March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 18: Rei’s Emotional Growth

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March Comes in like a Lion episode 18 builds upon Rei’s enlightened perspective, allowing us to see just how much Rei has come to trust others. Rei visits Shimada’s workshop, where Nikaido bickers with Mr. Shigeta over their contrasting game philosophies. A playful tone permeates the scene as cute metaphorical Jedi cats narrate their fiery battle. Shimada easily and comedically extinguishes the flames, throwing the two a complicated shogi question to divert their attention. All of this confirms what we’ve already come to know—everyone in the workshop is deeply passionate about shogi and they have firm beliefs on how the game should be played. Shimada, upon noticing Rei has largely been taking a backseat in the workshop, urges him on to speak his point-of-view, like one of those teachers picking on the quiet kid in class.

The fact Shimada reaches out to Rei shows how adept he is at judging the emotions of those around him. He recognizes Rei came to him because Rei wanted to change—he’s desperate to properly connect with his peers, friends, and family after years of keeping people in the dark—he just needs a shove in the right direction. Shimada asking him was his way of allowing Rei to take his first steps, to lean on them and show them the fiery passion that’s ready to burst at any moment now. Shimada’s depth of character in recent episodes—the bottomless passion that’s revealed behind his aloofness, his understanding and compassion for his peers, and his modesty—has quickly won me over, earning him a spot among my favorite characters in the series.

With the focus on Rei, the scene indeed confirms his emotional growth thus far. As he struggles to vocalize his thoughts, his choice of words reveal just how private an experience shogi is for him. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 18: Rei’s Emotional Growth”

March Comes in like a Lion, Ep 17: Drowning in Despair

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“While I was running in circles getting lost, my peer has already hardened his resolve.”

Rei, March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 17

March Comes in like a Lion episode 17 has silently and ever so delicately brought to focus Rei’s shifting emotional state. With Shimada’s triumph over Gotou, everyone’s attention was on the impending challenge match between him and the man everyone deems to be the peerless shogi monster, Souya. Nikaido and Rei have both made their way to the hotel where Shimada is being interviewed just before his first of seven match showdown against Souya. While Nikaido is genuinely excited for Shimada, Rei looks physically uncomfortable and struggles to find a reason to even be at the hotel. Rei feels as though Shimada’s interviews have nothing to do with him. In his mind, he hasn’t earned the right to be there. This event demonstrates one of the central themes of March Comes in like a Lion: Sometimes our problems can feel so pervasive, so all-consuming, we can almost forget the world around us.

By giving into these thoughts, we effectively magnify our issues by isolating ourselves. In Rei’s case, his attempts to solve his familial problems lead him to move out on his own, ultimately exacerbating the root cause and giving way to an unyielding depression.  It’s no surprise, then, when Rei responds the event has nothing to do with him, as he’s been so caught up in coping with his own emotions it’s almost as if he’s forgotten those around him have emotions too.

The thing is, Rei isn’t as oblivious to people’s feelings as he seems – his plight is not the result of self-absorption, but on the contrary, altruism. He firmly believes not being a nuisance for those around him is best for everyone. Nikaido’s words point out a glaring flaw with Rei’s approach – sometimes we need the support of others to feel at ease. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion, Ep 17: Drowning in Despair”

Little Witch Academia, Episode 6: There Are No Shortcuts

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Wouldn’t it be awesome if all it took to become good at something was a magical spell with maybe some slight pleading?

No huss and fuss over mistakes, no self-tormenting over your inability to do something you so desperately want to do, just all of the glory, right from the get-go.

Well, let me and Akko know if you find it. For now, I’ll stand the belief that real life doesn’t really work that way (although it would’ve been great to have one of these magical fountains to save me from all the heartache I experienced in art school).

Little Witch Academia’s message this episode was simple and to the point: there are no shortcuts on the path to your dreams.

Those who have followed Little Witch Academia so far will undoubtedly see a contradiction to the message with Akko only managing to overcome challenges at Luna Nova through dumb stroke of luck. At this point, we’re conditioned to expect that she’ll miraculously overcome anything thrown her way, so when Akko’s setback doesn’t go as planned this episode, it’s equally as alarming for the viewer as it is for Akko.  Continue reading “Little Witch Academia, Episode 6: There Are No Shortcuts”

Little Witch Academia, Episode 4: The Adorable Dork that is Lotte

Little Witch Academia takes a detour this week from Kagari’s role as a lead to dive into Lotte’s world.  As a result, Lotte dazzled us with her command of the narrative in dweebish fashion. If you needed any convincing as to why she’s such a likeable character, then look no further than this episode. Lotte’s infectious charm is on full display.

Continue reading “Little Witch Academia, Episode 4: The Adorable Dork that is Lotte”

PalpableEmoji’s Winter Season Week One Round-up: 2017

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Curious about what’s worth watching this season? Feel like you’ve been missing out? I’ve got your back. The purpose of this post is to provide a quick rundown on my opinions for the season thus far. My aim is to have a place for people to able to sift through to pick out shows they may enjoy. Continue reading “PalpableEmoji’s Winter Season Week One Round-up: 2017”

Log Horizon – Seasons 1 & 2 Full Review

It’s been quite a while since the release of the first season of Log Horizon in 2014, but I’ve made it a point to revisit this series because honestly, I never gave it a fair shot in the first place

 

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Continue reading “Log Horizon – Seasons 1 & 2 Full Review”

Keijo — Final Episode Review

Keijo’s ending was a mixed bag — it started with a boom, trailed off into a whimper somewhere in between, but managed to pick itself back up to finish just as strongly as it began.

Continue reading “Keijo — Final Episode Review”