Sangatsu no Lion is filled with important life lessons that is taught to us in style. It has great music, quality animation and a fantastic art style. All of this added with the writing makes for an experience to say the least. I want to also mention that the first episode of this show made my heart ache pretty hard and it didn’t take long to understand why. I felt like I understood Rei’s character quickly because I was Rei at one point. I did everything not because I enjoyed it but because it was necessary, I was unsure of what I really wanted to do and how I wanted to live. I felt like I could disappear at any moment and no one would notice. Communicating with others was a chore and all I could really do is sit there and stare blankly at the person I was supposed to be communicating to. Looking back, it honestly felt awful.
The story of Sangatsu no Lion can be simplified to it being a story about life, but it is much more intricate than that. Like shogi there are many different pieces involved each with different roles to play. The author used shogi as a tool to give the viewer more insight on the characters and on life, this is done very well. Rei is the character who rightfully gets most of the character development. Other characters like the Kawamoto family is also focused on but nowhere near as much. I was completely fine with this as I was much more interested in Rei than others. The side characters are well used to further develop Rei’s character while they themselves get developed little amounts at a time. My biggest problem with this show was its comedy. Although it may not be tagged as a comedy, there was still a considerable amount of comedy in it, and it was very hit or miss. Sometimes it got a chuckle out of me, other times it just felt forced.
Each episode is presented to us with unique visuals that reflects what is being said perfectly, this all thanks to studio Shaft’s creative way of adapting works. Each time they switch styles it doesn’t throw me out of the experience, in fact it makes me feel more involved with the characters. They somehow made each style perfectly embody what the characters were trying to convey. Although I’m usually not into the more bright, bubbly type of art akin to shoujo works, I felt this was done extremely well.
The voice actors did a wonderful job portraying their individual characters. Almost all lines I felt were delivered very well and held the emotion they were supposed to. The soundtrack was also very good. It was done by Yukari Hashimoto the same composer as Penguindrum, once again she delivers a wonderful soundtrack. I feel this one was even better though because of what Sangatsu no Lion is. I especially love the delicate piano pieces.
This is very good, more than that even. I think this first season of Sangatsu no Lion was a considerable amount better than the second season. I could relate to it much more than the second season making it much more emotional than the second season. It has fantastic writing, its art and animation is too good, the voice cast is great, and the soundtrack is also very great. The only thing that held this show back from getting a higher score was its comedy.