March comes in like a lion is one of this season’s most visually striking shows, so it’s hardly surprising that I’m taking another look at the show in this week’s installment of Anime vs. Real Life. In case you missed it, I already examined a lot of the anime’s real-world locations in my previous pieces (Part 1, Part 2).
While March comes in like a lion is set in Tokyo, one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, the show's setting is basically confined to the two small residential areas, Shinkawa and Tsukuda, and the Sendagaya area. Rei Kiriyama rarely wandered off to any different areas in these past ten episodes, so the ones just mentioned will again be the focus of this article. I mentioned in one of my older articles that March comes in like a lion is based on the identically named manga back from 2007, and that a lot of real-world locations shown in the manga have changed since then. However, the anime adaption chose to stay true to the source material in that regard, which results in a couple of really interesting comparison shots. A good example is the quick shot we got of the Tokyo Station building in the first episode, which underwent major renovations and reconstructions between the time of the serialization of the manga and the airing of the anime. The same goes for Sendagaya Station, which is now being reconstructed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There are going to be a couple more cases like this in the following shots, so look out for those.
*All images were taken with GOOGLE STREET VIEW
This one might be a bit hard to spot, but the small hut to the left is missing in the anime. The following scene happened at the end of episode three, after Hinata Kawamoto stepped out a bit after the sorrowful ending of the Obon festival. The whole scene takes place in the Tsukuda area, which is also where Kawamoto sisters live.
The bridge in the back is the Tsukuda Bridge.
This torii gate marks the road leading up to the Sumiyoshi Shrine. However, the gate itself has been painted red some time ago.
This is how the gate actually looks now.
This small underpass is below the Chuo Bridge, and is located in the Shinkawa area where Rei’s apartment is located.
Another underpass, this time belonging to the Tsukuda Bridge. Rei and Harunobu are on their way to Tsukishima’s Monja Street.
Tsukishima’s Monja Street. The area is famous for its Monjayaki, a dish similar to Okonomiyaki, and a large number of restaurants in the vicinity are serving the local specialty…
…but Rei apparently seems to prefer fast food. Who would have thought that the anime’s McBurger (mekkubaagaa) would turn out to be a McDonald’s in reality.
Do you notice the speed limit sign in the back? The anime mistakenly turned the Tsukuda area into a 60km/h zone, which might be a bit high for a small residential area with a lot of narrow roads. The actual speed limit in the area is 20km/h.
Rei and Hinata are standing on the small Tsukuda Bridge here.
You’ve probably already seen this odd-looking structure a couple of times in the show now. That’s the Reiganjima Water Level Observatory.
To the left is the Kamejima River flood gate.
Let’s move on to the most recent episode. Rei is standing in front of the headquarters of the Japanese Shogi Association, which was founded in 1949 and is located in the Sendagaya area.
Rei runs after his just beaten opponent to hand him the Christmas present he forgot.
This single shot may or may not have been my entire motivation to do another article on March comes in like a lion.
It was said in the episode that his opponent usually visits a liquor shop after losing a shogi match, which causes him a lot of marital problems, and Rei actually was a little irritated as to why he didn’t head directly to the station. This might be pure coincidence, but the store to the left is a liquor store in real life and the anime, so I’d like to believe that he actually headed straight back home to his wife and kid this time.
However, Rei’s opponent’s unappreciative response finally caused him to crack, and Rei starts running and screaming through the Sendagaya area in one of the show’s most compassionate scenes.
He runs straight form the Shogi Hall to the Meiji Park, which is already being prepared for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
He runs all the way to the Kasumigaoka Square, which was formerly used as an event venue due to its close proximity to the Japan National Stadium and Jingu Stadium.
Next week’s Anime vs. Real Life will be a roundup of shows I haven’t covered this season, so please look forward to that. And on that note, I’d like to wish all of you Crunchyroll users a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
You can follow Wilhelm on Twitter @Surwill.