「Chapter.3 あかり / Chapter.4 橋の向こう」 (Chapter.3 Akari / Chapter.4 Hashi no Mukou)
“Chapter 3 Akari / Chapter 4 Other Side of the Bridge”
「Chapter.5 晴信 / Chapter.6 夜空のむこう」 (Chapter.5 Harunobu/ Chapter.6 Yozora no Mukou)
“Chapter 5 Harunobu / Chapter 6 Beyond the Night Sky”
After putting it off until Stilts forced me to give him an answer, I never expected I’d love this show as much as I did — and we’re only three episodes in!
General Impressions and Two Episode Catch Up
Before I start raving about how much I love everything in this show, let me first say that I can clearly see where some people would be put off. Not everyone can handle a story with an awkward protagonist that’s trying to heal from some pretty horrible wounds, but if the first episode is what pushed you away, I think I’ll be able to make a pretty good argument for coming back for at least episodes two and three.
So, with that out the way, let me just word vomit the things that appeared in my head when I thought “What do I like about this show?” Broken families, coming to terms with death, Hanazawa Kana, a broken protagonist that’s awkward but within reason, Kayano Ai, cool shogi moves, and two adorable cats that have the cutest personalities ever are just the tip of everything I love about this show. More concisely put, the story, its characters, and the little treats scattered here and there have done an absolute bang up job at getting me emotionally invested with this show.
Starting with the characters, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I can’t believe how much I enjoyed watching all of them (even Harunobu). Starting with the main man though, I was surprised just how well 3-gatsu avoided making me hate Rei with his back story. I’ve never been a big fan of stories that started after traumatic events, but the way 3-gatsu does it has been fabulous. Giving me ample reason to understand why Rei is the way he is and why it happened through superb storytelling and not with words from another character, I’ve one hundred percent bought into the story. At the same time, even though he could be considered a little socially awkward, you can tell there’s a considerate side to his serious personality that just makes you want to give the dope a big hug. Not to steal all the spotlight, we also have the three Kawamoto sisters who are all amazing in their own right. While I’ll talk more about Hinata in a bit, Akari has been a straight up boss through episodes two and three. Showing both her maternal and slightly devilish side, it was so refreshing to know she’s more than just a nice girl who watches over Rei. That said, I probably love it the most when she’s being straight with Rei which usually involves a combination of caring for him while typically dropping some sad words. Something about just how “real” the situation is just feels so good to watch/experience. And as if that wasn’t enough, we even have a decent cast of side-side characters who all have pretty memorable personalities with some deep problems hiding underneath. And at that point, what more can you really ask for?
When it comes to the story, I think it’s still a little early to make any judgment about it as a whole. That said, I’ve been absolutely loving how the story has been building the world with the deliberate use of flashbacks and inner monologues that comment on the past and the present. Leaving mysteries for future episodes to solve while giving us a few important set pieces every now and then, it almost feels like you’re being rewarded for watching! When it comes to specifics, I’ve always been a sucker for family related woes and this show has enough feels to fill you up to the brim. Two families dealing with the same type of loss in drastically different ways, you can genuinely feel the sadness when it all comes crashing down together.
The Use of Smiles
Nothing really big here, I just wanted to quickly point out how much I love how the camera will get up in someone’s face and highlight their mouth as its deciding whether or not it’s going to smile or frown.
In an effort of cutting this post off before it gets any longer, I’ll leave my closing thoughts at this – I can’t wait for next week’s episode. With no experience with the source material and just the past three episodes to look back on, I’m excited to see what’ll happen next week. Which means, yeah, I’ll be picking up 3-gatsu! Something that’ll either come as a tiny surprise or might be redundant if Stilts gets the schedule post out before this, haha.
Anyways, I’ll see you guys next week! (Also, am I the only one who thinks one of the cats sounds like Horie Yui?)