Don’t judge me. I know the cringe you are experiencing, but I couldn’t think of nothing else!
During my time skip away from my blog and my keyboard… while I was training to become one of the best coin flippers in world, I stumbled upon this anime while Youtube was going through it usual hissy fit because I hadn’t selected nothing in awhile and this anime showed up.
I used to joke about how you can turn any sport into an anime and you bet your ass that it would be epic in some way or fashion because it’s anime. Scorching Ping Pong Girls will forever be one of my favorite shows because of how that hyped up and made me seriously excited about ping pong. I mean, everyone I have forced to watch this scene has ended up watching the entire series and loving the show.
And that is both anime and non-anime lovers.
But I’m getting off topic. Damn, I starting to get carried way. Shouldn’t be promoting other anime in my reviews but I can’t help it! There is so much good content out there! I just want other people to respond to my heart! This burning passion for adrenaline pumping shows!
Iwakakeru was one of those shows for me.
Let me begin by saying that I have an interest in sports. As a kid, I used to turn into ESPN on Saturdays and Sundays and watch the unique competitions and used to love watching all seasons of the Olympics. But I can’t say that I knew a lot about rock climbing. So I was really curious to see how this sport would be translated into a show. I watch shows like these because they actually are a great introduction into the sport, covering the fundamentals of the sport in a way that is not only entertaining but informational.
So with the first few episodes, I was glued to the screen learning the ins and outs of competitive rock climbing with our protagonist, Konomi.
I actually really enjoyed watching the journey of these girls and I thought each of them had really unique traits and weaknesses.
Konomi wasn’t just your typical main character. She was a very niche skill that gave her an advantage that was based outside of the sport. (Shout out to all readers that are gamers!). Having the ability to technical to break things down as she did to make things easier but not have the physical capability to perform such feats was a good touch. Though some might consider her to be a bit overpowered, I would argue that she rather balanced considered the rest of the roster.
Jun Uehara was the character I ended up liking the most. Hard-strong, determined, and competitive. Just like me when I find myself engrossed in something. She carried real passion for the sport and throughout the series had truly learn within herself what the sport meant to her. I’ve always enjoy story arcs like that because I found them to be really relatable. Even though she was ultimately the rival to our main character, she stands out enough to be appreciated on her own.
Outside of that, I really do believe that the characters in the show do enough to stand on their own within their archetypes. From Kurusu, Anne and her adoring fans (which I would have totally been a part of.), to Iwanmine Chinari who really creeped me out, there is something for everyone here.
With this series only being twelve episodes long, I think there is where the series will take a turn for some people. I honestly felt that the show works within that restriction but it does feel a bit rushed at times. Have you ever watched a show and actually noticed when things were being pushed along? It is a jarring feeling that leaves you questioning what would have happened if they had time to flesh things out? It is a minor distraction but one that I feel like should be noted.
And this is where the overpowered main character argument comes in. Rock climbing takes time to get good at. I’ve tried it a couple of times and it is nothing to take lightly. Because of that time restraint, you really have to let some things slide for Konomi. It is the reason why I say that her unique talent works to it make plausible but I wish we could have gotten more time with twenty-four episodes.
It also could have also used a boost in animation. Studio Blade didn’t do a bad job but I would haved melted to see the animators from Production I.G. flex their skills when it came to showcasing just how precise and technical rock climbing can be. By no means am I saying that the show doesn’t convey it well, they do. But when it comes to sports and competitive anime, I feel like the animation is paramount and here, while not bad, didn’t really stand out. It was average. And I wanted to see it POP!
Sorry, nothing really grabbed my ears here. The music works for the series and it helps keep the excitement and tension going. The tournament BGMs were great to hear during the show, especially Encounter but it wasn’t anything here for me to save and listen to outside of the show.
Just like Konomi, I sent this series in one sitting. If you like sports anime and need to scratch an itch, I can recommend this. There is enough here to keep your interest. Nothing to go running to your friends with the intentions of duck taping them to a chair and force feeding them this average helping of anime, but good enough to throw on when you can’t decide what to watch to see if you might like it.
Until next time…