Episode 33 of 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion) was the last of the Fall 2017 season and aired a few days before Christmas. The festive season is a symbol for new beginnings and the two chapters of this episode featured both a very moving end and a promising beginning for two of my favorite characters in the show.
Japanese Title: 陽のあたる場所 / 小さな世界
Rei is ready to go places in the shogi world since the leadership of the shogi club is now considering him an active member of the future plans of the shogi club. After all, he is the fifth teenager to become a pro and he also became the Newcomer King. In shogi circles, there is only one active player who became a pro player when he was a teenager and then went on to win the Newcomer King tournament. He is also the first in shogi ranks and a meijin, Meijin Souya. I have been waiting for a match between Rei and Souya forever. They look so alike and it seems that now they have even more in common. The shogi club wants to have a commemorative match between the Meijin and the would-be Meijin as the shogi club wants to make the match a spectacle to remember. His colleagues are counting on Rei and that shows how far Rei has gone in his career. He is a valuable member of his shogi community and that was exactly what Rei wanted to achieve: recognition.
But Rei has another group in which he has invested time and feelings: his precious science-shogi club. His friends in the club had a little party prepared to celebrate Rei’s victory. Home-grown food aside, the group was genuinely hyped about his win. They even watched the match online, feeling proud of Rei! When Rei rushed to the bathroom, I felt a sudden urge to cry together with Rei. After so many episodes of crying out of depression and sadness, Rei finally shed tears of joy for a happiness that until now felt out of reach. His new-found maturity, however, was evident in how he treated that happiness, as something amazing but fleeting. It may go away but that doesn’t stop him from feeling happy now.
But for now, I’m just happy. So happy.
The second part was about the return of one of my favorite characters: Shimada. His upcoming battle with Gakuto, a charming shogi player who rules his friends and rivals to mountain camping to win their trust, was funnier than I expected, and their shogi match used move announcers and contrasting auras that made it look more like a shonen battle than a board game.
But that beginning of a new winning streak for Shimada had to be later marked by an ending and a new beginning. The science club is down to one member, Rei, since his mustache friends are all third-years and have to focus on their university exams. Yet, the new members of the shogi club are as hilarious as their predecessors.
New Shogi Club: What an amazing group Rei has to teach. Unlike many school clubs, this one has a median age of 24 and is comprised of the most prestigious people in the academy, the principal, the vice principal, and two teachers. Now, what it needs is a few students.
Themes & Trivia
Kabuki Agesen: Every country has its own favorite snacks. Japan has many and Kabukiage is one of them. Founded in 1951, Amanoya started manufacturing fried rice crackers from 1954. Kabukiage is traditional fried and flavored with soy sauce.
Meijin: The rank of Meijin is the seventh and highest of the professional shogi hierarchy. The word means ‘excellent person’.
3-gatsu no Lion knows exactly how to pace its episodes. A few days before Christmas and New Year’s, what we needed was this: a carefree episode to show how much Rei has changed and a chapter to bring back his mentor and one of the better shogi players in the series. What a sweet episode. We need more of these.
Care to Join Our Shogi Club?
We only have to wait and see how the second cour of the second season is going to depict the one shogi match we have all been waiting for. How will Rei fare against his shogi idol?
Did you like Episode 33 of 3-gatsu no Lion? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check our reviews section for all the last episode reviews for the Fall 2017 anime.
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/