3-gatsu no Lion – Episodes 19 & 20

Still remember how Shimada-san used to be a “side-character” Rei presumed as a hurdle? He’s owning the show now.

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That’s just one way you can translate the aphorism everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and with consistent finesse, 3-gatsu was able to convey how arduous the path Shimada-san took. This has been like the second time 3-gatsu screwed me over with my optimistic anticipation that our characters are going to end up with their fists raised in celebration, a big smile on their face knowing that all their efforts paid off. However, as what I’ve always believed after years of experience living life in HARD mode: life isn’t that convenient. But, how do you draw the line between effort that pays off, and with effort that no matter how much you try, a step forward just feels like two steps backward?

I don’t think that there’s a need to draw the line, considering that no matter what, if you want to live, survive, and fulfill your dream, you’ll end up having to spend an uncertain amount of effort eitherway. It’s just that for some reason unknown — whether it be a joke cracked by karma and fate or not — life has a knack of fucking you up at the most important moment. Is there then a meaning to why Shimada-san chose to win the title of a Master, a feat that looks nigh impossible to achieve with Souya in the picture, over that of a comfortable life in the sticks? It may seem like counter-intuitive for some to subject themselves to a difficult experience but… I honestly don’t think there’s a clear cut meaning why and where our motivations are coming from. Rather, I’d like to think there isn’t and there is a meaning. The fact that there isn’t a meaning you can give upfront simply means that you have to find one — and that’s reason enough. Whatever is at the other side of that snow-piled mountain, I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it’s as redeeming as spring.

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The best part of this arc all boils down to the focus 3-gatsu gave Shimada-san and the message it wants to partake that’s reminiscent in the second opening. In similar fashion to how they hyped Rei’s encounter with Gouto, both of which ended up tasting defeat the hard way. While Rei’s loss may be a result of his lack of experience and with his immaturity, Shimada-san’s, on the other hand, is much harder to swallow. I’ve mentioned it before but he’s pretty much the personification of hard work, whilst Souya himself — and in my own opinion — is the personification of perfection and what everyone wants to surpass; he’s that big boss holding a checkered flag, waving to you to reach the goal. However, if that much effort didn’t pay off in the end, then what’s the point of all of it? Given how close Shimada-san was able to defeat Souya, that, I guess, answers the question. It wasn’t for naught. Shimada-san understands that. And the very reason why he was just one fucking move away to achieving his dream was exactly because of his effort. Yeah, I’m just trying to cheer up and be optimistic about this. Oh, well.

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Short thoughts:

  • I love that part with the sunset. At first it looked calm and invigorating, the second it appeared it feels like it’s running away.
  • Best man Shimada should be mentioned alongside the names of Reigen and Kamina.
  • I was so stunned I didn’t realize right away that Souya spoke.
  • I still wondering what Souya meant when he said It’s so beautiful.
  • Two episodes more. I don’t want 3-gatsu to end.
  • There’s shogi in Persona 5. Shogi. In Persona 5. Not like you can actually play shogi but still…

Well, then. I guess that’s it for this week. I’d be fking pissed if the anime god ignores a second season of 3-gatsu.

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3 comments

  1. I loved these episodes with Shimada and yeah, it kind of does reinforce the hard work not always paying off message that has been fairly consistent through the show. That said, I think it really has emphasised that not trying would be worse than trying and failing.
    I love how each episode of this really rocks me emotionally and I just love seeing these characters. yeah, I don’t think I want it to end either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m interested with how Rei’s going to approach/react to this. We are most of the time the only ones who truly knows how hard he’s trying, and with Shimada’s arc 3-gatsu was able to reverse the position. Rei’s now the one who watches how hard a person is trying, and now I bet he’s thinking to himself whether or not the effort he’s giving is enough to yield results. Who knows? He might want to consider running his own farm instead. Of course that’s unlikely to happen, but I guess these dilemmas add up over time and results in good character development (unlike Zestiria smh).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really have enjoyed how Rei has already progressed as a character and it will be interesting to see what the final few episodes bring.

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