3-gatsu no Lion was one of the most wholesome and heartwarming anime I’ve ever seen.

I had teary eyes when I realized I have nothing left from it to watch. Really hoping for a season 3, as I’ve read there is enough source material for it.

I feel like this anime doesn’t get the attention it deserves. The main reason is probably shogi, which people outside of Japan don’t really know much about. 

And I understand that. I won’t lie, there were moments when I didn’t understand the greatness of the move that a player has made, or the references and conversations some players were having.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid this anime. Let me give you some reasons why doing that would be a mistake.

The visuals

The art style is a bit different than what I’m used to. And it was a nice change.

But what really sets this anime apart from the rest visually are all those scenes that highlight the uneasiness of the characters. Most notably Rei, but these scenes have been seen with other characters as well.

These kinds of  scenes really do an amazing job of establishing the darker tones of 3-gatsu no Lion.

Compare the above to the colorful, joyous looking visuals of the Kawamoto sisters.

The sisters are what pull Rei away from his darkness. He even described them as their “saviours”.

The mood that the visuals set each time someone from the Kawamoto family is on the screen help establish this. The show is fantastic at using contrast in this way.

The soundtrack

There is really not much else I can do other than praise those responsible for the music in this anime.

It complimented the scenes beautifully, made me cry, made me feel extra invested into certain scenes.

I think my favorite song is the one called “Important time”.

It was used in episode 18 of the first season, when Rei said that nothing has changed in a year and he hasn’t accomplished anything. His teacher, Hayashida, then gave him encouraging words, praising Rei for being independent.


Come on, now. Haven’t accomplished anything? Don’t say that. You’ve been coming to school while working. You make your own meals. You do the laundry, take out the trash. You fight… Make money, pay rent… When I was 17, I thought, “I can be a bigshot when I grow up.” I had that groundless dream while going to the arcade, reading manga, hanging out with friends, watching TV… I never worried about rent or bothered to save up money. I never cleaned or prepared meals or did the laundry. So don’t tell me you haven’t accomplished anything. You did your best! I saw it!

Hayashida-sensei, to Rei Kiriyama

It was a really strong and touching scene, one of my favorite ones from the entire anime.

The characters

Another thing  3-gatsu no Lion excels in are its characters.

Rei Kiriyama is an example of how to do a character with depression right. His internal monologues are a huge part of the series. Each of the monologues felt genuine, and really helped me connect to Rei’s character.

Following his personal growth felt very rewarding. But it wouldn’t be possible without the side characters.

The Kawamoto family accepted Rei as a part of their own. Each of their stories feels real. Akari was left with two younger siblings and her grandfather, and had to become independent earlier than most. She feels the burden of responsibility for Momo and Hinata.

Hinata had to accept life without her parents, and while she seems to be fine with it at first, certain moments clearly showed she is holding in a lot of pain but is doing her best to stay strong.

In season 2 she had to watch her best friend get bullied, until she left school and was broken enough to need professional help.

Hinata was bullied soon after that. Again, she did her best to stay strong, not showing weakness in front of her bullies. But at times her anger got the better of her and its clear how upset the whole situation has made her.

Each of the side characters had a compelling story behind them, making you attached and happy to see them do well.

Except in the case of Rei’s sister, no backstory can reedem her for me.

Conclusion

Yes, shogi is one of the themes of 3-gatsu no Lion.

But more importantly for me, this anime tackles the themes of depression, bullying, as well as finding your self-worth and a place to belong to.

It was truly a beautiful experience and I highly recommend you watch it. I believe it has something for everyone, whether you want a relaxing slice of life comedy, a bunch of feels or just a story about playing a game professionally.

But it’s not an e-sport anime, don’t get the wrong idea.

If you’ve seen 3-gatsu no Lion, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments!

2018 is coming to an end, and with it the Fall 2018 season of anime.

This post is a round-up of everything I watched since the start of October, from both seasonal and non-seasonal anime.

Seasonal anime

Akanesasu Shoujo

This seemed like a decent anime due to the concept of travelling through different worlds.

