Posted by SuperWooper on 5 May 2018 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Alright guys, here’s my last post: a series of short takes on the final four episodes of 3-gatsu no Lion. These are a month late, as usual – it wouldn’t do to break tradition just before my departure. I might pop in for joint film reviews or special occasions, but apart from that, this is the end. Thanks for reading!

41: After the big showdown between Yanagihara and Shimada, 3-gatsu opted to decompress by focusing on its side stories for a bit. I’m of two minds about this episode. Everything involving Chiho-chan is a home run for me, so working her plum syrup into the festival story gave me a reason to care about the Kawamotos’ sweets business. Hinata’s determination to support her friend, plus her growing satisfaction at helping the family financially, are taking her character in a good direction. All the plans she has for special confections hint at a future where Hina takes over Crescent Moon, relieving her big sister of the burden left by their departed mother. Rei pitches in at the festival, too, and there’s even a cameo from Takahashi, lending a sense of community to the first chapter of this episode. As for the scenes from Hinata’s school near the end, I remain unimpressed by the series’ unwillingness to tackle Takagi’s character in detail. As her prospective homeroom teacher says, she doesn’t feel remorse for her actions, but if your goal is that she feel remorse, you won’t get through to her by instructing her to conquer her anxiety. See my post on episodes 35/36 for more on my issues with this subplot.

42: Hina continues to take center stage here, with plot threads like the upcoming entrance exams and her concern for her grandpa positioning her in a more mature role. Several months ago, her main purpose was to fight against the bullying that was occurring in her class, but now she can think more about herself and how to turn her dreams into reality. The idea to attend Rei’s high school pops into her head after a fun afternoon of catching and eating bamboo somen, with a bunch of people participating (including Hayashida-sensei, who catches feelings for Akari straight away). But I think it’s mainly Rei’s cheerfulness that convinces her that Komahashi High is the right fit. Hinata knows better than anyone how much Rei has had to endure, because she has experienced a similar sense of loss. So when she sees him laughing with his friends from the Shogi Science club, she knows it’s a place where the two of them can find acceptance and have fun. Rei goes into tutor mode to make it happen, while Akari makes snacks and provides encouragement like only she can. This might be the gentlest ‘high school entrance exam’ story in the history of anime, but having seen plenty of them myself, it’s also one of my favorites.

43: I can’t get through an episode of 3-gatsu these days without crying, it seems. Kana Hanazawa’s fragile voice during Hina’s sickness broke me, especially the little “okay” she mustered in response to caretaker Rei’s suggestions. Her fear of forgetting everything she’d learned for her exam was so sad, because it was brought on by a far more profound fear: that of abandonment. Just learning that her crush Takahashi would be going to a faraway high school was enough to send her into a spiral, where memories of her mother and grandmother’s deaths and her father’s abandonment were enough to make her literally sick with worry. This was the third episode in a row that mentioned the Kawamotos’ deceased mother, but the first where it caused one of our characters so much grief. Hopefully these constant backwards glances are setting up a brighter future – this episode takes a step in that direction, at least, by granting Hinata admission to her preferred school. It also provides a warm moment between Rei and his adoptive father right at the end, most likely to lead into the special conclusion in the next episode. There’s plenty of other stuff to unpack in this one, most notably the question of Rei’s attraction to Hina, but I’m trying to keep these short, and that plot thread will receive much more attention in the eventual third season.

44: Shaft went with a mix-up for the finale of the second season, just as they did with the first. The chapter from the start of this episode is actually number 97 in the manga, but the second season concludes with chapter 89, so things were a bit out of order here. This was a nice choice, since chapter 90 introduces a significant new character in the shogi world and moves the story in a different direction. Better to cut things off with Hinata in the spotlight, as she has been for the last few episodes. Before that, though, we have “Other Home,” which is told from the perspective of Mrs. Kouda, Rei’s adoptive mother. She doesn’t recognize her son’s voice over the phone at first, which establishes a distance between them that lasts for the duration of the chapter. Visually, “Other Home” consists almost entirely of still images, which creates a fractured atmosphere that breaks only when Rei bids his former pet Tarou goodbye. When he wishes for his dog to “live a long life,” you know his biological family is there in his mind’s eye, since they provided the sort of warm, stable upbringing that Mrs. Kouda couldn’t. Her narration is largely confessional, as if she’s asking the viewer to be pardoned for viewing Rei as an intruder, but their visit is nothing more than cordial. Even a series as optimistic as 3-gatsu knows that some relationships ought to stay damaged for the sake of the story.

