Let me get off track for a bit, but the truth is that I’ve always been fascinated by moonlight. Moonlight gives me a warm presence, moonlight (especially in full-moon) gives me the bright feeling that there’s no more worry in the world. Sit there and watch the moonlight is one of those rare moments where I truly “enjoy my moments of nothingness”. Coincidently, many media involving moonlight have a special connection to me: “Moonlight Shadow”, “Dancing in the Moonlight”, even last year’s indie gem “Moonlight” gave me a certain feeling that resonate strongly to me. This week in 3-gatsu we start with the chapter named “Moonlight” and again this proves to be a special episode to me, one of my favorite chapter out of 3-gatsu in fact. The ambiguous relationship between Kyouko and Rei has been one of the show’s strongest material, and this episode manages to take that relationship up a notch.
I will forever remember the image of that young Kyouko; there she stands, beyond the moonlight by the window, demanding Rei’s and our attention. If there were moments that best captured the relationship between Rei and Kyouko, that would be the moment she sneaks into his bed, whispering those words “Don’t touch me. But don’t move away from me”. Kyouko, just liked the way Rei described her, is a strong-willed but deeply insecure girl. The girl who has everything that she doesn’t need, and ‘fails’ the only thing that profoundly mattered to her. To her eyes, she’s always the inferior one compared to Rei, both in shogi and in their father’s attention. Rei isn’t any better when it comes to self-doubting though, as a result we encounter one of the most heartbreaking moments when the only way those two know how to comfort the other is by ways of showing that insecurity, but even then Kyouko still gets hurt really bad. That is Kyouko, love and hate someone with the same intensity.
And when it comes to her loving someone with full force, we also see her and Gotou together for the very first time, and this relationship is still pretty much blurred at this time, but fascinating nonetheless. Gotou is oblivious to Kyouko’s feeling, even calling her “stalker”, but of course Kyouko doesn’t back down just because of that. We saw them together twice this episode, and while the first time he allowed her to walk side by side with him, the second time he ditched her like a bastard. Except when you think about it, this is the best kind of actions when dealing with someone as bombastic as Kyouko. He’s a married man anyways. People seems to agree that Gotou has been using her but from what I see it might not be the case; it’s Kyouko who clearly steps out the line right now. I have a feeling he still cares very much about his sick wife but I know we will see more about his relationship soon enough so let’s wait and see.
The rest of the episode also follows the best-of-three matches to determine title-challenger between Gotou and Shimada. They are basically equal in terms of skills level so the matches are long and worn-out ones and resulted in one slightly beaten out than the other, which the first match goes to Gotou and the second goes to Shimada. I’m glad to see that Rei really invests in those matches. Yes, to learn from the people who are higher than you and get inspiration from those matches are the right way to get out of his own depression now. Speaking of that, Hina has an adorable moment of sitting in the chair and worrying for Rei, just so that the grandfather gives her his wise advices of basically come down to “let him deal with his issues himself”. At the same time, Harunobu offers his insight on how Rei changed his attitude towards shogi and the very reason he cares deeply for his “best friend”, this is a sweet little material for Harunobu, but I can’t help but feel that we already know that Harunobu felt that way even before he tells it, so the result gives us very little impact; which is a shame. As now a tradition with 3-gatsu no Lion, if I have to recommend the series, I’d just recommend certain chapters out of the show because when the show hits, it hits real hard, like this week’s Moonlight chapter. Other chapters though aren’t as strong or memorable and I guess with the intention of adapting faithfully to every chapters of the manga by Shaft, we will have to bear with it for the long, long term.