OWLS February “Legacy” Post: “March Comes in Like a Lion” and a Guide for Depression
Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
After taking a month off, I am back with another OWLS post. This month’s theme is “Legacy.”
We have mentors, teachers, coaches, and role models whose stories inspired us in some way. Even when these role models are gone, their stories will live on from generation to generation. For this month, we will be exploring stories that have inspired or taught us some important lessons about life.
For this month, I am taking it back to my favorite, “March Comes in Like a Lion,” a show that has helped significantly in the realm of mental health. Please enjoy.
In an era of increased economic and political stability, issues of health care, specifically mental health care, have become much more prominent in mainstream dialogue. Those that were previously ignored, such as those with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are now getting the help that they need. Not only that, increased discussion of these conditions has lead to better representation in popular media, including in anime.
I have talked a number of times, and will continue to do so, about the impact that “March Comes in Like a Lion” has had on me personally, and the way that it helped me coup with my depression and suicidal thoughts. I want to do so again, because its legacy on my own life is an important one.
For those who are unaware, my senior year of high school was the year in which all of my mental fortitude that kept me going in the previous year collapsed. All of my motivation as it related to school and work vanished. I dreaded having to wake up every day, and sometimes wished I could just pass away in my sleep.
However, that same year I stumbled upon “March Comes in Like a Lion,” which ended up being a almost literally a lifesaver. I mentioned it recently in one of my columns on The Daily Beacon, but “March” does an incredible job at displaying and dealing with different aspects of mental health, specifically depression as it relates to Rei.
In the wake of his identity crisis at the beginning of the show, Rei leans on shogi because it is all he has known since being a little kid. Not only is it the only connection he had with his father, despite not enjoying it that much, it also becomes his work. Rei realized the potential he had, and became one of the shogi world’s greatest prodigies, and at the ripe old age of 17, is paying the bills with it.
As Rei continues into the world of shogi, and meets new people like the Kawamoto sisters and Shimada, his perspective begins to change. What was once at best ambivalence towards his profession soon becomes something he loves doing, and works hard at getting better towards.
Watching Rei’s transformation in the story really made me want to achieve something myself. It became the wake-up call that I knew I needed but just couldn’t get from anywhere else, especially since it was hard to talk to anyone about my mental health.
Now, I want to be perfectly clear. I am not saying that watching anime is instantly going to fix your mental health, if at all. In fact, it didn’t even really fix mine. Still, at a time in my life where I felt numb to almost everything, the story of a teenage kid rediscovering his passion for something he’s known almost half his life was touching, to say the least.
“Legacy” Blog Tour Schedule
2/6: Megan from Nerd Rambles
2/8: Takuto from Takuto’s Anime Cafe
2/16: Ange from Just Being Otaku
2/17: Ashley from The Review Heap
2/22: Crimson from Cute Boys Central
2/24: YumDeku from MyAnime2go
2/27: Mel from Mel in Animeland
2/28: Lita from Lita Kino Anime Corner
2/29: Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews
What kind of legacy has anime left on you? Let me know in the comments.
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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, friendos!