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March comes in like a Lion

I can't believe just how some things have passed me by for a pretty long time, yet there has long been an awareness of such lingering around the back of my head. Recently, while browsing in Books Kinokuniya I came across a series of manga that will have an anime adaptation in October (essentially the Fall season). Its drawing style is honestly not something that I would be remotely intrigued by, but like what I have said about the lingering stuff it had actually triggered something in my head. So I made a mental note to sample some. Anybody here reads 3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a Lion)?

The series has a rather interesting line-up, with the main character being a professional shogi player since a very young age, and how his life entwines with those of the people around him, in particular a trio of sisters living nearby. The theme of shogi seems to serve as just a backdrop and not overwhelm with its technicalities which is good, because I don't have plans to learn the game anytime soon. The story is also fairly slow-paced and not desperate to go anywhere. Anyway, I should say that my curiosity had suddenly multiplied, and I found myself reading until...Chapter 32 or somewhere around there.

Yeah, so the professional shogi player is Kiriyama Rei, who was 17 at the start of the manga. Rei comes across as severely socially awkward, but we quickly realise the reasons which have shaped him the way that he is. He leads an independent life after staying and training with his shogi teacher, though at one glance it isn't difficult telling that the so-called independence is actually nondescript and worrying. But fate had Rei meet with the Kawamoto sisters, who took an instant liking to him and informally act as his family of sorts. Oh, did I mention that there are also cats in this? The cats have their own voices throughout the manga! 

Spending time over at the Kawamotos gradually opens up Rei's vulnerability and his gentle nature. His life alternates between them, shogi and high school. Apparently, his status as a professional shogi player is larger than imagined, though there are obviously stronger and better players surrounding him. Rei's key opponents in shogi are somewhat a haphazard mix. Sure, they are rivals yet it is just as evident that they also genuinely care for Rei outside of the game. One particular guy stands out: Nikaidou Harunobu. Nikaidou has no sense of shame at all when it comes to Rei. We also realise that Rei has a tough time fighting off Nikaidou's overpowering invasion of personal space and such. Does anybody think that they are friends anyway? 

Besides the anime adaptation, there is a two-part live-action film adaptation which will premiere in March and April next year. I'm more interested in the anime though. Oddly, I don't find myself the least inclined to watch live-action adaptations. It is the same for other manga titles. Hmm. Anyway, I shall attempt to follow this series regularly. There is a subtle charm working!

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪  

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