So as you would guess it, this is a post to one of the things I wrote about March Comes in like a Lion one year ago. Somehow, that post has been getting a lot of hits over the past few months. I can see why though. The second season of that show has been airing right now and it’s even better then it has been before. Giving that my love for March has gotten stronger and that post is out dated now, I think it may be worth my time to write about it even more because I have more to say about it. While the roots of what made season two great were in season one, season two has gone far beyond what someone might expect from this series and I was already expecting great things from it. March’s sense of perspective is greater and much more explored than it was during its first season. So just a little warning, there will be massive spoilers in this post. If you haven’t been watching March Comes in Like a Lion season 2 weekly, then don’t read this post.
Let’s talk about Rei Kiriyama first. I mean, he’s the main character after all. In most anime, he might be just a plain audience avatar without much character behind him. In March Comes in like a Lion, our main protagonist is a very realistically written person. He has his own arc that is slowly developing more and more time goes on and I want to sure where it goes. At first, he was a depressed kid that stays in the shadows and lives a very shallow life. At the end of the first season, Rei discovered that he has his own adopted family. Not just the Kawamotos, but his best friend, that one particular teacher, and all of the people rooting for him at the shogi hall. If March Comes in like a Lion was just about him, it would be a good series, but I think that this show is even better when Rei Kiriyama is not the main focus of what is going on. When other people are going through their issues, Rei reacts like a real person with his background would act. It’s just great writing all around. His sense of perspective adds an interesting layer to the show.
The second season of March Comes in like a Lion started off with it’s strongest arc. The Hinata bullying arc. Now this was a stand out arc. Not only because it was well directed, but it had some of the best animated scenes that you will see in March, had a realistically bullied Hina whose development through all of it was great, but because Rei’s response to all of it was realistic. As Hina was going through more and more direct and indirect bullying in her classroom, we see Rei trying to find every solution he could come up with besides directly walking into HIna’s classroom and beating people up. Some of the things he did helped, but the real solution came from Hinata herself. She was brave, was able to muster the strength to continue going to class, and was just a good girl. I’m not saying that Rei didn’t help in anyway, but what solved her problem was her strength and the new teacher that knows how to deal with bullying (the resolution may not have been realistic, but whatever). Having both sides of the conflict, the war front and the home front, gave this arc a lot of heart and realism. I cannot say how much I love this arc more.
The arc that happened afterward was completely unexpected. At first, I thought that Rei Kiriyama’s match with Meijin Souya would be just a throw away arc for relaxation after something heavy hitting like the Hinata bullying arc. It was in a way, but man did this short arc go in such a different direction then I was expecting. We get a lot more out of Souya as a character then one would believe. Beforehand, we’ve always gotten a glimpse of Souya as this mysterious force that is beyond our and Rei’s comprehension. That isn’t the case here. First of all, the match between the two of them showed that not only is Rei competent, but there is a connection between the two that goes beyond the physical. Second, we get a better glimpse of Souya then him being an eccentric Shogi genius. He can’t hear very well. That’s why he didn’t answer his interview questions well and just walked off. The outside perspective is, as I stated, he is just a Shogi genius. But no, ever since Rei and Souya interacted during the typhoon, the truth has been revealed and what a shocking truth it was. I loved ever second of that reveal.
Let’s also talk about all of the other minor characters as well. Just like who Rei faced at the finals for the Newcomers Shogi Tournament, Junkei Yamazaki. At first, we only see Rei’s opponent as force of nature. He’s a big guy that had such a dramatic entrance. Rei, of course won, but the deed was like defeating a dragon. Then the first half of the next episodes focuses on Junkei so he isn’t just a throw away character. We see how dramatic his backstory is, how he isn’t a people person, how normal people don’t understand him at all, and how he sees Rei and Nikaidou. Jukei sees both of these characters as people who endlessly jump into the deep without any fear to get stronger. As an audience, we know that this isn’t true at all, because we have seen Rei and Nikaidou’s struggles ourselves. Still, I can’t argue with how Junkei was portrayed and how he sees the two because he doesn’t know them like we do. Then are other characters, like the bully and her mom who have more time devoted to them then a normal series would do. I mean, this parent is realistically portrayed in some ways, because how would she know that her kid is a liar? March Comes in like a Lion truly cares about each of its characters and it does nothing but help everything that this show is doing.
If there is anything that March Comes in Like a Lion is good at, besides so many other things, it’s perspective. Very well written perspective that makes you understand every single character. And all of that is good, because each one of them is so realistically written. The writing behind this show is just impeccable. What else can you say about all of this? March Comes in like a Lion Season 2 is good guys. I think it has the hopes of becoming one of my favorite anime series ever. That decision will have to wait to see how this show concludes, but if this show continues going the way it is right now, that expectation is just as realistic as every single character in this anime. Once again, please watch this show. If you haven’t and have skipped through my spoiler warning. It’s possible that you won’t see something as introspective and uniquely directed like this in a while. Not a threat, just reality. March is currently off during the Olympics for the next couple weeks, so now is a good chance to catch up.