The Lion Cub Can Grow Again: Season One Episode Six

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Well, now that I am getting back into the swing of things, It’s time once again to dive back into March Comes in Like a Lion, where episode six brings a lot to the table, almost as much as the last episode, to be fair. Let’s get started.

Episode five gave us a lot of info on Rei’s past. It showed the tragic loss of Rei’s parents, his harsh life under his adopted family’s roof, and the constant abuse he suffered from Kyoko. It showed the motivation for Rei’s wanting to leave and move out on his own, to avoid his toxic adopted family. However, episode six give us more of a picture of his present, and the expectations and problems he is dealing with currently.

The episode opens with what has become a common occurrence in Rei’s life: eating dinner with the Kawamoto sisters and their grandpa. Somewhat unknowingly, Rei notes that he would like to go somewhere. At that point, everyone takes their turn talking about where they might want to go if they could leave. However, even when it gets back around to Rei, he has no idea where specifically he would want to go, only noting he wants to go somewhere that is not here.

These feelings make sense, considering what episode five revealed about Rei’s life.

The episode also reiterates something that Kyoko had said previously earlier on in the show, that Rei, had no real friends or family, and that in general he just does not belong. However, instead of getting angry about these words Rei passively agrees, demonstrating that his feeling of isolation is strong.

The show also gets into Rei’s time living on his own, with Rei talking about how, for the first year or so, whenever he did not have a match he would often just sleep. He also says that during that time it became hard to do anything for himself, even things as simple as cooking rice.

He then talks about his second year, which became the first time that he had ever lost two games in a row in the same season. The consecutive losses left him in a state of shock, and not understanding why he lost, he was left with a feeling of stagnation, that not only did he feel like he could not move forward, but that maybe it was better to just stay where he was.

For visualizing his feelings of stagnation, the show uses Rei swimming through stormy waters only to finally arrive on an island, which then Rei begins to wonder if moving to the next island is even worth the time or effort.

It is pretty evident from the description of his feelings that Rei is depressed, as, at least from my experience, stagnation and isolation are the two best descriptors. Depression can often be cyclical in that way, because Isolation can lead to stagnation, and stagnation can often lead to one feeling more isolated from one’s peers.

This feelings Rei has are likely worsened when he is reminded of the best player in the league:

It is at this point that Rei has to reconcile his depression with his frustration over his losses, and why it is that, despite admitting that he has no real attachment to the game other than through his father, he still wants to win.

The episode closes with Rei running into Hina while out shopping, and the two stopping for a drink. Hina recognizes Rei’s depression and tells him he should come over for dinner. Rei accepts, and the two enjoy each other’s company. At least until Hina’s crush comes over to sit with them and then Hina accidentally spill her drink on herself.

The episode has a very similar feeling to five: a lot of important, heavy information about Rei, this time with a little bit of comic relief at the end. Again, definitely an important episode overall for understanding March as a series, and a good one at that.

Have any of you started the series recently? If so, what do you think of it. If you don’t feel like using Crunchyroll, the show is on Netflix as of this month, so you can always watch it there. If you would like to support Animated Observations or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi:

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


2 thoughts on “The Lion Cub Can Grow Again: Season One Episode Six”

  1. I really enjoy this episode as I feel it gets us a lot closer to understanding where Rei is emotionally at this stage of the story. It uses some nice visualisation and pacing to really draw us into his feelings and it works really well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the episode.

    Liked by 1 person

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