Why you should watch 3-Gatsu no Lion



Hey, everybody.  I know that it’s been a short amount of time, but the year did change since my last post.  I was Vacation for a little bit and had a lot of fun before everything gets busy again.  Soon I will be back at work and back in school.  I will be taking online courses, so I don’t know how much blogging I will be able to do this year.

I didn’t write a post for the New Year yet because I started this blog on January 13th-ish and wanted to make a super post looking at the past year of blogging and what I want to do in the future.  That’s about it really.  Not that exciting.

Actual Post:


Disclaimer: This post isn’t going to be a review.  One reason is because the show is only half way through its current run so I can’t have a complete over all opinion of it yet.  I mean, 3-Gatsu could take a nose dive in the second half and all this recommending stuff would be pointless.  The other part is I am only going to talk more about what I consider the positives.  This post is hugely biased to get more people interested in watching this show.  That is the huge disclaimer I wanted to get out of the way.  Thank you for reading.

3-Gatsu no Lion is secretly my favorite show for the Fall 2016 anime season.  I didn’t put it anywhere on my not top five shows of 2016 list for fall *cough* because it’s not finished yet.  While everybody was losing their minds over Yuri on Ice and I was obsessing over Gundam like usual, this show’s unusual traits and strengths pulled me into its world.  I am glad that this show is running more than one cour.

The main character of 3-Gatsu no Lion is the best part of the show.  His name is Rei Kiriyama and he lost his family in a car crash when he was extremely young and is living on his own for the first time.  Rei also happens to be a professional shogi payer while he is a year behind in high school.  He may sound like yet another boring insert character with a tragic past, but he’s not.  Rei’s emotional out bursts and unique thinking processes are what make him feel like a real person.  There is also the way he personally expresses his backstory in the earlier episodes.  It’s just so interesting and so terrifying that it really makes him stand other characters that have his description.

Rei is one of many great characters.  There are the three girls of differing ages (young adult, middle school, and todler) that live with their grandpa who are also fantastic and tragic characters in their own way.  There is also Nikaidou, who is Rei’s self-proclaimed best friend that has his own health issues.  Last but not least, there is Rei’s adopted sister Kyouko who is an Asuka (from Evangelion) clone.  This might sound like a terrible thing with all the other “clones” who are just generic tsunderes, but it’s not.  Kyouko is a great character because I think the writer behind this series knows the tragedy behind Asuka’s character and uses that in a new way.  She might also be effective because of how much screen time she has, because she only appears on screen for a total of ten minutes and yet has so much impact.  She is called a lightning bolt in the show and that is a completely accurate description.

The next aspect I want to talk about is the visual aspects of 3-Gatsu no Lion.  I am not a big fan of Studio Shaft’s usual visual style, but it is toned down comparatively and helps the show’s already strong material.  From the first scene, Rei’s loneliness is expressed by him lying in a bed surrounded by darkness.  Just by looking at that shot, you know what is being conveyed to you without words.  Later on in his shogi game, there are quick flashes of green liquid appearing on the screen that tell you he just drank some green tea.  This may seem pretentious and pointless, but it adds more visual flair to a scene that involves people sitting in front of a table playing a game.  3-Gatsu no Lion is edited like an Edgar Wright movie in the way that it conveys everything to you with brilliant direction and editing.  The only complaint I have is the insane number of head tilts.  Why does there have to be so many head tilts?  I know they are used to convey something, but I just find them distracting.

My last selling point for this show is its uniqueness.  March Comes in like a Lion or 3-Gatsu no Lion is the most unique show that aired in Fall 2016.  It’s like a slice of life anime, but it is more introspective and emotionally complex than most.  It’s like a sports anime, but it’s about Shogi and that doesn’t get as much focus as the characters.  I admit that the show starts slow, but stick with it and you will get something that is completely worthwhile.  If you haven’t started watching this show already or watched an episode or two and quit, please give this one a larger chance.  It deserves more attention than it’s been getting.


  1. I’m really enjoying this show as well. It is a much quieter story than some but the Rei as a character has completely captured my attention as has the visualisation of his emotions. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kyouko really is an interesting character, and her deep understanding of Rei’s mental constitution combined with her troubled relationship growing up with him makes for a very complex character motive. There’s even an inkling of intimacy between the two that goes beyond simple relatives, which makes her very intriguing, indeed!

    Also, the “head titling” is one of Akiyuki Shinbo’s signature visual flourish, which is used more as a “mental barometer”. It does get a little tiring when overused, but I guess it’s effective when it’s used properly. One of the more extreme “head tilts” I’ve seen so far is Sodachi Oikura, who almost achieved a ninety-degree turn, hehe.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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