Not so for Hinata and Takahashi, though, who go out for monjayaki with Rei and say their goodbyes. As Takahashi prepares the dish and talks about his plans to make it for his new teammates in Shikoku, Hina realizes that the bond they share as children from the same hometown can never be broken. Even as she moves on to high school with a botched haircut and a tear-stained past, she still belongs to a community and a family that love her dearly. I can’t wait to see how that knowledge buoys her, and the rest of the 3-gatsu cast, for years to come.

(For more detailed thoughts on “Other Home,” check out Mario’s post here.)

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

One Punch Man S2 – 7 [Class S Heroes]

Congratulations OPM, you found a new way to disappoint me. This time, OPM actually straight up cut content from the manga to try and fit it all conveniently into a single episode. All the while, gloriously screwing it up. Lets jump in, I promise this will be fast. Starting off I would like to say, […]

Dororo – 19 [The Story of the Amanojaku]

Hello all and welcome to a week of essentially filler for Dororo! We repeat plot points, Hyakki gets engaged and Dororo gets some funny faces. Let’s dive in! Starting off, I normally do production here, but with the contents of this episode that seems ridiculous. Instead, I wanna ask why this episode exists, because this […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 7 [Muzan Kibutsuji]

Hello all, and welcome to a big week for Kimetsu no Yaiba. This is the week where I move it up from a “Competent” Shounen to a “Good/Great” Shounen. You see, Yaiba finishes up another arc, Nezuko kicks some butt and Tanjiro meets the big bad 8 episodes in. So let’s jump into it! Starting […]

Mix – 07 [Worried?]

What’s with all the A-list seiyuu in Mix? The four main characters are voiced by some of the biggest names in the industry right now: Yuki Kaji, the Uchida siblings, and Kana Hanazawa as new character Haruka. I tend to dodge a lot of the shounen and harem series that feature Mr. Kaji, and the […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 3 [Psyche] – Throwback Thursday

Starting off, let me apologize for the lateness of this weeks Lain post. I tend to try and digest an episode before writing, and Lain makes that… difficult. As this week we get into the human psyche, the line between reality and the Wired blurs and Lain becomes multiple people. Lets hop right in! Starting […]

One Punch Man S2 – 6 [The Uprising of the Monsters]

Sigh Welcome once again to the sinking ship that is OPM S2. This week we see a fantastic character done dirty, botched pacing, and more boob shots than you can swing a stick at. Lets dive in. As always, production, and oof. OOF. JC Staff screwed the pooch this week. I won’t even talk animation, […]

Dororo – 18 [The Story of the Cape of No Mercy]

Welcome one and all to Dororo’s redemption, the episode that takes us back to first cour quality. We have demons, sword fights, and poignant character moments. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t be disappointed in 2 months. Lets jump in! First up, thank you MAPPA, for getting production right this week. Every aspect was, at the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 6 [Swordsman Accompanying a Demon]

Welcome everyone to another episode of Yaiba! We are 1/4th of the way through now and Yaiba is 3 arcs in, with no plans of slowing. We arrive at the town, a hunt ensues and combat begins with our first super powered Demon. Lets jump in! As always, production first. I could go on and […]

Mix – 05/06 [You’re a Pitcher, Right?/When Spring Arrives]

Two weeks ago, I wondered how long Mix’s middle school arc would stretch, given that its ultimate destination was the Koushien tournament. Apparently the show had a similar question on its mind, as these two episodes pushed through an entire year’s worth of story. In fact, it was episode 6 that did the majority of […]

Latest Reviews

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]