Letter Bee 16, Railgun 17, Fairy Tail 15

Letter Bee 16, like many of the others, has a routine story with a couple twists in the end. Joey is a fan of pianist Matilda Rain, and his fan letters are the only ones she reads. One thing leads to another and, through the mail service, he asks her out. Lag and Niche are, as usual along for the ride.

Lag and Niche never quite understand what's going on.

We learn that Matilda’s gruff manager, Belrsh, actually wrote the letters on Joey’s behalf, in other words, we’re doing Cyrano de Bergerac here, and it will all come out in the end, and indeed it does, alas, with the help of Lag’s spirit amber, revealing the truth for Matilda (Letter Bee is really overusing this gimmick). Like last week, there’s nowhere to go for this story after the truth comes out. Belrsh tries to leave town but finds he just can’t, and returns to her. And Joey, of course, is left out of the mix, which is all right because he comes off as an irresponsible playboy anyway. Ah, but in a nice turn, that’s exactly what he wanted.

So the proper couple team up in the end. But the Belrsh/Matilda relationship shifts right back to manager and protegee. Is this the happy ending? I’m not sure, and Lag and Niche, even taking their ages and experience into the matter, don’t seem convinced either. Like last week, the show ends with them trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Maybe Lag ought to take Joey up on his pub invitation; he might learn a few things.

Railgun17 is an interlude episode starring teacher Tessou. Not only is she a full-time teacher she patrols for the Anti-Skills, basically cops. And she’s getting burned out.

The show gives us this information by watching her for a couple days, where she works, patrols (badly), then is forced out to a hot bath and then drinking by her friends. Over and over. Sadly, it doesn’t work so well. It starts to drag, and the second time around it began to feel a little like we were getting into “Endless Eight” territory.

And it’s not like we don’t know what’s going to happen. She loves video games and bonds with a quiet, moody student over an old one. Having a fresh outlet cheers her up. The end. The rest is all adventures while patrolling and putting up with Yomikawa and Konoe. Bring on the next arc, please. Well, there WAS this bit:

Good to see you, Index! Bring Touma along next time, will you?

My old brain can’t quite take in the twists and turns in Fairy Tail 15, at least not the ones in Leon’s head. It starts out predictably, with a prolonged flashback learning about the truth of Ul, Gray and Leon’s former master.

We learn why Gray disrobes all the time.

The young Gray, too impatient to learn the strong magic so he could fight the demon, goes off in a huff to confront Deliora himself. Naturally Ul is forced to come along, and Leon does too. This is all predictable, even if Leon hadn’t been blabbing the same stuff for two episodes now. But the show does a nice job embellishing. Yes, Gray was responsible for roping Ul into this whole mess, but Leon’s motives aren’t pure as the driven snow either. Though the show makes his motives confusing to understand.

Let’s see. He wants to destroy Deliora to show he’s greater than Ul, though the young Leon shows nothing but hero-worship for her, and disbelief when she says there are stronger mages than her out there. What’s more, he’d been impatient for the strong magic too, and had been reading her books. I can’t figure him out. Let’s just call him an idiot.

In the present day we get a nice irony. Ul is actually alive, the ice used to encase Deliora (so if they manage to melt it will she come back to life?). Leon doesn’t know this. Gray does. And when Gray confronts Leon the second time, what does he do? He starts to use the same spell that turned Ul into ice, guaranteeing that he will be suffer the same fate.

Kudos to Fairy Tail. While most of the flashback was what I expected, it was put together into quite a moving episode. Ul’s “demise” was lovely and sad. The final scenes worked well, too. Some of the trademark comedy was gone, but I can live without that for a little while.

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