「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.

Looking Ahead

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?)




  1. Finally a positive post that I am enjoying reading *thumbs up*, I just wish they wouldn’t have such grim sad lips, I notice mine quiver the same way theirs are xD

    I like this show, drawing-wise, opening-wise (bump of chicken!!), character interaction-wise, and I can’t say more than what you said in ur post anyway xD



    /personal phobia whenever they run around the charecters makes me cringe xD /except the owl-one, it was weird 😛 Cheers!

  2. The storytelling in this series is gentle, like water.

    March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb indeed. Life has been hard on our protagonists, but the future is always up for grabs.

    Nothing much to say about the execution other than it’s excellent. They are really faithful in adapting. And the source material only gets better, and better, and judging by the last few volumes, even better! Its one of those series that continuously top manga Awards.

    Also the bit about the mouth; there has been many discussions about why the eyes in a lot of animation styles are enlarged in contrast to the body to better convey emotions to the audience. Same applies here too, but also applied to the mouth! The slightest movements of Akari’s mouth becomes really telling of her character and outlook, its really interesting,

    God i do love everything about this series. Even the OST is a killer. Second, third, and fourth season when.

  3. Fave of the season. I loved Honey and Clover too, and picked this up to try because of the author.

    No regrets. After ep 2, I picked up the manga and cram-read all of the chapters in about 3 days.

    No regrets. Totally worth it and looking for to watching the anime while waiting for new chapters.

    This is a pleasantly balanced mix of maturity, darkness, happiness, and comedy. Sensitive and delicate (like H and C) in a way anime needs more of but that also means it won’t be for everyone. But if you feel like you’ve seen everything anime has to offer (boobs, blood, genki girls, school romance, etc), you still have this.

    And I’m quite happy with how Shaft is handling this. There is no rush.. just the right pacing, music, and mood for those quiet, still moments which can be very difficult to pull of without boring the audience. The staff also understands how important the subtle nuances are (such as the mouth thing discussed here) and doesn’t overlook the sensitivity evident in the source or bullrush though those more awkward moments to get to the more exciting stuff. That balance is so very valuable because the darkest, most still moments which seem to almost plod only elevate and make brighter the scenes of joy and uncertain happiness around them.


  4. Somebody mentioned the story telling is gentle, like water.
    It is, and it has the power to ebb and flow and gently carry
    your heart to unexpectedly deep pools of emotion and reflection.

    I love it (I’m in the middle of episode 4 right now, and wow!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *