Having reached professional status in middle school, Rei Kiriyama is one of the few elite in the world of shogi. Due to this, he faces an enormous amount of pressure, both from the shogi community and his adoptive family. Seeking independence from his tense home life, he moves into an apartment in Tokyo. As a 17-year-old living on his own, Rei tends to take poor care of himself, and his reclusive personality ostracizes him from his peers in school and at the shogi hall.
However, not long after his arrival in Tokyo, Rei meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, a trio of sisters living with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop. Akari, the oldest of the three girls, is determined to combat Rei's loneliness and poorly sustained lifestyle with motherly hospitality. The Kawamoto sisters, coping with past tragedies, also share with Rei a unique familial bond that he has lacked for most of his life. As he struggles to maintain himself physically and mentally through his shogi career, Rei must learn how to interact with others and understand his own complex emotions.
3-gatsu/ no Lion is probably the only new anime worth watching this season which is full of hardcore mediocre new shows. Coming from Chika Umino it is her best work till date and is something her previous work i.e Hachimitsu to Clover wasn't that is "not annoying". Sangatsu no Lion is a piece of work which can not be summarized in any other word but astonishing because that is what it is, not all its slices are but the whole pie is.
Story :- 9/10
Story's premise goes like this -----> Rei is a kid but also a professional Shougi player and his path to overcome the struggle if his own failures in life even though he was not responsible for most of them<-----
Mashed with his day-to-day activities the story becomes more appealing and heartwarming and never shows a dull moment.The Plot is not unique but, you know, to create an interesting story plot doesn't have to be unique!
Art :- 9/10
Shaft!! People, before it aired, were fidgeting over if Shaft would be able to portray Sensei's style properly but after its first episode aired, it threw all the doubts out of the window. One of the best thing about the studio is how they never hesitate to do something new and out of the norm and the art of this anime is just that only. Even though not as bizzare and glazing as bakemonogatari it is still an A grade.
Sound :- 9/10
This is, in my opinion, a subjective matter of taste but there is one particular thing in this series that I took a liking to and i.e the Sound of Silence. Sound of Silence is probably the best sound and it works especially well for the heavy emotions filled scenes of the anime.
Characters :- 10/10
This is it. This is the selling point of the series and it can single handedly overpower any other shortcoming of the series. There are two notable groups of characters in the series, first our protagonist and second, the 3 sisters. These two groups are in perfect contrast, as how even though our protagonist being a successful shougi player and comparatively more well-off, is always feeling melancholic but on the other hand the 3 sisters who have nothing, and are poor, live like they have nothing to worry about. And yet they both have one thing in common i.e they are all sad deep down inside and have gone through very rough time and are still going through it. The Character development is exceptional and excellent.
Overall :- 9/10
Feels level = "Clannad". A perfect slice of life seinen which hits right in the kokoro and hooks very well in. In this era of declining quality it is a sigh of relief, a type of anime in which you just can't help but empathize and relate with the characters. An outstanding anime. A grade.read more
One of the most underrated anime of Fall 2016. Overall rating [9.3/10]
Story [10/10] - This is not your typical anime with exposition, climax, and resolution. It's like you are reading a book. And in this case, a very good one. The experiences come fast and furious for the main character, but the center of his universe is definitely 'shogi'. Also, you don't have to be a shogi expert to watch this although it has a 'game' tag on it. You will love how the story goes from silent to being dramatic, and from that to being so comedic. One time you will be crying, and then the next thing you know you've been laughing along with the character's dialogues.
Art [10/10] - I've watched a fair amount of anime, and I speak for everyone when I say that this kind of art style is very unique. The way how every scenes were drawn into perfection, and how it can easily change your feelings toward the story make this anime one of a kind.
Sound [10/10] - The opening and ending songs were performed by BUMP OF CHICKEN. So you can expect for it to be good. The soundtracks for every scene are on point.
Character [8/10] - Although the main character has a deep background. It's not that rare nowadays for most of them to have a very tragic backstory.
For starters, this anime could be close to a masterpiece. Why you ask? Well I'll tell you. It's animated by Shaft, who are known for extreme narrative and story abnormalities. Now that may sound bad, but the story so far has been directed beautifully. The way the story dives into the sadness of our MC's past really tugs on the heartstrings, but at the same time his current life is filled with happy moments that are heartwarming. The mix of drama and slice of life can get confusing or even annoying but I think that's just what makes this show really good.
