The Hanamiya girls travel to a famous free climbing rock for training. Konomi makes a new climbing friend and gaming disciple.
Wall 3 – “The Anti-Monkey Rock”
Sport Climbing Girls showed us this week that the Hanamiya girls have an unfair advantage over their competitors. How did such a small team start to dominate the national ranks of competitive climbing? No, it wasn’t doping. But, yes, they have a secret training program with an unofficial coach. Why haven’t other schools come to the famous Anti-Monkey Rock and avail themselves of expert climber Goto Juzo’s advice? I expect other elite climbing girls to know about this place and see the Hanamiya High School girls run into them. I would like more background on Sayo’s climbing career to give more credence to the circumstances Sport Climbing Girls gives us here.
Sport Climbing Girls is on firmer ground as it establishes a quirky comedic tone and focuses on Konomi’s past to drive character and relationship development. Avid gamers, from what I’ve seen in forums over the years, have irreverent attitudes towards the games they play, if not complete disdain. Sure, fanboys and fangirls for titles exist, but there are two dominant modes of thinking about a game for gamers: pure flaming or discovering the game’s good points. Both perspectives need a small bit of detachment from enjoying gameplay fully. Learning about sport climbing through the eyes of Konomi gives us space for comedy.
Jun is the contrasting character for Sport Climbing Girls’s for detachment. We’ve already seen how she doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about anything related to competitive climbing. The budding friendship between Konomi and Jun will allow the serious girl to have an outsider’s perspective on her sport and hopefully let her develop that gamer’s detachment that Konomi has. Identifying too much with her sport might become an issue for Jun later, so having interests and friends outside of that realm will be important.
Finally, I had to smile at the inclusion of the younger outdoor climbing girl Kiku into the cast. Yes, she’s the stereotypical silver-haired monotone girl, but she functions in a fun way to develop Konomi’s character. Kiku bridges Konomi’s competitive gaming past with her new pastime of sport climbing. As with any extreme sport, there are many variations, and free climbing is the furthest away from Konomi’s experience. Konomi used to be a gaming shut-in who only played mobile games indoors for competitions. Free climbing deals with weather and nature as well as the athleticism of the sport. Those two worlds are so far apart. The funniest thing about Kiku calling Konomi “Master” in terms of teaching her how to be a better gamer is that the other Hanamiya girls still haven’t noticed Konomi’s celebrity past. I hope Sport Climbing Girls keeps using this running joke.
Ugh. A sudden drop in animation quality is not a good look when we have talked of rebuilding Konomi’s soft body. They can rebuild Konomi. They have the technology. They can make her better than she was. Better, stronger, faster. Bah. Why show a muscular man climbing a wall instead of a muscular woman? This is a waste of my eyeball time.
Stamina, strength, and flexibility training for Konomi. She used to do ballet, so this should be familiar, but little girls with growing bodies didn’t need to worry about recovery time. Oh crap. Nono just called Konomi “chubby.” She’s cuddly and soft, not chubby!
Sayo explains the climbing-specific strength training Konomi requires. Sounds like endurance athletic training to me, where there’ll be specialties in sprinting, long threshold efforts, and overall competence. Konomi can’t get over the “chubby” designation. Functional strength training is different than weight training because Konomi only needs to be strong enough to carry herself, not an external weight, like weightlifters. Power to weight ratio matters here. No jacked Konomi for you!
Oho. One-legged squats hurt! Oh no. Poor Konomi is going to blame being “chubby” for all her tough times starting her training exercises. Wow. Sport Climbing Girls is not shy about showing spandex covered crotches. Aw. Konomi wants Jun to be her friend too and eat lunch together. Jun has a complex about being a loner. She’s just covering up her social clumsiness. Tsundere~. Also, Jun has nothing but climbing going for her. Konomi’s friendship should be good for expanding her horizons. Ha. Jun warns Konomi if they keep having lunch together, she’s going to nag about Konomi’s diet.
More spandex crotch watch. Sayo likes squeezing her chest. I would too. Field trip! To the Anti-Monkey Rock? Hey, that’s the episode title. Goofball Konomi cares about poor monkeys. Ach. Konomi arrived at the remote town an hour early. Time enough to find trouble. She found some! Quiet girl wearing climbing shoes playing a mobile game… Konomi is so modest. She used to be “pretty hardcore.” Yeah, the national e-sports champion is just a skosh more than “pretty hardcore.” Ha! The softspoken girl wants to call Konomi “Master.” Konomi has a disciple now.
Let’s see what this Anti-Monkey Rock is all about. That’s no monkey up there. Mr. Juzo is the Hanamiya girls’ unofficial coach. Oh! He’s the father of Konomi’s new gaming disciple Kiku. Ooh. Konomi’s puzzle-solving mode works on rock faces too. Real rock climbing hurts the fingers. Konomi feels afraid because she’s climbing without a safety harness.
Kiku is a climber, of course. She admires her dad a lot and wants to be as good a climber too. Har. Kiku wants Konomi to be her stepmom! Well, how about outdoor climbing with her? Konomi will have to think about that since she just started sport climbing. Aw. Konomi couldn’t get over her fear climbing up the Anti-Monkey Rock. That’s realistic. Sayo says that fear comes from not being confident in her own body’s ability. Juzo trusts his pinky with his life.
Motivated Konomi training montage! Konomi wants a rematch with that Anti-Monkey Rock.
Iwakakeru! Sport Climbing Girls streams on Crunchyroll.