Shoujo Saturday: Sangatsu no Lion by Chica Umino

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.

This week for Shoujo Saturday I’m covering a series I read while on my Thanksgiving Holiday, It’s Sangatsu no Lion, or March comes in like a Lion, by Chica Umino. Sidenote: As for why there is a Youtube video instead of a volume cover of the series this week it’s because Umino loves BUMP OF CHICKEN, the band in the video, and BUMP OF CHICKEN loves Umino’s work. I also happen to love both of their works and thought that their collaboration video was worth posting. The music video is excellent, even if you can’t understand the words.

Plot Synopsis: The series is set in Tokyo, following the everyday life of a 17-year old shōgi player, Rei (lit. “Zero”). The protagonist Rei is a 17-year old professional shōgi player, who lives by himself, not having a real family, and has scarcely any friends. Among his acquaintances is a family of sisters, which consists of a young woman, Akari, and two young girls, Hinata and Momo, and who also keep a numerous number of cats.

Plot: The plot is rather deep and deals with depression and loneliness and loss of loved ones. That being said, it’s also a story of hope and understanding and finding a family for oneself, even if they aren’t blood. Plus theres a bit of shogi thrown in which is always fun.

Characters: The characters are all very believable, and while some are just despicable jerks it doesn’t mean they break the suspension of disbelief. My favorite is probably Hinata, because she’s just such a well rounded character although I can’t say anything as to the why of that as it would spoil lots of things. The entire cast is great though.

Art: The art is amazing, and while this is technically in a Seinen magazine, I’m guessing that it’s only because the editors at Hakusensha decided that the subject matter would fit better in their Seinen publication (where older readers wouldn’t really care about the art style and more about the actual art.)

Overall: You really ought to read this series, it’s worth the time.

For those who like: Just a good series that makes your heart feel a bit lighter afterwards, Shogi, Chica Umino, Romance.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.


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