Random Curiosity

3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season – 08 »« 3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season – 05

3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season – 06, 07

「小さな世界 / 手紙」 (Chiisana Sekai / Tegami)
“Chapter 56 Small World / Chapter 57 Letter”

End Card

 

「梅雨の始まり / 蜂谷」 (Tsuyu no Hajimari / Hachiya)
“Chapter 58 Start of the Rainy Season / Chapter 59 Hachiya”

Hina’s Predicament

Throughout these two episodes, Hina’s suffering continues on with no end in sight. Her teacher keeps brushing her off, and no one will stand up to the bullies. However, she does find solace within her household, although there’s a dire lack of permanent solution.

I think that we’ve been seeing an exploration of potential approaches, only to find out that these types of situations are truly delicate, and tricky to a fault. Too little effort, and you may as well have done nothing. Too heavy-handed, and some undesired consequences may arise. We see that even Takahashi’s intervention can only provide a brief respite, by momentarily raising Hina’s spirits. In fact, I would argue that his involvement only exacerbated the issue, since it gave the bullies a perfect narrative to push. They wasted no time in framing Hina as being a slut, who was fooling around with Takahashi.

Upon his immediate reaction to the unwelcome news, it was terrifying yet awesome to see Rei flare up in such a way. If we exclude his vulnerable outbursts from the first season, I’ve never seen such powerful displays of emotions coming from him, and it is here that we can see how the Kawamoto sisters have formed a cornerstone in his character development. No longer is he the pushover of old. Rather, he constantly strives to be a dependable person, who can look after the people he cares for. That said, he is still the same old, awkward Kiriyama, unintentionally startling some animals when he suddenly raises his voice in solidarity. Then again, who wasn’t on the same page? I personally feel an indescribable rage towards the bullies first, then towards the teacher above all else.

For someone who usually maintains a solid composure, it’s been really interesting to be reminded that despite being a mother by proxy, Akari is still a young woman with her own insecurities. Although Someji and Misaki are capable relatives, she worries about an extenuating situation, where she will have to go to school and confront the parents of Hina’s bullies. To be honest, I can see why such a concern would be legitimate. Imagine a middle-aged mother, who effectively enables her daughter’s terrible behaviour. Such an individual would be quick to protest her daughter’s innocence, and assert herself over Akari by ruthlessly putting her down. Even with all her love and best intentions for Hina, I could see Akari crumbling under such an unprecedented crisis. Let’s hope that the worst-case scenario doesn’t come about, right? I would hate to see such a beautiful smile getting fractured.

Rei vs Hachiya

In my opinion, this was the best shogi game depicted thus far in 3-gatsu. Due to the opponent, it was highly kinetic and fairly intense. Plus a new kind of difficulty arose. Rei’s perspective fantastically conveyed the unpleasant experience of playing against someone like Hachiya, who would fidget and make loud noises at sporadic intervals during a match. Often times, I found myself experiencing second-hand discomfort and irritation. By the way, these kind of physical reactions are a testimony to Shaft’s incredible directing. Anyhow, I wouldn’t blame people for thinking it’s a cheap tactic to unsettle shogi opponents. However, Hachiya strikes me as someone who suffers from ADHD. For those reasons, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and you could never really deny his sincere passion for the game. Combine all these quirky traits, and you might even find him endearing. I’d say he won me over, after knuckling down on Kiriyama in the post-mortem, while demolishing parfait after parfait.

Concluding Thoughts

Rei forges ahead into the semifinals, and with Nikaidou hot on his heels, I look forwards to seeing what the next few matchup brings. Just how far can his newfound determination take him, or even better, what will he do if he falls short?

