3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)

I don’t remember how did I chose to watch this anime. Probably I liked the synopsis and decided to give it a try. I didn’t get to watch it while it was still ongoing but I picked it up three months ago. I had no idea that it will sweep me away and that I would like it that much. Be warned, this review contains some spoilers.

From the first episode, it begun pretty good. I recognized the art and I was pleasantly surprised that the mangaka is the same like the one for Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover), which is another lovely anime.

The story seems pretty simple. It’s about a boy called Kiriyama Rei, who is a professional shogi player, one of the five of them who became professional in middle school. He’s a very shy and quiet boy, who seems like all he knows how to do is play shogi. He lives alone in Tokyo, doesn’t take care of himself much and who repeated one year of school, so kids actually think he’s a one year older loser.

But that’s just the beginning. As the story goes on, you get to know him better and what happened to him. I can easily say that my heart ached every time I saw him sad, lonely and so poorly understood by others. He was a lonely boy since he was small, but his way of “speaking” with others was shogi. He loved spending time with his father, who was also a shogi player, so that’s why he started playing it.

He was unfortunate to lose his family and, unwanted by the rest of his family, he ended up living with the family of his father’s friend. You would think that that would bring him some desperately needed stability but no. He had to deal with a strong-willed daughter of that man (Kouda Kyouko), who saw him as a threat and a person who took away everything from her, with his stepbrother who wasn’t really mentally strong (but it’s normal, he was just a kid) and who broke under the pressure and his stepfather who seemed to only value people/children through shogi and that looked like that’s the most important thing for him and if you’re not good at it, you don’t deserve his attention. It was fascinating (and kinda scary) to see how much Kyouko actually hates him and how she blames Rei for everything bad that happened in her life, no matter the bad choices she made by herself.

But, Rei was lucky to meet three lovely sisters, Kawamoto Akari, Hinata and Momo, who are living with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop and some very funny cats.

They live a pretty humble life, where Akari (the oldest sister) works to support the other sisters and who is like a motherly figure. They brought light in Rei’s life. They give up such a warm and fuzzy feeling and they accepted him like no one ever did, in his whole life, and they became like a family to him…They really care for him and love him. The unfortunate events also struck their family and they went (and are still going) through a rough and sad time, yet without asking, they support each other and make life easier. They gave him everything he was craving to have and feel his whole life. He feels like home with them.

There are also some other very nice characters. I liked a lot his school teacher, Hayashida Takashi, who was doing his best to support him and who payed attention to Rei and saw what a great boy he is. He saw that Rei has a low self-esteem and feels insecure and because of that he doesn’t manage to interact with others. But Hayashida slowly pushes him to change the way he is at school and makes him question some things.

Nikaidou Harunobu (one guy called him “steam bun” πŸ˜€ ) is a sickly shogi player, to whom Rei was an inspiration and his biggest rival. You will enjoy watching that loud, funny boy, that seems like a storm who entered Rei’s life.

I also liked A-rank shogi player Shimada Kai, from whom Rei will learn a lot of things and who will show Rei what would he actually like to do in the future and how would he like to be and feel.

I do suggest you to watch it and I sure hope you’ll enjoy watching it as much as I did. Second season started in October. For now, it’s as good as a first one!

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior)

This is a story about Kazunari Usa, calm and nice boy who will start living alone because his parents are working in a different area. He was excited about starting to live in a Kawai complex boarding house, since he thought he will finally lead a calm and “boring” life, completely different from the life while he was having with his parents. Yet, what he didn’t expect was to find a house full of eccentric tenants πŸ™‚

The people that live in Kawai complex are really different from Usa. Shirosaki (Usa’s roommate), is a blond guy with pony tail, a huge masochist and a bit of a pervert. Nikishino Mayumi is an office lady with huge boobs, almost an alcoholic and the oldest of them all. She seems to dislike seeing other people happy and tries to mess with other people’s happiness.

Watanabe Sayaka is a college student who’s cute and looks innocent yet she’s not like that at all (this is how she looks like when she doesn’t like what’s going on πŸ™‚ )

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And last, Kawai Ritsu is a really cute and shy bookworm, Usa’s senpai and the main reason he stayed there. She reads all the time, even when she’s walking towards school or home.

There’s also Kawai Sumiko, a manager of Kawai complex, a nice and cheerful old lady that can be really scary when she thinks that someone isn’t behaving well and according to the rules.

I really enjoyed watching this anime. I enjoyed watching Usa, who’s desperately trying to get closer to Ritsu, who’s such a nice person, who cares and helps everyone and has an amazing ability to get along with all types of people. He’s funny and his reactions are funny, especially when he get teased by Mayumi and Sayaka. He is easily pleased and gets happy with the smallest nice things that happen to him.

Ritsu is such a cute girl, a bit misunderstood, especially when people think that she’s boring and likes to be alone. She really enjoys reading and it’s amazing to see how she gets into what interests her and everything else doesn’t seem to exist. Usa will try hard to get close to her and, even though sometimes it seems to him that the distance between them is getting bigger instead of smaller, in the end I think he really got to know her and understand her well.

Shirosaki is considered a pervert and a masochist, yet he shows such a nice and a bit unexpected side of him when she tries to please a kid called Chinatsu that came to visit their complex when she felt alone because she was in a fight with her friends. He can build such great things and has good skills in dealing with children.

