Since Saiki wasn’t fully updated on Netflix, I started watching this series while waiting for the remaining episodes, since I’ve only heard good things about it. I was not disappointed!
Rei’s life is all about playing shogi. He basically eats, sleeps and breathes the game to a point where he needs to realize that there are other things in life. The gentle Akari and her 2 younger sisters make sure to help him realize just that, and mainly through food, since he’s not that good at eating proper meals when home alone. And alone is exactly what he feels all the time, since his parents and little sister died when he was just a little boy, and he has since been growing up in a foster family consistent of professional shogi players.
Unable to feel like there is a place for him in this world, Rei becomes a professional shogi player himself at a very young age, and gets known all over Japan for that. This causes him to spend less time at school, which his teacher is not that happy about. Eager to help his student, he does everything in his power to not only guide Rei through the current year, but also build him up as a person. Unable to realize that he actually has a lot of nice people to help him through his rough times, Rei just lives day by day, until his adoptive sister shows up to mess with him, and the shogi tournament gets harder for each opponent he faces.
The show doesn’t tell that much of a story through its 22 episodes, but everything that does get told has a major impact, so it never feels boring, although it’s a very slow series. It’s the perfect mix of sad drama and fun comedy, and can switch from one to the other within just a second, causing you to sit with tears in your eyes, but still laugh. The first episode actually consists of both genres divided in 2 small stories, so if you watch that one and like what you see, you will probably also like the rest of it.
March Comes in Like a Lion takes you on a journey through many characters and happenings, piece by piece, emotion by emotion. While shogi is the main focus of the series, it’s always seen through the eyes of Rei, and how he struggles with his games and personal thoughts at the same time. It’s a series about finding out where you belong, growing up, and accepting both defeat and the happy moments in life.