Having reached professional status in middle school, Rei Kiriyama is one of the few elite in the world of shogi. Due to this, he faces an enormous amount of pressure, both from the shogi community and his adoptive family. Seeking independence from his tense home life, he moves into an apartment in Tokyo. As a 17-year-old living on his own, Rei tends to take poor care of himself, and his reclusive personality ostracizes him from his peers in school and at the shogi hall.
However, not long after his arrival in Tokyo, Rei meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, a trio of sisters living with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop. Akari, the oldest of the three girls, is determined to combat Rei's loneliness and poorly sustained lifestyle with motherly hospitality. The Kawamoto sisters, coping with past tragedies, also share with Rei a unique familial bond that he has lacked for most of his life. As he struggles to maintain himself physically and mentally through his shogi career, Rei must learn how to interact with others and understand his own complex emotions.
Synopsis of 3-gatsu no Lion (March Comes in Like a Lion)
3-gatsu no Lion, otherwise known as March Comes in Like a Lion, is a unique blend of drama, slice of life, and sports genres. It centers on Rei Kiriyama, a 17-year-old professional shogi player, who, despite his young age, carries a heavy emotional burden. The story explores Rei’s solitary life and his struggles with depression and self-doubt. Filled with colorful metaphors, the narrative eloquently tackles topics of melancholy, relationships, and the pressures of society.
Rei’s story becomes more captivating with the introduction of the three sisters – Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto. Despite their own tragic circumstances, they offer him a chance at finding a surrogate family and warmth in his cold, lonely world. Their, and other characters’ interaction with Rei presents a heartwarming story of overcoming loss and healing.
Anime Critic Review: 3-gatsu no Lion
3-gatsu no Lion captivates you from the get-go with its phenomenal art and animation. Production studio Shaft showcases their skill and distinctive style, bringing vibrant life to every frame. Beauty erupts from every scene – whether it’s a sweeping panorama of Tokyo or a close-up of Rei’s shogi board.
Pacing and Plot Development
This anime isn’t your typical shōnen game-changer, it’s a slow burner where the growth of our protagonist comes subtly but surely. Its contemplative, introspective pace may not appeal to everyone, but it’s this slow progression that allows for the full exploration of its characters and their emotional battles.
3-gatsu no Lion may excel in visual prowess and storytelling, but its real strength lies in its characters. Each character is meticulously developed, their stories masterfully unfolded in a way that makes them both relatable and unforgettable. Rei’s transition from a silent spectator in life to a participant is both agonizing and inspiring.
Sound and Music
The sound design is next level, I mean it when I say that every bird chirp, every ripple of water adds to the scene’s emotional impact. The anime’s music further amplifies this. One moment it’s mellow complementing the quiet introspective scenes, and the next it’s soaring, echoing the protagonists’ soaring spirit.
If you’re wondering whether you should rent, buy, or stream 3-gatsu no Lion, here’s my take on it. If you’re into character-driven narratives and profound emotional storytelling you would want to buy this – It’s the kind of anime that deserves a spot on your shelf for a rewatch. If you’re seeking a quick burst of entertainment, streaming it would be a good option. Either way, my bet is – you won’t be disappointed.
Simply put, March Comes in Like a Lion is a dramatic tour-de-force of emotional storytelling, intricate character developments and stunning visuals. Its narrative might move slowly but it’s a journey well worth taking. One thing’s for certain, it’s one anime that leaves you pondering long after the credits have rolled.
Remember, in the world of anime, March Comes in Like a Lion roars!
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