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Tegami Bachi is a manga by Hiroyuki Asada. It is set in the world of Amberground, a land where dozens of diverse and scattered towns are connected by the Letter Bees, an elite cadre of men and women who deliver letters, packages, and occasionally even people from town to town. Based in the shining capital city of Akatsuki, the Bees tirelessly work to deliver the mail... and with it, the 'hearts' of their loved ones... to all the citizens of Amberground.If you're an optimist, you probably think that sounds really nice.If you're Genre Savvy, you're probably wondering why an elite cadre is needed to deliver the mail.You see, while the above description is all technically correct, it neglects to mention that Amberground is a truly awful place to live, perpetually shrouded in darkness except for a small artificial sun over the capital and infested by gigantic, Nigh Invulnerable killer insects called Gaichuu. Gaichuu feed on the 'Hearts' of humans (not the literal organ, more like a sort of Life Force), and since a person's letters contain fragments of their 'Heart', Gaichuu are naturally drawn to large concentrations of mail. As a result, the Letter Bees have to be elite; they have the single most dangerous job in the world. To aid them, they are equipped with special weapons that allow them to harness the power of their Heart to destroy Gaichuu, and travel with partners/bodyguards called 'Dingoes' that assist them in their work, but they still don't have a terrific life expectancy.The main story follows the adventures of Lag Seeing, a rookie Letter Bee (and former Letter) as he seeks out Gauche Suede, the Bee who saved him after his mother disappeared... and who has since disappeared himself. With his Dingo, a somewhat... unusual young lady given the name of Niche, Lag delivers letters, battles Gaichuu, hunts for the missing Gauche, and slowly but surely begins to find himself drawn into a hidden conflict that threatens to rip apart the already troubled land of Amberground.The second season of the anime Overtook the Manga, leading to several events to play out a bit different while still telling the same story.The anime has been licensed in the United States by Sentai Filmworks and is available online.The Character Page can be viewed here.
This series shows examples of:
Abnormal Ammo: The Shindanjuu shoot bullets made of 'Heart', the only thing that can kill a Gaichuu.
Accidental Misnaming: An older Bee named Moc Sullivan who doesnít think much of Lagís going beyond the call of duty deliberately gets his name wrong before leaving, and doesnít listen as Lag shouts out his name again.
Cannot Spit It Out: Connor cannot bring himself to tell Lag about Gauche going missing, but Zazie can, possibly because Lag never told him about knowing Gauche. Kimidori cannot tell her mistress that she is the one who is sending her the picture postcards because she believes she let her down by selling her present.
Cordon Bleugh Chef: Sylvette takes canned soup which already tastse pretty bad, and then adds "secret ingredients" which make it taste disgusting. Only Sylvette and her brother actually think it tastes good.
Crystal Dragon Jesus: The predominant religion in Amberground worships the Empress, who is allegedly both the wise and just leader of the country and a deity, while maintaining many of the trappings of Christianity (especially Catholicism)
e.g. Statues of the Empress in churches resemble the Virgin Mary, burial markers are shaped like crosses but with extra lines to resemble a star shape
Dr. Jerk: Dr. Thunderland really is a nice guy, but he does have the nasty tendency to scare the Hell out of people. Loudly announcing your desire to dissect the patient is not proper bedside manner, doctor.
Dojikko: Turns out there's a reason Aria transferred to a desk job...
Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Aria Link's outfits tend to be like this, especially in the manga. In a recent chapter, Lag ends up staring at her after she dons her old Letter Bee uniform, which is a little... tight on her, and when she frets about having gained weight he reassures her that she looks sexy.
Gratuitous English: The Dingo is an Australian species of wild dog. The author probably intended to invoke a dog's loyalty, but they are considered dirty, feral pests, and calling a person a dingo is very insulting. On the other hand, since these creatures (Dingos in this series can be anything) are supposed to help the Bees perform their job as bait for the Gaichuu (only the power of Heart can permanently kill a Gaichuu), your Dingo would have to be extremely crazy and fearless.
