Letter Bee 13, Vampire Bund 1, Baka to Test 1

Letter Bee 13 is another stand-alone episode, alas. Lag is sent with a letter from a guy named Promesa, only he wants the letter back. The would-be recipient, a woman named Pistis, hasn’t heard from her beloved Promesa in five years and is being pressured by this guy who’s name I didn’t get (but he looks like Isaac from Bacanno, so I’ll call him that) to sell her land to him. “Isaac” steals the letter from Lag, Promesa catches up to everything, and the episode makes less and less sense the farther it goes.

First of all, “Isaac” steals the letter only to blackmail Pistis into signing away her land. No way would she do that, anyway; she’s already mad enough at Promesa for not writing for five years. Second, when Promesa shows up, after she tends his sore head she tells him to scram. The letter is no longer of any importance whatsoever. Yet “Isaac” still makes an issue of possessing it. All this means is the show has an excuse for Niche to slice up another person’s clothing (Nothing wrong with that. Niche is one of the reasons I’m still watching). And as for the letter no one wants anymore (except, oddly, for “Isaac), it suddenly becomes very important in turning Pistis back to Promesa and giving us an “aww” moment.

The 'aww' moment.

This episode was not only predictable, it made no sense while being predictable, if THAT makes any sense. With a flood of new shows coming I’m not sure I’m keeping all of the continuing ones. Letter Bee is on the danger list unless it gets back to the main story arc soon.

A clever opening to Dance in the Vampire Bund ep1. Almost all of the show is seen through broadcast TV, first, news clips concerning blood-drinking serial killer, followed by a sometimes amusing daytime TV show where celebrities argue whether vampires exist. All the celebs are stereotypes, and we’re supposed to mock them and their cynicism while we wait for the vampire to show up.

The manga artist celeb has his say.

Along the way characters are introduced, including “Bella-Tooth,” a rep for the vampires, some little blonde loli in the audience, until we finally get our vampire.

No, really, that's a vampire.

What makes the next bit effective is that it’s still “TV” we’re watching, the POV of cameras knocked over, technical difficulties signs, action made hazy by smoke and damaged lenses. Until the cameras get to the rooftop, where we see the vampire killed by other vampires and the loli’s declaration that the vampires are going to take some turf.

A clever way to start a series, but they can’t repeat it. What lies beneath the trickery looks to be a run-of-the-mill vampire show. But I appreciate a series that likes to throw stylistic curveballs at me, so I’ll keep watching for now.

Baka to Test to Shokanju teeters over my drop list after the first episode, but I sort of got a kick out of the battle scene. Let’s see, an innovative school where you are put into specific classes depending on your grades … er, what’s innovative about that? Never mind the Class-A gets all the fancy rooms and equipment and Class-F, where, of course, our heroes all wind up, gets a shoddy room where all the furniture is prone to breakage.

Yoshi's soliloquy.

There’s talk of class wars, and the school takes them seriously, and Class-F, led by Yuuji, challenges Class-E to battle. This is where the show goes from just stupid to sort of funny. The school is very high-tech and the battles are run through a video game simulation, where the characters stand there defiantly while the cute little avatars beat the shit out of each other.

Don’t ask me about the characters; there were too many of them and there’s little that makes them stand apart at the moment. The humor sometimes works. The battle was sort of exciting. Just enough that I’ll watch at least one more episode.

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