「Chapter.20 贈られたもの1 / Chapter.21 贈られたもの2」 (Chapter.20 Okuraretamono 1 / Chapter.21 Okuraretamono 2)
“Chapters.20 Things Given 1 / Chapter.21 Things Given 2”

While the lack of my favorite three sisters still bothers me, this week’s episode finally gave me exactly what I wanted from Rei.

Letting It All Out

Before we talk about Rei’s foster sister who doesn’t even deserve a name at this point, let me talk about the highlight of this week’s episode (well, highlight for me at least). Ever since we got past episode two and I understood the crappy situation Rei’s been placed in, I’ve been praying for a moment where Rei would just let it all out and be completely honest with himself. We’ve gotten glimpses of little cracks in that tough outer shell of his, but seeing all of it completely fall apart felt like this show was giving me an early Christmas present. Seeing Rei finally let it all out felt so satisfying that I can barely describe the amount of emotion that flew threw me as he screamed out at the world. Toss in how he also finally admitted that there’s something inside of him that fights to the bitter end (and who can blame him when life literally ripped his entire family away from him!?) and everything thing we’ve seen up to this point starts to make a lot more sense. From the bouts of depression (or maybe we can call it guilt now) to being unable to face himself, it’s all starting to finally come together! All-in-all, a pretty fantastic ending to a rather unremarkable episode that setup extremely well for next week’s based on the preview.

Older Sister

I literally have no words to describe how angry I am. Can you imagine being a professional in any sport and having to deal with someone who would actively try to sabotage you before every single game? I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of stress Rei must deal with before any of his large matches. And you know what makes it even worse? It’s his freaking sister of all people. Blood related or not, family is family and it infuriates me what she’ll go this far out of her way to ruin that scared familial bond.

Looking Ahead

With all my emotions ready to spill out of me, I can’t wait for next week’s episode. With Rei finally opening up and the return of my favorite three sisters just over the horizon, I fully expect next week’s episode to bring me to tears. Man, what a wonderful Christmas Day it’ll be next week. In any case, I’ll catch you guys here next week where I hope you’ll have some tissues prepared. See you!




  1. While I also miss the three Kawamoto sisters, and agree that you are somewhat justified in feeingl angry towards Kyouko for seemingly trying to sabotage Rei, I feel that Kyouko’s character is a lot more complex and intriguing than you give her credit for. So I will attempt to advocate on her behalf, and hope you are able to find more sympathy for her character in addition to the way that she turned out.

    Kyouko wants Rei’s attention because to her, he is the ideal child. Someone who is successful at Shogi and who is loved by their father. At the same time she hates him for being more successful at Shogi than she could ever be, and someone who usurped the love her father should have given her. She puts him down to feel powerful over someone who she feels has stolen her place, and wants him to pay attention to her so she won’t feel inferior, or like she has been left behind.

    Put yourself in Kyouko’s position. After trying to gain your own father’s recognition for many years, only to have a complete outsider come in and gain all the attention and love you had been working hard to gain for your entire life, wouldn’t you start to feel somewhat invalidated? To her, hard work didn’t mean anything when faced with talent. Since she was just a child, it would be unfair for us to blame Kyouko for being crushed by this discovery, or expect her to really consider that Rei has led a much harder life than she has. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that we can still perceive Kyouko as a child rather than a grown woman, where 3-gatsu is presently set in.

    Examining the situation, is it fair to blame children for being unable to adequately control or express their emotions? I would feel inclined to say that the responsibility certainly lies with Rei’s adoptive father, Kouda. Had he not placed such a huge merit on shogi towards his family, perhaps a mutual love, and harmony could have developed between the siblings and Rei. Instead, their father reinforced their understanding that parental love is tied to success, and that success is found in Shogi.

    Suddenly Kyouko’s behaviour makes sense: who else can she blame other than Rei besides herself? Sure, she might hold some anger towards her father, but ultimately from her perspective Rei is the one causing all the problems in her household. At such a young age, one would be more inclined to blame the person who isn’t even a true part of their family, for their own shortcomings. It still doesn’t excuse her behaviour, but knowing she doesn’t emotionally abuse Rei for the sake of it adds depth to her character, and hopefully she’ll appear more in the future.

    The ambiguity of the situation, and the raw human experience, undistllled of its darkness, is the beauty of 3-gatsu and Umino Chika’s writing. She presented us with characters flawed by virtue of their human nature, and upon closer inspection, it is a lot more difficult to outright call them truly evil. In this context, I would argue that the circumstances are a morally grey collective responsibility, as opposed to being the fault of an individual. Not to mention, it allows us to contrast Kyoto with the Kawamoto sisters, who we can then further appreciate for their positive influence upon Rei’s life. If you want truly despicable scum, I suggest you direct your anger at Rei’s paternal grandfather, aunt, and relatives, who do not show an ounce of respect to the dead, or compassion for Rei’s tragic loss, but rather care more about what they can gain out of greed and avarice.

