The latest episode of3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion) starts with the most important scene of the last one. When you are kind and true there is no reason to prove that there is not an elephant in the room and when there are people with the sensitivity and the integrity to acknowledge where the wrong is to be found. Kokubu-sensei is the teacher Hina deserves.
Japanese Title: 小さな手のひら / 日向
Chapter 70: Small Palm
Every story has a beginning and an end, and this was the final chapter for Hina’s bullying torment. It starts with a scene that felt more like an interrogation than a teacher-student meeting. Takagi is relentless. Like every troubled child that has no idea how their actions affect those around them, she blames anyone but herself. She blames her parents and society and everything else she can but the one who is really responsible: herself. It’s of course not realistic to expect of children to have the emotional maturity to take responsibility for their actions, but many of them, like Hina, do. Takagi is a victim of the people she grew up with and became a caricature of her mother, whose behavior was oddly similar in the last episode. The scene showed how difficult it is to really solve the problem of bullying. You can take action to prevent it, but the people responsible cannot be ‘corrected.’ They are the products of a society that creates sociopathic mimics.
That fragile relationship between bully and bullied was more evident in Hina’s reaction to the insincere apology of the bullies. ‘Is it ok if I don’t forgive them?’ Hina is a generous person, but she has her own limits. Yet, the determination of Kokubu-sensei to remedy the situation brought forth something much more important: it highlighted a way out for the students who were too afraid to talk and stand against what they obviously thought was wrong but couldn’t act out of fear of repercussion.
The true resolution to the arc, however, had nothing to do with the bullies. They are not important. Their story is not the one that we need to focus on. Hina’s is, and her final victory, the one that lifted all the bad weight off of her and made her glow in a way she has never glowed before, was the letter from Chiho. That letter was the perfect ending to an arc that was dark and sad. It was the final ray of light that made us realize that the bullies are never part of the solution. They are just a thorn and the pain they inflict cannot turn to pleasure or joy. It was Chiho’s story and the cookies she made with her new friends that made Hina realize that this nightmare may be finally over.
Chapter 71: In the Sun
Not much to say about the second chapter. The end of this arc had to somehow pass the torch to our shogi protagonist and there was no better way than to highlight their blossoming love and confirm that Rei is indeed not as helpless as he thinks he is. These two are going places, probably together, hand in hand, you know, a couple.
3 steps: There is wisdom in the teacher’s steps to making a friend. By befriending animals and older people, you learn how to co-exist with creatures with whom you don’t share a language and with people with whom you don’t share a common cultural background.
Themes & Trivia
Education: What is the role of the teacher? As Kokubu-sensei wonders, there is a certain difficulty in pursuing true education when the children take all their moral reasoning from their parents. It’s easy just to recite from a book and supposedly ‘teach’ but the real goal of an educator is to ‘raise’ children and teach them to love knowledge. What is even more difficult is to teach children empathy.
It’s time to move on in 3-gatsu no Lion. We have a very important match to prepare for, and as much important the bullying arc was, we need to see a bit more of Rei.
Did you like Episode 35 of 3-gatsu no Lion? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Winter 2018 review.
TV Anime 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion)