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March of Lions
30 May 2012
My manga reading is getting a bit dry. There isn’t much of a good stuff left for me to read, or rather, stuff that I didn’t know about that is interesting. Pretty much all the review I had done are titles that I happen to bring strong emotions to. But lately, I came across this series, which is interesting that I never read its previous work and found it fascinating. So here is my review of March of Lions or in moonspeak, its 3 Gatsu no Lion.
Fans of Honey and Clover or Spica should be familiar with the authors as it is her famous work. What it came to me is its sort of a Cross Game approach, where its story centres around a theme, but it is only a used as a framework to tell the story. For this instance, the theme of the series is Shogi. Our main character is a young pro-shogi player who has his own set of problems and tragedy, that made him question his sense of worth. After his parents death, he was adopted by a pro-shogi player, who is his late-fathers friend to be breed as a monster of the art. In the process, it created an internal rift within the household. Robbing the attention and love from the actual siblings, which he felt guilty until this day. But nevertheless grateful for the everything that has happened. To him, he doesn’t belong anywhere outside of Shogi. He is nothing outside of it. There isn’t anything that interest him outside of the world he was breed in. It’s not like he likes Shogi, he did it because he wants to survive. Rather than be send off in the government orphanage, he rather go somewhere he thinks he has a chance and do anything for it.
The series isn’t really focused on the sport of Shogi. For a first time reader, I would expect this to be somewhere similar to Hikaru No Go. Where the story develops around the theme. But most of the development comes outside of the Shogi board and into the life of the MC where Shogi is just a framework to the story. Together with a orphaned family and his family which has taken him like an extended family. To his sister who hates him dearly, but shows a sort of compassion underneath the cunning personality. We’re still early in the stages of the manga, there’s little information if this is a weekly or a monthly series. There are still a lot of interesting stories that is left for the series to tackle. Like his younger brother or his sister’s boyfriend and his experience with her. There’s no data telling if this is a weekly or a monthly serialization. But the pages suggesting the former, but there isn’t a limit or a standard on content.
Overall, the story is interesting. The story grew on me on how the MC will slowly find himself and find his belonging. His interactions and the characters around him pushes interesting points in him that he struggles to find but eventually learns from. Art wise, it did have a hair of Shoujo in it, but not as painfully obvious as the 7 Seeds. I like the MC’s character aesthetically speaking so it helps on letting me stick to it more. I would recommend it for people who wants an interesting Slice of life drama. Particularly coming from some who has established a respected reputation on its regard.
- It’s not a sports manga. So expect a lot of character driven stories.
- Dialogue captures the characters feelings.
- Characters can easily be empathize.
- Art is somewhat shoujo but avoids the blaring troupes that makes it painful to look at.
- The MC is likeable.
Manga Rating: 5/5