A manga junkie's recommendations on titles Company B can't or won't license.
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3-gatsu no Lion vol 1
2008.03.16. (Sun) | Edit |
I ordered 3-gatu no Lion (3月のライオン) because it's by Chika Umino, the manga artist of Hachi-Kuro. It's running in Young Animal (say Berserk, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Detroit Metro City), so I wasn't sure what kind of story to expect.

The story is about a 17-year old boy named Rei who's a shougi (Japanese chess) pro. He lives by himself and is befriended by three sisters Akari (19-ish), Hinata (13-ish) & Momo (5-ish). Rei carries a lot of baggage--his parents and younger sister died in a car accident when he was in elementary school; his adoptive(?) father had two kids who were also training to be shougi pro's, only to have Rei beat them both--so it's kinda like taking Hagu's character and concentrating on the dark side of a life of a genius.

Unlike Hika-Go, 3-gatu no Lion doesn't teach you the basics of shougi. But it does toss out enough terminology that any adult otaku might want to pick up a Shougi for Dummies book to find out what they mean. Well, I guess that's the difference of running a manga in Shounen Jump and Young Animal. In seinen manga, you can rely on the reader to go outside the manga to learn the background stuff. I'm currently fighting all urges to go look up shougi information on Wiki.

As for the characters, Rei (kanji for "zero") is a introvert, shy and gloomy boy. Wears glasses, really thin, moppy hair. Nothing moe about him, and he looks like a younger version of Mayama with black hair. Well, my co-worker C did complain that all of her male characters look the same.

Akari is your typical older sister type, like Kasumi from Ranma 1/2. Nice & caring, long hair, great cook, big boobs. Hina is a cute younger sister type with twin tails. And Momo is an energetic baby sister, like Mei from Totoro.

I think we're all supposed to like Rei's self-proclaimed rival Nikaidou, a chubby & self-absorbed shougi pro. Akari and Momo are especially fond of him, which I can relate to.

3-gatsu no Lion
Author: Chika Umino
Volumes: 1 (on going)
Publisher: Hakusensha

Despite Hikaru no Go and Honey and Clover being licensed, this one is a hard title for publishers to pick up. Plus with all the little side text all over the pages, it's a tough one to do text insertion!

Nnn. I wonder if I'd have time to do a synopsis? I really should work on my taxes this weekend.
3-gatsu no Lion

Chapter 1
Rei wakes up after a nightmare (flashback?) where a young girl tells him his name "zero" fits him because he has nothing--no home, no family, no friends, no where to go.

He wakes up, heads to the Japan Shougi Center for a match with an older man. They have light conversation, and the man sighs saying it's sad that they can't talk about anything other than unimportant things. Rei defeats the man, who tells him he's gotten stronger. And that Kyoko and Ayumu miss him. After the man leaves, Rei mumbles "lies."

On the way home, Rei gets a text message from Hina asking him to eat dinner with them. He's about to decline when Akari asks him to buy fukujinzuke and eggs on the way home. The three sisters greet him, and Hina asks if he won his match today.

During dinner, there's a news report of a teenage boy who was arrested for beating his father to death. Rei felt that each hand during today's match was like hitting his father with his bare fist. Hina is worried that Rei has a cold & volunteers to warm up milk for him. Akari tells him not to try too hard, but to eat a little bit.

After dinner, the girls' grandfather shows up and sees Rei sleeping in the living room. Akari tells him that Rei won the match, and he was pale as a ghost when he came over. The grandfather tells her to let him sleep, since he probably couldn't sleep much the night before. Hina puts a blanket on Rei, and takes off his glasses. Rei has tears in his eyes.

Chapter 2

2008/03/16 12:19 | Seinen Manga | Comment (1) | Trackback (0) | Top▲
2008/05/27(Tue) 20:56:17 | | #[ Edit]
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