“Curtains are more expensive than I thought, but now I’ll finally be able to sleep peacefully.”
-Rei Kiriyama, March Comes In Like a Lion, Episode 4
I’ve had trouble getting out of bed lately for a myriad of reasons, all of which fall under the general umbrella of depression. From its first moments of a drowning Rei Kiriyama — pictured in the premiere episode itself and the anime adaptation’s opening sequence — to the latest episode that shows Rei sleeping his days away due to apathy, depression has been at the forefront of the series’ narrative. SHAFT’s visual direction regarding this theme is very heavy-handed, and often lacks the nuance that a strong discussion or portrayal of depression requires.
Yet, in the series’ sixth episode, bits and pieces come in and out of focus, giving us hints at the larger picture. Like one of Rei’s shogi matches, we can finally see the path ahead of Rei. By extension — if you resonate with how he feels or what is shown of his mental state throughout the series — you may be able to see the path ahead for yourself, regardless of how arduous or daunting it may seem.