This week’s episode of March Comes in like a Lion focuses on Rei’s renewed fascination with the world of shogi. With the help of his friends and loved ones, we’re beginning to see Rei loosen up. Shimada’s overwhelming victory over him has set the gears in motion for a burning desire to improve within himself. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion Episode 15: Mirrored Selves”
March Comes in like a Lion switches things up this episode, taking us through Smith’s point of view as he prepares for his match against Gotou. His cool, rough voice narrates his morning routine, revealing an unexpected diligence beneath his playful exterior. His mind is always on the world of Shogi, whether he’s sleeping, eating, walking, or anything in between. Smith’s resolve is handled with quite the delicate hand. His internal monologue is insightful, showing that he too has something he aims for, just like every professional in the shogi world. He knows that there is a small chance in defeating Gotou, and he clings onto it with dear life. Smith is realistic about his chances, but it doesn’t break him. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion: Episode 13 Review”
After last week’s gut-wrenching moment centered on Rei’s emotional collapse, I needed something — anything — uplifting to happen to Rei.
There’s a side of competition that stories seldom tell — the less favorable, ugly side where losers taste despair.
With episode 9 of March Comes in like a Lion, the previously explored topic of shogi as a lifeline is pushed to the forefront of the anime. This time, however, the topic divulges into overwhelmingly tedious repetition as we’re introduced to a new, boring character whose flatness rivals that of a sheet of paper. This character is none other than Shouichi Matsunaga, a 65 year-old 7th dan professional shogi player facing demotion if he is to lose his match with Rei. He is quite possibly the most unappealing character to date. Continue reading “The Anchor that is Shogi: March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 9”
March Comes in like a Lion has been taking a nosedive as of late. For as much praise as I’ve given the show for its candor, I’m growing rather tired of its tendency to meander into pointless drivel. It isn’t all terrible. It’s mainly the fact that the bulk of the series, as of late, has occurred in either the Kawamoto household or Rei’s home. Never mind the redundant use of over-the-top humor. It wasn’t so bad at first. A few scenes filled with chibi-isms and high-pitched voices here and there. But now? It’s expected that any scene delving deep into the unfiltered thoughts of characters will at some point pull back, killing any emotion previously established with forced humor. It’s almost as if the series wants to prevent any scene from getting too dramatic. This severely hinders some of the emotional investment we can have with these characters. It’s this very reason that I believe holds the show back from being a masterpiece. Continue reading “Fall 2016 Catchup: March Comes in like a Lion — Episodes 5 – 8”
This chapter of March Comes in like a Lion is yet another endearing episode on Hinata and Nikaido. While Rei visits the Kawamoto sister’s house, he learns about Takahashi, the baseball player Hina has been madly in love with for quite some time now. Seeing Hina visually flustered over trying to decide what bento to make for Takahashi’s game is adorable.
After the last bit of Nikaido in Episode 2, I had almost completely dismissed him as a potentially likable character. Episode 3 was a bit slow, taking its time to delve into the relationship between Nikaido and Rei. And I must admit, I was completely wrong about Nikaido. There are far more layers to him than I gave him credit for. Continue reading “Nikaido is a Fighter — March Comes in like a Lion — Episode 3”
The next episode of March comes in like a Lion is a particularly powerful one, exceeding my expectations in just about every category. From a bunch of new, interesting characters being introduced, insightful small moments, backstories being further explored, to Rei’s Shogi world — this episode has it all. We’re even treated to some of the trademark eye close-ups Shaft loves to use ever so much.
Alternative names: 3-gatsu no lion // 3月のライオン
I’ll be honest, as a fan of Shaft’s prior works (Bakemonogatari and Arakawa Under the Bridge, to name a few) I’m going into this series with high expectations. It also helps that the art style is reminiscent of Your Lie in April — another series that to say I enjoyed would be an understatement. I wept like a baby after finishing that series. I’m expecting a narrative that is equally as moving from March Comes in like a Lion.