactly the same, but the artwork had a slightly different look to it. The style was pretty much the same, but it didn’t look quite as polished since it wasn’t in HD. The story in the pilot however was told just as well, if not better, and it’s what led to me check this series out when it started airing last fall. Looking back, I didn’t really think much of Niche when I originally watched it, but the exact same outbursts this time around were really cute because I’ve gotten to know her character a lot better.
Next week it looks like we have a trio of new characters showing up, who look like they’re ninjas right out of Naruto. It must be the headbands and the whole shounen thing.