March comes in like a lion – Episode 33

We were basically just in transition territory for this week’s March, as the show swept up the emotional loose ends of the past arc and started arranging some pieces for future conflicts. The show’s rigid adaptation style once again resulted in some dramatic weirdness, but frankly, this week’s material would have been kinda blase regardless of its presentation. They can’t all be standouts!

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

The leaders of the shogi club propose Rei compete in a commemorative match with Meijin Souya

Nice visual articulation of Rei’s shock at the prospect

They’re amping up the promotion for the commemoration match this year

“Everybody’s rooting for you to become a meijin, too”

The old men reminiscing, reflecting on Souya as a boy

Now they’re just complaining about the difficulty of promoting their upcoming matches. This is certainly a turn away from last episode’s focus

Shimada won the challenger seat again, but he just doesn’t have the sex appeal to be a poster boy

The Kishou championship. Apparently not against Souya

“We’re counting on you.” The words Rei wanted to hear. Now that he’s in this position, he can see things like the shogi hall’s struggle to maintain sponsors

Capturing the entrancing walk home

The shogi-science club celebrate Rei’s victory

Rei goes to the bathroom to cry, overwhelmed by having these friends at school to celebrate with

The water that once represented his depression is here turned into a positive thing, rushing past and echoing his tearful joy

“I’ll never forget there were days when I was truly happy”

He goes and gets a diary. He actually has a stage in his life he wants to remember

Gakuto, the hot mountain climbing shogi player

He’s up on the mountain with Issa, one of the club regulars

Gakuto’s “tactic” is to make his rivals fall in love with him on the mountain, lol

It seems to be Gakuto versus Shimada at the moment?

This half is more comedy, which is… okay? The Gakuto gag is a bit overdone

Okay, the visual contrast in their play styles is actually great. The dramatic horns for all of Gakuto’s moves, undercut by Shimada’s methodical, straight-laced play

It’s like Shimada doesn’t even notice what an exciting match Gakuto is trying to have

Both the awkwardness of Shimada as a sex icon and the contrast in their relationship with mountain climbing is echoed in this match. This battle is just work for Shimada, nothing to get excited about

Yanagihara seems to be the current champion defender?

Aw. Rei’s new club friends are all third years, so they’ll soon be retiring from the club

And Hayashida urges him to recruit members of a shogi club

And now the school’s principal and vice-principal want Rei to teach them shogi, lol

Again, comedy’s kinda so-so. And this certainly isn’t a focused episode

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