    Having said all of that, I do think that it was wonderful that Rei could finally express his feelings. For most of simply say nothing, and hold his emotions close to his chest. It’s intruiging to see Rei’s final thoughts on the matter, that Shogi is all he has left, and he desperately clings to it to survive. This was a message both to his opponents, but also to Kyouko; he will fight desperately for his survival even at their expense, because Shogi is the only thing he has left.

    1. I hate it when I get sloppy with reviewing and editing my comments before I post them. My grammar got really sloppy in the second sentence of that final paragraph, if you will excuse that unfinished editing.

      What I meant to say was: “For most of the series, Rei expressed nothing of how he truly felt to others, and held his emotions close to his chest.”

    2. While Rei’s other kin are another level of despicable, I would have to argue that the poisoned honey in Kyouko’s approaches to Rei is indeed a form of emotional abuse – she wants him to feel anguish in front of her, as a form of vengeance she seeks for the arguably terrible effect he has had on her family (and Rei understands that; he has made the allusion that he is like the cuckoo / usurper previously).

      In no way am I calling her evil outright; right now she’s mean and vindictive. We have yet to hear what she’s thinking (her POV) but unless some light is shed, it’s fairly difficult to feel sympathy for someone who is constantly trying to make another family member uncomfortable.

      She is, however, an extremely interesting character because of your points and I look forward to how her dynamic with Rei develops.

    3. It was still a great comment man.

      If you want truly despicable scum, I suggest you direct your anger at Rei’s paternal grandfather, aunt, and relatives, who do not show an ounce of respect to the dead, or compassion for Rei’s tragic loss, but rather care more about what they can gain out of greed and avarice.

      Best part imho — you tend to forget that Rei’s relatives were about to literally throw him away.

      And yeah, maybe Kyouko will get some redemption later on. Who knows ;T

    4. I really enjoyed reading your comment. It was thought-provoking and beautifully articulated. I agree with your thoughts on Kyouko. One of the things I have always loved about anime and manga from the very beginning is that even the “bad guys” in the stories have their reasons and motivations that we as the audience can empathize with to some degree. The antagonists of the story usually end up being the more interesting characters to analyze IMO, and without them, the story probably wouldn’t be as interesting. As I read your thoughts on Umino Chika’s writing I thought of Tsuda Masami’s “Kare Kano”. I remember being powerfully affected reading this because of the character Arima Soichiro. He is someone we see molded by his experiences of abuse and neglect as well as by the love of the people in his life who give him a reason to rise above the darkness within himself and reach for the light. I feel like there are some similarities with Arima and Rei and am looking forward to seeing how this show will depict Rei’s mental and emotional progression moving forward. I also look forward to reading any more of your analysis concerning characters and events :).

  2. I also…on the side that Kyouko might be on to something, It’s like she consciously hate(abuse) him, while unconsciously care for him? maybe? I have to agree that what she did is crossing the line though, and I think she left her watch on purpose just to made Rei meet her again.

    Two things that pique my curiosity is:

    1. Why Rei fought with Gotou(Kyouko’s boyfriend) in previous episode’s flashback, was Rei trying to save her because he’s a bad guy for her, or Rei was provoked by Kyouko or Rei have other purpose? Is that why Kyouko came to see him?

    2. Why in this episode, while Rei himself hate everything that Kyouko said, he want to hear it, while cursing himself for it. He said “聞いていたい” (want to hear) not “聞かなければいけない” (have to hear [because she’d mock him or anything]). Is it some kind of atonement for what he did to the foster family?

    Other than that, this is a good development for Rei. By accepting that deep inside he want to win, he need to win, this could be a start for him to stand against Kyouko.

    1. While I’m not sure about your second point since there’s a lot left to interpretation, I think I can confidently speculate about the first.

      From what we’ve seen and how I’ve taken it, it feels like Rei went against Gotou because he was jealous as fuck. We’ve seen the two end up in extremely suggestive (and provocative) positions both in the present and in flashbacks so if you were asking for my opinion, it feels like Kyouko used Rei to fill up an emotional hole and Rei accepted it because he also wanted some form of “pleasure” in his life (not necessarily anything of the sexual nature mind you, just the feeling that someone “needed” him in a loving or nearly romantic sense). Which then leads you to this vicious cycle where Kyouko is battling her emotions for Rei (intense pain for their family struggles but possible positive emotions from whatever happened in the past) and it leads her to be a complete bitch with Rei still following along because he can’t give up that opportunity that something might happen again (his comment about hating his love for Kyouko’s poison, then again could just be his need to make up for his guilt).

      Now, this is all my opinion and probably worded quite poorly at 4 in the morning, but man never did I think a show like 3-gatsu would get me all riled up like this.

      Nice comment raxar :thumbsup:
      good night qq

      1. Ahh yes, yes, I’ve that feeling too but I don’t know how to say it. I want to say that Rei have feelings for Kyouko but I doubt that’s the right word. What you said made it clear hha.

        Thanks for the praise and let’s hope that this show will just keep getting better :cheers:


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