“Shogi” 3-gatsu no Lion Review and Recommendations

“In this small universe, it’s an endless cycle of winning and losing until you start losing your mind.”

Airing from the Fall 2016 season to the Winter 2017 season, 3-gatsu no Lion brought us a melancholic story based around its protagonist Kiriyama Rei, the the professional world of shogi and his everyday life dealing with both the ups and downs.

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With a 2 cour season, it allowed for the story to be fleshed out, being its main highlight. It’s slow in pace, meticulous at times in choosing its points of joy and its points of suffering. Through Rei’s journey (and it is about the journey) we learn not just about the world of becoming of a pro, but the struggles of not finding a place to call “home”. It’s dramatic, filled with a bunch of different, whimsical emotions. This being filled with dialogues and monologues which bring out through provoking emotions allowed for it to hit some hard places, but also some warm places along the way.

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The animation style matched its story quite well. With Shaft opting to take a more softer tone with the animations, it allowed for an expansion on the whole atmosphere of the anime. This being mixed in with seemingly abstract like artworks for animation when it came down to Rei thinking allowed for the personification of certain events and their subsequent feelings made the whole package a great atmospheric watch.

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Hina Best Girl!

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OP/ED: In being 2 cour, there were 2 sets of different OPs and EDs. It was nice to see the use of hand drawn animations as if drawn only in pencil as it added quite well to the atmosphere of the whole anime. The songs themselves actually provided to be a great choice as they also matched the overall “pace” of the anime.

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3-gatsu no Lion Was it Good?

3gatsu no Lion brings about that melancholic feel you get from anime from that one series every year. It’s slow pace and seemingly well matched animations allowed it to create a slower style focusing on its main points. Rei is an interesting character and the drama that follows to suit from his interactions and daily lives can be seen as a well meshed one, that can be relatable to almost anyone trying to find themselves in the world. 3-gatsu no Lion provided to be one of those niche anime for a great watch on a rainy day.

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Recommendations: 3-gatsu no Lion provided that melancholic feeling that only certain anime can give. With a focus on Rei, his interactions as well as well thought out dialogue and monologues, it provided to be an anime full of drama and emotions. With that being said, I recommend the following:

  • Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
  • Barakamon
  • Kimi ni Todoke
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