By the end of Episode 27 of 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion) I was in awe of how well the series can make me sympathize with the characters. I have raved before for the show’s realism, but this is more than just a portrait of reality. Rei, Nikaidou, Hayashida-sensei, and the Kawamoto family are a small world that mirrors feelings and situations we all have to go through at some point in our lives.
Japanese Title: 想い (承前) / 告白
Chapter 54: Feelings
This is a continuation of the previous chapter. Rei talks to Hayashida-sensei about Hina and her problems, in a scene that tried to deliver typical 3-gatsu no Lion comedy. Among the light-hearted moments, Rei and Hayashida-sensei also tried to touch on the subject of bullying and counter-measures against it. I found their discussion profound and grounded down to reality. Bullying is difficult to handle because the variables are numerous and rooted deep into the human psyche. While one anime scene can’t do justice to the complexity of the problem, it helped put it into perspective. Also, does Rei like Hina?
Chapter 55: Confession
I wasn’t ready for the feels this chapter was bound to bring. When it came to the Kawamoto sisters, Akari was always the strong one. She had to be since after their mother’s death, she took the motherly mantle for Hina and Momo’s sake. Momo was still a baby when it happened, and Akari is the only motherly figure she has ever known. And as a parent, she was also responsible for the way the two girls were raised. Akari, however, doesn’t feel confident that she did a good job. In fact, she feels ashamed with the way she treated Hina after she told her about the bullying incident at school. Her first reaction was fear and a need to protect her sister. ‘Why did you interfere?’ she asked Hina. ‘Why didn’t you stay away?’ she would say and, in a way, care more about their family’s emotional safety than for Hina’s true feelings. She realized that after their grandfather’s grand speech about doing what is right and not feeling ashamed about it. And like that, Akari shed her armor and showed us that she is human too, full of self-doubt and insecure about herself. She had to wear that armor even though she knew nothing about raising a child. When their mother died, she was only nineteen. With no one to show her the ropes of parenting, the only thing she could do was try hard and protect her sisters. Her own kindness was projected onto Hina and Momo, and when the time came to practice that kindness, Hina took herself to the frontlines and took a blow that was hard enough to break her. But as we saw in the previous episode, the blow may have been hard but Hina was tough enough to take it. She didn’t do anything wrong. She did what she thought was right. And now Akari felt ashamed because she only wanted her to be safe.
Rei, after his enlightening encounter with Hina and his promise to always look out for her, now saw Akari as an extension of Hina. Akari was the one who taught Hina to be kind. That kindness is what saved Rei from the dark clutches of depression. In other words, Akari’s parenting played a part in his rescue. Akari needed that reassurance. Maybe she did well, after all.
Catman: That little keyholder did look like Rei a bit. Especially the glasses. Maybe Nikaidou needs to make a new cat shogi character based on Rei’s alter meow ego.
52 kg: 52? I don’t think there ever was a time I was under 50 kg from junior high onwards. That’s unhealthy, right? Especially for a male in high school.
Nikaidou: I didn’t mention him in my analysis of Chapter 55, but his determination to help and his devotion to his best friend is commendable. Even Misumi and Issa had a role to play in this scene, as they represent Rei’s shogi environment. Friends can be found in more than one place.
Reality is Tough
I just can’t get enough of the surreal visual imagery of 3-gatsu no Lion. It gives its realism a much-needed breath of fresh air, like painting with colors the dull palette of the real world. Every emotion is highlighted by these visual markers as if they need to stand out on their own. They also remind me of the anime I used to watch when I was a child, titles from the 70s and the 80s that relied on similar imagery and background wallpapers. Maybe it’s nostalgia that is shaping my opinion here. Sigh…
I am the Catman
Sometimes 3-gatsu no Lion feels surreal. There is something about this story that exceeds reality, or rather, brings us closer to what reality really is. I wonder how this series is going to end, even if, to be really honest, there is really no end to life. Why should there be an end to 3-gatsu no Lion. Probably just a proper closure, but we still have one cour and half before that happens. Maybe Rei is going to win a major tournament until then?
Did you like Episode 27 of 3-gatsu no Lion? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2017 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/