Season 2 has ARRIVED! Quick little break down from season 1 for those of you who have yet to see 3月のライオン. Kiriyama Rei the MC is a professional shogi player. shogi is everything to Rei. HE EATS SLEEPS AND BREATHES shogi. Reaching professional status in middle school gave Rei a name for himself as an elite in the world of shogi. Because of this, an immense amount of pressure was put onto him. This led him to live an independent life to “get away” from it all and something else BUT I CANNOT SPOIL THAT FOR YOU. 3月のライオン shows how terrible Rei is at doing almost anything, because all he knows is shogi. Shogi this shogi that, I mean the guy can barely even take care of himself. Luckily he meets this loving family the Kawamotos, who help him though almost everything. Without the Kawamotos, Rei would probably be on the bridge standing there staring at the sky forever, forgetting that he needs to eat and dies. Anyways most of season 1 is about Rei struggling with his daily life, his fluctuating win/loss rate, and how Rei develops as a character. It’s a slice of life anime, come on everyone that’s all you’re getting!
Since it was not mentioned earlier, the reason why I enjoy this show is because I really appreciate character development. You see a great amount of development from Rei. Episode 10 had my favorite scene when Rei hands the christmas gift that Mr. Yasui had left back in the shogi hall. I believe it was for his daughter? or someone in his family. But then Mr. Yasui tells Rei that he had never seen it before. Rei tries to force the gift onto Mr. Yasui until he finally caves and snatches it away in anger because he had just lost to Rei in a match. Rei then runs off to a park and just EXPLODES. Pouring out all of his frustration and anger. Such a great scene with great music. So if you have not watched season 1. GO WATCH IT! Personally rate it as a SOLID 8 for a slice of life.NOW! EPISODE 1 REVIEW WOOOOOOOOOO!
Season 2 has BEGUN! Right off the bat you can already tell that Rei has changed. In the beginning of season 1 everything was black and white, in a nightmare he had about some girl (WILL NOT REVEAL WHO THAT IS) if I recall correctly telling him how he has no family or friends, basically saying he doesn’t belong in this world. Rei wakes up, gets dressed and heads to the shogi hall like a robot.
This time around Rei does not have a nightmare. “May. When I wake up and open the window, I don’t recoil from the wind anymore.” What I get from this line is Rei feels hes moving forward now, without anything pushing him back. As Rei re-introduces himself you can see the wind blowing like crazy, but he isn’t phased by it and instead of him going straight to the shogi hall. Rei is headed to school! OKAY OKAY OKAY! We already know the kind of Star Wars fan that I am. THEY ALREADY HAVE ANOTHER STAR WARS REFERENCE!! This makes me happy. They had a Star Wars reference back in season 1 but I can’t remember for my life what episode or scene that was in.
MOVING ON. We find our MC with his science buddies in the “Shogi Science club” refereeing a shogi match between Noguchi and Oota. Honestly don’t even remember Oota, but Noguchi has that mustache that you wont forget. Unfortunately Noguchi loses and is dumbfounded because he was going by the books and he even made note cards or whatever he called it. So guess what our PROFESSIONAL SHOGI player does! He gives Noguchi and Oota a quick lesson.Oota, Noguchi, and Takashi sensei wonder when the frustration of losing will end and Rei tells them that it’ll never end. Rei then proceeds to explain that the reason behind the frustration never ending is because no matter what there will be someone better than you. He also states that the more you spend time on shogi the more frustrating it gets and the only way to stop the frustration is by winning. As Rei was explaining about being frustrated. Takashi sensei stops him and ask him “Do you have fun when you play shogi?” Making Rei freeze up. SHOOK to the point where it seemed like Rei went into the deepest parts of his mind to try to figure out this unanswerable question.After Rei wobbles out of the room, Takashi sensei and Noguchi have a conversation about how Rei has been living the professional life and how it must be rough since hes been doing it for a while now.
Touji VS Kumakura. Lets talk about Souya Touji.. He looks like Rei in a way right? Or is that just me being crazy. Souya very similar to Rei, their personalities are very alike and they both obtained professional status in middle school. The only thing that really separates them is besides the obvious old and white hair is their titles. Rei is currently 5th dan and Souya is Meijin. Meijin is considered the top rank if I recall correctly. So Souya is a badass right?
Onto the match Souya the Meijin against Kumakura 9th-Dan. Before we go any further, I have no idea what the hell is going on in shogi. All I know, it’s kind of like chess. Anyways, this battle between Souya and Kumakura is broadcasted on TV. AND can you take a guess who’s watching? The Shogi Science Club obviously! And Shimada-san. As the shogi battle goes on, a lady passes by and drops off some cakes. Then this happens….Kumakura DESTROYS the 3 pieces of cake with his hands in a few bites! All of the shogi noobs from the club are amazed and so am I. At first i thought, uhmm why the hell is he eating cake? Maybe its some form of disrespect or something, but little did I know there’s actually a reason behind this. Takashi sensei explains, that since in a shogi match your brain is using up so much energy that you need glucose for some brain energy to fire all the cylinders (inline 6 engines best engines). You think that’s crazy, you haven’t seen nothing yet! Souya digs his hands deep into a bowl of sugar and throws in a handful of sugar cubes into his tea. MAD MAN!!! WAIT there’s more, he throws in another 3 piece of lemon into his tea. SOMEONE STOP THIS MAN! Don’t worry everyone, there is a reason behind this. As explained by Noguchi citric acid to recover from fatigue and sugar for brain energy. Noguchi then gets an amazing idea to make some ramune!Noguchi makes ramune candy and Rei is at awe. He has never seen this before and this little science project got him pretty excited. Since Rei has barely any experience doing anything besides shogi this is something completely new to him. New to the point Takashi sensei starts making fun of him saying “Are you a kid? Why are both of your hands moving in the same direction?” Rei then realizes how great it is to be with people he can call friends. After finally making his own ramune candy, Rei asks if he could take it home. He then decides he wants to show Momo and Hinata what he made. So Rei heads over to the Kawamoto household excited to tell them how his day went and to teach them how to make homemade ramune.
I really enjoyed this episode because you see how much Rei has grown as a character. The biggest problem i had here was that they started a new season but Momo, Hinata, and Akari BARELY had any screen time. JUMMON LEE!! My favorite part of this episode was when Rei was SHOOK. “Do you think its fun” You don’t ask professionals if they think the game is fun! They play to win and make a living.
“IF YOU AIN’T FIRST, YOU’RE LAST!”-Ricky Bobby
PS. If you have a chance, please let me know what I can do to improve these articles. I will try to make some changes on how i write.