Genre: Drama, Game, Slice of Life, Seinen
Original Name: 3-gatsu no Lion
The series is set in Tokyo, following the everyday life of a 17-year-old shōgi player, Rei (lit. “Zero”). Umino based the setting of March Comes in like a Lion on research she conducted herself, whereas she was already familiar with the setting for her earlier work, Honey and Clover.
Rei is a 17-year-old professional shōgi player who lives by himself. He is estranged from his family and has scarcely any friends. Among his acquaintances is a family which consists of a young woman—Akari Kawamoto—and her younger sisters—Hinata and Momo—who also keep several cats. As the story progreses, Rei deals with his maturing as a player and as a person, while developing his relationships with others, especially the Kawamoto sisters.
The protagonist of the series. 17 years old. A five dan in the beginning of the series, he is later promoted to six dan. Rei became a professional shōgi player while in middle school and his achievements soon make of him one of the most promising players of his generation. His parents and sister died in a traffic accident, and after that he was taken care of by his father’s friend Kōda and became his apprentice in shōgi. After becoming a professional shōgi player and completing middle school, he became independent of him and decided not to attend high school. After feeling a “need” to attend school however, Rei later joined a high school after a one-year delay. He lives in the city of Rokugatsu-chō (June town).
A resident of Sangatsu-chō (March town), she is the eldest of three sisters. Her mother died and subsequently she took care of two younger sisters. In the mornings, she helps her elderly grandfather run a traditional wagashi (Japanese confectionery) shop, Mikazuki-dō, while in the evenings, she works as a hostess for a bar in Ginza, Misaki, which her aunt manages. She often calls Rei “Rei-kun”.
The second of the three sisters. A middle school student. She sleeps in late in the mornings till the very last minute and often makes bentos by herself. She calls Rei “Rei-chan”. Like her elder sister Akari, she likes taking care of Rei, who develops romantic feelings for her as the series progresses. (In chapter 104 of the manga, she heard Rei declare his intent to marry her in the future, though she later writes this off as a lie to silence her father) Later she graduates from middle school and enrolls at the same high school where Rei studies.
The youngest of the three sisters. A preschool student, she attends a daycare center. Pure and innocent, she has a bit of a selfish streak at times. Her favorite anime character is Bodoro (modelled on My Neighbour Totoro’s Totoro). She calls Rei “Rei-chan”.