Time to take a look at the only all-female sports anime of Fall 2020. Question is whether a show about sexy fit ladies competing in professional climbing is an entertaining watch. Let us find out as we take a look at Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls.
Themes: Sport Climbing
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Konomi Kasahara, a master at puzzles, is a first-year student who attends Hanamiya Girls’ High School. While looking for a club to join, she comes across the school’s climbing wall. This fateful encounter changes her life when she becomes a member of the Climbing Club.
SCG is actually a simple show to describe. Plot wise it is as standard as it gets. A newcomer with no experience but with latent potential joins a team of experienced athletes. From there she must constantly prove herself against many challenging opponents. She also has a teammate who takes the sport way too seriously but over time goes through her own character arc. Then there are the veteran members with much more experience but they too face personal obstacles. Together they train hard and grow stronger together as the compete in tournaments against Japan’s top teams. Again, simple sports media storytelling. Naturally like most sports anime the show takes the time to educate viewers on the basics of sport climbing with some advanced techniques here and there.
(Left to right: Jun, Sayo, Nono and Konomi)
Whenever there is a straightforward plot it is up to the lead characters to carry the show. Fortunately our four main heroines do so with ease.
We have our leading lady Konomi, an ex pro gamer who sees sport climbing as a puzzle game. Thanks to her prior knowledge she is able to adapt it to climbing and with hard work and determination grows stronger. Before each climb she analyzes the wall with her “puzzle vision” searching for the best route to the top. At first the wall transforms but later on she transforms too in her mental simulation.
Jun starts off as the token “This ain’t no game!” super serious athlete but SLOWLY changes. There is a reason why she takes the sport so seriously and how it has affected her social life. She is also the most muscular and fastest climber of the team.
Nono is the goofball of the team but takes the sport as seriously as everyone else (Not as hardcore as Jun of course). She is the shortest member. REMEMBER THIS for later on the show.
Visually stunning and the most skilled member, Captain Sayo is the total package and a great leader. However, she too faces her own obstacles.
The fact most of the girls play their roles well makes it all the more exciting to watch them do their best to succeed. Plus they are fun ladies to hang out with during chill times. Jun not so much at first but give her time.
(Types of physiques on the show: Jun, Sayo, Chigusa and Masumi
The trailers and other promotional material promised sexy muscular women and it delivered but do not expect rock hard lady bods. Even the most muscular on the show, the gorgeous “Muscle Maxima’am” Chigusa, is not a entirely chiseled out of granite. This makes sense as female climbers cannot afford to build up too much muscle or it will weigh them down. That is the reason some are lanky. Chigusa was able to find the right balance of buff.
The presentation is solid. The camera goes all over the place from top down to bottom up, capturing the best angles of our sexy athletes in action. It is similar to Harukana Receive in that regard. Viewers get good looks at their fit physiques as they climb, grab, push, stretch and leap their way to the top of walls in various competitions. Sometimes we get a snapshot of them in action but luckily most of the time we see them in motion. This is where the show is at its best. The soundtrack fits the show while the OP and ED are solid.
When it comes to yuri, many of us here are used to all-female sports anime to give off to in your face gay gayness but there are some that are not as openly gay. SCG is part of the latter. The ED gave the impression Konomi would have a lovely time growing closer to Jun and Captain Sayo getting some nice grabs in. The reality is different. While the show does not give off super strong yuri vibes they are definitely there. Konomi X Jun a little bit but the surprise if which pair’s yuri power was strongest on the show. Viewers will notice as they watch.
Overall Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls is a very fun sports anime for people seeking a show with fit to buff beauties competing in tough climbing competitions while becoming stronger individually and together. While the story is straightforward the leads are all enjoyable and most will (probably) root for them to succeed, at least that is what I do in sports anime I greatly enjoy. The yuri is not as strong as in other all-female sports anime but rest assured it is definitely there.