You know, I kinda regret picking up 3-gatsu. It’s not for the reason that the show is offensive or disappointing, it’s just that I may have to peel open a couple of old wounds to get my point across with whatever I write. It sucks, but, hey, I totally appreciate shows that resonate with me on a more personal level so I guess it’s all good!
Elaborating what I said during its premier, describing 3-gatsu as something that’s walking on a tight-rope — whose balance teetering from downright depressing to optimistic — is perhaps a more appropriate wording than with the initial “suppressed” vibe I mentioned last week. There hasn’t been any significant development yet in terms of the narrative, but it’s starting to feel like the more we learn about the circumstances of these characters, the heavier the weight is becoming in my chest. This made me take a few steps back and unconsciously brace myself for a gut punch that’s bound to come out of nowhere.
I have to admit something. I hate self-inserting myself into characters I find myself able to relate with simply because you, as readers, won’t really get where I’m coming from. However, I still feel like there really is no other way around it when one’s emotions/personalities become intertwined with how he/she reacts to a given show. Kiriyama Rei is starting to look like one of those dudes that — for the love of god, I’m crossing my fingers here — will make me want to hug and tell them “it’s okay” while I’m weeping myself. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need such gesture at this point, though I can only surmise that he’s a ticking time-bomb.
You see, he reminds me of myself in… a couple of ways (why am I not surprised). For one, he appreciates and looks up to the 3 sisters — or Akari to be specific — yet he’d rather keep his thoughts in mind than voice it out. He’s non-vocal around them, as much as I am non-vocal with my mom. We aren’t close, but she’s the first person in the world I want to be happy. In a way, Rei feels safer being wacky and animated with his supposedly “friend”, rival, perhaps because he’s closing or isolating himself first from those who he considers very precious (he’s also trying to shut himself away from his rival as depicted by the elevator doors, tho pizza-kun is too assertive). I don’t know what causes it, but I can only assume that it’s an instinctive defense mechanism of those who’ve gotten hurt before. Kinda like them hopeless romantics who’s fond of swearing they’ll never love again anymore because muh heart. C’mon bros, grow up.
Needless to say, there’s a hierarchy between Rei and the people he’ve met thus far in terms of how active he is with their interactions. His rival (let’s call him pizza-kun for now cause I forgot his name) seems to be the closest, followed by Smith and Issa, then the Kawamoto sisters. I don’t know. It’s weird that those we (me and Rei) consider family are actually the ones who we are unconsciously defensive with. It’s an odd thing to wonder and I can’t really care about such thing right now, though the way 3-gatsu introduces us to a character’s personality and backdrop has some tension and pay-off going on with it that’s contributing to that teetering balance I mentioned.
If I was a normal person, I wouldn’t have noticed this but… there’s a bit of a gut wrench going on when Rei bested Issa on shogi. Issa wanted to win for the reason that he wanted his grandpa to see him on TV however Rei stopped him short of that dream. Rei, after hearing this, had a smug look on his face, and I can only imagine what the hell he is thinking. Perhaps he feels like he trampled on someone’s dream, “beating someone to death” just because it’s his job. This goes back to myself again, as I oftentimes wonder what’s the point of someone as “nothing” as me doing in society? A nuisance? I don’t know, and I hope to god Rei isn’t thinking the same.
Anyways, it’s the nuanced details that contributes to 3-gatsu‘s heavy but contemplative atmosphere as a whole. One thing I love about this episode is its fantastic usage of space and color to depict Rei’s relationship with the people surrounding him (see pics below). Probably the most obvious example is with… say, pizza-kun and the Kawamoto sisters. I mean, when Rei is usually alone, his surroundings are overpowered by gray and dull colors, and oftentimes leaving him in the middle of a vast space. Enter the Kawamoto sisters, his surroundings literally and figuratively become colorful and cramped. He isn’t aware of it but his life is starting to not be black and white because he’s meeting these new great people along the road. I guess it’s just a matter of… coming of age.
- The talking cats are doing a great job diffusing the tension and bringing back the optimistic/lighthearted tone to the atmosphere. Well, that’s what cats are for!
- Sooo… Rei’s parents are gone, and I think the Kawamoto sisters’ parents are too? Oh, man. The only time I teared up from a Shaft show is with Madoka’s climax and that’s coming from something I wasn’t expecting.
- I’m sorry but how old is Akari again? I mean, that’s too big. If you know what I mean.
- Eh, I guess Rei hasn’t opened up to the sisters because he hasn’t been around long enough?
- I love the character designs. Probably second to how I loved Kanaberi‘s. There’s that… Idk, warm feel to it. Kinda like how you miss the cooking of your mom or whatnot.
- HMMMM Smith looks familiar. Where have I seen that blonde hair and glasses before…
- I don’t know a thing about chess, so don’t ask me anything about shogi.
Ah, another week, another set of great anime. Anyways, that’s it for today, folks! My throat’s still dead, and I also have to worry about this wisdom tooth of mine. I may have to take a leave from anime and blogging once I have my tooth extracted but… idk. This season’s anime are just too good to miss.