Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls begins by introducing Kasahara Konomi, who is trying to figure out what club to join in high school after spending years obsessed with puzzle video games to the point where it was detrimental to her studies. That’s when she runs into the Hanamiya Girls’ climbing wall. Konomi tries climbing and finds patterns that remind her of her puzzle gaming days. Over and over she climbs the wall until she is challenged by a much more experienced climber (and fellow first year) to a race to the top.
The episode is setting itself up to be a unique and interesting sports anime. Competitive rock climbing is more akin to running or track where it is a team exercise, but you are judged as individuals too. As someone who loved Run with the Wind and competed in cross country in high school, I can relate to this kind of a sport. The episode was good in that it jumped right into the competition in an interesting way.
Some have labeled this as “ecchi” and so far, I’m not seeing it. Yes, there are unnecessary shots angled at the boobs of the cast, but generally those shots are just face down on them while they’re climbing. Could they have picked angles to not emphasize their breasts? Probably. Will that deter me from what seems like a more interesting sports anime? No. The show seems to really emphasize the sport more than anything else in episode one and, frankly, that’s what I enjoy most when watching a sports anime.
It’s just the first episode, but it definitely has promise. We’ll see if it holds up.
Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls can be streamed at Crunchyroll.