3-gatsu no Lion has a talent for presenting the obvious in such enlightening ways. The culprit of this episode’s epiphany was once again Hayashida-sensei, that endless pool of wisdom that never ceases to amaze me. The two chapters of Episode 18 brought us one step closer to the end of the series, which will probably close with the last game of the Lion King tournament.
Japanese Title: 奔流 / 経る時
Chapter 37 – Torrent
As Nikaidou and Shigeta are fighting over tactics, Shimada’s only concern is to find a way to win two matches out of the first five. The Lion King Tournament has a 4 out of 7 win format, and the only way to play the game set in his hometown of Yanagata is to take the game to the sixth match. But the quarrel between the two hotheads is not producing any results and Shimada asks Rei his opinion. The workshop brings professionals together to share their insights and force each other to explore new ways of playing. Rei, however, is used to practicing alone, a solitary way suited to a lone shogi wolf. He identifies that there is something wrong with the board in front of him, but he finds himself unable to express in words what’s wrong.
I just have a disturbing feeling…
Shimada finds the perfect way to funnel all the knowledge that Rei has to offer. A private meeting in which he can unleash all his thinking, his strategies, his thoughts, like a torrent that threatens to rip Rei apart. But this Rei is not the same Rei we met during the first cour. He can withstand the current and stand tall.
We are professionals. Both must benefit. Both must have something to offer.
Chapter 38 – Passing Time
I’ve tried many times to imagine what I could have accomplished if I hadn’t spent most of my adolescent life doing the same things as Hayashida-sensei. Sometimes a weird sad feeling creeps my thoughts as I reminisce the past. Rei believes that he has accomplished nothing: he hasn’t joined any clubs, or improved his grades, or meet friends to go with them to Mouseland. Hayashida-sensei believes otherwise:
When I was 17 I thought I was going to be a big shot when I grew up. A groundless dream that I kept in my mind as I was going to the arcades, as I was reading manga, as I was hanging out with friends, as I was watching TV. I never worried about rent, or bothered to save up money. You did your best.
It’s the realization that he might after all be worth something that makes Rei cry. It’s the truth in his teacher’s words. Maybe it’s also the fact that he is not alone, as he once thought he was. He is not alone, because there is also a family that would have gladly take him into their ranks: The Kawamoto family. Hina and Momo visit Rei to learn the ‘big secret’: who was that witch? A few comedic scenes later, and Akari’s insightful wisdom can tell that there is something wrong about Kyoko and Rei being just siblings.
Lightsaber Battle: You don’t need to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate the cat fighting scene between Nikaidou and Shigeta. Yet, the Darth Vader-like, purple lightsaber-wielding cat that defended Shigeta’s opinion, and the red lightsaber (usually used by the Sith, the bad guys) cloaked cat that fought for Nikaidou, had my inner fan-boy screaming with delight.
Themes & Trivia
Battle of Sekigahara: The battle of Sekigahara was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, the last to control Japan. Japanese history is fascinating, and I would love to learn more, but I admit that I have no idea why Nikaidou chose to refer to this particular battle.
Star Wars: The famous space opera franchise is referenced extensively in popular culture media. A recent anime example is Star Wars reference in Masamune-kun’s Revenge Episode 5. In case you are one of the few that has no idea what Star Wars is: probably the most famous space opera franchise created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ and has spawned 7 core movies, one spin-off movie, and COUNTLESS books, comics, videogames, and more. The main story has been converted into a manga.
Mouseland: A classic example of the bland-name product trope, Mouseland is a clever way to refer to Disney Land.
3-gatsu no Lion is scheduled to run for 22 episodes. The last episode will air on March 18, the same day that Part 1 of the live action movie will screen in Japanese theaters. Judging from the teaser trailer, the movie is going to tell the same events as the anime. I have yet to finish the manga because I’m trying to read on par with the anime, but I really want to see Shimada-san win the Lion King tournament and learn a bit more about Souya Touji.
Judging from the preview, next episode is going to tell us more about the white shogi demon, Souya Touji. Gotou may be the villain we all love to hate, but after his sudden exit from the stage, the silver-haired weirdo is the only one that’s left. Not so much a villain, but more of a last stage video game boss, I wonder if Shimada-san will be able to play that match in Yanagata.
Did you like Episode 18 of 3-gatsu no Lion? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews. Also, MANGA.TOKYO recently posted an amazing photo journey in Tokyo to the places featured in the anime:
The Real-life Tokyo of Chica Umino’s ‘3-Gatsu no Lion’ Manga
TV anime ‘3-gatsu no Lion’
Broadcasting from October 8 at 23:00 via NHK General TV
TV anime official website: http://3lion-anime.com/
NHK program website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/anime/3lion/