Another thing that seemed interesting was the main character meeting a version of herself from the alternate world.

However, I watched the first two episodes and haven’t returned to it since. But there are positive comments on the direction the anime took, so I think I’ll look into it once again.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

Irozuku intrigued me with its visuals and interesting premise. I can’t say it was dissspointing.

The last few episodes have been heartbreaking and I can only imagine the feels the final episode will bring. This was really enjoyable and I’m sad to see it come to an end.

Check my first impressions on Irozuku and my breakdown of the opening and ending sequences.

Karakuri Circus

Karakuri Circus started off giving me some Hunter x Hunter vibes, which is very much a good thing.

But the anime seems to have some problems with the pacing, according to those that have read the manga.

I haven’t watched anything of it since episode 5 but I am planning to catch up.

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

A very good anime worth watching for certain episodes coughs the Futaba arc.

But Sakurajima Mai is for sure one of the best waifus of the year.

Today the final episode comes out but I’m looking forward to the movie.

I made a breakdown of the opening and ending sequences which you can find here.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

SAO Alicization is honestly one of the best things about anime in 2018 for me. I’m looking forward to each episode cause I’m really enjoying this a lot.

I even feel like rewatching the entirety of SAO while Alicization is on a two week break. My interest in SAO is exceeding even my own expectations.

To read my first impressions on Alicization click here.

The breakdown of the opening sequence is here.

And here you can read my thoughts on the… shocking episode 10.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

I randomly started Yagate Kimi ni Naru late this season. It hasn’t been a bad decision so far.

This is my first ever yuri anime. I also immediatly grew to love the opening song.

Satsuriku no Tenshi ONA

A leftover from the summer season but under the label of ONA.

This is the first anime ever whose source material I’ve finished before watching the anime adaptation, since I bought the game in the summer.

I liked the game and it wasn’t much different with the anime which was a faithful adaptation.

Zombieland Saga

I was on episode 4 of Zombieland Saga till yesterday when I decided to catch up on it.

I didn’t expect to watch all 8 episodes remaining in one day, but it happened.

This anime has exceeded my expectations, and a season 2 seems likely judging by the ending. I’m very much looking forward to more.

For my first impressions on Zombieland Saga, click here.

Non-seasonal

3-gatsu no Lion

3-gatsu no Lion was one of the most heartwarming anime I’ve seen so far. I had teary eyes when I realized I have no more episodes to watch.

I highly recommend this to anyone searching for a story about personal growth and finding your place in life.

Koe no Katachi

I recognize the beauty of Koe no Katachi. It had me close to tears, but it hasn’t managed to make me cry.

Not that this makes it a bad movie – it was a very special one worthy of recognition.

No game no Life

No Game No Life was a fun experience, althrough there were times I couldn’t help but feel the skill Sora and Shiro showed was too unrealistic.

In other words, sometimes they were just too OP for my tastes.

There is also a movie which I haven’t actually watched yet but I should do it as soon as possible.

Shakugan no Shana

This seemed like a good watch due to the similarities to Toradora.

Shana is a short tsundere voiced by Rie Kugimiya, same could be said for Aisaka Taiga. Even one of the MC’s friends is voiced by the same person that voiced Kitamura Yuusaku.

The premise of the anime seems good, but 6 episodes in and I have to say I’m not feeling fully invested into the series. But I won’t drop this just yet.

Steins;Gate 0 OVA

Maybe I should have added this among seasonal anime? But I watched the Steins;Gate 0 OVA that came a few days ago.

In all honesty, I was expecting something more related to the plot. But I will accept this too. It is more Steins;Gate afterall.

But thinking this is likely the last ever content from this franchise makes me extremely sad.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

I watched Oregairu in late October and started rewatching earlier this month. Hikigaya Hachiman is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever seen.

But one of the reasons I’m rewatching this is how vague it was at times. I feel like a second watch will make me appreciate the anime and the characters even more.

Rewatching

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

A few days ago I started rewatching my favorite series of the year and one of my all time favorites.

