Episode 25 of March Comes in like a Lion continues with the recipe that makes the series so successful. It looks at life as realistically as possible with the only unrealistic element being the way the creators choose to portray emotions: surreally. But if a little surreal is not the perfect way to remind us of what is real, I don’t know what is.
Japanese Title: 六月 / てんとう虫の木①
Chapter 50 – June
Chapter 50 was closer to the humor we have associated with the series so far. Smith and Matsumoto fan-girling over their role model’s shoes was a great scene, taken straight from our fascination with the people who lead our interests. Being about Kuma-san made the transition between chapters even smoother, reminding us that these characters are constant and do not fluctuate according to the whims of their creator.
Even an otherwise boring monologue about the details of the Newcomer’s Tournament was made interesting by having Nikaidou color the info with his usual passion about his relationship with Rei. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear Nikaidou talk about rivals and friends, I get motivated to do more.
You don’t have to worry, Kiriyama. This was always a den of demons
Chapter 51 – Ladybug Bush (Part 1)
Rei is not the depressed lad we met in the first two cours of the series. We have seen him crawl up from the darkness of his existence to a life that includes happy moments and friends. Yet, we must always remember that two cours are not enough time for an anime character to fully shed the fog of depression. It’s even more difficult in real life, so if you have a friend who is struggling, be considerate. Rei, now, has to deal with his past. A seemingly inconspicuous ladybug bush was enough to trigger his memories of being bullied throughout his childhood. Bullied by his classmates, bullied by his step-brother and step-sister. Ignored by anyone but those who saw the child shogi prodigy in him.
Even the color scheme changed as soon as we got to the flashback. From the orange hues of summer, we went to the blue and black of Rei’s blues. After a short flashback that reminded us of Rei’s struggle to find a place to belong to, we get to Hina and her own troubles with school bullying. Rei, being a victim himself, can recognize the signs on Hina. Maybe now he can use that pain he once felt to help those he love.
Rivals: It’s been a common theme between Rei and Nikaidou, but I still dig how he sees themselves as the usual shonen protagonists. It’s so inspiring and cute at the same time. Rei may have been devoid of friends for most of his life but now he has a true friend for life. Damn, I would love to have a friend like Nikaidou.
Themes & Trivia
Bento: That bento Nikaidou had seemed delicious. In case you don’t know what is a bento, the food box Nikaidou had in front of him is a traditional take-out and usually home-made meal that is common in Japanese cuisine. The closest equivalent I can think of is a school meal box. It usually has rice or noodles, fish or meat, and vegetables, all cut in weird shapes, from veggie faces to sausage octopuses.
You can learn how to make your own bento in our anime recipes. This is a Kawamoto family recipe!
How to Cook Kawamoto Family’s Modern Osechi | 3-Gatsu no Lion
I am so glad we got to see the Kawamoto family again. I was waiting for an episode centering on Hina since this cour started. The series can weave the different elements of its episodes together nicely, and the bullying theme in Chapter 51 gave the necessary stepping stone for the cliffhanger event that closed the after-credits scene. Bullying has always been a constant theme in anime, but this is the most approachable depiction I have seen in a long time.
It really does. A review is not the place to talk about how bullying is essentially a behavior that is indirectly encouraged by our society and the way we promote competition instead of camaraderie. Yet, a series is the place to directly portray such behaviors and give us some food for thought. And 3-gatsu no Lion has been feeding us a lot of important things to ponder about in the last 25 episodes.
Did you like Episode 25 of March Comes in like a Lion? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2017 reviews here on MANGA.TOKYO!
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/