March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 37: Rei vs Souya



This was everything I could have wanted from a first match between these two characters. It wasn’t a major showdown but rather a peaceful and thought provoking game where Rei overcame both the mental hurdle of facing Souya and overcame the knowledge that he was going to lose after making a move he knew was wrong the moment he made it.

The game plays out quietly with only the commentary from the spectators (not in the same room) really providing any dialogue or sound outside of the pieces gently being placed upon the board. What I liked is that they showed us enough of the game to get  as sense of the game but they didn’t drag this on overly long so viewers shouldn’t find themselves wanting things to move along. The pacing of this game just kind of hit the mark it needed to hit.


The second half of the episode then looks at the journey back to Tokyo which is broken in Sendai by the typhoon as the shinkansen (bullet train) is suspended. This is really where we get to see Rei and Souya interact and it is kind of surreal with the possibility that Souya can’t hear being raised. We also get to see Rei in a much different state of mind after losing a game then we’ve ever seen him before which is a testament to how far he has come mentally since the beginning of season 1.


It will be interesting to see if they continue with these two next week or if they will skip over it but I feel there is probably more coming between these two. While this was a much more low key episode in comparison to the emotional punches of Hina’s arc in the first half of this season, this feels like a very necessary part of the story and I’m really loving seeing Rei in this space. Looking forward to next week.


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Karandi James.


12 thoughts on “March Comes in Like a Lion Episode 37: Rei vs Souya

  1. So what are our guesses on Souya being deaf, partially deaf, maybe going deaf? For some reason I don’t think he is completely deaf because he can still speak pretty well. I know for some deaf people if they go deaf at a young age they have a hard time with speech and pronouncing words, but if you go deaf at a later age you can still speak pretty well. I love that March Comes in like a Lion is taking on all aspects of life, not just the happy moments.

    1. I think that Souya’s deaf due to psychological stress, rather than being physically? deaf. Sort of like how some people get sick to the stomach before a test, but nothing they ate could have actually caused it (sorry, that was the best analogy I have at the moment). But a huge part of me just thinks that it was a metaphor on how removed he is from the rest of the world since he didn’t even notice the red wine on his white suit (i cry) and his trained responses to automatically say whatever people wants to hear regardless of the question. Great episode though!

      1. Yes! There are several guesses on this type of situation as well. It could be a number of factors. This episode was quite beautifully done and I can’t wait for the next one.

  2. I agree with everything you said. I feel like there is more to come between Rei and Souya and I’m looking forward to it! They’re an unusual pair but somehow, I enjoyed watching their interactions.
    It’s interesting that Rei feels that Souya is so far away from him and yet he not only felt comfortable playing against him, but also was able to have a conversation with him during the match review with no words needed. It makes it seem like even though the two are apart in their shogi level, somewhere on the board they connected. I just thought that was a brilliant moment for them. :’)

  3. I agree with you. I feel as if the story between Rei and Souya is not yet over. I appreciate how March respects the motley of characters in this series enough to fully develop them.

    You also mention how Rei reacts after losing the match, in comparison to earlier episodes, and how it shows his mental growth as a character. At the time, I didn’t take the time to compare his state of mind to earlier episodes, so I appreciate you pointing this out.

    Keep up the amazing work, Karandi!

  4. It was really interesting seeing Rei’s fresh mentality after losing a match against the Meijin, and I found this episode’s dialogue-driven flow pretty nice. It will be interesting what depths of communication between the two will reach now that verbal communication is taken out of the picture… that is, if the show continues on in the same narrative path as this episode’s (which I really want it to).

  5. This really does look like a good show. I also can’t believe that it was directed by the same guy who directed Debutante Detective Corps which I utterly despised. Sounds like he made a leap in quality in storytelling.

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