I’m just not ready for the sadness that will occur when I finish it once again.

Toradora!

Toradora is a gift that keeps on giving. And I somehow managed to resist rewatching it the entire year, to make the Toradora December rewatch feel even better.

The rewatch is now in its final stage and again – I’m not ready to end it again and realize again that I have nothing left from it to watch.

What were you watching during the fall season of anime? Let me know in the comments!

It’s December.

Winter is slowly but surely approaching, which means – snow!

I’m not sure about your country, but here in Croatia, snow has actually already fallen, around 2 weeks ago.

And maybe it’s falling in your own country right at this moment.

I really love snow and I really love anime openings and endings so here I’ll give you some OPs and EDs that have snow in them.

Re:ZERO –Starting Life in Another World– – Ending 1

Ahh Re:Zero. I can’t believe it’s gonna be a year since I watched it.

This ending always reminds me of winter. Not only because that’s the time of the year when I watched the anime, but also because… well… it has snow in its visuals.

And I really love the song.

“Please don’t let me die”. Somehow, driving school and university have made that line more fitting for me recently. Don’t ask why.

Steins;Gate 0 – Opening 1

Without doubt one of the highlights of the anime year, the return of one of my all time favorite series.

And it includes some visuals of Mayushii in the snow and briefly Kagari.

Somehow, the snow just feels fitting. Especially that moment at the top of the buildings.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – Ending 2

It’s another series that I’ve seen in winter last year.

I love the snowflakes at the start of the sequence.

And I’m sure I’m not the only person that finds it hard to resist moving their head the same way as they do in this sequence.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi Opening

This takes me back to Summer 2017, the start of my anime career.

Seeing the protagonist go back to his childhood days, and during winter as well, felt strangely nostalgic.

And I’m not even into my 20s yet.

Clannad Opening

And another anime involving snow that I’ve seen during last winter.

While for me it wasn’t a “life-changing experience” as I’ve seen it being described, there were certainly moments when I was invested in Clannad, and believed it was something special.

In the first season, it was most notably during the Ibuki Fuuko arc.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho Opening

It’s no surprise a series with a group of 4 girls visiting Antarctica features snow in its opening.

A Place Further than the Universe is by far one of the best shows of 2018, and even The New York Times agreed, by mentioning it in their The Best TV Shows of 2018 article.

It’s huge news if you ask me, and it’s something that makes me happy, and in a way proud.

Just go watch this anime, I swear you won’t regret it.

3-gatsu no Lion – Ending 2

Now I’ve been watching the first season of this anime at the time snow fell here 2 weeks ago, so the ending sequence felt quite fitting.

I’m sure you’ll notice that the artist, Kenshi Yonezu, also sings the Boku no Hero Academia season 2 opening, Peace Sign.

Interesting how Brian the Sun, who made the first ending song of BNHA, have also made the first ending song for 3-gatsu no Lion season 2.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – Opening 2

The anime with one of my favorite main characters ever. And a great opening song with a sequence full of cute moments.

And ofcourse, there is snow, near the end of the sequence, in the blueish lights.

Something about that moment is just amazing. The scenery, those lights that feel relaxing. The two main girls stepping in the opposite directions. The way the song ends.

I just really love that moment. As well as the rest of the opening and the anime itself.

 

What are your favorite snowy moments in anime OPs and EDs? Please let me know in the comments!

Let me tell you a very fun fact about me: I wear glasses at home.

And I love making top-list posts so I thought why not make a top list of characters who wear glasses?

*adjusts glasses* let’s get into it!

10. Iida Tenya (Boku no Hero Academia)

We start off with the president of class 1-A. He really fits the role of class president. Maybe even too much.

His brother, pro hero Ingenium has inspired him to become a hero.

He may seem intimidating at first, but he is actually a really good friend and is very kindhearted.

9. Shiroe (Log Horizon)

The Elder Tale expert, the master strategist.

Wants to achieve his goals at any cost, and for that reason many call him “the villain in glasses”.

