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

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 2

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Sorry I’m so late on this one. A couple weekends ago, I was so taken away by the brilliance that is Koe no Katachi, that I guess I just didn’t have it in me to write about anything else. In all seriousness though, I’ll try to get these episode reviews caught up soon. Until then, let’s talk about what I’ve started noticing in March Comes in Like a Lion that I didn’t give much attention to, or just plain couldn’t comprehend in season 1. Continue reading

March Comes in Like a Lion S2, Episode 1

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Ah, yes…it feels good to be back. March Comes in Like a Lion season 2 is finally here, and I could not be more delighted about it. While I’m always excited about everything SHAFT studio produces, this one show in particular is something I’ve been eagerly waiting for ever since the end of its previous season, and the reason for that is probably because it’s a combination of two of my favorite things: March Comes in Like a Lion is a special creation that seems to come from SHAFT’s avantgarde style being toned down and fitted to slice of life. Continue reading