“Being Here / Summer Vacation (Part 1)”

「ここにいること / 夏休み ①」 (Koko ni iru Koto / Natsuyasumi ①)

Return of the Kawamoto Sisters

From the epic conclusion of a monumental title match, we jump straight into a summer festival, and Someji’s confectionery store decide to set up a stall. All the sisters do their bit to help out, even Momo. But it’s undeniable that things largely fall upon Akari and Hina. It’s been many many weeks since we last saw the beloved sisters. But in this episode, they finally reappear. Although we’re close to the end, I say… better late than never!

Recovering from Traumatic Experiences

After overcoming her struggles, Hina bounces back. More than anything else, it is accompanied by better self-understanding, where she actively strives for the things she actually wants. This is evident in her determination when bringing happiness to others, whether it be family or customer. To that end, she works hard on making the sweets, coming up with some incredible designs as well. Gone are the tears, as she smiles, living for another tomorrow. I absolutely hated how she had to go through so much suffering, but Hina has definitely gained a lot from her experiences, becoming a stronger person in the process.
Unfortunately, not everyone can break free of their chains with ease. I want to talk about Someji, because old people also matter in 3-gatsu. Following the untimely loss of both his wife and daughter, he was left alone to look out for his granddaughters. It obviously helped that Akari was of an age where she could help out, but in the chilling scene where he sees the apparition of loved ones passed away, you can tell that Someji’s been holding on for the sake of his granddaughters. He might be rough around the edges, and gruff at times. That said, I hold nothing but respect towards this amazing grandpa, and reckon that he also needs some love.
Next up, we have Chiho, who still lives with the scars from being bullied. These consequences are particularly nasty, considering she momentarily freezes up at the sight of any girl her age. It might be too late for her to lead a normal highschool life with this kind of social impairment. However, she’s certainly been making progress, thanks to a supportive infrastructure bringing stability into her life. With the help of kind and understanding figures, we can say that Chiho is on a long road to recovery, which would give her a prospect at living out a well-adjusted life.

Flawed Justice

What of the offenders who caused such a tragedy? Unfortunately, we have to accept that humans are inherently flawed. A dependence on the aforementioned means that our social systems are doomed to imperfection, while our conceptions of justice remain indeterminate. People might have noticed that I’ve always held back on going the full stretch in terms of criticising the previous teacher, or Takagi. As Kokubu-sensei points out, both are clearly victims of an overly demanding society, even if it doesn’t justify their behaviour in any way. They are people too. Most teachers would be naive when dealing with bullies, failing to pinpoint the crux of the issue, whilst espousing a childlike idealism lost upon disillusioned perpetrators. But Kokubu was honest in admitting that he didn’t know the answer, before nailing Takagi’s issue on the head, while offering an alternative means of respite.
It sure sucks knowing that the bullies won’t necessarily pay for their crimes, and I found myself swayed by the new teacher’s idea, that Takagi ought to be severely punished. But through an unfavourable depiction of the new teacher, 3-gatsu does well to remind us of the shortcomings in his approach, as well as the nature of current society. Our system looks to rehabilitate individuals, and get them to realise the fault in their actions. If individuals are unable to realise the errors of their ways, then they will default to their previous behaviour, meaning that recidivism will run rampant. Kokubu has left the ball in Takagi’s court, when it comes to making a sincere apology in the hopes of a heartfelt redemption. Will anything come of it? Hopefully. While my emotions desire a more retributory brand of justice, logic tells me that restoration and rehabilitation are less damaging overall. Considering the young ages of those involved, and the potential for wrongdoers to turn things around, I can see why an educational system would choose to favour a controversial approach, which would be seen as unjust by many.

Concluding Thoughts

Compared to the season as a whole, this episode was really easygoing. As a result, I’ve said most of what I’ve wanted to say, meaning I don’t have much to add with these concluding thoughts. Otherwise, there aren’t many episodes left, a fact that fills me with dread. Nevertheless, I’m determined to enjoy this show as much as I can before the end of its run, because it’s quietly solidified itself as my Anime of the Season. I’ll wait a bit longer before biting the bullet, but I’m rather confident that it might even wind up being my Anime of the Year, because it’s been so spectacular throughout its entire run. And that’s it for today folks. Hope to see you next week, for some more 3-gatsu no Lion!
End Card


  1. I was really looking foward to that moment where the Kawamoto sisters are back on screen and while I do think it was too short it was still a beautiful addition to the bullying arc in the story.
    Even though they both got bullied – in that moment where Hina noticed that Chiho is still much more struggling with all of it, it hit me hard and it’s just so saddening. While they got through this differently, Hina was the one who stayed and did everything she could do fight back and was lucky enough to put an end to this while Chiho is still trying to recover and that probably still for a long time.

