March Comes in Like a Lion, Manga Recommendation of the Week!

Key points for Anime Recommendation – March Comes in Like a Lion:

  • “March Comes in Like a Lion” delves into the intricate emotional journeys of its characters, particularly protagonist Rei Kiriyama, offering a profound exploration of personal growth amidst adversity.
  • While centered around the world of Shogi, the manga cleverly utilizes the game as a backdrop to explore themes of identity, family, and belonging, creating a compelling narrative beyond mere strategy.
  • Umino Chica’s art style, reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, adds a unique charm to the series, balancing moments of innocence with poignant expressions of seriousness, enhancing the storytelling experience.

Man, I am still mad that the anime adaptation of March Comes in Like a Lion hasn’t gotten a Season 3 yet. At this point, it has been 6 years since we got Season 2. As far as I understand, people loved the anime too, so I have no idea why we don’t even have a confirmation for Season 3 yet. Rent A Girlfriend has a goddamn Season 3 ffs. So well, I decided this will be a good time to talk about the manga instead.

So welcome back to another edition of our manga recommendation series! This week we are talking about March Comes in Like a Lion! I hold this series very close to my heart. It has made me shed quite a few tears over the years so let’s talk about it!

Introduction

March Comes in Like a Lion or Sangatsu no Lion is written and illustrated by Umino Chica. It has been serialized in the Young Animal magazine since July 2007 and is still ongoing. The anime adaptation has 2 seasons and Shaft Studio made them. As I mentioned, no word on Season 3 yet even after 6 years. As of August 2023, the manga has 17 volumes. Volume 18 should be shipped sometime this year.

Plot

The story follows Rei Kiriyama, a professional Shogi player. By all accounts, Rei is a genius when it comes to Shogi. He is just a middle-schooler and yet he is a certified professional Shogi player. But the thing is. Rei is kind of crumbling under the pressure. His complex family circumstances and the high expectations the Shogi society has of him are pulling him under. The story follows Rei as he learns to face the problems he ran from head-on and tries to fix things in his life.

I love the series uses Shogi. Yes, there is a lot of stuff about Shogi in the story, we get quite a bit of details about how things work and who is doing what during the games. The author knows what they are talking about when it comes to Shogi. But despite all these details presented, Shogi is not the main focus of the story. No, the main focus of the story is Rei and how he grows. Shogi is a medium used to tell that story and that is very cool.

Characters

As a slice-of-life series, this manga is full of great and relatable characters. I already talked about Rei and you can imagine what his character arc is like given the story. So I’d like to take this time and talk about some of the awesome side characters like Hinata, Akari, Kai, etc. All the major side characters have their own arcs. Hinata’s character arc is strongly influenced by Rei’s growth and man, it does so much for their relationship. The dynamics between all three Kawamoto sisters are really well done, and the whole vibe of the Shogi community is really nice as well.

Art

Most Shonen manga go for a more realistic art style to showcase the seriousness. But this manga doesn’t really do that. I don’t know what to compare it to but the art here kind of reminds me of Studio Ghibli’s art style a little. I know that not everyone is going to like it but I think it does the job well and despite looking so innocent, I think the art style conveys moments of seriousness really well too.

Summing Up

Here’s why you should read March Comes in Like a Lion:

  • Good plot
  • Well-written and relatable characters
  • Amazing character dynamics
  • Good art

That is all for now! Let me know what you guys think in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!

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