March Comes in Like a Lion – Preview
March Comes in Like a Lion:
Original Air Dates: October 8th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Rei Kiriyama is a 17-year old pro shogi player who is burdened with a deep sense of loneliness. He lives alone, separated from his adoptive family in an older part of Tokyo. As despair seems to slowly but surely swallow him up, his life changes for the better thanks to becoming acquainted with three sisters, Akari, Hinata, and Momo.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The biggest impression March’s animation left is how Rei’s expressions seems to be on the verge of tears every other minute. Compared to most anime, the characters in this show can have some extremely down turned lips making them look even more abnormal than usual. However, the abstract imagery and scenes used in the episode do a great job of conveying Rei’s troubled emotions and his isolation from everyone else, giving it a sublime feel.
Tom: March comes in like a Lion’s visuals stand out amongst the season, providing a more fluffy and silly style of animation that can, surprisingly, lend itself well when the show delves into Rei’s more depressing psyche riddled with depression and anxiety.
Linny: The story so far is a bit vague, choosing not to explain exactly what’s going on. We do not know exactly how or why Rei is so familiar with the Kawamoto sisters or exactly why he’s living alone. A lot is left abstract for now, but it seems like March is about how the Kawamoto family influences and changes Rei for the better.
Tom: March can definitely be obtuse, leaving bread crumbs for the audience to pick up on and piece the greater narrative together. It’s not so obtuse that it’s a chore, but it’s definitely asking the viewer to hang around until it feels like dropping in the extra pieces you need to understand Rei’s issues and situation. Also without the knowledge of Shogi, or the concept of professional paid Shogi players, March might be even more confusing as it relies on its visuals and setting, rather than dialogue, to convey it’s narrative. I’m sure the story will open up a bit more, but this first episode can easily turn away someone who would prefer everything laid out.
Linny: Considering how obtuse this episode was, there may be a chance that the show is assuming most of its viewers are familiar with the manga source. However, even if you are not, the show isn’t frustratingly vague and since a lot of the charm of this episode comes from its cute young female cast members, most viewers should be won over by their antics alone.
Tom: Rei, our depressed lead, seems to take things exceptionally hard. It’s understandable and maybe even relatable once you get far enough in, but March sometimes takes his comparisons too hard, stretching things over into melodrama like when he compares defeating his adoptive father at Shogi to beating him to death. If March can reign those comparisons in, I think it’s really got an interesting and dark topic to explore. Keeping us from wallowing too deep in depression the visits Rei has with the Kawamoto family are wonderfully cute and a lot of bubbly fun, adding in plenty of whimsy to offset this otherwise oppressively depressing experience.
Linny: Since Rei can feel somewhat melodramatic, here’s to hoping that learning his backstory as the show continues makes his melancholy understandable to the viewers. It’s clear that the Kawamoto kids are meant to offset his depressing vibe as Momo, the youngest of the Kawamoto sibling seems destined to be the cutie pie of the season and you can tell my obsession with her from how she’s in every gif (though she might be facing stiff competition from Poco of Poco’s Udon World). Even the middle sibling, Hinata is clearly meant to appeal to the viewers with her outspoken but caring personality, making Rei lunches the size of a football and making it clear that she considers him a part of the family.
Tom: March comes in like a Lion feels like it’s a solid drama, and if it can let up on the melodramatic comparisons between shogi and actual physical violence, it’ll probably be the token outstanding drama of the season. I’ve high hopes for the show and seriously recommend the series to anyone seeking something a little less happy go lucky, fantasy, sci-fi, or sports oriented.
Linny: March comes in like a Lion definitely feels like a more well rounded out drama, offering up some light hearted cuteness along with its much darker and dramatic themes without either coming across as too jarring or mood ruining. Yes, the drama did get a bit heavy handed but hopefully, it will balance itself better in the future. If you’re looking for a show that’s little bit different from the norm while remaining a down to earth, everyday life like tale, you may want to give this one a chance.