Disclaimer: Hi Everyone. I know that I named this month Mecha March, but I noticed that I can’t consistently do one theme or method. I get incredibly bored and move on to something. Please indulge me on this one. The next few posts will be more mecha based. This post is just a break before jumping back into that world. I just had to get this post out, alright?
Anime can make us all feel a wide variety of emotions. There are some meant to relax us, some meant to make us comfortable, some that make us feel cool, and others that excite us in more ways than one. *cough*. We all have our needs and anime is a good way for us to stray away from our current life issues through escapism or get us in a place where we can deal with them head on. Other media can do these things as well, but anime seems to be more suited to the task because of its wide variety. Not just in genre, but how it gets across its ideas. March comes in like a lion seems to be that special anime for me recently. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just so relatable.
March Comes in Like a Lion has been exceptional since episode three or so, but it’s gotten even better for me since Rei has followed Shimada around. The anime pulled a great twist by turning a would-be side character Rei was trying to defeat to a character that is a lot of us like. Well, at least me. I don’t know how you guys feel about him. First we see him as a great shogi player and then we get to know more about him. He’s a shogi player of exceptional skill, but has a lot of self doubt as well. When he makes it into the finals of the current shogi tournament and is put against an opponent that he can’t win against. Seeing him grind in self doubt and stomach aches from this invincible adversity he can’t defeat makes him even more relatable. Rei is our guide into this character’s world and he grows more just by being around him. Not only in shogi skill, but in life.
The most relatable and influential things that happened in the last two episodes, episode 19 and 20, were all focused on Shimada. His line on how he and this opponent were on different levels with a gap that never fills between them, but that doesn’t mean won’t try his hardest to get better. The second was the opening scene of episode 20. It was a dream sequence that focused on what would happen if he didn’t achieve his dream of being a shogi master and it was only a hobby. This spoke to me because I’m a trumpet player and at some point, I choose not to go that route for my dream. I decided it was always going to be a hobby and to pursue engineering instead. Being a musician, like a professional shogi player, is a performance based thing and at the time of my choice, I didn’t think I was good enough to achieve what I wanted to do. I have always had some regret about this choice, but in the end I am happy. I love trumpeting as a hobby. If it was something that I did all the time, it wouldn’t feel the same.
If there is one thing that March Comes in like a Lion has mastered, it’s adulthood. It’s a very mature series that knows how to express these feelings. It captures the doubts, the decisions that carry more weight than you would think, jobs, performance based success, and so many other traits. Rei is a great guide into how we see all of this, especially when it comes to hanging around characters like Shimada who are farther down the path and know a thing or two. Rei’s struggles come from facing an adult life way ahead of when he should be. Seeing him grinding and struggling against all of these things makes him feels real. He knows all the daily struggles that each of us go through. In fact, it seems like every character faces these issues one way or another and that is why March should be watched by everyone. It’s as real of an anime as it comes. It’s not escapism, but empathy.
Guys, I’m sorry that this post came out later than I expected. I had a take home final to work on from Saturday to Tuesday and Wednesday was an endless block of things happening because I had to take stay late for work and immediately went to church to help set up for soup supper. It is lent, you know. That’s a full day from 5:45 am to 8 pm. I couldn’t write anything when I got home, because I was too exhausted. So once again, apologies.