At last, March comes in like a lion allowed its characters to be briefly happy. After the terrific but harrowing Shimada arc, it was a wonderful treat to see Rei and Shimada actually enjoy their visit to Shimada’s hometown, and also great to check in with the Kawamoto siblings again. There was even some charming character animation in the last act, a genuine rarity for this show. Thanks for being kind this week, March.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.
“When the Cherry Blossoms Bloom.” Spring, at last!
God these backgrounds are gorgeous
The sisters are watching the cherry blossoms, while Rei is off playing human shogi, where people play the pieces
The cut from this scene to the rain is great. Very sharp transition, uses color contrast well
Shimada’s at last coming home
Nikaidou is one of the people controlling the board
Rei and Shimada are the commentators
Shimada lecturing the chairman is great
The jokes are inconsistent, but I’m frankly very okay with a lighter episode anyway
They compete against a row of the local old folks all at once. It’s charming. The string music here is great too, and it’s wonderful seeing Shimada have a good time
Oh my god, this story of what Shimada’s done for the community is so touching. In order to help the elderly folks isolated by these long winters, he arranged a community shogi club to help them get together twice a week, offering company and even food and other essentials
Rei is making honest, joyful connections with others, like this reporter
“No need to rush, Kai.” aw
The family discussing a possible new sweet for their shop. This episode is adorable
The sisters freaking out over sweets toppings. This is such a good episode
It’s nice seeing them take the focus without Rei there
Wow, this last sequence is lovely. Some really lovely character animation for Rei’s reunion with the family