Episode Fifteen and SIXTEEN Thoughts
Episode fifteen for me was interesting. There were a few things that I disliked about the episode. One of my dislikes were surrounding all the background commentary from other characters who were not Rei or Souya. I found that to be really annoying and I didn’t think it really added much because the focus should be Rei and Souya. If there’s something that 3-Gatsu no Lion does exceptional at, it’s using animation, and OST to convey the thoughts of the characters. Something else I disliked was how quick the match was. Again, going back to what 3-Gatsu no Lion does extremely well at. The anime does so well at turning a characters thoughts and emotions into a beautiful sequence of animated scenes that described what they were feeling. These scene turn a game (game that could be viewed as boring), into something worth watching.
Instead, we follow the aftermath of the Shogi match itself. With us only been shown little snippets from the match. I personally didn’t really like that, but then again it also makes sense because the arc itself “White Storm”, lacked one major thing and that was a proper build up.
Now that I’ve covered what I disliked, time to move onto something that I found very interesting about this arc in general. It was how everything portrayed Souya as a god-like figure. It was something Rei kept mentioning in the episode. Rei explaining how he felt facing someone who he viewed as untouchable and unbeatable.
Rei did even more of that in episode sixteen. Which to me, felt very similar to episode fifteen (apart from it being a continuation of the arc). This mystical figure that is Souya doesn’t get much attention, we understand that he’s unable to hear sounds sometimes but other than that, this figure is someone we still do not know much about. The fact that we know so little of this character is what makes this arc very interesting, despite the shortcoming I think this arc has, it does really well at showing off Souya as a god in the Shogi world. This arc also did extremely well at portraying everyone’s fascination with this character, from those in the media wanting to know more about him and his matches, to those who are opponents of him, like Rei in this instance. Having lost to him, episode sixteen painted Rei as someone still mystified in defeat. He’s still fixated on this character and the shroud that covers Souya.
To best sum of this arc in one word it would be, mystery. It was one big question mark and I think it left more questions than it did answers. There is still plenty we still do not know about this Souya character, all we know is that this god-like figure in the eyes of many. A mystical being that everyone fantasies about. What were my thoughts on the arc as a whole? I personally didn’t like it all too much, in large part because I did not understand everyone’s fixation on Souya. Furthermore, if I were to compare “White Storm” to Hina’s arc, then “White Storm” is definitely the weaker, less detailed arc and for me that was quite the let down. In my mind you cannot go from the emotional highs and lows of Hina’s arc to one that felt relatively boring and uneventful. I definitely expected better, overall the past few episodes have been a B- for me.