RogerBW's Blog

3-gatsu no Lion season 2 27 January 2020

2017-2018 seinen manga adaptation in 22 episodes: AniDB, vt "March Comes in Like a Lion". Kiriyama Rei is a young professional shōgi player, but is profoundly lonely.

After the first season mostly dealt with shōgi, this one spends rather more time outside competition, dealing with Rei's social development and his friends. The overall feeling is a bit more positive as a result, but I came here for the shōgi not the teenage slice of life (and particularly not the extended storyline about school bullying, though it does at least end by admitting that there are no easy fixes).

Even when shōgi comes to the fore, the story is as likely as not to deal with one of the other game-playing characters; in manga you can get away with a huge cast who don't get much narrative time each, but in anime I think it works rather less well, particularly when there's no guarantee of a continued story.

Still, I found it worth watching; when we do get to spend time in Rei's head he still comes over as interesting, and if the women are all distinctly less developed as characters than the men that's something I'm used to in anime not explicitly aimed at women. And at least there are some developed characters here, particularly some of the older players who have to decide whether to retire on a high or keep playing for one more season even if they suspect they're past their best performance.

What there isn't is any of the attempt to encourage people to be interested in shogi that the first season had, and which distinguished this show to some extent from all the other teenage competition-related slice-of-life stories.

No third season has been announced.

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