Tag Archives: Kyouko

The Three Best Characters in March Comes in Like a Lion (Besides Rei)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Its been a while since I have had the motivation to spam the blog with “March Comes in Like a Lion” content, especially since college has pretty much drained all of it. I am hoping to start up my episode analyses of the series again soon, but until then, I thought it a good idea to do the thing I do best, and talk about the wonderful series. Today, I want to highlight the three best characters in the series outside of Rei.

For the purposes of this post, when I say the best, what I really mean is a combination of most dynamic, greatest addition to the story, and generally the most interesting. So, in no particular order, here are the three best characters aside from Rei.


It is always fun to keep things at least a little controversial, which is why I decided to start off with a pick that will likely get me a lot of weird looks from other fans of the show.

While Kyouko is to put it nicely, cruel and vindictive, she also suffered from her father’s mistreatment and neglect. Throughout the series she serves as a reminder to Rei of the unwelcoming environment of his adopted home, and why he started living on his own in the first place.

She constantly pushes him to his emotional limit, sometimes even blurring the lines between the Rei that we know, and one that is fueled by the same rage as Kyouko. Her presence within the series is exciting, melodramatic, and anger-inducing all at the same time, and for that she is easily one of the best.


They always ask “what you doing,” never “how you doing?”

In all seriousness though, it feels like the hype men never get as much love as those they hype up. Hayashida is there for Rei since pretty much the first episode. He consoles Rei when he is down, and cheers him on when he is doing well.

Though he does not go through much of a dramatic change himself, Hayashida does become an integral part of the series, and even starts his own journey to becoming better at shogi. His willingness to help others shines through in almost every moment he is on screen, and that alone makes him pretty amazing.


I have already detailed Shimada as a character at length in a different post, so I will try and not make this too lengthy. The reason he is such a great character is actually pretty similar to Hayashida, but in a very different way.

Whereas Hayashida helps console Rei in a way that makes him feel better, Shimada is, ironically, much more of a teacher. After beating Rei at the Lion’s Cup, Shimada takes him on as a student, not only offering him advice but forcing him to become his own best advocate.

Seperate from Rei, Shimada is also pretty incredible. He trained for the majority of his life to get where he is, going to the shogi association every week to become a better player, not because he was set up to be a prodigy, but out of a genuine love for the game. Stories like these are always inspiring because they speak to a character’s true passion, and for that, Shimada is truly awesome.

Who do you think are the best characters in March Comes in Like a Lion? Let me know in the comments below.

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March Comes in like a Lion Season 2 Episode 2: Chaos, Indeed.

Already the show is diving back into the elements that made its first season such an enthralling watch. If the first episode was showing the ways in which Rei’s life has changed then this episode is its stark contrast.

The second episode featured the title match between Souya and Kurokuma, in the final game between the two. It was expected to be an intense match, but Souya managed to clean house in just seventeen moves, further displaying his dominance as a shogi player after having mad some strange moves in other games. When Rei played out the match from his last move, he realized that there was no way Kurokuma could have won, and Rei realized that the gap between him and a title match player was much bigger than he could imagine.

Episode two further also explored Rei’s stagnant relationship with his sister, who he cares for deeply, but who is also in love with one of his shogi rivals Gotou. Rei is viscerally angry at Gotou for continuing to date his sister not only because of his lack of commitment to her but also because that lack of commitment stems from him being married. Rei sees Gouto as a serious harm to his sister Kyouko, but he knows that he doesn’t have the same kind of relationship with her.

In the second half of the episode, we see the distance that Gotou puts between him and Kyouko in their relationship when the two go shopping. After having Kyouko do some his errands for him, he refuses to let her stay the night at his apartment. However, She tricks him into letting her into his apartment. When the two lay down on his bead, Gotou ties her to the bed frame and then goes to sleep. While he sleeps, Kyouko notices the bags under his eyes and realizes that he hasn’t gotten much sleep, to which she replies:

This episode is one that understands the internal struggles of its characters. We find out at the end of the episode that Gotou has been visiting his wife in the hospital, who appears to not have a lot of time left. This tiny touch at the end really makes the show, because it puts a lot of the tension between Gotou and everyone else into perspective. He has been dealing with what could end up being the death of his wife, which would be hard for anyone. Without that detail, we as an audience would go on thinking that Rei’s hatred of him is 100 percent justified, when in fact it might only be 70-80 percent justified.

Rei, of course, is feeling a lot of pain as well. At the end of the first part of the episode, one of the men who was sitting with him and watching Souya’s match says this:

This line is preceded in the episode by Rei’s monologue about his sister, which connects it with Rei’s thoughts even though we know he is talking about Souya.

March Comes in Like a Lion has a lot to offer in the way of nuanced and interesting storytelling, and this episode highlights that perfectly. It creates a perfect dichotomy around Rei and Gotou who are both suffering from similar problems and portrays them in a complex and, might I say, human way. Chaos may have been this episodes theme, but that chaos is tightly controlled and beautiful.