3-gatsu no Lion – Episode 8

My week wouldn’t feel complete without 3-gatsu so yeah, its return is yet another good news on top of that damn The Last of Us sequel announcement.

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To be honest, I wasn’t feeling the hots during the start of this episode considering where we’ve left off from the previous one. Though the arc/chapter itself was interesting, having a week of absence kinda killed the momentum, and I needed a bit of time this episode to warm up to 3-gatsu‘s usual antics. And, the fact that we’re picking up on the same chapter — the Teach me how to doggie shogi chapter — which I assumed has already been resolved weeks ago was kind of a party pooper leaving me a bit, uh, disappointed with my welcome gift. Regardless, the second halve of the chapter wasn’t exactly unnecessary granted that we learned more about Rei’s dynamics with Nikaidou, and how it compares to Shouko’s.

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To begin with, I feel like the question whether Rei loves shogi or not was right on the money, and it presents its answer quite clearly from this chapter. I can’t help but think that there’s more to the difference of how Rei and Nikaidou teaches shogi beyond being a comedic relief. Based on how Nikaidou introduced shogi to his starry-eyed apprentices, it should be safe to assume that he really, really loves shogi with a deep burning passion. Rei, on the other hand, left me with the impression that he’s chewing, and swallowing and chewing, and swallowing his food without ever taking the time to relish the flavor.

It brings me back to those dreary days wherein differentiating Live to Work and Work to Live seems like a mother-friggin’ Item No. 105 Analytical Calculus test question. While there really isn’t any right or wrong answer depending on your perspective, it’s hard not to see Rei as someone who plays shogi for the fun and laughs — he may have the aptitude to win in the sport, but his heart is always on a different place. Then again, isn’t that how most professionals do their thing nowadays?

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I know this scene has already been played time and time again, but I just how 3-gatsu stages its characters on the bridge (or anywhere) during the night, illuminated by the moon and dots and dots of sugary colors lighting their way home. It easily evokes a sense of saccharine sentimentality within me, and made me ask myself if Rei deliberately chose to live on the other side of the river simply because of how taking a long walk calms one’s mind. I mean, he could’ve chosen an apartment near the city proper and still be able to wake up to a great morning with a view of the river, but I guess it’s also his way of distancing himself from the others. I don’t know, but if I were him, I’d also choose the same building and the same room.

Short thoughts:

  • Whoa. That sexual tension between Rei and Shouko’s kinda… hot.
  • I’m not sure if it’s another one of Shaft’s quirk, but I love how they made Shouko blabber while showing this cutesy cuts of her stretching and posing like a model. It’s kinda like shown in the perspective of Rei, wherein he may be thinking that Shouko is pretty so long as she isn’t speaking.
  • Heh. What’s with the uncanny similarity of Rei and Shouko to Sangatsu Shigatsu no Uso‘s main duo?
  • Have I mentioned how awesome Nikaidou is?
  • And no, I don’t want anyone mentioning Nikaidou’s death flags (even though I brought it up myself).
  • Looks like Rei’s room is starting to get stuffed.
  • As expected, 3-gatsu is a master of contrasting its fluffy and gloomy atmospheres. That scene with Shouko was kinda a mix of the two, which probably means she isn’t that much of a screwed-up character (remember that simile with the lightning and rain?).

I guess that’s it for this week! I’ll see you guys next episode! I’m too lazy to come up with a better closer so for now I’ll leave these cute Shoukos.

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