March comes in like a lion – Episode 30

We were again pulled away from Hina’s story this week, as the approach of the Newcomer Tournament finals saw Rei reuniting with his old friend Shimada. It’s always nice to see Shimada, and this episode offered some solid insight into Nikaidou’s character, but on the whole it wasn’t really a standout. I am ready to see Rei square off in the finals, though – this season has been trauma-heavy but shogi-light, and I’m excited to see a major match again.

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

Hayashida-sensei wants to deal with Hina’s homeroom teacher himself

Rei laments not having any useful advice, since his own response to bullying was to just isolate himself

He also realizes he can’t just give the Kawakamis money, which is a good thing to learn

Harashida recommends Hina talk to another teacher

Apparently after their mother died, the Kawakami father abandoned them for another girlfriend and eventual family

Hayashida gets some absurd moments here

He validates Rei’s desire to be needed and strong

“First focus on the things you actually can do”

Junkei Yamazaki is Rei’s opponent in the Newcomer Tournament

Apparently Nikaidou’s been readmitted to a hospital

Smart focus on Shimada’s mouth and eyes as he lies about Nikaidou’s condition, emphasizing his falsehoods

Shimada wants to treat Rei like a kid. But Rei chases after him. Him chasing Shimada is a reflection of his growth

“If you ask and I can’t answer, there must be a reason for that, right?”

Rei realizes he’d been subtly ignoring Nikaidou’s health problems

Shimada and Nikaidou trained under the same master

“Shogi is honest. You can only improve through study”

Nikaidou’s performance demonstrates he’s never sat idly on his wealth

“If I’m treated as a weakling even when I play shogi, where am I supposed to live?”

And this extends to the present day, where he doesn’t want Rei to know the truth, because he can’t have his rival going easy on him

He outright collapsed in the semifinals

“Even so, could you be merciless to Nikaidou?” This episode focuses on the ways we sometimes can’t reach out and help people, for their own sake. The difficulty of being kind

“Those two pages read like an adventure novel.” Aww