Genre: Drama, Game, Seinen, Slice of Life
Plot: Rei Kiriyama is a 17-year-old boy who recently started living alone, financed by his salary as a professional Shogi player. Despite his independence, however, he’s yet to mature emotionally, and his problems continue to haunt him in his daily life. His relationship with his adoptive family is strained, and he has difficulties interacting with his fellow high school students. Meanwhile, his professional career has entered a slump. Burdened with the heavy expectations placed on him as the fifth to become pro in middle school, his wins and losses are fluctuating as his record and progression into the ranks begin to stagnate. Acquainted with Rei are the three Kawamoto sisters: Akari, Hinata, and Momo. Unlike Rei, they live happily in their modest home, which they warmly welcome Rei into as if he were one of their own. Despite his reservations about becoming too close to the family, he frequently visits, interacting with them and receiving the kind of care and affection he never quite had while under his foster home. This is the story of Rei’s triumphs and failures, relationships new and old, and his growth as a person.
Impression: The creator of honey and clover is back and this time with another Slice of Life show. The show is being animated by SHAFT. It is always a daunting task to predict what SHAFT will come up with. When I heard that SHAFT was in charge of producing a Slice of Life show, I honestly didn’t get my hopes up. I always felt this particular studio should just stick to mystery and psychological shows. However, after watching the first 3 episodes I am forced to admit that we are probably looking at a probable masterpiece here. Since the show is by the same makers of Honey and Clover it has that heart-warming and adorable atmosphere throughout each episode we were used to seeing in honey and clover. Add to that the dark and unconventional animation of SHAFT, and this show is nothing short of astonishing. I honestly do not have enough words to describe this show, that can do this show a justice. You get to see intense Shogi matches, adorable character interactions and definitely some heart-shattering sad scenes. It is too early to pass a judgment but this show definitely showcasing everything a show needs to possess to be a considered a truly great show. More often than not over the years, I have seen shows starting off great but fading pretty quickly. I really hope this show will not be one of them. 3-gatsu no Lion is without a doubt one of the top shows of this season. You are missing something special if you are not watching this show.
Here is the promotional video for 3-gatsu no Lion:
Here are some screenshots from the first three episodes of 3-gatsu no Lion: