March comes in like a lion returns more with a whimper than a bang, dutifully walking us through two low-key chapters at the newly founded shogi/science club. This material was charming enough, and was certainly executed with plenty of visual flair, but felt totally misplaced as the first episode of a new season. It’s unfortunate that the show’s grand return is kinda undercut by its long-term structural issues, but as far as execution goes, these were definitely some nicely animated chapters. I’m sure the show’s production will fall apart again soon, but I’ll savor this while it lasts!
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.
“May. When I wake up and open the window, I don’t recoil from the wind anymore.” Go Rei!
This episode is gorgeous so far. Such rich colors, some understated visual digressions, and plenty of animation
You can really feel Rei’s improved mood through the colors
This sequence with the head of the science club is actually integrating the show’s comedy more naturally than usual
They’re making good use of CG models of the cat shogi characters
There’s actually so much goofy visual experimentation that it doesn’t even really feel like the same show
And the show’s jokes are still a little simple
This bit before they change the channel feels pointless
“The stronger you get, the more bitter defeat tastes”
Kengo Kumakura, a new challenger for the shogi throne
Meijin Souya, the white-haired king
Now we’re with one of Souya’s future opponents, setting up stuff
Thinking back on Shimada
Vivid animation of the challenger… eating cake
So much time spent talking about the snacks of the challengers, and now they’re discussing how to make ramune