“Summer Vacation (Part 2) / New Year”
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.
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.
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.
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!