「Chapter.45 新学期 / ファイター」 (Chapter.45 Shin Gakki / Faitaa)
“Chapter.45 New Semester / Fighter”
Was I the only one who didn’t realize this was the last episode until Kiriyama thanked us at the very end?
Before jumping into the final impressions (boy was I not ready to write these this week), can I just say how amazing this episode felt with an overabundance of positivity in Rei’s life? Also, it looks like he had an awfully crappy childhood which may explain why Rei was so hesitant to let people into his life.
Anyways, let’s jump into those final impressions shall we?
It’s been quite some time since I’ve covered a 2-cour show, but I think 3-gatsu was definitely worth it. Even with the pacing slowing down to a crawl at certain points and other moments that I wish the show spent more time fleshing out, overall I think we were given a fantastic show about a young man who is trying to live life while figuring out how to deal with his unique set of problems. As the titular character, it was a blast watching Rei go on this adventure of someone who’s been thrust into a position of responsibility way above his level. Stumbling at nearly every corner, there was such a strong cast of side characters to pick him up and support him that I don’t think I even have the right to call them “side” characters. There was also some Shogi here and there, but I think SHAFT did a great job of not pushing that side of it too hard. By using it as a storytelling device rather than making the story about Shogi, it was a great tool that helped personify some of what Rei was feeling in a tangible form that just about anyone could understand. Overall, I think 3-gatsu had a strong run for a show that tried to tackle some intricate topics without reducing itself to using the typical tried and true strategy for telling these types of sad underdog stories. And while I don’t want to go and try to talk about the entire show, let me go into a tiny bit of detail on some of things that I really enjoyed.
First and foremost, let me give a shout out to our three favorite sisters who I wished got more screen time. Akane, Hina, and Momo brought with them such a huge amount of happiness and positivity that even as bitter as I am about the lack of their appearance in the last episode, I understand it would have overshadowed the finale that the plot was trying to give us. In any case, I really appreciated the show giving us a parallel for Rei’s situation. With another perspective of how a family deals with the loss of a parent, it was just that much more amazing when you think about just how positive our sisters tried to be. Akane taking the role of a mother, Hina trying her best to support Akane while also setting her sights on the family business, and Momo just being an adorable little kid who helped everyone forget about the harsh reality that they were all living it. Together they were the perfect trio who helped bring life into the show without overlooking the tough issues that the story was trying to tell us about.
Second, who would have thought Hayashida-sensei would have been such a reliable person? With a somewhat late introduction since I don’t consider his first appearance all that significant (he was still a joke character!), I never thought he’d become a source of inspiration for all of us. Giving Rei the confidence he needed to move forward while being there for him when no one else at school would give him the time of day, he was a prime definition of just how powerful a good teacher can be. And while you could attribute some of that to Hayashida-sensei’s infatuation with Shogi, you could tell that he was always looking out for Rei and cared for him more than your typical student. If anything you could say he played the role of an older brother that Rei never had.
Third, we have Shimada and to a lesser extend Nikaidou. The latter coming off rather annoying early in the series, I never thought that by the end of things that he and Rei would be good friends. On the other hand you have Shimada who ended up being the mentor that Rei needed but probably would have never asked for until getting into a situation that would force him to. And while he may have only been here toward the end of the show, Shimada’s story served as a nice change of pace as. Seeing how he had his own troubles to deal with and ultimately ended up unable to achieve his goals, it was awe inspiring to see him keep his head held up high for the next set of challenges that lay in-front of him. Also, without his story suddenly taking the limelight, I doubt we’d have a good transition for Rei overcoming his tough loss and growing into an even better person.
Last I just wanted to take a second to talk about Kyouko. We didn’t get to know all that much about her, but seeing how there’s a lot more that lies beneath the surface, I’m hoping we get to see a lot more of her in the future. If anything, I’m really hoping that she and Rei eventually make up and are able to repair that brother-sister relationship that they both badly need in their lives.
Anyways, I don’t want to go on for too long since this post is already getting quite long so I’ll cut it off soon. As a quick note for those of you still here, 3-gatsu no Lion already has a confirmed second season this fall so we won’t have to wait for too long to hopefully see all of our favorite characters back on screen. Also, thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with these posts — especially those of you who’ve been coming since episode one. It’s been a journey watching Rei and the rest of the cast grow and mature throughout these past 22 episodes and I’ll be highly considering picking up the sequel when it airs.
Anyways I’ll catch you guys later and don’t forget to check out our Season Preview since it should be out soon. See you!