Sangatsu no Lion’s Best Fight: Burnt Field Arc

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March Comes in Like a Lion is certainly a long shot away from being even remotely considered a shounen anime, yet that didn’t stop the show from having one of the most gripping fight scenes I’ve seen in quite a while. What makes the battle an even greater accomplishment is how well the story props up a character that we’ve barely spent any time with and manages to make him into not only a riveting hero, but a goddamn legend. While his competitor doesn’t receive the same treatment to make both sides equally compelling, it almost doesn’t matter because the championship match has so much more meaning and stakes behind it than just a title. Continue reading

March Comes In like a Lion S2 Final Episodes Review (13-22)

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I said I would finish this, and so I will damnit! Though the time it took for me to complete it might leave you to believe otherwise, March Comes in Like a Lion is a show that I thoroughly enjoyed. While I didn’t feel compelled enough to keep up its weekly simulcast, part of me believes that was kind of by design. March Comes in… is a genuine Slice of Life anime, and so the show very rarely uses dramatic cliffhangers to grab at my continued attention. Instead what I was met with were moments of captivatingly real and subtle drama, unfolding over long periods rather in several big, but ultimately short, bursts. Some things don’t even get properly resolved, and oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to bother me. Sure, I’d love to know what’s happening with Kyouko at some point, but in the end, she’s not really what this story is about. So instead of lamenting over her lack of screen time, I’d like to go over what does happen in the final chapters of this season. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 11

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It seems to me that we’re jumping around quite a bit as this series progresses. There’s so many narrative threads being unspooled despite not being the type of show I’d expect such intense complexity from. March Comes in Like a Lion is, at its core, a REAL slice of life. While there is a bit of extraordinary to be found in the fact that Rei is a child prodigy, his life is portrayed very casually with very low stakes to arise in his story. This isn’t some “rise of a legend” tale meant to take us on a ride of exhilarating highs and soul-crushing lows—no, this is just the humble story of Rei, and everyone around him, trying to make it through life. So, I find it interesting how I connected complexity with intensity, even though I’m not sure where, when, or why that link was created in the first place. I just expect intense shows to have many intricate threads, which makes March Comes in… such a sweet surprise in that it too has many narrative branches, but presents them with an uncommonly pleasant demeanor. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 10

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Never in my life have I ever needed an episode recap before. Quite frankly, it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve held the shounen genre in contempt for so many years. Episode recaps are most often nothing but a time-filler, masquerading as a service for those with weak memories, or for people like me, whom jump back into series after prolonged hiatus. More likely than not though, what you left off on will most likely come back to you anyway, so long as what happened was at all worthy of being remembered—at least, that had always been the case for me, which is why I’ve come to deem recaps as near-intolerable wastes of time. That all being said…I kinda appreciate the recap this episode of March Comes in… gave me. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 8 & 9

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I’m very much enjoying how connected this entire cast continues to become. Nikkaidou’s already met Rei’s “family”. So has Kyouko. And now Rei’s teacher is being thrown into the mix as he reacts furiously to news of Hinata’s predicament. His rage is offset by the show’s usual brand of comedic relief—whenever things get serious, the show becomes quite cartoony and overdone. And whenever things get REALLY serious, the show stops underplaying itself to ensure the deeper, somber moments REALLY strike chords in the audience. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episodes 6 & 7

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There has been a lot of themes and issues addressed in March Comes in Like a Lion, from these past few episodes alone…and I’m not certain how I feel about it, to be honest. It’s been a bit of a hard turn, really, as we delve into the realm of bullying after an entire season of merely shogi, making friends, and hinting at Rei’s troubled familial past. To turn to the problems of schoolyard hierarchy and mentality, after all that season one was about, has me worried this is more of a side story rather than a pivotal point in Rei’s growth. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 5

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Looks like Rei wants to fight bullying but doesn’t know where to start. It’s an interesting turn for the series, as up until this point I felt March Comes in Like a Lion delved mostly in relationships existing outside of school. It appears Rei is beginning to understand more of the middle/high school experience that he had managed to avoid throughout his childhood. After the event with Hina, he’s left with a lot of questions, so of course he’d come to Hayashida sensei looking for answers. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 4

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Damn, the start of this episode was brutal. The dramatic after credits scene from the previous episode, but now from the perspective of Hina. We’re even given the wide screen bars for that added element of dramatic movie flare. Though we don’t yet know the details, we can already tell something terrible has happened from the color, the camera work, and the sound of the scene. There’s a darkish red hue cast over the neighborhood from a foreboding sunset as we follow Hina, her footsteps gently playing over the ambience of wind and crows. The camera commits to showing us Hina in bits and pieces, never a whole figure—her pigtails swaying back and forth, her legs stopped before the front door, the striking image of her mismatched shoes taken from the first-person perspective of her looking down, and finally, the gut-wrenching close-up of Hina’s face in tears. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 3

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Back again, after an even longer hiatus! Sorry about that! Now I have even more catching up to do, so I’ll just cut through the bullshit excuses of why I haven’t been posting, and get right to it! This episode started off pretty bland, fairly casual conversations at the shogi hall with some added cartoon flare to make the scene seem not as boring as it really was. Rei and Nikaidou have a back and forth—well, really more of a one-sided shouting contest where Nikaidou is the only one participating—and basically explain the tournament they’re in: How many contestants, what it’ll take for them to meet in the finals, and so on. During the conversation, the show cuts to cartoony breaks in reality, as if to try and add a bit of empty visual humor to make up for the fact that this is mostly straight exposition. Continue reading