Anime Review: 3-Gatsu No Lion (March comes in like a lion)

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I just finished 3 Gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a Lion) and I think it's one of the most powerful slices of life series that I've ever seen.
There's no supernatural, no superpowers, no fantasy, everything is very raw and realistic. People struggling and persevering, the melancholic mood is punctuated with the characters celebrating the small victories of life.
Rei, the main character, is a 2nd-year high school student who has been a professional shogi player since middle school. His father died when he was very young and Rei was then adopted by his father's best friend who is a very competitive professional shogi player.
I knew nothing about shogi before watching this series and it captivated my interest, so don't worry about the story getting bogged down by shogi. Actually, as the story progresses, you'll appreciate how shogi works to tell the story of human existence.
The other characters are three orphaned Kawamoto sisters, Momo-chan, Hinata, and Akari (seen in this image) and their grandfather who act as a surrogate adopted family when the original adopted family becomes problematic for Rei. Aside from them, you will encounter a cast of regulars spanning from Shogi players to teachers and classmates of both Rei and of Hinata (the middle of the three sisters).
Themes include: Coping with loss, struggling with depression, bullying, having to grow up too fast, family business, choosing your own path, etc. Each theme given its own measure and time is spent to shape the scenarios in a realistic non-idyllic fashion as the characters find their way to resolution.
Clocking in at 44 episodes total across 2 seasons, there is still a third season worth of story to tell which is projected to come out within the next 12 months.
The manga has finished, so there is a clear ending to the story and the anime has even integrated some of the "bonus episodes" within the manga.
Sadly there is no merchandise that I can find with any of our sources, but if we can find anything, we'll carry it.

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