3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion) is back and it doesn’t want to even acknowledge that it’s been six months since its last episode. In Rei’s world, it’s been just a month (if I remember correctly). He wakes up as he usually does and goes about his daily routine. Everything feels different, of course, with all that happened in the last 22 episodes, but this was not the first episode of the second season, neither did it restart its numbering. It was Episode 23. It was Chapters 46 and 47, and I am glad we just get to continue from where the story was left.
Japanese Title: 西陽 / ラムネ
Chapter 46 – Setting Sun
How do you feel that we are back to our usual 3-gatsu no Lion chapters? I feel great! After half a year without anime shogi, Rei is back to continue his adventures in shogi land. The series keeps its two-chapters-per-episode format that more or less cover the same events as those in the manga. This may feel like a peculiar way to structure a series, but the events of the anime are presented in such a format that there is no need to see the chapters as two halves, unless the author intends them to be that way. After all, in my small anime eyes, this didn’t feel like a season premiere, and I was glad it didn’t. Not everything needs to come in with a bang, and Rei’s shogi journey did not need that.
The show started with a scene that reminded us of what Rei is not anymore: he is not a slave to his depressions and the warm May weather is similar to his rising spirits.
Chapter 47 – Ramune
Both Chapters 46 and 47 focuses on Rei’s escape from his mind-numbing depression and the relationship he has with the members of the newfound shogi-science club. It’s also about the shogi champion Souya, glucose and the power of the brain, and a famous Japanese soft drink. As it usually happens in this kind of scenes in 3-gatsu no Lion, the vocal onomatopoeia and the chibi animations were used in some fairly entertaining comedy scenes. Both the science and the shogi club sequences were indicative of the more relaxed mood that surrounds Rei now.
By the end of the episode, Rei realizes once more that he is having fun, something that he never thought of having with shogi (his puzzled expression when the others asked him if he was having fun playing shogi was amazing). He is almost brought into tears before taking his ramune to share with the Kawamoto sisters, his family. Before we go into hardcore shogi battles, it’s like the show is asking us: what’s more important? What we do or with whom we share the things we do?
Star World? Close to the beginning of the episode, a few students are drawing something on a whiteboard. I don’t know if Chica Umino is a Star Wars fan, but that whole board was full of references to George Luca’s world. Tie fighters, a weird Darth Vader that looks like a character from Osomatsu-san, X-wings, and more decorated the board!
Today’s Science: I enjoyed this little segment so much. I know that this is probably the last time we will see the 20-minute science lesson, but I was so intrigued by it that I wanted to try and make some ramune as well. After all, everything is science!
OP & ED: Last season, I was such a big fan of Bump of Chicken’s theme that I sent hours with the song on repeat. This season’s song do not have the same power as ‘Fighter’ but that doesn’t mean they are in any way bad. They are accompanied by two fantastic animated sequences that are a delight to watch. The opening theme is ‘Flag wo Tateru’ by Yuki and the ending theme is ‘Cafune’ by Brian the Sun. So many colors this season. They give such a positive vibe.
Themes & Trivia
Ramune: There are some things that you need to be Japanese to get. After all, this is a show about people who grew up in Japan. Ramune is a carbonated soft drink whose name comes from the transliteration of the English word ‘lemonade’. The soft drink nowadays comes in more flavors and its package is a very weird bottle. You can learn more about Ramune here.
Umino: Rei’s alarm clock is by a company named Umino. Of course, it’s not a real company, but a reference to the creator of 3-gatsu no Lion, Chica Umino. This is not the creator’s real name, as the famous female manga artist uses a pen name and has never shown herself in public. She is best known for her Honey and Clover series.
Internet Shogi: With the internet, it’s easier than ever to play shogi with people from all around the world. The game is not as famous as chess, and finding people to play using a real board can be a hustle. If you want to try it, I have been using an Android application called Dr. Shogi.
I really enjoyed this episode. I think it wasn’t intentional since the series is just picking from Episode 22, but the uneventfulness of these two chapters allowed me to recall on most of the characters and think about the rest that didn’t have a chance to take part in this episode. I reminisced on everything that has happened until now and what on what the series might have in store for us in the future. Probably we are going up against Meijin, but that’s the same conclusion I had many times in the previous season and I was proven wrong. At least, I am sure that the white-haired champion is going to play a very important role in this season.
(Shogi) Life Goes On
Rei has a life now. He has friends at school and friends at home. He has people to talk to and tell them about the amazingly cool things he does every day. If you think that’s boring or uneventful, probably it is. But that’s life really. 3-gatsu no Lion is not about anything else but life. Maybe we sometimes need to be reminded of our reality before we lose ourselves in make-up worlds of fantasy and action. I am really glad Rei is back.
Don’t forget to read the rest of our Fall 2017 weekly anime reviews!
TV Anime 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion)
Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page
TV anime official website: http://3lion-anime.com/
NHK program website: http://www.nhk.or.jp/anime/3lion/