March comes in like a lion – Episode 34

March comes in like a lion returned this week, offering some welcome narrative progression in Hina’s school bullying arc. I was kinda hoping that Akari would really let the bully’s mom have it, but in retrospect, having this be the moment where Hina steps up to care for her sister was pretty much the only way this could have gone. Hina’s actions here were a perfect progression of her growing strength, while Akari clearly needs to learn that her promise to her mother doesn’t mean she has to do everything herself. A fine episode on the whole.

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

Not the best new OP

“Black Mist”

Hana’s classroom is now almost entirely greyscale

Now the teacher is being harassed by her students. Not much sympathy here

Hana learns even more that adults aren’t infallible. Not only can they be wrong, but sometimes they can even be weak

Hana has become incredibly strong. Actually confronting Takagi, the ringleader of the bullies. And her storming up to Takagi is presented very well

The lack of colors seems to almost smother this segment, though

The teacher seems to genuinely snap

The teacher collapses and never returns to school. Wow

This does feel like a bit much, including its visual articulation

Mr. Kokubu, the head teacher, becomes their interim teacher

The new teacher handles the bullying issue frankly and competently, addressing it head on

Her old teacher had been worn down after years and years of running into the same situations

Akari takes her out for snacks after a parent-teacher conference is called

Akari flashing back to her mother’s death as she prepares for the conference. When she decided to be strong for the whole family

Takagi’s mom is as bad as her. Protecting her daughter in everything

Once again, I feel like this presentation is too much, though. The mom is overacting

Hina’s mind flashing through all the countless times it was so clear what Takagi was doing. This is one of the quintessential experiences of bullying – having the proof be so achingly clear, be essentially your entire reality, and yet the bully knows you can’t substantiate things enough to truly punish them

The transition back to Akari’s mom here is brutal

Hina ends up being the one who protects Akari

Akari’s running into the same issue Rei did, when you can’t help but want to

“I don’t have a single reason to waste my life on people like that!”

The new teacher knows what’s going on

Hina’s stunned look when she realizes a teacher can be good is heartbreaking in its own way

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