Episode 3 was my kind of episode, it was one that I enjoyed a lot more than the previous two. Like the previous two episodes, the beginning starts with a little bit of comedy — which I am not opposed to, as it keeps thing interesting and adds that extra level of depth to the 25 odd-ish minute episode.
But then it got to what I consider to be the “good” part of the Anime, which is the whole “drama” aspect. It begins when Rei is sitting on a bench in a park, eating before having to go to one of his shogi matches. Beside him, was a ladybug bush, something he hasn’t seen in a very long time. Kneeling down in front of it, the story transitions to a younger version of himself standing in front of a ladybug bush, to what seemed to be him recalling a happy memory. However, that all changes when the flashback develops further showing the bullying he endured as a child by the other kids at the park and at his school.
It developed further into just not a flashback showing the bullying he experienced, but also briefly brushed over the loss of his mother, father and sister in the car accident, and the hard past he endured whilst with his adoptive family. There was one silver lining there though, it was that despite his adoptive siblings treating Rei like utter trash, his mom, always smiled no matter how worried she was for him. And as you all probably know by now, his adoptive father is the one who introduced him to shogi. So this flashback also provided a little glimpse as to why shogi meant so much to him, it was because despite all the bullying and abuse he endured from his adoptive siblings and people at school; he knew he could always find an escape whenever he played shogi. It was the only thing keeping him sane.
That flashback provided so much context to the whole story, I personally really enjoyed it.
We then move to what I call as the “setup” to the next episode, the new arc “Ladybug’s bush”, an arc I think I will very much enjoy because throughout the episode you there were several times where it would cut back to Hina and her family, and during every scene you could see that Hina’s mind was else where, as she didn’t want to interact or tell anyone what was wrong. The episode ends with Rei coming over after Hina’s house after he finished all his shogi matches to eat donuts with them. Much to Akari’s surprise, Hina isn’t home yet (by this time it was late in the evening). What even comes as more of a shock is that we see Hina, crying, without one shoe and dirtied; and this is where the episode ends, a CLIFFHANGER.
I personally cannot wait for the next few episodes knowing that it’ll be covering an arc I am excited to see, I am really looking forward to it!