The November 2015 issue of Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine has announced that Hiroyuki Asada will publish the last chapter of his Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee) manga series in the magazine’s next issue, which Shueisha will publish on November 4, 2015.
The manga’s 19th Japanese compiled book volume previously revealed that the manga’s 20th volume would be the last. Shueisha is publishing that volume in Winter 2016.
Tegami Bachi began in Shueisha’s Monthly Shonen Jump in 2006. After the magazine ended, the manga was briefly serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, and finally moved to Jump Square in 2007.
Weekly Shonen Jump is off this week in Japan, due to the Obon holidays. However, Viz Media has released a bonus issue this week, which focuses on the Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee manga series. I’d already read the first volume of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee prior to reading this issue.
After the first few pages of the manga, a page has been added that explains the various terms that appear in the series. This is followed by an advertisement for the manga series, and then the manga story itself continues.
Tegami Bachi: Lettter Bee is set in AmberGround, a land of perpetual night that’s only partially illuminated by an artificial sun. The main character of the story is Lag Seeing, a boy we first meet after his mother was kidnapped and he was sent as a “delivery” to his aunt. A Letter Bee named Gauche Suede makes the delivery, and Lag idolizes him and wants to become a Letter Bee himself. Five years later, Lag leaves the village he’s lived in with his aunt to go through the interview process in order to become a Letter Bee.
Throughout the material that’s included in this issue, “heart” becomes a major theme. It heart that’s used to fight against giant insects called Gaichuu, and heart is mentioned several times when Gauche talks about sending letters. I should also point out that whenever the word “heart” appears in the text, it always appears in bold letters. Making that word be in bold every time it appears is a clue to the reader that heart will play an important role in the story.
Ultimately, what ends up being included in this issue is the vast majority of the first volume of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee. While I’d read this material before, it’d been a while since I last read it. This issue helped to refresh my memory of what I’d read previously. Just like when I read the first volume previously, reading this issue reignited the intrigue I felt after I first read this material a few years back. At some point, I really do need to get try to read the other volumes of the series that have been released.
I also wanted to add that the art in Tegami Bachi, Letter Bee is very bright; Asada uses a lot of white and contrasts to make the art seem brighter than what you would normally expect to see in a manga. Because of this look, the art in this manga really stands out in comparison to most other manga out there.
Viz Media has announced that new manga series are now available on VIZManga.com and for digital download on the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The VIZ MANGA app is available for free through the iTunes store and all manga volumes are generally available for purchase and down in the U.S. and Canada within the application for $4.99 (U.S./CAN) per volume.
The new series being released are: Buso Renkin, The Earl and the Fairy, Hikaru no Go, Psyren, Tegami Bachi, and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee Volume 1 is a manga with the story and art by Hiroyuki Asada. Viz Media holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States, and this manga volume was published in 2009. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was adapted by Rich Amtower; the translation was done by JN Productions. Tegami Bachi, Letter Bee is rated “T” for Teen.
This volume starts out with Gauche Suede, a Letter Bee who works for the government (as you can probably guess, a Letter Bee’s job entails mail delivery). As a Letter Bee, it’s Gauche’s duty to deliver any letter to its destination. The first story in this volume has Gauche finding his next delivery; it turns out that the letter he needs to deliver is a young boy named Lag Seeing. Lag’s mother has disappeared, and Gauche needs to deliver Lag to his aunt. During their journey, they encounter the Gaichuu, which are big insects with metal exoskeletons. Gauche has a special gun that allows him to use part of his heart to defeat the Gaichuu. During their journey, Gauche and Lag end up becoming friends. After Lag is safely delivered to his aunt and Gauche heads on his way, Lag decides that he wants to become a Letter Bee, just like Gauche.
The next story in the volume takes place five years later. Lag is on his way for his Letter Bee interview, and he finds a girl addressed as a letter at a train station. Her paperwork is incomplete, so the Letter Bees cannot deliver her. However, since Lag is not technically a Letter Bee, he decides to take the girl to her destination. As they travel, Lag learns the girl doesn’t have a name; he ends up naming her Niche. After delivering Niche to her destination and Lag heads on his way, Lag learns a terrible secret about where he delivered Niche. Lag goes back to rescue Niche from her predicament.
The art in Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee is very bright; Asada uses a lot of white and contrasts to make the art seem brighter than what you would normally expect to see in a manga. Several of the pages have “busy” panels, but this is probably due to the fact that this is a shonen title. One of the main problems I see with the art in this volume is Asada’s style for showing characters crying; in most instances, it really doesn’t look good. Outside of that, though, the art is pretty decent. As for the story, I think there’s a lot of potential for future volumes of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee. The story in this first volume intrigued me enough to want to find and read future volumes of this manga series.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga volume that I checked out through the King County Library System.