We are so close. SO CLOSE. I can’t wait to see the match between Rei and Souya. Even if Episode 36 of 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion) had to have an in-betweener, as I like to call these episodes, a chance to catch our breath and learn more about the people who are going to watch this amazing match, and even more about the prodigy that holds the Meijin title.
Japanese Title: 流れていくもの / 白い嵐①
Chapter 72: Flowing Away
It’s not easy to see your juniors getting all the new toys when you stick on the old. That’s probably how Shimada and Yanagihara felt when they saw the new shiny poster the chairman made for the match between Rei and Souya. While the poster serves as a point for comedy, it’s also a testament to how we all feel about the incoming match; we are excited. More excited than a match between an old man close to pneumonia and a not so old man whose stomach is not in the best condition. What his chapter proved, however, is that Shimada, Yanagihara, and the chairman, are complete characters who can provide such scenes. It may have taken 3 cours, but every character in the series is important in their own right. I understand, though, where the two come from. I would have been jealous of that poster.
The chapter also closes the bullying chapter for good since Rei tells Hayashida of what happened. Rei is still insecure and doesn’t believe that he really helped Hina, but sensei Hayashida made if more clear to him by repeating her answer in a way that was easier for him to understand.
Chapter 73: White Storm (Part 1)
The second half got me so pumped up about the impending match. Souya has such a unique aura that is borderline to sociopathy. I don’t know about Rei, but I was terrified of his overwhelming presence. When he entered the room in his traditional Japanese clothes, I felt that I was watching a man so focused on the game that nothing else in the world mattered.
80s: From the poster and the disco reference to the air balloon and the drawing of Shimada and Yanagihara, the episode was full of my favorite decade.
Hina: We may have changed arc, but this love story knows no bounds. Hina is always with Rei, one way or another.
Nikaidou: The same applies to Rei’s best friend and rival. He may be in the hospital, but in spirit, he is always with Rei. I wish he finds his way to the hotel.
Themes & Trivia
Disco Time: 3-gatsu no Lion references many things that won’t interfere with the viewer’s enjoyment. This time, the anime went across the pond to the United States and dressed the chairman in the clothes of the most famous disco protagonist in the history of cinema, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. I guess Chika Umino is fond of Hollywood movies of past decades.
Concentration: It is very difficult to keep your concentration in our age of distractions and mobile notifications. Rei, in his love for the game and in the absence of electronic devices, has achieved something called ‘flow’, a state known in creative circles as an undivided attention to the work at hand, so undivided that you lose a sense of time and place. Exactly what happened to Rei as he was reading shogi match details.
The episode was the bridge that connected the bullying arc to this one. It gave the necessary time the production needed to create the episodes that will focus on the match between Rei and Souya, a match all fans of the series have been waiting for some time now. If the price for getting some amazing animation is to have such a laid-back episode, then it’s ok. I, for one, I can’t wait to see how the match plays out.
A Battle of Wits
I can’t wait to see their first match. I am guessing that, with the pressure Rei is feeling, we are going to see a lot of water pressure references. Is Rei going to come out of this battle stronger? Is Souya going to teach him some valuable life lessons? Is Nikaidou going to storm the hotel with masseurs and chocolates to lift his best friend’s mood after he loses the first match? Am I assuming too much? We’re going to find out in Episode 37.
Did you like Episode 37 of 3-gatsu no Lion? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Winter 2018 reviews.
TV Anime 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in like a Lion)