Anime Review: March Comes In Like A Lion

Before I Watch: Okay so I'm a HUGE Umino Chika fan! Honey and Clover is one of my favorite anime, and I loved her character designing for Eden Of The East. She has a way of doing a slice of life that is just so effortless and beautifully realistic. It like hurts my soul. When I found out it was getting a series, I started reading the manga initially but just recently I decided to give the anime a try! 

Episodes Reviewed: 8 

Streaming Service: Crunchyroll. 

Ongoing or Complete: Ongoing.

Plot: The protagonist Rei is a 17-year old professional shōgi player, who lives by himself, not having a real family, and has scarcely any friends. Among his acquaintances is a family, which consists of a young woman, Akari, and two young girls, Hinata and Momo who share in a loss of their own. 

Review 

STORY: 3/5 - SO, I would be weary of this series if you aren't into chess/understanding board games and competitive games. A huge part of the plot is the kind of Japanese version of Chess called Shogi! Luckily once it gets heavily into it, they have cute videos that explain the game more thoroughly! Beyond that aspect of the story Rei, the main character is one of the youngest professional Shogi players in Japan, and he deals with problems beyond that. Such as family issues, relationships with people in his life, mental blocks, depression, anxiety, and stress. Although some of the things he goes through are niche, it was the same with Honey and Clover in the way that she effortlessly conveys emotions that every single person has felt before.  

ART: 4.5/5 - The art style by Umino Chika is so recognizable and beautiful. She takes the typical anime look and truly makes it her own. She has a way of making her artwork for her genre. I will say, though, with Honey and Clover they stuck with softer pastels and grays for most of the series and I think March Comes In Like A Lion could have benefitted from the same color palate. However, they used a lot sharper brighter colors which I believe that it takes away from that airy slice of life feel. 

CHARACTERS: 4/5 - As much as I like Rei, and I understand he's not a big personality, but he is grossly overshadowed by my love of the three sisters he's friends with! Akari, Hina, and Momo pretty much steal the show for me! They are so cute and add just a brightness to the show! Rei's story is so sad and dark, and his life has this emptiness to it that the girls fill. Neither side knows much about either's past, but they're benefitting from each other after experiencing substantial loss. I feel bad I almost want more of the girls than Rei! 

OVERALL: 4/5 - I would recommend March Comes In Like A Lion! Especially if you love lice of life and also if you have an interest in Shogi or other Japanese board games! I think there are something's  about it that would make it kind of exclusive to older anime fans, as I wouldn't recommend this for a beginning/casual fan. But it's beautiful, and I would still recommend giving it a shot!