When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

When Will Ayumu Make His Move? anime series cover art
When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

Series Overview

When Will Ayumu Make His Move? (Soredemo Ayumu wa Yosetekuru / それでも歩は寄せてくる) is a romantic comedy anime about shogi. Souichirou Yamamoto is the original creator. He also made Takagi-san and Kunoichi Tsubaki. If you liked either of those series, you’ll probably like this one too.

Though, that’s not to say When Will Ayumu Make His Move? is exactly the same as those series. Takagi-san is more about the comedy. And Kunoichi Tsubaki is more about the large cast of cute girls. By comparison, this series is more of a standard rom-com slice of life series.

The premise of the series is that a male high school student joins the shogi club because the president is cute. He then finds out they’re the only two members of the club. And his plan is to confess to her once he eventually defeats her in Shogi.

Urushi and Ayumu dancing from the OP of the anime series When Will Ayumu Make His Move?
Urushi and Ayumu dancing from the OP

Now, the big issue with When Will Ayumu Make His Move? is that the OP is the best part of the anime. Other than the dance that’s in it, it’s not a particularly great OP. It’s good. And yet, it’s still the best part of the anime.

Of Yamamoto’s 3 series with anime adaptations, this is the weakest. Takagi-san is funnier. And I enjoyed Kunoichi Tsubaki more because of its cast. What this series has going for it over those two, though, is that the female lead is cuter than Takagi and Tsubaki. Urushi is simply the superior main girl.

When Will Ayumu Make His Move? also doesn’t feel like it should have a particularly long story. The manga only began publishing and is still ongoing. But, it felt like the story could have wrapped up within one anime season. It did not — more on that later.

Main Characters

Ayumu Tanaka is the titular character of the series. At the start, he’s a first-year student who intended to join the kendo club. But, after seeing Urushi handing out flyers for the shogi club, he decided to join. Also, while he won’t confess until he beats Urushi, he doesn’t hide his feelings.

Urushi “Shogi-senpai” Yaotome is the president of the shogi “club.” It’s not actually a club, though, because clubs need 4 members. Her goal is to gain more members and share her love of shogi with others. She’s also very concerned with keeping up appearances as the president.

Takeru Kakuryuu is the third (ghost) member of the shogi club. He signs up for the club to help Ayumu and Urushi gain official club status. But, he doesn’t actually participate in the club because he’s busy on “library duty” after school.

Urushi and Ayumu from the anime series When Will Ayumu Make His Move?
Urushi and Ayumu

Sakurako Migake is the reason Takeru spends his after-school time in the library. She’s the one actually on library duty. Takeru just sits in there with her to keep her company. Sakurako is a soft-spoken girl who enjoys reading books and spending time with Takeru. She also has the same voice actor as Mokuren, my favorite character from Kunoichi Tsubaki.

Rin Kagawa is Ayumu’s and Takeru’s kouhai from middle school. The three of them were in the kendo club together there. When she gets into the same high school as her senpai, she’s surprised to find that neither of them is doing kendo.

The final character I want to mention is Maki. She’s not all that important, as you may be able to tell by her lack of a surname. But, she’s Urushi’s best friend and a good character. Notably, Maki is not flat. Also, she’s voiced by Kana Hanazawa, one of my favorite voice actors.

The Handicap Twist

This is the part of the review where I spoil the ending of the anime. As I mentioned earlier, I felt that the anime could have come to a neat conclusion with this one season. But, that’s not the direction it went in.

I don’t know if there’s going to be another season. Takagi-san has 3 seasons and a movie so far. So, it’s possible that this series gets a second season. But, even if it does, I wasn’t a fan of how the season ended.

You see, throughout the whole series, it was building up to Ayumu confessing. This wasn’t just a confession that would eventually happen. We knew the prerequisites and Ayumu was making progress toward this end goal. Everything was in place for the confession to come at the end of the season. But, then, it didn’t.

Urushi with her hair up in a ponytail from the anime series When Will Ayumu Make His Move?
Urushi with her hair up in a ponytail

Why didn’t the confession happen? Did Ayumu fail to defeat Urushi? No. He beat her. The reason it didn’t happen is that Urushi was, apparently, playing with a handicap. Ayumu only wants to confess to her once he beats her fair and square — he’s always said that.

So, what’s the issue? If Ayumu didn’t beat her fair and square, there was never going to be a confession. Well, yes. However, throughout the series, Ayumu always declined to play a handicapped Urushi. So, the reveal that she was playing handicapped at the end was a slap in the face.

It went against everything that had been happening leading up to that moment. And I’m not sure what the justification for this ending is. Even if the confession happened, that doesn’t have to mean the end of the series. It would have been a better ending to the season, that’s all.


When Will Ayumu Make His Move? is a 6/10. It’s an enjoyable anime. But, I wouldn’t say it’s anything particularly special. The only thing differentiating it from all the other rom-coms out there is that it involves shogi. It’s not really about shogi, though.

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