So far, the pacing has been nothing short of amazing. Where most other shows would struggle to follow up from a climax, 3-gatsu just seems to naturally transition between moments, continually moving from strength to strength in its depiction of Hina’s problem with bullies. Shaft deserve credit for faithfully following on, but most of my praise has to go to Umino Chica, who set down the entire groundwork that made everything possible. Both her character and story-telling feel organic in their construction,

Anyway, I’d like to play the Devil’s Advocate for Hina’s teacher because reading the manga grants me the benefit of hindsight, thus altering my initial preconceptions. Otherwise, I suspect that I would also be up in arms over how she chose to handle Hina’s situation. While it’s true that the teacher’s passivity is utterly despicable, humans all have their reasons for acting in certain ways. Righteousness is typically the natural course upon which our feelings run, but over time, disillusionment over the system can slowly erode away our capacity to do what’s right. That is to say, we become paralysed by an indescribable fear of failure, to the extent that we’re prevented from taking proper action. Not that it justifies losing courage, when the weak and vulnerable are crying for help. However, it’s completely understandable that not everyone has the same kind of conviction we see within Hina.

Zaiden’s Anecdote

Early on in my school days, I remember that I was quick to stand up for my friends, getting in tussles with larger kids who picked on anyone I cared about. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for those who I thought were my friends. What I’m about to tell you precludes my most bitter memories from secondary school.

This guy who could never beat me at Pokémon battles thought it would be hilarious to dump an entire plate of spaghetti over my head out of spite. Not saying I was perfect, considering I was as arrogant as they come and a sore winner. But what shocked me was that none of my friends tried to help me, stand up for me, and all left the scene as soon as they could.

What’s more, this kid went straight to our Head of Learning, and straight up lied to them about how I was the one who threw food at him, landing me into two weeks worth of detention. The kicker? Not one person who I thought of as my friend stood up for me.

Their shallow reasoning was as follows. Judging by my character, they thought that I would be quick to forgive and forget. That is to say, by not choosing a side, they thought could keep both friendships, even though one side had clearly wronged. And the worst thing? I never got an apology from this scumbag.

The ridiculous thing? My ‘friends’ told me to forgive and forget, and ‘make up’ with the perpetrator. Water under the bridge, making life easy for them. The dumb thing? I did exactly that, just to make my ‘friends’ happy. But he always continued acting like he was somehow the victim, and it felt horrible having to stick around someone who had wronged me in such a vile way without remorse. And what my ‘friends’ did was enable his lousy behaviour. One ‘friend’ told me they let him get away with it, because he never directly hurt them, making it okay for them. Needless to say, I don’t speak to that person anymore.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried at the time, cleaning up the floor covered in spaghetti, while the rest of the school kids in the dining room looked on in glee. Much like Hina, I also cried on some random nights, because I felt really abandoned, and the incident messed me up for a long time. However, I managed to come out stronger, and eventually found the genuine friends I had always wanted. There’s one in particular that comes to mind, that I want to talk about.

End Card

A Heartfelt Message to My Best Friend

Dear Alvin,

I know you sometimes read these Random Curiosity posts. Whether you’ll read this one is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, I just wanted to say, I love you lots and thank you for being my best friend over these past few years!

A lot of people in our secondary school misjudged you, readily dismissing you for being ‘lame’. Not only were they completely wrong, but they utterly failed to see your true worth and value. From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful and blessed to have you as my best friend.

While you may be awkward at times, that does not refute the fact that you’re a truly good person at heart, who holds a deep sense of compassion for your peers. You would stand up for me without any hesitation, and properly listen to me when I needed someone to confide in. As I would do for you as well.

Had I known you prior to the spaghetti incident, I know I wouldn’t have experienced such loneliness. As such, it is my regret we couldn’t have been best friends earlier on during our time at secondary school, since I wish I was there to help with your hardships too. I will always have your back, and if I needed someone to have mine, I’d trust you for time immemorial. I hope we can continue to be best friends, till death do us part.