    I have to praise this show for how it wasn’t just forgotten or put aside, even though the arc was already done. This episode proved how important these things are. Also I wasn’t expecting to see the culprit ever again, this wasn’t forgotten either and was quite interesting. I liked the teacher’s choice of words towards her and that it actually made an impact on Takagi in the last seconds. It wasn’t even something mean, just painfully honest.
    I liked that a lot. Also can I just say how much I would love to hear his “old stories” from people like him? like I really have a thing for flashbacks and such things, this show is making me want to see more of people who are barely have anything to do with the main characters.

    Speaking of flashbacks, small Akari with her mother and those super cute bags with the ribbon with sweets in it were so nice. I’m glad we got such a relaxing episode. The Scene with Hina and Rei gave me a feeling that it’s really coming to an end and while I don’t know how many episodes are left I still hope that something exciting and refreshing is coming up.
    Or at least maybe somehow in the next 2 years a third season? How wonderful would that be? But before that I really have so start with the manga.

    but I’m rather confident that it might even wind up being my Anime of the Year, because it’s been so spectacular throughout its entire run.

    Yeah. I absolutely agree with you. It defenitely has one of my top spots on my list at the end of the year. This anime is wonderful and charming in every way.

    bw, the more I take a closer look at the endcard the more I had to laugh at it of how weird it is…but Hina looks very cute in that superhero outfit.

    1. Hey Kana-chan! Sorry I didn’t get around to replying last week. Was quite busy with end of semester exams. I hope you didn’t mind. Now, just a few words I’d like to say, in addition to the wonderful points you made.

      Umino Chica seems to deeply understand people on a psychological level, something her contemporaries have noticed. These would include the mangakas Kentaro Miura (Berserk), Mori Kouji (Holyland), who praise her to no end, though it makes sense since they’re all friends who publish together in the same magazine – as can be seen with some of the end cards they drew for the anime.

      But honestly, she doesn’t miss a perspective even from the unsympathetic side, be it a vicious and malicious individual like Kyouko, or a bully like Takagi. Umino Chica is not afraid to show us their vulnerable side, which is deserving of pity, even if their actions cannot be excused. Just as they are flawed, in a human way, their potential for redemption must also make them human as well.

      For me and flashbacks, you could say that I’m quite wary of them, due to overuse in other shows I’ve seen. *cough* Naruto *cough* Bleach *cough*. But I really enjoy the ones that 3-gatsu throw at us, which are used to highlight aspects of a character we previously had no idea about, as opposed to stalling for additional time.

      1. Don’t worry Zaiden it’s okay if you’re quite busy. I’m not replying all the time either but I do read your replies of course – so don’t worry about that.

        I’ve never seen or read Bleach, but Naruto for sure and these flashbacks you’re talking about well let’s just say they’re not exactly what I had in mind Oh boy… especially if it’s Naruto himself telling the audience/enemies his tragic past for like for the hundredth time (sorry!) – But here in 3gatsu these little insights that shows people in their younger days is what I like the most. Not particular anything special is seen but the fact that the person had already gone a path he’s about to tell his students and explaining it further what lies ahead. And he’s not the only one. Shimada who has yet to win a title, Hayashida who’s a teacher and still giving his best for his students and Rei, and Yanagihara where we’ve already seen his people that left shogi but still support him.
        It’s all somehow connected and it just really well done. Umino Chica really deserves all the compliments.

        But honestly, she doesn’t miss a perspective even from the unsympathetic side, be it a vicious and malicious individual like Kyouko

        I really want to know if Kyouko is getting something like a proper arc for herself too. She apperead more in season 1 so I thought she would return in S2 more often. I’m a little suprised that this did not happen.
        I know you’re actually a fan of her Zaiden, and I am as well, really like her as a character but I can’t really imagine any reason for her to show up again unless it’s just for the past with Rei. And as much as I can remember everything seemed to be told already.
        Is she actually still connected to Shogi (unless her relationship with Goutou is all that is there)? While it’s a world with mostly men playing it, I’ve never done any research of womens Shogi in Japan. If she continued it regardless of Rei coming into her life or not would she actually play it on a pro-level?

        Anyway, the more I think about it I really don’t want this show to end!

  2. Umino is really critical to the dark side of Japanese culture– lack of social safety net in the society to protect the orphans, Japan Inc. sending middle-aged men to “early retirements” after exploiting them for decades, acceptance of bullying at school (by both the teacher and fellow students), overcompetitive and overprotective parents. The list goes on. In this anime, almost everyone (except perhaps Momo the kindergartener) lives in fear.


Leave a Reply

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