March comes in like a lion – Episode 19

This week’s March comes in like a lion spoiled me, offering a full twenty minutes of non-stop Shimadaservice. Shimada’s backstory immediately joined the pantheon of top-shelf March sequences, offering a poignant look at the origins of a fundamentally sympathetic man. Tethering crucial reflections on talent and growing up to some very specific childhood memories, it only strengthened the overall definition of one of March’s greatest characters. This arc has been a joy.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

Shimada’s backstory in his own voice! Talking about his childhood! YESSS

He grew up in a remote northern village where there were plenty of old folks, but almost no other children

He worked hard to make the money to travel to Tokyo for training sessions

The pensive guitar track reflects Shimada’s own persona

“The brat who was a ‘genius’ back home was just one more brat in Tokyo”

Seeing Rei care for Shimada is great

Rei wonders if he’s being useful to Shimada

Apparently Souya (the genius) says similar things to Rei

The similarity in Souya and Rei’s play styles makes practice against him useful

“Even though he’s labeled as a ‘genius,’ he doesn’t slack off”

Some excellent visual articulations of Shimada’s thoughts on Souya. Alternate artstyles like the classic style for the crane, and this animate sequence of looking up that hill

Shimada understands that giving up because Souya will always be better is just an excuse

Rei gets to care for someone else like the sisters cared for him

He has pride, but not ego. He fights for his hometown

Off to Kyoto

Aww. Souya says “leave the rest to me,” letting Shimada escape the reception early

I love how many of these competitors are such reasonable people