Not to mention the locations whose names are usually in English, and often nonsensical (Blue Notes Blues, Goodbye Amsterdam, Love Someone Down, Honey Waters).
Green Rocks: Spirit Amber, the source of the anti-Gaichuu weaponry.
Heel Realization: Sara realizes that the lies she told in order to ensure that she and her husband would have a place to live and be respected resulted in a girl's father trying to deliver some letters himself and getting killed.
There are enough albinos in this world that they're not considered rare. (Having no sun probably lowers the risk of skin cancer.) In-story, they are referred to as "albisian" and have better capabilities than normal humans in some regards.
Heroic RROD: Overusing the Shindanjuu can leave the users highly fatigued, and those who use it too much and use up all their heart lose their identities.
I Will Wait for You: Darwin, who waits for the return of his Bee, Elena. She died years ago, and he is eventually delivered to her grave where he is reunited with her in death.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dr. Thunderland Jr. often comes off as imposing and doesn't have or want any friends (although Gauche and later Lag understand him), but he cares for the good of those his research benefits, and even has hand-made tombstones for his specimens.
Lawful Stupid: Lag refuses to doubt the Amberground Government even for a second, despite increasing evidence that they're extremely evil, guilty at the very least of performing horrible experiments on humans. Possibly justified by the fact that he's a naive kid with a serious case of hero worship towards the Bees, who serve said government, and that the main opposition, Reverse, is possibly just as bador worse.
"The stars... ...twinkle. But dawn never comes... ...here in the land known as Amberground. There is a government service... ...whose agents travel to the darkest lands... ...regions where the light of the man-made sun that shines on the capital... ...never reaches... It is into their care... that the people... entrust their heart. Their job is... to deliver. To deliver... ...letters." Special Chapter: A Bee and His Dingo
Overly Long Name: Richard Belzaris BB Becktratus Jr. and his dingo, Rubemius Bregiuroa Banjorelo the Second.
Overtook the Manga: In the second season of the anime, the manga wasn't finished when the episodes were made. Instead of adding Filler, the story was continued, leading to several events playing out a bit different.
One main difference is that in the manga, Garrard took over the Beehive and fired Lloyd, who then started travelling around trying to contact Lawrence. As of episode 17 of Reverse, nothing like that had happened, but instead Lag found out about Garrard being a member of Reverse.
Scenery Porn: The anime is worth watching just to see the lush backgrounds. A far cry from your typical shounen series.
Shout-Out The research facility named....Holden Caulfield....yeah.
Spell My Name with an "S": Zazie/Zaji, Moc/Mock. Additionally, there's the Japanese romanizations vs. official translations: Gauche/Goos, Sylvette/Silvet, Roda/Lode, Connor Culh/Connor Kluff, Aria Link/Aria Rink, Sabrina Mary/Sabrina Merry...
Stay in the Kitchen: Despite being sad to say goodbye to her, Lag initially thinks it's too dangerous for Niche to be his dingo as a young girl. He gets over it fairly quickly.
10-Minute Retirement: Niche after failing to help Lag because of accidentally getting poisoned, and later losing to "Roda".
Theme Naming: The three districts of Amberground; Akatsuki (the capital), Yuusari (the middle class district) and Yodaka (the poor section) are named after the daybreak, evening and night, respectively, based on their varying closeness to the sun.
The Gaichuu are almost always named after liquor and cocktails.
To Be a Master: Gauche seeks the position of Head Bee prior to his firing and Face-Heel Turn, and so do many of the other Letter Bees. Garrard has Lag transferred due to not liking his having so many ideas despite being a rookie, and because he wants to be Head Bee himself.
Tsundere: Niche has all the signs of a type A, bitter to just about everyone, but generally very loyal to Lag (and goes into Clingy Jealous Girl mode when another female approaches him) and genuinely wants to protect both Lag and Steak.