“Summer Vacation (Part 2) / New Year”

「夏休み ② / あたらしい年」 (Natsuyasumi ② / Atarashii Toshi)

Puppy Love

Who else was pleased for Rei, when his plan to cheer Hina up went way better than expected? She really enjoyed her afternoon with the Science-Shogi Club, fishing cold noodles from their terrific contraption, and decided that this specific high school was so fun that she’d try her hand at the entrance exam. I’m really happy that Hina is laughing again, after everything she’s gone through. That laugh needs protection, and it’s a good thing how Rei is deciding to step up, in terms of safeguarding her happiness. Funnily enough, I imagine that his blatant enthusiasm does not come without ulterior motives. Imagine hearing the love of your life, saying that she needs your help to pass an entrance exam, in order to join your school. No wonder Rei was so excited, to the point where he immediately turned up at her door, ready to help her revise! Nevertheless, his intentions were unquestionably good, and his heart was in the right place, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Not to mention, there were some additional side effects, albeit unintentional, which proved really useful. Rei’s intense focus drives Hina to tackle her studies with greater tenacity, and as a result, inspires her closer to her goal. I’m not sure if meeting incredible people is a magic bullet for most, when it comes to building up motivation. However, Hina has always been a plucky girl, who takes things to heart. And since Rei is close to the Kawamoto sisters, it makes sense that he can positively influence Hina to such an extent.

Summer Love

And in the sweltering heat of summer, it would seem that we have a new addition to those smitten by love. Cupid had enough of Rei being mercilessly teased, giving Hayashida-sensei a taste of his own medicine, by firing an arrow through his heart as Akari made her appearance. It’s about time that someone gave the oldest Kawamoto sibling some love, and owing to the beautiful figure she strikes, I’m honestly surprised it never happened earlier on. That said, going back to the episode where she talked about her school reunion, it was suggested that many people held a stigma against the fact she had to singlehandedly raise her siblings. The impression I got was that no matter how pretty she looked, nobody wanted to get themselves caught up in a situation, where they would have to financially support a whole other family.
Which begs the question. Even if he sincerely feels for her, considering how he barely gets by and actually earns less than Rei, what the heck is Hayashida going to do about the Kawamoto’s precarious financial situation? I don’t think that such a problem can be ignored, which presents an incredibly unfortunate stumbling block for Hayashida-sensei. In any other series, love might prevail against all odds. However, 3-gatsu’s story has always been deeply pragmatic on life matters. I highly doubt that it would resort to such an unsubstantiated outcome, even if it might be the most desirable one.

Familial Love

When Akari explained the reason why she prepared a late night snack for Hina, we hit some really comfy and nostalgic notes, tinged with a sad longing for something that will never return. From one generation to another, it was truly touching to see Mama Kawamoto do the same for a younger Akari. Although Mama Kawamoto is deceased, her spirit of kindness lingers with and within the Kawamoto sisters, mostly thanks to Akari’s efforts. If I had to guess, Hina is probably appreciative towards her older sister.
As we know, Hina has always been a considerate character, who demonstrates an active awareness towards other people’s circumstances. To that end, she exhibits an acute understanding, in regards to her family’s financial situation. Something like a confectionery store is usually not a lucrative venture, and Someji has to work really hard on a daily basis, for what is actually a skint profit margin. He’s hardly a spring chick either, meaning that those long and labour intensive hours will soon catch up to his health. Naturally, these thoughts stopped Hina from voicing her desire to apply for a private school, out of a heartfelt love towards her grandfather. However, the old man’s love for his granddaughters really shone through, and his speech brought a tear to my eye. Gruff though he may be, Someji told Hina not to worry about the money, because he simply wanted her to be happy. To be fair, considering how his wife and daughter died, these grandkids probably mean the world to their lonely grandfather. It will be a sad day when he dies, but they will definitely never forget the love and care he held towards them.

Concluding Thoughts

Next time, there will be a double episode to wrap up the series, meaning that 3-gatsu will soon end. With no major arc in sight, things have been slowly winding down, meaning that we’ve been able to quietly enjoy some Kawamoto comfiness, free of drama. What does this mean? Such a prospect fills me with great sadness, because 3-gatsu no Lion is adapted from a favourite manga of mine, and the anime has proven to be a genuinely heartfelt ride. Shogi served as a conduit, through which the feelings of characters were channelled, granting us deeper insight towards their personalities. These feel like real people, with real issues, who were struggling to get by in a difficult world. But even in the midst of despair, there was always a comfy light around the corner, making sure that everything would be okay. In short, I don’t want it to go. Worst of all, the story still has so much more to offer, if not for the limitations of a two cour adaptation. But all good things must come to an end, and we just have to hold onto the hope that a third season might be announced. Since I’ll be saving most of my thoughts and feelings for the finale, I’ll leave it here for now, and bid thee farewell until Saturday!
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    1. If it isn’t a problem, I edited the original comment to try and eliminate spoilers for non-manga readers. As for the actual arc itself, I’ve had a hard time picking sides, because no one is a bad person.

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  1. A major manga arc lies just beyond the end of Season 2. This suggests that they plan to make a Season 3. Right now there are more than 50 chapters not animated which is more than enough material for another 22 episode season

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. If it isn’t a problem, I edited the original comment to try and eliminate spoilers for non-manga readers. The arc you speak of is one of my favourites in the series. Regarding plans to make S3, I actually fudged the calculations in my head, because I previously thought there wasn’t enough content left for a two cour adaptation. In that case, I’m extremely excited, and would be quite disappointed if there was no immediate announcement following the end of S2.