The glasses, which he really loves to adjust. Doing that gives him enhanced focus and confidence for a short period of time.

And he is not the only Log Horizon character who uses these powers. Other characters in the anime who wear glasses have also recognized the advantages of this special move.

8. Nagato Yuki (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)

Now Nagato is one of those cases that hasn’t always been seen with glasses.

In the first two seasons of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu she was usually seen without them, but her debut with glasses came in the movie, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu.

And she also wears glasses in her spin-off series called Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu.

Probably the most non-talkative character in anime I’ve seen so far, I really enjoyed her for that exact reason. It was fun seeing an introvert at such extreme levels.

That is, if you can call an alien an introvert.

7. Kitamura Yuusaku (Toradora!)

How could I not mention one of the main characters from one of my favorite anime ever?

The student council vice-president, the class representative, captain of the softball club.

And ofcourse, Taiga’s love interest. For a while, at least…

Can act a bit weird sometimes so be careful.

6. Kousei Arima (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)

Ahh, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

*cries*

Arima has been a renowned pianist in his childhood, till his mother’s death, which left him unable to hear the sounds when he plays the piano.

But meeting Kaori Miyazono has changed that, and he returned to music because of her.

This may be *spoilers* but I couldn’t believe how cruel his fate is, with his mother not being the only person dear to him that he lost.

And the way he seemed to be handling it… Massive respect and I just want to give him a big hug that he deserves.

5. Leorio Paladiknight (Hunter x Hunter)

This picture is just too funny for me not to use it xD

Leorio is friend goals, he really cares a lot for his friends, as shown the best in the final arc of Hunter x Hunter.

He is often short-tempered, a lot of times he doesn’t understand things from first glance, but it doesn’t necessarily make him an incapable hunter.

His motivation for becoming a hunter is the money, but it’s because he wants to be able to save people for free. Isn’t that admirable?

Also, his nen reveal was the most epic nen reveal in the series. Damn how satisfying that was.

And speaking of Hunter x Hunter, Kurapika wears contacts. Just like me when I’m outside.

He doesn’t even wear contacts because of his vision tho, so it’s kinda pointless that I’m even mentioning that, but yeah.

4. Hashida Itaru (Steins;Gate)

It’s the super haka, Daru.

I will forever remember him for his relatable moments like this…

…as well as his relatable problems when it comes to girls…

Oh and his programming skills are godlike and he seems like such a fun friend to have.

3. Asada Shino (Sword Art Online)

Another case where you don’t exactly see the mentioned character wear glasses all the time.

Or maybe we can say Asada Shino actually does? Since that is her real life name, while Sinon, who doesn’t wear glasses, is her in-game character.

In any case, what makes me love this character so much is her determination.

Determination to get over her traumas and dark past, and the determination to become stronger, little by little.

It’s also a big part of why I mentioned the ED sequence that features her character, in my 7 Openings and Endings that make you feel everything will be alright article.

2. Akemi Homura (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

Speaking of very determined characters who don’t wear glasses all the time…

Akemi Homura is only seen with glasses during THAT episode and during the third movie.

But her wearing glasses during THAT episode means she actually did wear them for most of her life, till certain events.

All she wants is a friend. Just let her have that please.

And don’t do to her what you did to her in the last movie.

If there ever comes a sequel, I hope there will be a way to undo the damage they did there. Or I will just consider the TV anime canon and forget anything else that happened after that…

1. Kiriyama Rei (3-gatsu no Lion)

A few days ago, I finished season 1 of 3-gatsu no Lion.

This anime is truly a gem, and it has one of the best written main characters I’ve seen so far.

Living a tragic childhood full of hardships, Kiriyama Rei had to become independent earlier than most.

As only the fifth shogi player to become a professional in middle school, he spends his days in solitude, preparing for his shogi matches.

When he does come to school, he eats alone, with the only person joining him being his teacher.

The anime follows his growth as a person, influenced by the events and the characters surrounding him. Most notably the Kawamoto sisters.

 

Are there any characters you expected to see but weren’t on this list? Do you also wear glasses? Let me know 😀