March comes in like a lion – Episode 22

March comes in like a lion arrived at its first season ending this week, thought it really wasn’t much of a conclusion. If the show were actually finishing here I’d probably be kinda miffed, but as it’s only six months until the next season, this served as a fair enough stopping point. And this episode’s second half was actually a minor highlight, so I can’t really complain. Cya next time, March!

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

Hayashida’s no longer Rei’s teacher

Aw dang, is Rei actually repeating a year?

We actually get to see Rei not fitting in at school, a rare bit of normality in his life

His rank-deciding matches are coming up in June

Lots of goofy visual ideas in this episode

More consistent animation this episode, too. Mostly just assigned to jokes so far, though

And he sees his old teacher speaking with new students. Growing up means moving on

But his teacher runs after him

Yep. While Rei was content to be a sad sack about the passage of time pushing him away from his teacher, Hayashida won’t have it

Hayashida suggests making a shogi club so they can stick together

“Why did you want to take another shot at being a high school student? Was it to eat lunch alone on the stairs like this?”

Rei wants to be able to fit in like Shimada. To have a home

“If I could fit in like that, just how happy would I be?” Even imagining the possibility of being happy is a remarkable breakthrough

They combine the shogi club with the After School Burners

The song for this sequence is pretty great

“It’s better to do something than worry about it”

It looks like we’re ending with a special segment, “Fighter”

The relative fluidity of these shots makes me wish the whole show weren’t so slavishly loyal to the manga panels

Oh my god, the anxiety of wanting to isolate yourself as gracefully as possible. This segment is too much

“It’s tough enough to have everyone hate me. To be put on display on top of that would be the worst”

“Despite being small, the ants melted that candy at an incredible rate”

“Teacher, will the seat next to me be empty for the rest of my life?”

Shogi was his magic ticket. As long as he had that, someone would always sit beside him

“As long as I have this ticket, I belong somewhere.” It was his escape, but now he may be able to find other sources of company

His desperation to hold on to the ticket fed his competitive career

“One day I realized that other people were traveling with me”