「Chapter.9 契約 / Chapter.10 カッコーの巣の上で」 (Chapter.9 Keiyaku / Chapter.10 Kakkoo no Su no Uede)
“Chapter 9 Agreement / Chapter 10 Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

This week’s episode was something I’ve been dying to see. We finally get a glimpse into the specifics behind Rei’s situation and just what happened to make him the person he is today.

Loss and Destruction

I started writing this paragraph with the intent of trying to comment on how horrible it must be trying to deal with the loss of your entire family, but I couldn’t get through the first few sentences without getting lost in a mess of trying to figure out how to properly explain what was going on in my mind. If I were to pick the point that kept coming back though, it would have to be dealing with all the fallout that comes along with death. Ignoring the obvious part of holding a funeral, there’s all the “real life” related things like handling assets, reassigning responsibility for things like loans, and little things like custody for children left behind in the wake of a huge accident.

In Rei’s case, I never thought he’d have such a sad story for what happened to him after losing his family. In what I thought was a fantastic situation where his dad’s best friend took him in when his biological family wouldn’t do it, turned sour rather quickly when I saw the affect it had on the family he became a part of. Seeing how Rei was trying his best to become a part of his new shogi family, it’s almost a little sad that all of his effort ended up doing the opposite of what he wanted. In what should have been a happy family with three shogi kids turned into a hostile environment where Ayumu ended up hiding in his room while Kyouko was physically abusing Rei. And the worst part of it all is I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel since everyone involved seems to be in a garbage situation. I say that because even though Rei might view himself as a cuckoo that ended up devouring the family that took him in, I’d say that’s far from what exactly happened.

Looking Ahead

With a big chunk of the story finally revealed but still leaving a to be explained, I can’t wait to see where next week’s episode picks up. Sure, even though it may look like things are going to be extra happy-go-lucky to make up for this weeks, I’m willing to bet there’ll be a handful of interesting things for our minds to think about. See you next week!




  1. The part that hit me the hardest is the realization that Rei is living a lie; he didn’t like shogi, it was a means for him to communicate with his father. Now he has to cling to it because it’s the only way he can survive.

    That’s the beauty of 3-Gatsu. No one is acting angry and angsty out of no reason. Ayumu was never a strong-willed man, Kyoko desires affection from his father, Rei just wanted to survive and show gratitude, the father just wanted to reward hardwork, and the mother probably just wanted a peaceful family life. This series shows how multi-faceted and flawed people are.

    An interesting reveal that you didnt mention is the fact that Kyoko is shown to be the one abusing him in the last episode (same hair, same build).

    Also props to shaft, they did a fantastic job this episode. That sequence on standing up on your own two feet was really beautiful.

  2. His past was truly really sad, and his whole childhood and fate with shogi made him the person he is now…
    The beauty is, even though it started off as a lie and the series repeatedly reinforces the lonely and never-ending battle that is shogi, we’ll get to see the lives of so many different players and their journey and how Rei himself will find his way out of his sadness :))
    Especially with the help of a family that would never treat him like a cuckoo

  3. The fact that Rei lost his little sister throw me off, I didn’t expect that he had a little sister and his parents at the same time. T_T

    Despite his lie about liking Shogi, I think it’s the right thing to do and I hope that he will be able to like Shogi from the bottom of his heart, I don’t think will meet Akari and the family or Nikaido without Shogi. Also love Kyouko’s scene when she was standing outside, it was fierce yet beautiful.

  4. Thanks for reviewing this anime. It was an episode that went by so fast because I was so engrossed to notice the time and I wanted more. It is always sad to deal with loss, and even saffer when you have to lie just to have someone take you in.

    That girl (I’m bad with names) has such a strong will, its amusing, but the fact was that someone who needed attention from a parent starts abusing someone, when she told him not to call him ‘father’ I just broke, but then again, think of a situation of the child that was working so hard for his fathers attention only to lose it. It was horrible of him to tell her to ‘quit’ because Rei just beat her.

    At first I thought that the little boy was rather sweet and didn’t like the way his sister treated Rei, but idk now, I gotta wait.

    Beautiful episode =) I think all those who complain about how bad the series only because it was not viewed the way they wanted it to be viewed should slap themselves silly, because they’re missing out!


    1. In reference to being told to quit because she couldn’t beat Rei, he was actually doing her a favor. Maybe it’s because I have the benefit of reading the manga, but Shogi as they represent it (this manga is my only real reference point) is incredibly taxing mentally and emotionally. The workload to support yourself and survive in the professional realm is intense. Kyouko may or may not be good; may or may not have talent, but in this situation we are using Rei as a metric and skill gate. He is probably around the bare minimum needed to even have a chance at making it, and it only gets rougher past him. Combine this also with her temperament feels poorly suited to go pro. Like her brother Ayumu losing broke her, but in a different way. She became violent where the brother withdrew within himself instead of reviewing how she lost and studying new strategies to win. Given how they reacted, even if they managed to make it into the pro circuit, the turmoil they feel now is probably a sign of how they will mentally breakdown as they get older. Better to make them leave now while they’re young and give them the opportunity to find themselves in something else rather than lead them into a world they aren’t mentally capable of handling and having them feel trapped. The situation is rather unfair for everyone because three children feel that winning = love in their father’s eyes (even though it really doesn’t). It makes the biological children fear for their position in the house and resent Rei for “usurping” their role as their father’s children, hence the cukoo analogy.

      The Waker

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