Yours sincerely,

Zaiden

November 27, 2017 at 3:32 pm
11 comments »
  • November 27, 2017 at 6:56 pmzztop

    http://randomc.net/image/3-gatsu%20no%20Lion/3-gatsu%20no%20Lion%202nd%20Season%20-%2006%20-%20Large%20End%20Card.jpg

    Endcard by Amano Kozue, mangaka of gondolier series Aria and diving series Amanchu.
    Amanchu’s getting a S2 anime this Spring 2018.

    http://randomc.net/image/3-gatsu%20no%20Lion/3-gatsu%20no%20Lion%202nd%20Season%20-%2007%20-%20Large%20End%20Card.jpg

    Endcard by Saibara Reiko, creator of seinen manga such as the semi-autobiographical Mainichi Kaasan.
    https://www.mangaupdates.com/authors.html?id=7092

  • November 29, 2017 at 1:14 amzeroyuki92

    I felt that this whole topic about bullying really hits hard for many people everywhere. Sangatsu no Lion did a really well done job on actually bringing this topic in a very respectable way.

    Thanks for the post, Zaiden. I have been waiting for this lol

    • November 29, 2017 at 5:13 amZaiden

      Hey Zeroyuki!

      With the end of my university term in sight, things should be a lot easier once examinations are over. That said, problems mainly come from an overestimation of how much I could handle this season, and an inadequate laptop charger replacement forcing me to ration battery usage between university and RandomC work. It’s likely I won’t be picking up anything new next season, so I can knuckle down on what I already have.

      Totally agree that bullying has been handled in a refined way. It’s dramatic, but not overly so in a way that’s more difficult to relate. To be honest, it really strikes me how in reality, bullying can actually be such simple acts of unkindness that slowly chip away at us. Most importantly, the characters exhibit a wide array of negative emotions, as opposed to a really intense singularity. A lot of series slip into this pitfall, because it’s easier to express a breaking point, rather than fleshing out the effects of bullying over an extended period of time.

      3-gatsu outlines a fine nuance to such a depiction, that does not go over the top, bringing it down to a human level – especially where Hina is attempting to suppress her anger and grief. I’ve been there and done it before, so it wasn’t difficult to put myself in Hina’s shoes, and empathise with her predicament.

  • November 29, 2017 at 10:55 amMcL

    Dang Zaiden, I miss your posts for Just Because! now that events are getting juicy. With that said, your anecdote is the most personal story I’ve read coming from an RC writer. I noticed that most RC writters tend to not mention a single thing about their peronal lives, let along there personal histories. But thanks for sharing.

    I guess RC writters are not automated robots. ^_^

    • November 29, 2017 at 6:05 pmZaiden

      Funnily enough, I don’t consider myself qualified to write for Just Because!. At the time where I dropped it, the series seemed to be presenting viewpoints entirely antithetical with the ones that I personally believe in, when it comes to romance as a genre.

      As for my anecdote being personal, what can I say? That’s the magic of 3-gatsu, and how it managed to pull all these emotions and memories out of me, though I confess to probably overdoing it. When I write, it should be about the events transpiring in these episodes, rather than myself. To that end, I’m sure a lot of people hoping to read about the episode must be quite annoyed that I decided to venture down such a personal path.

      However, I was actually inspired by a commenter from last time, who shared their personal experience. @neko_in_blue, if you’re reading this, thank you very much for being my inspiration! It made me want to try that out, and gave me the courage to do exactly that. What other writers do is none of my business, and I’ve enjoyed their works through the years. In fact, I recall occasional mentions of personal lives here and there, but nothing quite as lengthy as what I’ve presented here.

      And unfortunately, we’re all indeed automated robots, programmed to brainwash the anime community into thinking that mediocre or sub-par shows are actually incredible ;)

  • November 30, 2017 at 1:46 pmBlue

    The thing about being allowed to be loud really resonates with me. Story time, but when I was in school I was sitting on a bench and two of my bullies came and sat on either side of me, and said nothing. They didn’t do anything, just sat on either side, way too close, but I could sense them holding in their sniggers. It was awful in a way I can’t fully explain. It’s those insiduous tactics that are the worst. I can totally see how Hina feels.

