「パンツとパン」 (Pantsu to Pan)
“Underwear and Bread”
After going six months with Tegami Bachi and six months without, this second episode quickly reminded me of all the things I like about the series. Part of it is the somewhat laid-back nature, whereas another part of it is how it almost feels slice-of-life at times. This week fell somewhere in between the two, with the urgency over Niche’s sudden disappearance not feeling that urgent at all. Starting off with Zazie laughing his ass off about Lag’s underwear signifying his bond with Niche, followed by his stark realization that Sylvette is the culprit behind the horrible-tasting soup, it was hard if not impossible to get worried about Lag and Connor’s frantic search for her. Not too long after, Steak sacrificing himself by allowing Niche to cook him alive added to the lighthearted side of things. They even made it look like he was totally done for, yet amazingly escaped with only some singed fur.
In contrast, there was Niche’s earnest feelings about failing Lag as his dingo, which centered around Jacob Gobeni and his wife Sandra of the Sinners bread and guns shop. It wasn’t much in the way of provoking any sort of a profound emotional response, but I had the urge to reach out to Niche for being so down and out. There’s no question that she means well and is absolutely loyal to Lag, so it was interesting to hear how she felt she failed him in her own words. Before that really sank in, the street performer Pissaro quickly took the episode in a goofy direction again, though he did set the stage for Lag and Niche’s eventual reunion (of sorts). To that end, I did like how Lag’s underwear was given the symbolic treatment that it deserves, as well as Niche licking his wounds like when they first partnered up. What can I say, other than it was cute.
As a bonus, the entire episode wasn’t only used to reiterate Lag’s trust in Niche and helping her overcome her lack of confidence as his dingo. More specifically, Jacob gave Lag a red “Letter Bullet” in hopes that he’ll be able to get through to Gauche with it. Seeing as the same letter in a bullet was shown during the preview of this second season six months ago, I was naturally curious as to exactly what it was for. The whole idea of writing a letter in it as a surefire way to convey Lag’s feelings to Gauche is bit fantasy-like, but fits the theme of the series really well in my eyes. Continuing on the sentimental trend, Niche addressed Sandra as “mama” after she offered to take her in, which was both endearing and somewhat sad to see since their family portrait suggested they once had a child of their own. So with that, there were some lighthearted laughs, a cute reconciliation, some overarching story developments, and a touching sub-story to boot. All in a day’s work with Tegami Bachi.