What is important to note is that while having a main character such as Rei Kiriyama, a tragic backstory is nothing original. One might find that cliche or distasteful; however the mystery of his past as well as the growth of Rei as a person is what makes you feel the emotion the director is trying to impose.
You don't have to like or know anything about shogi to enjoy this anime. And trust me, there is more to this show than just shogi. Rei's everyday life is incorporated with happy slice of life scenes featuring the Kawamoto sisters (Akari, Hinata, and Momo). They help Rei understand the beauty behind life, and not just the struggles of it. Besides the story, the art is outrageous and surreal, but not realistic. Don't let that throw you off, because it still captures the moments of emotion in detail. The OP and ED are sung by BUMP OF CHICKEN (who are a very good band), and both songs are aesthetically pleasing and catchy. The characters and atmosphere make this show enjoyable as well and make you feel a part of the story. The OST helps with this, as it's vivid and picturesque.
Overall, give this anime a chance. You might find something you'll enjoy a lot. [Will update this if the anime changes]
Overall 9/10read more
Ever since Akiyuki Shinbo joined as director in 2005, Shaft has been on a rampage, pushing its avant grade cinematography (and head tilts) to the limits. And now that they've made a name for themselves (and the fact that they're all out of source material on the monogatari series), they have started to calm down. Compared to last year's Owarimonogatari (and the subsequent Kizumonogatari movies this year), they have a Slice of Life entry this fall season by the name of San-gatsu no Lion (or March comes in like a Lion). Based on a well received ongoing manga, the story revolves around Kiriyama Rei, a high schooler and a pro shogi player, living an independent life in a rather empty part of town. Having lived through a mountain of trouble as a child and not-so-good experiences at his foster family, the repressed emotions and lack of "love" (if you will) has made him depressed and lonely inside. The only thing he has left is his career as a shogi player, which, sadly, started with a lie. So, a life (and mental sanity maybe?) built on such a feeble foundation can only last so long. And so it all starts to crumble and he starts going into a downward spiral.
But fear not, all is not lost yet. Enter the three Kawamoto sisters. Having gone through some rough times themselves, they had one another to lean on, and so they live their modest lives full of happiness and laughter with the occasional sad reminiscing. And thankfully, they drag our protagonist into it, and it acts as a sliver of hope in his life. His interactions with them and the subtle changes they cause in his personality seem to be the main focus of the show.
Now, there are a few things to watch out for, if you're thinking of picking this up.
Number one is the drama, the kind of drama where there are lots of tragic flashbacks and broken, damaged characters. If you find characters wallowing in depression appalling, this might not be your cup of tea. Though I would say that the creators have put a lot of effort in Rei's backstory as it feels "legit" and in-sync with his character.
Second, is the game of Shogi. They say shogi is like chess, except that it's not (well it is, in essence, a strategy game). Compared to the 16 pieces per player in Chess, Shogi has 20 pieces; there is no queen, and two new pieces - silver general and gold general are in play. Even the board is different (its a 9x9 instead of an 8x8). Point is, if you don't know shogi, parts of the show involving it - like the surprised look on players when the opponent makes an interesting move (a shot of the board with all the pieces, a move, and cut to character's face), or analogies/metaphors relating to our main characters life, will probably make little to no sense (or won't have the desired effect).
Number three is Shaft. Now, I already said that they're trying to calm down, and they are, I mean, 5 episodes without a head tilt (Shinbo must be screaming in frustration, good thing Kenjirou is in charge), but, it's still Shaft. And I've seen some people complain about the artstyle. Thankfully, it all isn't as erratic as the monogatari series and I am fine with it. Heck I love how they keep the contrast when switching perspectives from the depressed MC to the cheerful sisters (love the color palette too, and the opening).
Conclusion. I like where this is going. I like that the main character is "damaged" damaged and not just damaged for plot's sake, his backstory really gets me. And I am interested in how far down he is going to fall before he gets over his past or if the past is going to come back to haunt him, either way, he will face it and that's what I'm looking forward to. Also, this is Shaft and I have hope that they aren't going to mess this up. But if they do, I'll update this.read more
Are you struggling to find new anime you should be watching this season? We scrape past all the sequels to anime you'e never watched to bring you the hottest premieres of this fall 2016 anime season to get you started.
This upcoming Fall 2016 anime season is stacked with exciting new titles, amongst them being manga adaptations fans have been demanding for over 5 years. We go over the most exciting manga finally being turned into anime this season