    • December 1, 2017 at 5:14 amZaiden

      Fortunately for me, I was never subjected to these insidious tactics. I can imagine that they would be awful though, with the paranoia eating away at your sanity. Sorry to hear you went through that experience, and hope that your life is better now!

  • December 1, 2017 at 8:37 amKana-chan

    Great Episodes as always.

    Takahashi was the MVP for me this whole time. I’m glad Rei reached out to him to support Hina a little from the sidelines while Rei can’t be at her school.
    He’s doing a way better Job than the Teacher ever could. She really throws me off. I can’t really understand why she is like that.

    On another note, this still doesn’t seem to have an end and I wonder when the great climax is going to happen. Hina is raising her voice and the fierce in her expression was really amazing at the end.

    I’m a little worried about Akari though, and her fantasy about godzilla-laser-shooting-granpa who might go overboard. As much as I would like to believe that everything will be fine after the meeting I think that Akari herself has to be a bit more wary of the whole situation and that a meeting with the parents might not actually help to solve anything. I hope this doesn’t end in a disaster where Akari might start to doubt herself again and how she is raising her sisters.

    The Match was really great to watch, kinda forgot how much pressure there is on both sides and how different they deal with it. Very good to see that Rei is still learning from his shogi-”senpais & elders”.

    btw I really have to say that the Opening is slowly becoming my favourite Song these days even though I thought nothing could beat the season 1 Opening song.

    • December 2, 2017 at 9:16 amZaiden

      Hey Kana-chan!

      Takahashi was the MVP for me this whole time

      While I don’t think I could call Takahashi my MVP, because I think Rei, Gramps and Akari have done more to warrant it, his contribution is undeniable.

      He’s doing a way better Job than the Teacher ever could. She really throws me off. I can’t really understand why she is like that.

      I think it’s quite different being a fellow student, compared with being a teacher who has to preside over a whole class of students. A student’s standing within their class may be in jeopardy, but if the parent of a bully is someone rich and influential within the school’s governing body, a teacher’s job may be sat in a precarious position. At least that’s how it was in my primary school.

      Hina is raising her voice and the fierce in her expression was really amazing at the end.

      Hina’s fierce expression of angry tears was incredible. Kudos to KanaHana’s voice acting too. But it really made me sad to see her surrounded and trapped by so much darkness. Whereas Rei has finally escaped from depression, with the OP shows him confidently running on top of the water, it is Hina who has taken his place as the person drowning in a figurative way.

      Akari herself has to be a bit more wary of the whole situation

      Akari is definitely more wary of the whole situation. Nevertheless, she uses her fantasy as a way of protecting herself from real world cruelties. This is very much a situation she wants to run away from, but because her precious sister is at stake, she has to stand her ground in a resolute manner.

      the Opening is slowly becoming my favourite Song these days

      My favourite OP so far is probably ‘Sayonara Bystander’, which is probably an odd choice. However, I’m liking all the OPs so far! As for ED, it would easily be the current one.

  • December 2, 2017 at 6:45 pmkiwi

    hey Zaiden, thanks for sharing that anecdote with us! This whole bullying arc has been really heart-breaking for me because of its relatability… anyway thanks for your honesty and courage! I hope Alvin gets the message… even if he doesn’t read this post, i encourage you to let him know how much you value him. (speaking from personal experience) it can be embarrassing to be all gushy like that, but I always feel better knowing that my friends realize how much i truly love them :)

    • December 3, 2017 at 5:47 amZaiden

      No problem, I tend to wear my emotions like a sleeve, so I wouldn’t consider it courageous to have come forwards. Everyone else over at RandomC HQ could probably tell you that I’m like a faucet of emotions, who tends to overshare details of my life!

      Haha, I’ll wait for him to catch up with 3-gatsu, then ask him to read this post. I’m not embarrassed to be gushy, but I know he’d be annoyed for sure if I were to spoil stuff for him!

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