The quarrels between Mayumi and Sayaka never get old. It’s so funny to see how they insult/tease each other and the rest of the tenants. Sayaka also seduces men like it’s some kind of sport for her and Mayumi loves to “ruin” other people’s happiness although I don’t think she’s a mean or a bad person. Her sarcasm and the way of teasing are hilarious.

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I think it’s an interesting and funny anime to watch. It reminded me, in a way, of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, although it wasn’t as funny. Still, it’s a nice watch.

 

NHK ni Youkoso! (Welcome to the NHK)

When I started watching this anime, I didn’t have any specific expectations. It has a good score on MAL, but still I don’t pay attention to the score so much, because it’s not like I will like that anime just because it has a high score, or the opposite. I was interested in the story itself, I wanted to see what they will tell about a 22 year old college dropout Tatsuhiro Satou, who has isolated himself for 4 years and who became a hikikomori (reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement). This is an ongoing problem, not only in Japan but in other countries too (although maybe not as much as in Japan). I wanted to see if Tatsuhiro will manage to escape from “claws” of hikikomori and return to “normal” life.

What I didn’t expect is that he will believe in such a weird conspiracy theories, many of which don’t make any sense (his senpai isn’t any better, he probably got all those ideas from her). The beginning of the anime is quiet weird, in my opinion. But, Satou sure has a very vivid imagination πŸ˜€ He’s funny, he’s crazy, he’s really special, in his own way πŸ™‚

Besides him, there is Yamazaki Kaoru, the boy who he “helped” while he was in high school, an unusual person who seems to have a lot of talent for making games, but still a bit of a shut-in who has problems with his family. He seems to provoke people to bully him. I find him as funny and interesting as Satou.

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Then, we have Misaki Nakahara, a girl that is thinking that she can help Tatsuhiro to overcome his state of hikikomori. She was very patient while she was trying to persuade Satou to let her help him and sign a contract and she seemed like she knows what she’s doing. After the first session with Satou, she seemed quiet inexperienced and kinda funny while trying to use Froid’s analysis on him and thinking that Satou doesn’t even know who Froid is πŸ™‚ But after you get to see just how clever of the girl she is and how she deals with Satou πŸ˜€ How time passes by, you’ll get to understand the real reason why she was helping Satou and that she needed him as much as he needed her. This is how he saw her, after the initial meeting…

It’s so funny to see the fantastic lies Satou comes up just to “prove” that he isn’t a hikikomori. He started by lying to Yamazaki, Misaki, then he even lied his mother in a such spectacular way (for her not to drag him back home)… But, in time, he will accept the state he’s in. The more I watched, the more I liked Satou. You get to know him better, understand his situation and how he got where he got. You’ll see that he has a really great mother, you’ll see how he will become good friends with Yamazaki and you will laugh at many funny moments they encounter.

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On the other hand, you’ll see how they will deal with some very serious occurrences, how Satou will be kinda dragged into some very serious situation, just because he was misunderstood. And how he isn’t powerful enough to fight it and get himself out of it. This anime really makes you think, it’s way more than ranting of some lunatic about conspiracies in this world. It’s something that can happen to anyone, at any time, especially if you are a bit of aΒ  “mentally weak” state and prone to suggestions.

If you give it a try, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy this anime. The opening song is just great and, after hearing the other song that Yamazaki likes a lot (“Puru puru pururin” song), it will for sure stick in your head πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Tamako Market and Tamako love story

If you are really looking for heart warming anime, full of cute characters that will make you fall in love with them and a hilarious bird that will make you cry from smiling, then these are the anime for you!

I really loved this “journey” I took to Tamako’s place, where you get to meet her, her sister, father, grandfather and their typical mochi store. She is clumsy, cute, warm, great friend and has such a great love for mochi and for their store. Everyone around her adores her (with every right), includingΒ Mochizou, her friend, who is secretly in love with her for years. To make it more interesting, Dera arrives, the strange bird that came from a far country and who is looking for a girl who will marry the prince of his country. It’s funny to see how fast he got used to live with Tamako’s family, to eating mochi and to rest on Tamako’s head that he forgot why did he go there, in first place πŸ˜€ Her friends are also great (my personal favorite is Kanna-chan, a bit weird girl but so funny!).

Tamako love story is the continuation of anime, the end that you are waiting for πŸ™‚

Fuuka

Some time ago, I tried to read this manga but I gave up after 10 chapters. Somehow, I didn’t find it interesting. Now, the anime is ongoing and I decided to give it a try again. I like it, for now, and I was enjoying it quiet a bit, until today’s episode (n.5). I’m just getting tired of Haruna Yuu, I mean how clueless can he get about things that are happening around him and I get it you can be shy, but this is going toward being stupid. And, he is blushing ALL the time, I mean come on! That was kinda cute, in the beginning but now it’s just tiresome. And the way all the girls fall in love with him, it’s just too much. Girls like boys with backbone πŸ™‚Β  The character I like quiet a lot is Mikasa Makoto. He is smart, with great sense for humor and great to notice things around him. Fuuka is too loud and too energetic but not in a bad way (although people like that, in real life, could make me tired). Well, seven more episodes to go, we will see how it develops.