      1. It’s also one of my favourite arcs… I mean it’s not a “good” theme haha but as usual Umino Chica makes things magical. Hope they will do S3! Miss those days where we have 50 ep+ anime like Honey and Clover and Kodomo no Omocha

  2. To be honest, If they make an announcement at the end of S2, I hope S3 will be 1-cour. We only get 1 volume each year, which is not even enough for a single cour… if S3 is a 2-cour again, that means we won’t see a S4 until 2022 or 2023. I need my yearly dose of 3-gatsu, so I’d rather get less episodes each season with shorter gaps between them than one long season with huge gaps.

    Anyway, the Rei x Hina ship is unstoppable now, I doubt Umino-sensei keeps throwing all these hints for no reason.

    1. I say aye to a S2! Though I’ve already overdosed on 3-gatsu, due to reading the manga, and I don’t think I can ever recover back to a normal level 🙁

      Also, you’ll want to be careful there. You never know, with Umino Chica. See Honey and Clover for unpleasant curveballs in the romantic field.

    1. Akari definitely pushed aside romance to look after Hina and Momo, which is why I find her to be such an admirable figure. She deserves her happiness, after putting it off for a long time, so I’d like to see her get hitched! Not to mention, it doesn’t make sense for Hina to potentially get her happy ending, before her older sister does.

      And yes, I would like to see that animated. I need to see how Shaft choose to convey that hotbed of intense emotional energies, coursing violently between people.

  3. I can’t say why but summer seasons shown in anime are always such a beautiful thing to look at when done right – clear blue skies, cicadas making loud noises, and uhh….noodles?
    Spending the summer with the Kawamoto sisters is probably the best thing one person can do and I bet Hayashida never wants to miss a summer like that ever again! But seriously, who wouldn’t fall for her though? Akari is the defenition of a wonderful young lady, there’s really nothing bad you could possible say about her, however the huge responsibility she has on her shoulders is something that puts her in a position where she’s not allowed to think about her own.
    That’s probably why Hayashida is going to have a very hard time if he seriously starts to fall for Akari. She would probably not even consider it because she puts her family first and above everything. And we don’t really know if she even ever considered getting married anyway.

    However, I think I’m actually a fan of him. Not only has he proven to be a good teacher and friend to Rei he could rely on in the past, I think he would be able to support all three of them. Together with Rei who obviously has already claimed Hina (I can’t believe I said that!) the Akari sisters would be doing fine! So I don’t really have anything to worry about if it’s Hayashia, besides that would mean he get’s more screentime.

    Thank you btw for editing some of the comments to avoid spoilers. I’m very grateful for that and good thing I’ve watched the episode a little later before visiting RC.
    I guess the reason is that there’s probably already lots of going on in the manga so I’m not surprised since you once told me a little that something in the later arc happens.
    I’m really looking forward to that!

    Rei and Hina are already spending so much time together that I start thinking if they ever start dating it’s probably exactly like that, they just spend hours of hours sitting across each other while Hina is drawing new ideas for sweets and Rei is just memorising Shogi strategies, they’re perfect for each other and I’m so glad she actually wants to go to his high school. That means if she’s a first year he’s going to be a third year and they could at least spend one year together at the same school and see each other more often, which is very nice and good for the both of them, and Hina doesn’t have to worry about finding new friends if Rei is already there.

    But all good things must come to an end, and we just have to hold onto the hope that a third season might be announced. Since I’ll be saving most of my thoughts and feelings for the finale, I’ll leave it here for now, and bid thee farewell until Saturday!

    I’m so going to miss this show and your weekly posts about it Zaiden! But I also really want to see the finale!

    1. Hey Kana-chan! Late reply here, but hope that isn’t a problem.

      The sole criticisim I have of Akari, is the sole criticism I have towards my favourite female character – Shouko Nishimiya. Both are kind to a fault, in that others will ruthlessly step on them, with all the malice in their black hearts, as we saw with Takagi’s mother. In short, Akari’s mental fortitude isn’t made of particularly strong stuff, compared to Hina. But that’s why she can be so gentle, and so kind, making her my favourite sister. I’m also surprised she never had any serious suitors lining up for her, and Hayashida even helped Hina, so I guess that’s a good thing?

      No problem on editing out the spoilers! Just glad that you came on later, and avoided them. There was a lot going on in the manga, which is why everyone is so excited for any potential S3, myself included. Then it entered a period of calm, before reentering a period of turbulence once again. Umino Chica seemed really happy with how the adaptation was going, seeing how she tweeted her praises throughout its run. As long as the publisher and Shaft can strike a deal, S3 is quite a likely prospect.

      Rei and Hina are quite cute together, but I feel like I can’t offer a definitive statement, until we see their further evolution in their interactions. These two are still very young, so I’m quite okay with the relaxing pace of their romance.

      Anyway, I’m going to miss writing about 3-gatsu, as well as the weekly comments I received from people including you. So now I bear the pressure, of making the finale post something incredible! I’m filled with excitement for the task ahead, but need to catch some sleep, so I’ll take my leave now.

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