Iwakakeru!: Sport Climbing Girls (Episode 9) – The Princess of Climbing

Iwa Kakeru Sport Climbing Girls Title

Konomi has been working hard and has already got a couple of tournament wins under her belt, thanks to her “Murder Observation” technique and it’s enough to attract the attention of The Princess of Climbing – Anne Kurusu!

What happened?

Konomi has acquired the nickname “Murder Observation” thanks to her ability to analyze a wall and then one-shot it. It’s an odd name, but Nonoka points out Konomi’s face when she’s analyzing and that seems like enough. After her latest victory, Anne Kurusu – the Princess of Climbing shows up to put on a demonstration, however, she decides to make things more interesting by challenging Konomi to a duel.

Anne pretty much destroys Konomi and then in the showers, steps into her cubicle to laugh in her face and put down her school. It’s enough to get Konomi all fired up and determined to win. Of course, this duel has highlighted one of Konomi’s weaknesses that she needs to work on. The big tournament that they are working towards contains three elements and speed is one of them. Now, she needs to focus on improving there, but she’ll need Jun’s help to do that.

However, Jun has been working at a climbing gym as it gives her free use of the facilities, but she still hasn’t gotten over her issues that caused her to fail at the last tournament. To make things even worse, her rival Akane has just started working there. Akane is still determined to defeat Jun, but can’t help but be annoyed that Jun is broken and not the person she hoped to beat. If she’s going to beat Jun, it’s going to be Jun at her best, but what can Akane do?

Iwakakeru Sport Climbing Girls Episode 9 Sayo Konomi and Nonoka

What did you think?

One of the things I loved about Harukana Receive and Hinomaru Sumo was that none of the opponents came of as deliberate jerks. There was competition but it was healthy and had a lot of mutual respect. So far, Iwakakeru has wandered along the line without fully crossing it. You could argue that Akane and Iwamine came close, but they didn’t truly step into the jerk category. Well, now we’ve finally seen Anne Kurusu and that line has well and truly been crossed. I get it, you want to give Konomi a rival to crush, but this feels a little unnecessary.

In contrast, we got to see Akane getting a chance to beat her long time rival Jun, but when she realised the Jun hadn’t recovered from her failings at the last big tournament, she didn’t want the cheap victory. Instead, she pushed Jun to find herself once more so that she could defeat her at her best. That’s the rivalry I want to see. Also, could Kurusu’s catchphrase be any more annoying?

Iwakakeru Sport Climbing Girls Episode 9 Konomi and Anne Kurusu facing off in the shower

What have you learnt?

It was great to see this series really show two different approaches to the rival and for me, Akane is the better rival and the sort that I prefer to see in stories and in real life. You can want to be the best and that should mean beating the best when they’re at their best. Anything less than that is a hollow victory. I’m all for competition, but I just don’t have any time for jerks, no matter how good you are. Now, I just want to see Konomi destroy Kurusu, which is most likely the point, although I’d rather see them all pushing each other higher. If you want to be the best, be the best of the best. Win with style and class.

Iwakakeru Sport Climbing Girls Episode 9 Jun and Akane

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